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Ditch the treadmill in favour of some vintage exercise and the hospitals that are ‘full to bursting’

The Guardian reports this morning on the independent health information service Dr Foster’s new Hospital Guide, which analyses the performance of every hospital in England in 2011-12.  The report, based on the NHS’s own performance data, warns hospitals are ‘full to bursting’ and bed use is reaching such ‘dangerous’ levels that staff are struggling to maintain the safety and quality of patients’ care.

The analysis also found that death rates at more than a dozen hospital trusts in England are “worryingly high”.  At 12 trusts, death rates were higher than expected on two out of four hospital mortality measures.

Elsewhere, the BBC reports that many people with severe mental health problems miss out on the care they should receive for physical illnesses.

A British Journal of Psychiatry paper found those with severe mental illness were less likely to get drugs for conditions such as high blood pressure.

It was found that patients with severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, received lower than expected prescriptions for essential drugs to treat high blood pressure, including ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and statins.

Overall, it was estimated that the rate of undertreatment for medical conditions was 10% for those with severe mental illness.

And finally the Daily Mail tells readers that the old fashioned vibrating belt machines could improve the health of obese people.

Tests carried out by New York researchers has shown the machines could offer significant clinical benefits for obese people suffering from a wide range of immune problems related to obesity.

A study published online in The FASEB Journal found that low-intensity vibrations led to improvements in the immune function of overweight mice.

Researchers say if the same effect can be found in people, it could lead to a number of clinical benefits.

Study author, Clinton Rubin, from Stony Brook University, in New York, said: ‘This study demonstrates that mechanical signals can help restore an immune system compromised by obesity.’