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Superhero Lansley, postcode lotteries back and dirty, mouldy desks

Our round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 4 October.

‘Put patient safety at risk’, tick, ‘waste money’ tick ‘damage trust in the medical profession’ tick. Ah, the tick box nature of reforming the NHS, but according to nearly 400 public health experts who  have requested that the House of Lords reject the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, Andrew Lansley has got it all wrapped up. This also includes, according to the experts, opening up more services to private companies and the voluntary sector thus weakening the ability of the authorities to fight disease and tackle health emergencies. Sorted. Where next for superhero Lansley?

Sticking with the topic of the NHS, Professor Norman Williams, the new head of the Royal College of Surgeons, believes a postcode lottery has returned to Britain. Short term desires for hospitals to save money means they are rationing operations that would save money in the long term. He said this is happening secretly: ‘This is happening without any transparency of public debate and often without clinical involvement.’

A health warning has been published by Viking, an office supplies firm, after their study revealed that dirty office desks were harboring germs and spreading disease amongst workers. They found germs on almost two-thirds of computer keyboards, some of which were mouldy and germs on phones and desks. They named and shamed computer staff, lawyers and accountants as the most unhygienic office workers in the country, while social workers were most likely to have mouldy food on their desks. New keyboard, anyone?