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Welsh hospitals like being 'in hell', lack of health education harming pupils and purposeful people prolong life

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines on Tuesday 13 May.

The Guardian reports that frail elderly patients in two Welsh hospitals are enduring ‘chaotic, degrading and sometimes dangerous conditions’ – which one patient described as, being ‘in hell’.

Both hospitals are run by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health board, and an independent review found inappropriately administered medicines, patients told to defecate and urinate in their beds and a shortage of qualified staff – which they attributed to ‘short-term financial planning’.

The Trusted to Care report was commissioned by Welsh health minister, Professor Mark Drayford, who said: ‘I give my unreserved apology to those individuals and their families whose care has fallen short of what they might expect from the Welsh NHS. I have been shocked by some of what I have read in this report.’

Schools are ‘harming’ their pupils by focussing too heavily on academic attainment and squeezing out subjects like personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, a leading academic has warned.

Professor Chris Bonell argued in the British Medical Journal that schools are neglecting pupil’s personal development, and that teaching to the test can harm mental health, the Telegraph reports.

Professor Bonell wrote: ‘[The curriculum] increasingly encourages schools to maximise students’ academic attainment and ignore their broader well-being, personal development, and health. Some schools not only neglect students’ health but may actively harm it.’

And finally, prolonging life in your later years may not be solely down to olive-oil and 24-hour contact with your GP, as a 14-year study has found that ‘a sense of purpose’ can help stave off the reaper.

The BBC reports that a US-Canadian study, which followed 7,000 adults aged 20 to 75 years found those who had responded most positively to a series of questions about their life goals, tended to outlive even their cheerful but purposeless peers.

Researcher, Dr Patrick Hill told the BBC: ‘In this study it is mortality, but other studies have shown people report better health. There is clearly a benefit from feeling a sense of direction or feeling you have these goals directing your day-to-day life.’

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