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Independents' Day

Elderly at mercy of 'ageist' NHS but to be offered shingles vaccination, while drinking (in moderation...) can help stave off depression

A round-up of the health news headlines on Monday 2 September

Patients in their seventies will be offered a vaccination against shingles in a programme that starts today, the BBC reports.

The Government-led programme will offer the vaccine to those aged 70, 78 and 79.

The DH said the programme would cost £25 million a year in England but would save the NHS about £20m a year in fewer hospital stays, GP appointments and prescriptions.

Elderly people are at the mercy of an ‘ageist’ NHS, the Telegraph reports, as figures show dramatic variations between the availability of surgery for people over 75 in different parts of England.

Figures obtained by former health minister Paul Burstow show a ‘postcode lottery’ of care in England, which he says will open up the health service to a raft of lawsuits under age discrimination laws unless something is done.

And finally, good news over at the Guardian. Spanish researchers found that a glass of wine a day may keep the blues away.

As part of a study on the benefits of the Mediterranean lifestyle, the researchers followed 5,500 moderate drinkers over seven years.

They found those who drank two to seven glasses of wine a week were less prone to depression than non-drinkers. Sante!

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