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Swine flu strikes again, Dame Judi Dench’s move to ban smoking in cars and the hospital boss who wants staff to donate their holiday to the NHS



By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Monday 13 December.

Swine flu is circulating in the newspapers this morning, wiith the Telegraph headlining its story: ‘Swine flu jab call after virus claims its first victims this winter‘. The Department of Health is encouraging people in at-risk groups, particularly ‘all expectant mothers’, to get the vaccine.

The Guardian reports that the government calls follow the ‘revelation that the same virus that swept the country last year has claimed the lives of 10 adults in the UK in the past six weeks’.

The Daily Mail reports that Samantha Jones, chief executive of the Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, ‘has sparked fury after suggesting staff could ‘donate’ part of their annual leave under a drive to save £30 million’.

Jones is reported to have volunteered one of her own annual leave days – however the newspaper is keen to put this in perspective by reporting that she recently received a pay rise…

Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that in a bid to make a saving of £330 million, ministers plan ‘to phase out the Independent Living Fund by spring 2015..’ We’re told the fund ‘pays for carers and other help so severely disabled people can live at home rather than moving into care homes’.

And finally what we have all been waiting for… Dame Judi Dench leads a fight for government action to ban smoking in cars with children. The Independent reports that the British Lung Foundation claim that if this were actually implemented, it ‘would prevent some of the 22,000 new cases each year of asthma caused by passive smoking’.

And we are, it appears, lagging behind when it comes to imposing a smoking ban, as smoking in vehicles carrying children is already illegal in parts of Australia, Canada, the United States, Cyprus and Mauritius, which is ‘the only country to have banned smoking in cars outright.’

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know, and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily digest