Daily digest 18 June 2015

Missed the news? Read our summary of the latest health stories here

61,000 missed GP appointments every day

More than 61,000 GP appointments are being wasted every day by patients not bothering to turn up, research suggests.

The lost time is equivalent to a year’s work for 1,300 doctors and costs the NHS more than £300 million annually, the Daily Mail has reported after it commissioned a survey of 500 family doctors with GP magazine.

GPs say missed appointments are a ‘plague’ and are becoming more common, driving up waiting times for others.

Read more on the Daily Mail website

Baby blues now affects one in three new dads

Postnatal depression, which is suffered by 70,000 women every year, now affects one in three new dads, a study has found.

The extra emotional and financial responsibility coupled with a lack of sleep and more to do at home all affect new parents’ mental wellbeing, the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) said.

As reported in the Daily Mirror, the trust said men are even more likely than women to bottle up the depression, and NCT head of research Sarah McMullen encouraged fathers to seek the support they need.

Read more on the Daily Mirror website

Hunt ‘uncomfortable’ with under-16 pill

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has suggested that he is ‘not comfortable’ about the prospect of girls under the age of 16 being able to buy the morning-after pill in any pharmacy, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Mr Hunt expressed his uneasiness about the idea of his two young daughters being able to buy the contraceptive pill but conceded that the issue of the morning-after pill was not something ‘politicians are going to be able to legislate against’.

His comments came after the morning-after pill was made widely available to girls under 16 for the first time.

Read more on the Telegraph website

Breast milk craze raises HIV fears

A craze for drinking human breast milk brings no health benefits and may be dangerous, scientists have warned.

As reported in the Times, the milk, sold online for as much as £15 an ounce, is billed as a ‘superfood’ to bodybuilders and cancer patients for its alleged ability to boost immune systems.

None of the claims has any basis in medical science and adults drinking the milk could be exposing themselves to HIV, syphilis, hepatitis and lethal bacteria, public health experts say.

(£) Read more on the Times website

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.