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Taxing sugary drinks could save London £39m

Taxing sugary drinks could save the NHS in London £39 million over the next twenty years.

The Children's Food Campaign claims charging 20 pence per litre would reduce rates of diabetes, strokes and heart disease, and in doing so reduce pressure on the health service.

The research, published in association with University of Liverpool academic Brendan Collins and FoodActive, shows the impact in London over twenty years would be to:

  • reduce the cases of diabetes by over 6300
  • prevent over 1100 cases of cancer
  • reduce strokes and cases of coronary heart disease by over 4300
  • improve the quality of life for thousands of residents

The London boroughs set to gain the most savings and health benefits from a sugary drinks duty include Croydon, Enfield, Southwark, Bromley, Newham and Lewisham.

In addition, the impact on calorie reduction will be greatest in boroughs such as Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham and Haringey, which have the highest proportion of demographics who consume the most sugary drinks.

Ebola test

London's resilience arrangements in dealing with a potential Ebola virus incident in the capital will be examined today. Public Health England will meet with the Greater London Authority Oversight Committee to look at plans to cope with any cases of the deadly disease.


Labour London Assembly member criticises Mayor over air pollution

The London skyline Credit: PA

A new Parliamentary report into air pollution recommends that more needs to be done to protect people from harm.

Commenting on the report London Assembly Labour Group Environment Spokesperson Murad Qureshi AM said:

"This report is a devastating indictment of a Mayor and Government who have failed to tackle one of London's biggest environmental and public health challenges.

"Having ignored this problem and blustered his way through for six years, this report finally debunks the Mayor's claims to have cut air pollution.

The report recommends a ban on building schools, hospitals and care homes next to air pollution hotspots caused by road traffic.

New recommendations for pregnant women

King's College London has helped to develop new recommendations out today- which could mean thousands more babies could be born at home or in a midwife-led unit. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says evidence shows midwife-led care can be safer than hospital for women having a straightforward pregnancy.

More babies could be born at home Credit: PA

Its updated guidance also confirms that home birth is equally as safe as a midwife-led unit and traditional labour ward for the babies of low risk pregnant women who have already had at least 1 child previously.

Midwife checks up on pregnant mother Credit: PA

Susan Bewley, Professor of Complex Obstetrics at King's College London, chaired the group responsible for developing the updated recommendations. She says: "Midwives are highly capable professionals and can provide amazing one-to-one care to pregnant women in labour, whether that's in a woman's own home, a midwife-led unit or a traditional labour ward.

Giving birth is a highly personal experience and there is no 'one size fits all' model that suits all women. What's important is that women and their families are given the most up-to-date information based on the best available evidence so that they can make an informed decision about where the mother gives birth to her child."

Warning over candle use during festivities

Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Homeowners are being warned to take extra care after the London Fire Brigade found there was a dramatic rise in the number of fires started by candles during the festive period. Six people died last year, and over sixty others were injured, as a result of fire-related incidents.


Neglected child suffered '70 separate fractures'

A post-mortem examination carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital found that a one-year-old child neglected by her parents had suffered 70 separate fractures on her body. A doctor examining the young girl found injuries to her ribs, legs, arms and shoulder.

Both parents were arrested after her death but refused to answer any questions about their child's injuries during interview.

Subsequent enquiries revealed that the mother had taken the child to see a doctor but had never mentioned the injuries. This was despite speaking to friends about the child suffering from pain when she tried to move her arm or shoulder. The man and woman were charged in January of this year and convicted this month.

Parents guilty of neglect over one-year-old's death

A father and mother who neglected their one-year-old child prior to her death, have been found guilty following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

The parents - a man aged 43 and a woman aged 36 - were found guilty on Friday, 28th November. They will be sentenced at the same court in January 2015.

The court heard how the London Ambulance Service were called to an address in Bracondale Road, SE2 at approximately 1.20pm on th5 February 2013 by the girl's father.

The girl - aged 13 months - was not responsive and was transported to a south London hospital but pronounced dead there shortly before 2pm.

Staff assaulted by absconding psychiatric patient

A man has absconded from a psychiatric hospital in east London, after assaulting two members of staff.

Police are warning the public not to approach Paul Williams, 48, who left the hospital in Stadium Road, Woolwich, shortly before midday yesterday.

A short time later, he assaulted the driver of a car in Stadium Road, before stealing the vehicle and carrying out a burglary at an address in Caldwell Close, SE18.

Neither the car driver nor the victim of the burglary required hospital treatment. The car has since been abandoned.

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