NHS and social services tested to the limit, say MPs

The NHS and social services will be tested "to the limit" by the government's efficiency saving requirements over the next four years, according to a report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee. The MP say the spending review settlement represented a "significant challenge" for the NHS. The report calls for the Department of Health to deliver a "credible plan" for where the efficiency gains will be made. Dr Peter Carter is expected to be interviewed on BBC News 24. We issued a response saying: “This report echoes our fear about the current efficiency challenges facing the NHS. We fully support the Committee’s view that efficiency savings should not be about cuts, but achieving more with the same amount of money. Sadly, with 27,000 posts already ear-marked for cuts, this message is clearly not reaching NHS Trusts. Some Trusts are already cutting jobs and services at an alarming rate, making short-sighted decisions to plug the gaps in their budgets.”

Twice as many dementia sufferers

The Alzheimer's Society has warned there are more than twice as many dementia sufferers than official NHS figures suggest. As suggested that the true scale of the disease is being hidden because doctors are failing to diagnose the disease and sufferers are reluctant to seek medical help.

24 hours in the life on an NHS hospital

The Daily Mirror highlights a day at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South-East London over a busy 24-hour period.

UK among Europe's unhealthiest nations, report suggests

The UK is one of the unhealthiest nations in Europe for some health indicators, according to figures from the Association of Public Health Observatories. The figures reveal the UK is the fattest EU member and has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies. The UK also performs badly on female cancer survival and infant deaths. But life expectancy figures in the UK are slightly better than for EU counterparts and the nation also excels at treating heart disease.

Teenage pregnancy will rise unless action is taken

Teenage pregnancy rates will rise unless the government takes renewed action, a review for England warns. The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group (TPIAG) warns budget cuts and a major reorganisation of the NHS may threaten the current downward trend in teenage pregnancies.

Parliamentary Update

House of Commons
Superannuation Bill: Programme motion & Consideration of Lords amendments

House of Lords
Public Bodies Bill (Lords): Committee of Whole House (Day 4)

Other Business

Written ministerial statement: Health: Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council: 6-7 December 2010. 
Health Committee published report on Public Expenditure
Alzheimer's Society published report suggesting that dementia diagnoses in England are falling short
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley speech to All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer Britain Against Cancer conference at Church House - announcement expected on early diagnosis of cancer.  Cancer Tsar Sir Mike Richards & Labour Health spokesperson John Healey also due to speak
Health Minister Anne Milton to respond to Independent Indemnity Insurance Review
Chairman of Public Service Pensions Commission Lord Hutton speech to All Party Group on Occupational Pensions in the Commons
Public Health Minister Anne Milton speech to All Party Group on Drugs Misuse in the Commons
Statistics published: Carers in Households 209/10, Hospital Outpatients Activity 2009/10 (DoH)