Live long and prosper
Older people are living longer, healthier lives than they did 10 years ago, according to a government report. Not only has life expectancy for those aged over 65 increased, but healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy at age 65 have increased too, said the Department for Work and Pensions study.
Chocolate tax rejected
A Scottish GP has called for chocolate to be taxed in the same way as alcohol and cigarettes, to tackle increasing levels of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Dr David Walker, a GP in Lanarkshire, put the proposal to a conference of the British Medical Association in March, although the idea was subsequently rejected by delegates.
The amount of “bariatric surgery” carried out by the NHS on obese people to help them lose weight increased by 40% in 2007-8, according to figures from the NHS Information Centre. Overall hospital admissions for obesity also increased, reaching 5,018 in 2007-8, a 30% increase on 2006-7 and almost a seven-fold increase on 1996-7, it added.
Hospital infection control
The Scottish Executive is to appoint a “superbug supremo” to check on hospitals’ infection control. The chief inspector will be appointed this month and lead a new Care Environment Inspectorate, which will carry out random inspections of every Scottish acute hospital to check on infection prevention and cleanliness.