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Call to arms on elderly care, all-metal hip replacement scare, and why Londoners and West Midlanders are the most anxious

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Wednesday 29 February

The papers today give major coverage to a report – covered here by Pulse – highlighting mistreatment and neglect of older people, which also demands major changes to the way this patient group is cared for.

Delivering Dignity, written by the Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People, calls for GPs to scrutinise services they commission for older people more rigorously to ensure they are of good quality. The Times (paywall) reports that ‘GPs should take greater responsibility for the care they pay for, ensuring that it meets the highest standards and taking with action to deal with failings in provision.’

The Daily Telegraph highlighted the report’s recommendation  that doctors and other healthcare should face disciplinary action for addressing as ‘dear’ or ‘chuck’ without permission. It added: ‘The commission concludes that older people are suffering humiliation and degrading treatment on a daily basis.’

The Guardian and other papers report that about 50,000 people with all-metal hip replacements are to be called in for annual blood checks because of concerns that ‘metal particles shearing off the joint could cause them harm.’ The story comes from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority, which has updated previous guidance that said that such patients only needed to be monitored for a minimum of five years. The Guardian predicted increased pressure on manufacturers for ‘better testing of devices.’ The Independent said that MHRA had received 730 ‘adverse incident’ reports involving metal-on-metal implants. 

Better treatment and disease management has resulted in a 10% fall in the proportion of women dying of breast cancer, says the Telegraph. It quotes a study in the Annals of Oncology, stating that death rates in Britain are now similar to those in France and Germany. 

Londoners and West Midlanders are the least satisfied and most anxious people in the UK, the Independent reports, following the publication of Office for National Statistics ‘happiness’ ratings. 

The findings are based on people ranking their own happiness and anxiety levels on a scale 0 to 10. Northern Ireland people scored themselves 7.6 on average, but the figure was 7.4 in England.

The Daily Mail joyfully points out that the data showed that ‘housewives are as happy as women who go out to work.’