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Independents' Day

Daily Digest 28 September 2009

By Steve Nowottny

Today's roundup of the GP and other health stories making the headlines - including a requirement for GPs to report knife crime and good news on increasing life expectancy.

The news that doctors will be ordered to report all knife injuries to the police, based on new guidelines published by the GMC today, makes several of that nationals – despite the fact that the Sunday Times somehow got hold of the apparently-embargoed story over the weekend. The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, claims it as a victory for its Stop Knives Save Lives campaign.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a retired GP and right-to-die campaigner, Dr Libby Wilson, could become the first person to be arrested after the publication of new guidelines on assisted suicide. Dr Wilson is to be interviewed by police after revealing that she gave advice to terminally-ill academic Cari Loder about how to end her life.

The Guardian has an interesting story today claiming that the Department of Health is considering whether to impose a legally binding duty on GPs, hospitals and other healthcare providers to admit to patients when an error has led to harm – explaining what exactly when wrong and apologising. According to health minister Ann Keen, ‘a culture of openness and transparency is vital when things go wrong in the provision off care.' It comes against a backdrop of rising clinical negligence claims against the NHS - £807 million last year, up £146 million on the year before.

And also in the Telegraph, a rare good news story. A report by the Academy of Medical Sciences, Rejuvenating Ageing Research, has concluded that Britain's pensioners are ‘living healthier, more productive lives.'

‘Today's 60-year-olds have the lifestyles 40-year-olds had a century ago,' the report concludes – and there's more good news. Average life expectancy in Britain is currently 77.2 for men and 81.5 for women but it's increasing – apparently by more than five hours every day.

Spotted a story we've missed? Let us know and we'll update the digest throughout the day…

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