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Daily digest June 12 2015

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Baby died because NHS helpline staff 'read off a script’

A seriously ill baby died because staff on the NHS 111 helpline were reading from a script and missed the chance to save him, an inquest heard.

The Mail Online reports that an expert said William Mead, aged 12 months, could have survived had he been admitted immediately to hospital with a lung abscess caused by bacterial infection streptococcus A.

An operator with no medical training told his mother Melissa Mead to give him fluids Calpol and ibuprofen. A doctor from 111 called her back later to say the ‘best place’ for William, of Penryn, Cornwall, was in bed.

But Peter Fleming, a professor of infant health and developmental physiology at the University of Bristol, said there was ‘a very good chance’ he could have been treated in hospital.

Read more on the Mail Online website

Weekend GP trial scrapped because only a few patients turned up

Weekend GP appointments, one of prime minister David Cameron’s key pilot schemes, have been scrapped after doctors said no one was turning up.

Patient campaigners called the decision ‘ludicrous’, the Times reports.

Barely one in ten Sunday appointments was filled in Yorkshire surgeries testing out-of-hours care and only half of Saturday slots were taken up, doctors said.

However, health chiefs have vowed to press ahead with other ways of offering out-of-hours care.

Mr Cameron has promised that all patients in England will have access to GPs from 8am to 8pm, seven days a week by 2020.

(£) Read more on the Times website

Cancer risk raised for obese women even after losing weight

Scientists are calling for greater action on preventing obesity after a study found that overweight and obese women run an increased risk of breast cancer that is not diminished by weight loss, the Guardian reports.

The study of more than 67,000 women in the US, who were followed for a median of 13 years, concluded that excess weight is a real risk for breast cancer after the menopause. The paper, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association highlights that two thirds of women in the US, as in the UK, are either overweight or obese and therefore running a raised risk of breast cancer.

The findings ‘should motivate programmes for obesity prevention’ and ‘suggest that prevention of weight gain may be an important public health strategy for reducing breast cancer risk’, the study suggests.

Read more on the Guardian website

Thousands of patients refuse to take statins

Patients are refusing to take statins even though they are at high risk of heart attacks and strokes, research has found.

Only one in three patients judged to need the cholesterol lowering-pills is prescribed them following routine check-ups, the Mail Online reports.

The study also found that four fifths of adults are not showing up for their midlife ‘health MOT’, which assesses risk of long-term illnesses.

Read more on the Mail Online website

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