Government report highlights

“Those with schizophrenia are 90% more likely to get bowel cancer, 42% more likely to have breast cancer, have higher rates of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease and on average die 10 years younger than counterparts without mental health problems.”

Those are the findings from a new report, “Health Inequalities”, published by the House of Commons Health committee.

The report highlighted “shocking health differences between mental health patients and the rest of the population.” It found that “the health needs of mental health patients are almost entirely ignored by specialist mental health services” and stated that this could be the “tip of the iceberg” of missed opportunities to tackle health inequalities.

The Health Committee, which comprises of MPs from England and Wales, concentrated on “health groups” in England

The report raised alarm bells particularly among race equality experts because of the disproportionate numbers of black people who are routinely diagnosed with schizophrenia.

To read the report please visit:

                                       Secure hospital opens in Pembroke

A new low-secure hospital has been opened in Pembroke Dock, west Wales.

The 16-bed unit, close to South Pembrokeshire hospital, will treat patients aged between 18 and 65.

The £5million project was developed by Newport-based Surehaven Ltd and the unit is the first of a number of similar hospitals the company will be building around Britain.

Surehaven Managing Director Keith Woodall told The Western Telegraph: “For many years, patients and their families have been frustrated that they have had to travel long distances from west Wales to seek treatment.

We know that this hospital has been urgently needed in this area for a long time and we are delighted that treatment will now be provided closer to patients’ homes.”

More than 100 jobs have been created in the area as a result of the project.

                                       Brown to review Carer’s Allowance

At Prime Minister’s Questions this week Hywel Francis (Labour, Aberavon) stated that the UK’s six million carers had benefited from the National Carers Strategy and called for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to consider a rise in allowances for carers.

Brown agreed that carers are “at the heart of our society” and said ministers are looking at the allowances available for carers.