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Health Service Journal
1999-02-04

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  • Arousing debate

    The government's plans to limit prescribing of Viagra have raised questions about the powers of the new National Institute for Clinical Excellence, writes Kaye McIntosh
  • Broad welcome for pay awards - if fully funded

    The NHS pay settlement received a broad welcome from managers this week, although finance and human resources directors voiced doubts about the government's commitment to fund it fully.
  • Consultants query intensive care bed figures

    The Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association has claimed that official figures on the availability of intensive care beds may 'grossly under-represent' pressure on bed space. It cites a case in which patients being ventilated in cardiac beds were not included in NHS Executive figures. Former HCSA president Robin Loveday, a consultant anaesthetist at Kent and Sussex Hospital, said the 'weekly hunt' for intensive care beds was getting worse and claimed hospitals were putting off major s
  • Courtin' the middle

    The most uncomfortable job in the managerial hierarchy has to be the middle manager: dumped on by top managers and beset with seemingly impossible objectives on the one hand, and reviled as mere clipboard carriers by those they supervise on the other. An impossible job, and yet no organisation can do without them. We should understand their role better and make it more rewarding.
  • Days like this

    The launch of Working for Patients . . . Cook sceptical. . . HA chairs 'delighted'. . . 'right-wing nonsense'. . .King's Fund warning
  • Denham agrees consultation on trust mergers

    Health minister John Denham has given the go-ahead for public consultation on proposals to merge five trusts. Consultation on plans to merge East Yorkshire Hospitals trust and Royal Hull Hospitals trust starts tomorrow. Public consultation on proposals to create a single acute trust for Leicestershire from Glenfield Hospital trust, Leicester General Hospital trust and Leicester Royal Infirmary trust starts on 22 February.
  • Dobson plans new grading for nurses

    Health secretary Frank Dobson has proposed a new grading structure for nurses in a bid to make the nursing profession more attractive.
  • Drug prices targeted in Health Bill reforms

    Sweeping powers to curb the cost of drugs to the NHS and 'modernise' professional self-regulation have been laid out in the government's Health Bill.
  • Events

    Items are entered free for public sector, voluntary and professional organisations, but we need at least six weeks' notice of your event. Please send details to Uli Jaeger, HSJ , Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7EJ. Fax: 0171-874 0254.
  • Failure to appoint chief blamed on 'low' salary

    Members of one of England's smallest primary care groups are protesting that they have been unable to appoint a chief executive because the health authority is insisting on a salary of just £26,000.
  • Feeling the squeeze

    Happy with their lot or keen to move on? Janet Snell asked middle managers how they see their role and prospects
  • GPs stand firm on board boycott

    Leicestershire health authority has failed to persuade GPs to end their boycott of a primary care group board.
  • HA aims to collect data on patients struck off by GPs

    Wigan and Bolton health authority is currently 'in the embryonic stages' of establishing a database to look for trends in cases where patients are struck off GP lists. It is also extending an existing conciliation service to patients who are removed without being given a reason. The moves follow a case criticised by health service commissioner Michael Buckley, in which Leigh GP Dipak Trivedi removed an entire family from his list after a dispute with one member. Questioned alongside the GP, H
  • Hancock calls for clarity on long-term nursing care

    Royal College of Nursing general secretary Christine Hancock has urged health secretary Frank Dobson to clarify the government's position on funding long-term nursing care.
  • Heretic

    A butterfly's wings flapping in a Brazilian jungle, eventually contributing to a hurricane in Britain, illustrates chaos theory. Perhaps the theory also explains why the unanticipated arrival of winter and attendant bed pressures generates a media clamour for nurse education to be removed from where thinking is encouraged. Ironically, the naivety of these analyses belies the fact that most of the scribblers themselves enjoyed a university education. Sadly, both front benches have jumped on th
  • In brief: British Medical Association in Scotland

    The British Medical Association in Scotland has called for reform of the medical compensation system and a 'serious debate' on no-fault claims. The BMA has called for the Scottish parliament to examine compensation processes which would 'leave the question of fault down to the profession's disciplinary bodies'.
  • In brief: Frank Dobson

    Health secretary Frank Dobson has appointed Sir Brian Jarman as the medical member of the Bristol Royal Infirmary inquiry team. Sir Brian is emeritus professor at Imperial College school of medicine and a member of the government's Standing Medical Advisory Committee.
  • In brief: Frank Dobson

    Health secretary Frank Dobson has ordered 13 inner-city health authorities to draw up action plans for 'a fully effective' cervical cancer screening service. The government has set a target of 80 per cent coverage by March 2002.
  • In brief: Manor House Hospital

    A north London hospital with close links to the trade union movement is to close. Manor House Hospital in Golders Green will close in April. Manor House Friendly Society, which runs it, has sold the site to a developer.
  • In brief: New Opportunities Fund

    The New Opportunities Fund, which will award National Lottery grants to health, education and environment projects, has been officially launched by its chair, Baroness Pitkeathley. The £300m grant programme for healthy living centres was opened to applications to tie in with the launch of the fund.
  • In brief: Tessa Jowell

    Public health minister Tessa Jowell has invited schools to enter the Safe and Sound Challenge, an initiative to encourage children to walk or cycle to school. Ms Jowell said the initiative was a 'key priority' in the government's public health strategy.
  • in person

    Cynthia Rickitt has become chair of Priority Healthcare Wearside trust. Ms Rickitt qualified as a midwife and eventually became director of midwifery at City Hospitals trust. Most recently, she was a non-executive director of Sunderland health authority.
  • Jobs warning as shadow PCGs make firstmove to trust status

    Managers and GPs have warned that further 'wholesale reorganisation' and job losses could follow if dozens of primary care groups decide to move towards trust status in 1999.
  • Karen Caines: punishing schedule

    Karen Caines had everything you might look for in an IHSM director: a razor-sharp intellect, inside knowledge of the workings of government at its highest levels from her time as a Department of Health civil servant and experience as a senior NHS manager.
  • Lazy days of summer

    It is commonly accepted that winter emergency admissions are a major cause of longer waiting lists. But, argues Neil Pettinger, the truth may have more to do with a slowdown in warmer months
  • Lessons in market values

    The government's application of 'third way' thinking to the public sector is becoming clearer. At least it is in education , where the private sector is being encouraged, if not actively courted, to apply to provide a range of educational services, run schools and even whole education authorities.
  • Links between academics and doctors 'essential'

    Strong links between academics and grassroots GPs are 'essential for the future' of general practice, a King's Fund study has concluded. The study found that medical education had 'changed little over the past 100 years', and a new partnership was needed to combat 'falling public confidence' and 'growing responsibilities' for health promotion and commissioning healthcare. King's Fund primary care programme director Dr Stephen Gillam said the introduction of clinical governance meant 'partners
  • Little 'Red' Riding Hoodwolfs down NHS disquiet

    So now we know. That 'fair and affordable' nurses' pay rise is not the straight 11 per cent all round as cheerfully predicted in The Sun. But nor is it all going to be financed from a raid on Frank Dobson's NHS modernisation fund. It is a lot more complicated and a lot messier, leaving a lot of people very unhappy, including doctors, ancillaries and the campaigning Daily Mail.
  • Making cents

    The healthcare marketplace By Warren Greenberg Springer, New York 170 pages £30
  • Medical Defence Union issues advice on IT bug

    The Medical Defence Union has written to members to reinforce advice on dealing with the millennium computer bug. It says doctors should 'assume that anything electronic they use in their practice could become date sensitive on 1 January' and other flashpoints, including 9 September this year and 29 February next year. It also advises doctors to 'check all dates and actions' so they can 'demonstrate you have taken all adequate and reasonable steps to protect patients in the event of a claim'.
  • Ministers armed to enforce those voluntary agreements

    Health Bill gives government a trump card should push come to shove
  • monitor

    You may think the Commission for Health Improvement does not yet exist. Undaunted by the fact there is as yet no legislation to set it up, that it has no chair, no chief executive, no staff and no budget, the good old Department of Health has decided otherwise. Monitor understands that civil servants reporting to chief nurse Yvonne Moores are already working on CHI's agenda.
  • On pain of death

    Victims of General Pinochet's regime are among those the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture seeks to help. As the former Chilean dictator waits to hear whether he will be extradited, Wendy Moore reports on its work
  • Out of kilter

    Scotland has a new strategy for mentally disordered offenders. Barbara Millar reports
  • PCGs and fundholding will run in tandem following £19m legislative timing hitch

    The government is to spend £19m closing down the GP fundholding scheme - but will have to set up another.
  • Political correctness is simply a waste of space

    Letters
  • Prescription for conflict

    West Hertfordshire health authority chief executive Carolyn Regan has good reason to hope that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence will help managers fend off accusations of rationing.
  • Private health firms in bid for state regulation

    Private healthcare providers are lobbying to come under the remit of the Commission for Health Improvement and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence.
  • Privatisation dispute ends

    An eight-year dispute over privatisation at a Northern Ireland trust has ended with 500 ancillary workers being taken back 'in-house.'
  • Rotation shift systems are of doubtful benefit - especially when they do not allow flexibility

    Letters
  • Schism at the IHSM

    Karen Caines says her successor as IHSM director should be someone who 'doesn't mind being slagged off '. But what measures should be used to assess their performance if membership and money are ruled out? Mark Crail reports
  • Scottish high-security shake-up

    Health and social care services for mentally disordered offenders in Scotland are to be overhauled.
  • Short supply of far-sighted policies

    Letters
  • Sound post

    In the second of an occasional series on the progress of Plymouth's health action zone, Laura Donnelly finds that the pressure to deliver means targets are not always as radical as they might be
  • Staff shortage survey to resolve 'stupid' debates

    Health secretary Frank Dobson will ask the NHS to conduct an official, open survey of staff shortages by the end of the financial year to resolve 'stupid disputes' between management and staff over figures.
  • Stand by your beds for chaos

    Big pay rises prove irresistible, but where will the cuts fall?
  • Standing back from the wilder allegations

    Letters
  • Therapy alone cannot resolve anti-social personality disorders - interventions need to be complex

    Letters
  • Three-year audit plan

    The Audit Commission has published a strategy for the next three years, following a comprehensive review of its work and consultation with more than 250 organisations.
  • Underwriting the moral issues

    Healthcare, ethics and insurance Edited by Tom Sorell Routledge 234 pages £15.99
  • We ain't seen nothing yet

    If the government insists on 3 per cent efficiency savings in hospital costs, next winter will be disastrous, says Simon Walford
  • We need a single pay system to cover all staff

    Letters
  • WEB WATCH

    'We are seeking a smoke-free facilitator (smoking cessation in NHS settings). The postholder will play a key part in piloting a practical tool kit to enable the delivery of effective smoking cessation interventions in the NHS.'
  • Welfare and the state it's in

    The welfare state in Britain since 1945 (2nd edition) By Rodney Lowe Macmillan 357 pages £45 hardback/£14.99 paperback
  • What the new strategy says

    Sam Galbraith's strategy for dealing with mentally disordered offenders has messages for all agencies - courts, prison, police, social work departments, health boards and trusts - involved with mentally disordered offenders.
  • What's in the Health Bill

    Primary care
  • Who gets what from the pay review body awards, starting from 1 April

    Nurses

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