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Today’s top health news

The BBC reports CT scans can triple the risk of children developing leukaemia and brain cancer. Despite a very small absolute risk, scientists called for greater efforts to ensure use of the 3D X-rays is justified. British-led scientists studied data on around 180,000 patients under the age of 22 who had CT scans at UK hospitals between 1985 and 2002. Their cancer rates were compared with those from the general population, reported in the UK National Health Service Registry. The results showed children younger than 15 would receive enough radiation from two to three head CT scans to triple their risk of developing brain cancer.

Accountancy firm PwC has won a £3.4m contract to help with the assessment and authorisation of prospective clinical commissioning groups, writes The HSJ. The contract was awarded by the NHS Commissioning Board, which will now review and make decisions about 212 CCGs before January next year. The board will hold visits, panel sessions, and review survey results in each CCG area, along with large amounts of documentation. It is likely the accountancy firm will advise on whether similar standards and approaches are being applied across the country.

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Today’s top health news

Healthcare providers expect a significant increase in opportunities for the private sector as more NHS trusts fall into financial difficulty in the coming year, reports FT.com. In a survey of more than 100 influential industry figures, nearly 70% said financial pressures... Read more

Today’s top health news

BBC.co.uk reports that the brain has a weak spot for Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, according to UK scientists who have pinpointed the region using scans. The Medical Research Council carried out MRI brain scans on 484 healthy volunteers aged between... Read more

Today’s top health news

The Guardian reports, hundreds of thousands of health workers including midwives, nurses, radiographers and psychiatric staff are staging a strike over pay rises. Members of 11 unions will walk out for four hours in protest at the coalition’s controversial decision... Read more

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New NICE guidence states that patients who visit GPs with persistent tiredness should be fast-tracked for cancer tests within 48 hours, warning that delays in diagnosis could be costing thousands of lives, reports The Telegraph. The new draft guidance comes... Read more

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Research shows that private health firms are on course to win more than £9bn of NHS contracts to look after patients as a result of the coalition’s ramping up of competition in the health service, reports The Guardian. Researchers tracking... Read more