Daily roundup 10 July: Health Secretary, solid food, and mental health services

By Neil Puffett

| 10 July 2018

Matt Hancock appointed Health Secretary following Brexit resignations; study finds giving babies solid food before they reach six months can benefit both mother and child; and inquiry recommends improving the transition for children with mental health problems into adult services, all in the news today.

Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Matt Hancock as Health Secretary. Picture: UK Parliament

Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed Matt Hancock as the new Health Secretary following Jeremy Hunt's promotion to Foreign Secretary. The Independent reports that the changes were forced upon the Prime Minister after cabinet Eurosceptics Boris Johnson and David Davis both dramatically resigned in protest at the government's new Brexit strategy.

Babies given solid food plus breast milk from three months sleep better than those who are solely breastfed, according to a new study. The BBC reports that official advice is to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. Experts say women should still heed this recommendation, although it is under review. The study found that giving solids earlier than six months had benefits for mum and baby. The babies had fewer sleep problems and mothers reported improved quality of life.

The care of young people with mental health problems is suffering when the time comes for them to move to adult services in England, an inquiry has concluded. The BBC reports that the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) said many young people experienced a difficult transition from child to adult care at exactly the time when they were most vulnerable. Its report recommends a more flexible approach to moving into adult services instead of having the cut-off at 18.

The government is to spend £7m on installing in-cell telephones in prisons across England and Wales as part of a drive to improve family ties and stem the flow of illegal mobiles Justice Secretary David Gauke is to announce. The Guardian reports that the technology is already in place at 20 jails and plans are under way to extend the scheme to another 20 over the next two years. Last year, a report by Lord Farmer found that good family relationships are "indispensable" to the government's prison reform plans.

British parents will let their children consume up to five times as much sugar during the summer holidays as they would any other time of the year, according to a new poll. The Independent reports that a survey of 1,000 parents with children aged two to 17 found sugar intake will significantly increase during the school break.

Parents have been told that their social media posts could get their children excluded from school. The Times reports that head teachers in Aberdeen were sent advice from the council after several incidents when members of staff and other pupils were targeted in public comments posted on the internet. The warning said that parents' posts can lead to criminal action and "may also result in their child being excluded from school".


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