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Scottish NHS faces £450m funding gap after referendum, poorer women experience worse pregnancy care, energy drink sales spike parks health fears

The Scottish NHS could face sweeping cuts if Scots votes for independence tomorrow, as leaked policy documents from the Scottish National Party predict a £450 million funding gap in need of plugging.

The documents were passed to the BBC by an NHS whistle-blower, annoyed by the ‘Yes’ campaign arguments that the NHS’s biggest threat comes from increasing privatisation brought by staying in the UK.

The documents explain reforms will be needed, and state: ‘The status quo and preservation of existing models of care are no longer an option given the pressing challenges we face.’

Poorer women are much less likely to receive good care during pregnancy, with those in the most deprived groups being 60% less likely to have received any antenatal care, the Guardian reports.

Oxford University researchers found the most deprived women were 38% less likely to have seen a health professional 12 weeks before gestation and 47% less likely to see a health professional when they desired.

Dr David Richmond, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: ‘Pressure on maternity services is growing in some areas, particularly inner-city conurbations, placing stress on units.’

And finally, the Mail is warning of potential health risks as UK Energy drinks spend is set to reach £1.5m this year.

The survey by consumer analysts Mintel, found that 46% of people had bought an energy drink in the past year, and also that 54% of people report they are often feeling tired.

The Mail reports that sales of energy drinks are rising despite the risk of seizures, mania and stroke and are expected to shift 550m litres this year, compared to 454 million litres in 2011.