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NHS hospital contract offered to private sector

The Financial Times reports that the contract to run the Hinchingbrooke, an NHS district general hospital in Huntingdon has been offered to both the private sector and other NHS organisations. Under the terms of the offer the NHS would still own the assets of the hospital, with the new operator having to retain all current services. The NHS said that there was significant interest in the deal from the private sector.

Increase in number of cases of swine flu

According to the Health Protection Agency, there were an estimated 78,000 number of new cases of swine flu in the last week, an increase of 25,000 from the previous seven days. Also, Ian Dalton, the National Director for Flu Resilience has said that all GPs in England should have their first 500 doses within the next month. The RCN has encouraged nurses to have the swine flu vaccine.

Concerns over the health of returning soldiers

According to a Ministry of Defence study, large numbers of soldiers who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or abusing alcohol. The study found that around one in five returning soldiers misuse alcohol, with around one in seven suffering from depression or anxiety.

Children being prescribed antidepressants

The Conservative Party have obtained figures on the number of children being prescribed antidepressants under a Freedom of Information request. The figures show that there were 113,000 prescriptions issued to under 16-year-olds in 2007. Separate figures revealed that there were 86,000 antipsychotic drugs prescribed to under-18s in 2007, an increase of 7% from 2005.

Parliamentary Update

• Both Houses are not sitting

Other business

• Statistics published: NHS In/Outpatient Waiting Times - September (DH)