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Daily digest June 4 2015

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Breast screening cuts deaths by 40%

Breast screening cuts cancer deaths by 40% among middle-aged women, according to a major study.

Data from more than 10 million patients around the world shows that inviting women for regular mammograms does save lives.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, will go some way towards ending a debate about the effectiveness of breast cancer screening.

It found that women aged 50 to 69 – the age group invited for screening in Britain – have a 40% reduced chance of dying from breast cancer if they have a regular mammogram.

Some experts are sceptical about the benefits of widespread breast cancer screening. They say that catching a tumour early can sometimes lead women into having potentially harmful treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy unnecessarily.

There are also fears about false-positive results, in which women are wrongly told they might have breast cancer when, in fact, they do not.

Read more on the Daily Mail website

Troubleshooters will be sent into struggling NHS regions

Troubleshooters are to be parachuted into failing NHS regions to bring them up to scratch in the first scheme of its kind, the head of the health service in England announced yesterday.

Three regions that have struggled to combat financial, staffing and waiting time problems — North Cumbria; Essex; and North, East and West Devon — will be put into the 'success regime'.

Some of the hospitals in the areas are already in special measures, but NHS bosses believe that the problems in each are too deep-rooted for an individual organisation to be able to fix.

Instead, they will bring those responsible for health and social care services in the area together to find solutions.

Later on, more areas may be brought into the scheme, which will be run by officials from NHS England, Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority and the Care Quality Commission.

Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, told the NHS Confederation conference: 'We all know there are parts of the country that are in systematic imbalance, in terms of either their quality or the structure of their services, or their ability to make the money work. And they have been in imbalance for years, if not decades.

'We coined the phrase a "success regime" rather than a "failure regime" as a different way of having a structured intervention to put those places on to a sustainable footing.'

(£) Read more on the Times website

Most vulnerable 'in jeopardy' over £1.1bn cuts to adult social care

The most vulnerable people in the country are being 'placed in jeopardy' by a further £1.1 billion of cuts to adult social care, according to new research.

Older people, those with learning difficulties and mental health problems have all seen major reductions in the services to help them because of shrinking budgets.

The £1.1 billion cuts planned for 2015/16 – calculated by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services – come after councils have slashed their adult social care budgets by 31% over the past five years.

Read more on the Independent website

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