Daily digest July 1 2015

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Callers to NHS 111 refused ambulances due to shortage of paramedics

Patients who call the NHS 111 service are being denied ambulances even if they are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, an exclusive Telegraph investigation reveals.

The 111 service was set up as a non-emergency alternative to 999 to relieve pressure on the health system, including emergency departments. Call centre staff are expected to dispatch ambulances if patients describe symptoms of a serious illness.

However, because of a shortage of paramedics, call handlers are being put under pressure not to send out ambulances at certain times.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website

Hunt calls for national debate about caring for older people

Many people in Britain now lead such 'atomised lives' that they do not have 'any idea' when their older relatives are ill or dying, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt will warn.

In a stark call for the public to take more responsibility for the care of older relatives and neighbours, Mr Hunt will say that local authority care and the National Health Service cannot alone shoulder the burden of looking after older people. And he will call for a 'national conversation' about how older people are looked after in Britain, compared with those in other countries where multi-generational households are more common.

In a speech to the Local Government Association’s conference in Harrogate, Mr Hunt will point to recent statistics showing that, in 2011, there were 2,900 council-funded funerals where no relatives could be traced.

Read more on the Independent website

Cancer toll on women lured to cigarettes by adverts in the 1970s

They were lured to start smoking in their thousands by advertisements that promised to make them look glamorous and independent.

Now record numbers of women are suffering the legacy of 1970s commercials – and tragically are developing lung cancer, the Daily Mail has reported.

Figures show there are more than 20,000 new cases a year, with rates increasing by a fifth in the past 20 years.

Experts blame attitudes in the 1970s when professional women smoked as a way of appearing attractive and liberated, as well as a means of staying slim.

Many were taken in by advertisements insisting that cigarettes would make them more successful, happier and help keep the weight off.

For example, the slogan for Lucky Strike cigarettes was ‘Reach For A Lucky Instead Of A Sweet’, while Misty advertisements bore the catchphrase ‘Slim N Sassy’.

Although smoking rates have fallen in recent years, cases of lung cancer in women are expected to continue to rise because the disease can take many years to develop.

Figures from Cancer Research UK show that there were 20,483 new cases in 2012, the highest since records began in 1979.

And rates have increased by 22% since 1993, up from 53 cases per 100,000 to 65 per 100,000.

Read more on the Daily Mail website

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