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Ban on age discrimination of patients to take effect in October; and study shows breast cancer returns in 22.6% of women

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


The Daily Telegraph (p1) reports that doctors and NHS managers will be banned by law from denying older patients treatment simply on grounds of their age.

According to the newspaper, ministers are set to make the announcement on Tuesday, which will mean nurses and carers also have a legal duty to consider the "wellbeing and dignity" of the elderly.

The legal ban will come into effect in October, following a series of "shocking" reports showing older people often suffer sub-standard care and uneven treatment in the NHS and social care system.

According to the Telegraph, the change raises the prospect of older patients suing the NHS if they are denied treatment on grounds of their age, or if they believe doctors are devoting more attention and resources to younger patients.

The Daily Mail also has the story on its front page, taking the angle that patients or relatives could sue individual staff or trusts for refusing operations, tests and scans routinely offered to younger patients.

The Guardian (p7) also has the story, along with The Times (p17), which reports the law will apply to those aged over 65.


The Guardian (p14) reports that research has shown that almost one in four women who develop breast cancer will see the disease return within 10 years.

The findings were based on a study of 1,000 women who were first diagnosed between January 1999 and 2002 and then had their health monitored for 10 years. The study by Macmillan Cancer Support showed breast cancer returned in 22.6% of those followed up.

Those who developed the disease for the second time had lived disease free for an average of 39.9 months and survived 17.9 months after being diagnosed for the second time. Just over half (51%) lived disease-free for at least three years, according to The Guardian, and a small minority of the 214 women (5%) survived for 10 years.

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