Daily digest March 20 2015

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

NHS ‘needs bailout or staff cuts’ to plug £2.5bn black hole

The NHS could slip £2.5 billion into the red later this year and its financial position could spiral ‘out of control’, with many hospitals and vast chunks of the service running out of money, one of its most senior figures has warned.

As reported in the Guardian, the deficit, by far the largest in NHS history, will pose a serious problem for the next government, said NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson.

Ministers will have to rescue the NHS with an unprecedented bailout or risk damaging the quality of care because hospitals will start slashing staff numbers to balance their books, Hopson added, and he told an audience at the King’s Fund thinktank that the £1bn deficit expected in the NHS in England by the end of this month is likely to grow to £2bn or £2.5bn in the 2015-16 financial year.

Read more on the Guardian website: click here

30,000 men have advanced prostate cancer

More than 30,000 men in the UK are living with advanced and incurable prostate cancer, according to a report.

The figure is higher than its equivalent for any of the other four most common cancers and a third higher than estimates for breast and bowel cancer, according to the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

A man with advanced prostate cancer will survive an average of four years after diagnosis, research suggests, and the majority – 84 per cent – will be living with at least one other serious health condition, the Times has reported.

(£) Read more on the Times website: click here

Welshman billed by English hospital

A Welshman was given a bill of £1,775 for treatment in an English hospital – because he was ‘technically a foreigner’, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Nicholas White, 64, was taken ill while visiting relatives in Cambridgeshire just before Christmas and was advised by his GP to have a gastroscopy to investigate suspected gallstones at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Just before his surgery began, he was told he would have to pay for the examination and the three-day stay and he later received a follow-up demand for payment, being told ‘that because he was Welsh' he counted as a foreigner and ' he would have to pay’.

Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust has apologised for its error and said it would arrange payments with Mr White’s local health board, Betsi Cadwaladr, in line with the usual procedure.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website: click here

Stem cells may help to conquer diabetes

A potent double-hit combination of stem cells and conventional ­diabetes drugs could reverse Type 2 diabetes, scientists have claimed.

The breakthrough moves researchers nearer to finding a cure for the disease, which has reached epidemic levels fuelled by modern couch-potato lifestyles, and it could spell the end of daily insulin injections, as reported in the Daily Express.

Although the new research has been carried out on mice, Timothy Kieffer at the University of British Columbia in Canada said: ‘Our hope is that a stem cell-based approach to insulin replacement will improve glucose control in patients with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.’

Read more on the Daily Express website: click here


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