Daily digest March 24 2015

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Terminally ill children will get more of a say on their care

Terminally ill children will get more of a say on whether they continue their treatment, according to the Mirror.

New guidelines published by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health state that when there is a competent refusal by the child, treatment can be halted.

The updated information outlines three types of circumstances for when limiting the treatment of children and babies can be considered: when life is limited in quality, when life is limited in quantity, and when there is competent refusal of treatment.

Read more on the Daily Mirror website: click here

Ultrasound scans show unborn baby wince in womb while mother smokes

The harmful effects of smoking during pregnancy on unborn babies may be seen in tiny movements in their faces using 4D ultrasound scans, the Telegraph reports.

Researchers from Durham and Lancaster universities studied 4D scan images and recorded thousands of movements. They monitored 20 women at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, four of whom smoked an average of 14 cigarettes a day.

The study found that scans at 24, 28, 32 and 36 weeks show that fetuses whose mothers smoked displayed higher rates of mouth movement and self touching than those carried by non-smokers.

Read more on the Daily Telegraph website: click here

Cancer survival rates lagging behind Europe

Survival rates in Britain for common cancers are trailing at least a decade behind other European Union countries.

The Guardian reports on warnings made by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support following an analysis of survival rates for breast, bowel, stomach and lung cancers. It found that for each type of cancer, the latest published five-year survival rates, which cover the period between 2005 and 2009, were worse than those of many EU countries at least a decade earlier.

The charity said the survival rates were ‘shameful’ and cited Britain’s poor record for diagnosing cancer early as one of the key failings.

Read more on the Guardian website: click here

Agency doctor receives £3,200 for one shift

Hospitals are paying up to £3,200 a shift to hire locum doctors in emergency departments.

Short-staffed trusts are forced to pay huge amounts as they compete to attract agency medics, Mail Online reports. It cites figures obtained by Sky New showing that United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust paid £3,258 for a consultant to work a 24-hour shift in the emergency department between Christmas and New Year.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust paid £2,099 for a doctor to work a nine-hour shift in the emergency department over the same period – the equivalent of £230 an hour.

Read more on the Daily Mail website: click here

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