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The ‘proof’ that doctors are ‘doling out happy pills to anyone’, young maternal age linked to childhood death and the hundreds of under-12s in A&E due to alcohol

Hundreds of children aged 11 or under have attended in A&E due to drugs or alcohol, the BBC and the Telegraph report. A BBC Radio 5 Live investigation using the Freedom of Information Act found some 300 such children were admitted to A&E last year after drinking too much.

Ayrshire and Arran Health Board dealt with 483 alcohol-related admissions of under-18s in 2012, the highest rate in the country. Dr Morten Draegebo, an A&E consultant in the area, told the BBC that, ‘there is a problem with their ability to defend themselves. The typical patient may be found in a field.’

Also in the news this morning, the Daily Mail claims to have ‘proof doctors are doling out happy pills to anyone who asks’. It sent three women reporting fictional symptoms of mild depression to their GP - and found two came out of the consultation with a prescription.

The Guardian reports that nurse workload is putting patients at risk, according to the Royal College of Nursing. A survey by the college found that four out five nurses questioned still went to work last year despite feeling unwell due to stress.

Lastly, the BBC reports this morning that childhood death is linked to the age of a child’s mother - with the under-30s in the high-risk category.

Research led by the Institute of Child Health at University College London looked at death registration data from January 1980 to December 2010, assesing child injuries, birthweight and maternal age to evaluate the reasons for child deaths.

The institute found that young maternal age was found to be a risk factor for death in early childhood, but concluded that support should be extended to mothers of all ages, not just first-time teenage mums.

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