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Verdict on Lansley the axeman, NICE wades into junk food debate, MP3 players make you deaf

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of health news headlines on Tuesday 22 June.

George Osborne may be the politician wielding the axe today but true to recent form Andrew Lansley got there first, with today's papers passing mixed verdicts on his slashing of GP targets and NHS bureaucracy.

The health secretary's scrapping of the target that everyone should be seen by their GP within 48 hours will as a Brucey bonus mean a nasty end for thousands of PCT bureaucrats, with a pledge that 46 per cent will be lopped off the NHS management budget by 2014.

However, even the coalition-friendly Daily Mail was warning today of the two words the Government fears the most, as it said the move could lead to a postcode lottery and could bring back the type of long waits for treatment that were seen when the Tories were last in power.

However, the paper was at least happy that what it claims is a ‘bonus scheme' for GPs to see patients quickly is now under review as part of a ‘renegotiation of the GPs' lucrative contract'.

The Daily Mirror claimed the Condems decision to end the performance management surrounding a string of targets, also including the 18-week target seen as one of Labour's big NHS achievements by its supporters, risked a "free-for-all" which would affect up to 189 million consultations a year.

The Mail also features prominently the intervention of NICE in another major health/healthy eating debate, with the body claiming that forcing manufacturers to reduce the amount of salt and saturated fat in their food could save 40,000 lives a year.

NICE, which appears to be muscling in on the sort of ground previously dominated by the likes of Jamie Oliver, has also called for companies and public institutions to scrap subsidised car parking to encourage people to walk to work or get on their bikes, perhaps designed to appeal to the Tories.

Next up NICE plans to put forward its thoughts on how the England football team can come up with tactics to progress in the World Cup.

Among the usual raft of scare stories today, the papers also brings bad news for MP3 player owners, with research claiming that just an hour's listening a day can damage their hearing. Sorry?

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

Daily Digest - 22 June 2010