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Elderly suffering ‘inhumane’ hospital care; red wine cancer boost; energy drinks warning

By Ian Quinn

Our roundup of the health news headlines on Tuesday 15 February.

Today’s front pages are dominated by the health service ombudsmen’s damning report into hospitals’ care – or rather lack of it – for the elderly.

The report condemns the inhumane treatment of the over-65s, finding hospitals are failing to meet ‘even the most basic standards of care’.

Ann Abraham’s reports says: ‘The findings of my investigations reveal an attitude – both personal and institutional – which fails to recognise the humanity and individuality of the people concerned and to respond to them with sensitivity, compassion and professionalism.’

The Daily Mail features happier news that red wine could help women with breast cancer boost the chances of their treatment being successful.

It reports US scientists’ discovery that the naturally occurring ingredient resveratrol enhances the effect of the rapamycin drug.

American scientists are also calling for regulation on energy drinks, which they claim could be as dangerous to children as alcohol.

The high-caffeine drinks, which often contain other ingredients like taurine, guarana and ginseng, could cause ‘seizures, mania, stroke and sudden death’, according to researchers writing in the American journal Pediatrics.

Spotted a story we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll update the digest throughout the day…

Daily Digest – 15 Feb 2010