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‘Appalling treatment’ of elderly, delayed drugs and why patients are more likely to die at the weekend

By Laura Passi

Our roundup of health news headlines on Thursday 2 December.

NHS reforms could see patients miss out on groundbreaking drugs to cure Alzheimers Parkinsons' is a headline in the Daily Telegraph this morning.

Drug company Eli Lilly has warned the introduction of new drugs could be delayed because ‘plans for "value-based pricing" would involve significantly higher costs and greater bureaucracy for pharmaceutical firms', we're told. But the Department of Health appears set on implementing the reforms, and is quoted as saying: ‘We will introduce a new system of value-based pricing which will make effective treatments affordable to the NHS.'

The Daily Mail today encourages you to ‘Join our campaign to end the scandalous mistreatment of the elderly', after ‘appalling treatment of the elderly in hospitals' resulted in a record-breaking 100,000 plus patients and relatives complaining. The Patients Association is leading the campaign for an ‘overhaul of the complaints system to make it completely independent'. The aim is to raise £100,000 to boost a helpline.

The Guardian delivers the worrying news that: 'Acutely ill patients are more likely to die at weekends due to a 'lack of consultants''. The Royal College of Physicians says that in acute hospital wards ‘consultants should be available for 12 hours a day, seven days a week'. This comes after a survey revealing that ‘three-quarters of hospitals have no specialist cover at weekends' - acute patients are more likely to die because several wards may be covered by one junior doctor, we're told.

Andrew Lansley says ‘patients do deserve better care at night and weekends and senior doctors should be available to provide acute medical care as needed.'

If all this serious news has left you feeling a little frustrated, the Daily Mail may have the answer, with: ‘Feeling angry? Why a spoonful of sugar sweetens your mood'.

American researchers have found ‘High sugar levels can help control aggression and prevent loss of temper.' They found that 'drinking sweetened lemonade helped provide the short-term energy needed to avoid lashing out at others.'

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

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