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The axeman cometh and the NHS gets off lightly… for now

Our round-up of health news headlines on Thursday 21 October.

'Ouch that hurt' reads the front page of the Sun, and unsurprisingly every paper this morning leads on the aftermath of the Comprehensive Spending Review, as the country struggles to come to terms with life after Axeman George.

The general consensus seems to be that the the NHS got off lightly, considering - but that nevertheless real problems lie ahead as the health services struggles to tackle ambitious efficiency savings targets. 'Pain for patients as key promises are abandoned ' about sums it up from the Independent, while the FT notes that 'Small rise for health honours earlier pledge' and the Guardian goes with the King's Fund's warning that a 0.1% real-terms spending increase 'will feel like a cut'.

If you're after further comment, then Pulse has a full round-up of reaction from GPs and other key stakeholders.

There are a lot of regional stories about the cuts out there too, as local papers, and their readers, struggle to come to terms with what NHS efficiency savings will mean on the ground. NHS Derbyshire County, for instance, is predicting it will face a deficit of £245m by 2014 unless savings are made - as the Derbyshire Evening Telegraph puts it, 'the figures are simply enormous'.

The BBC reports a claim from consultant obstetrician Prabbha Sinha that more training in techniques used during difficult births could help reduce the number of caesarean sections.

Mr Sinha, writing in 'The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist', called for junior doctors to be given more time using simulators that help them practice forceps deliveries.

And finally, we all know that mothers-to-be need to watch what they eat... but a new study, covered in today's Daily Mail, suggests fathers-to-be need to watch what they eat too.

A study by American and Australian researchers on, er, rats, leads the paper to conclude that 'men who eat junk food could be condemining their future children to diabetes'.

We're told: 'It is thought the fatty food caused subtle changes to DNA in the rats' sperm, causing problems in the metabolism of the next generation'. So think twice before you next eat a Big Mac. You - and your unborn rat-children - have been warned...

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

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