Poll finds that fewer than one in five doctors would be willing to help patients end their lives, plus the rest of today’s health news and comment.

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3.15pm Mike Hobday, director of policy and research at Macmillan has tweeted about Michael White’s parking charges column.

2.58pm Michael White’s latest politics column is now online, and discusses the vexed issue of hospital parking charges. Michael argues that “being done over” by expensive parking charges is “hardly the best way to get over an illness or injury, or feel valued at work”.

“Public resentment is real, the more so because one in four English hospitals allow free parking.”

1.43pm The Times reports British cancer patient’ chances of surviving at least a year after diagnosis are improving and may be catching up with the rest of Europe, according to data from the Cancer Intelligence Centre.

Cancer patients’ chances of living at least a year after diagnosis are improving, according to fresh data that suggests Britain’s survival rates may be catching up with the rest of Europe.

1.41pm Norman Lamb has told The Daily Mail that drunk people on accident and emergency wards should be fined £50 if they abuse staff.

The care services minister said he is putting the policy forward for the Liberal Democrats’ party manifesto. He added that with the correct safeguards in place, it would not lead to a “slippery slope” of other patients being charged for behaving irresponsibly.

1.34pm The council of governors at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust has come out in support of the trust board and expressed its “disappointment” at a “misleading” Care Quality Commission report which criticised leadership at the trust as “inadequate”.

In a statement the governors said the CQC’s ratings for the trust were “misleading in several important areas” and suggested that in “some instances, the evidence used by the commission to support the overall ratings is extremely limited”.

The statement contrasts markedly with comments from the former lead governor of East Kent, Ken Rogers, who accused senior management of repeatedly brushing aside his and fellow governors’ concerns.

1.10pm NHS Employers has told health unions, which began balloting today, that early information will be needed to ensure healthcare is planned as safely as possible during any industrial action.

Chief executive Dean Royles said: “Unions have now started the ballot. Employers are of course concerned about the impact that any industrial action will have on patient care, especially during winter when NHS services are under greatest pressure.

“We completely understand the frustration and anger of many staff following a prolonged period of pay restraint but patient safety must always be our first priority. We have let the unions know that, if they are serious about their abiding concern for patient care, they will give employers far more than the statutory minimum of seven days notice of any action so we can introduce appropriate contingency plans.”

Members of the Unite union started voting today on possible industrial action, while Unison, the GMB and the Royal College of Midwives will do so in the coming days.

1.06pm Fewer than one in five doctors would be willing to help patients end their lives, according to a new poll.

Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill - which is being considered by Parliament - would offer the chance of assisted dying to terminally ill patients deemed mentally capable and within six months of likely death.

But a survey of 600 doctors by the Medix consultancy found that 60 per cent are against a change in the law to allow physician assisted suicide.

12.11pm Healthwatch England’s bid to secure seats for patient champions on all ‘super clinical commissioning groups’ has been dashed by the health secretary in a letter rejecting claims such structures are unaccountable.

Jeremy Hunt’s response comes after Healthwatch chair Anna Bradley accused CCGs of undermining her organisation’s role by “clubbing together” in closed groups to discuss reshaping health services across wide areas.

11.07am Cancer treatment on the NHS is to get a £6m boost under new measures announced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The investment will be used to fund clinical trials over the next five years for a specialist new radiotherapy, as Mr Hunt reiterated the government’s pledge to “aim high” to beat the disease.

10.56am The NHS featured strongly in the televised Scottish referendum debate last night.

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, said gaining complete financial control over the NHS in Scotland through independence would be the only way to protect it from an agenda of cuts and privatisation.

Alastair Darling, the leader of the pro-UK Better Together campign, accused Mr Salmond of spreading half-trusts about NHS cuts in England and “using scare stories in order to make a point which has nothing to do with the referendum”.

10.38am Browsing through this morning’s papers, The Daily Telegraph reports (newspaper only) that experts have warned elderly cancer patients are more than twice as likely to die within a year as younger sufferers, partly because of systematic discrimination in the NHS.

A report by Public Health England said that older people were less likely to live for a year following diagnosis than younger people. It also suggested older people were more likely to have their cancer diagnosed later.

Mike Hobday, head of policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, said it was not the result of conscious ageism, “but the way the system works does have the effect of discriminating against older people”.

10.00am Good morning and welcome to HSJ Live.

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