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NHS spending to strain public finances for next 50 years, OBR warns

Extra health funding for an ageing population will add to deficit, watchdog forecasts

Extra health spending and a population that is ageing faster than previously expected will add to the burden of spending over the next 50 years, according to the Treasury’s independent forecaster.

The £20bn boost to the health budget by 2021-22 promised by Theresa May, coupled with falling immigration – which will cut the number of young and working-age people – will increase the public deficit unless the government moves to increase taxes or take other measures to reduce spending, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said.

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Podcast: why is positive news coverage so vital in today’s world?

This episode of our regular podcast focuses on the impact of the modern news cycle on our health and wellbeing, and whether a greater focus on positive, hopeful, solution-based stories could help to mitigate this

What are the effects of negative news on our mental health and sense of empowerment? How does it effect our trust in the media? Why historically has negative news become so prevalent at the expense of positive, solutions-focused, constructive news and could a more balanced picture of the world lead to greater empowerment and individual actions to make things better?

Joining the Guardian’s Executive editor for membership, …read more

‘My brain feels like it’s been punched’: the intolerable rise of perfectionism

The pursuit of perfection, taken to extremes, can lead to OCD and depression – and the number of students reporting the problem has jumped by 33% since 1989

Tom Nicol thought he had a problem with sleep. He could never get enough. He took “a very disciplined, stripped approach” to his routine. He drank water only at premeditated times, ate according to schedule, avoided caffeine, exercised (but not close to bedtime) and shut down all screens at 9pm. Nicol, a PhD student, was recounting this long list of sleep settings to his student counsellor after yet another bad night, when she …read more

NHS rationing putting hernia patients’ lives at risk, say surgeons

Cuts have led to a doubling in numbers denied quick access to treatment, claims royal college

Patients with hernia problems are being left in pain and at risk of needing emergency surgery, and even of death, because the NHS is increasingly rationing surgery to treat it.

The number of NHS bodies across England that are restricting access to inguinal hernia surgery has doubled since 2014 as a result of cost cutting, surgeons have warned.

Related: NHS operation waiting lists reach 10-year high at 4.3m patients

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Over 2 million Britons risk dying early from multiple illnesses

NHS is unprepared for the rapid rise in ‘multi-morbidities’ that include heart disease

More than 2 million Britons are at risk of dying early because they have at least one potentially fatal illness, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as coronary heart disease.

Research has revealed that 90% of the 2.3 million patients in the UK who suffer from heart disease also have another condition that could shorten their life – a total of 2.07 million people. More than half (57%) of the 2.3 million have at least three “multi-morbidities” – a total of 1.31 million people.

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