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Health Service Journal
1998-12-17

View all stories from this issue.

  • A curtain call for the dame The reinvention of Sheila Masters - we are all New Labour now

    Few involved in NHS finances will be surprised by the Treasury white paper's £1bn savings target for health service running costs (See News, pages 4-5). The chancellor first announced the figure last July when he set out the results of the comprehensive spending review.
  • All right on the night

    millennium planning
  • Angry Milburn defends PFI from claims that it is causing bed cuts

    Health minister Alan Milburn has angrily defended hospital building projects funded by the private finance initiative and told critics that the scheme is not the driving force behind bed cuts.
  • Averting disaster

    New guidance from the Department of Health on NHS planning for major incidents offers timely advice to the Dome's organisers.
  • Averting disaster: holiday headaches and how to get rid of them

    Problems
  • By George, your knowledge of the UK is flagging

    With reference to your front cover (26 November), the UK minus Scotland and Wales does not leave England with the union flag, but with a St George's cross.
  • Call to toughen up regulation of private sector

    MPs have raised the prospect of changes to the way standards of healthcare in the private and independent sector are monitored, and complaints investigated.
  • Classic clips: 'When I started, any film would do'

    More than 50 years ago, Reginald Broom, group engineer at Salisbury Infirmary, was involved in hiring films, according to hospital archives. Cuttings from the time reveal that as far back as the late 1940s, Mr Broom was renting films from MGM to show to long-stay patients in hospital.
  • 'Devolution will herald more battles' warning

    The NHS in Scotland can look forward to increasing political scrutiny and battles over funding, according to experts at an Edinburgh conference last week.
  • Endemic NHS bullying likened to 'child abuse'

    news
  • Faint praise for Charter

    The government has given a lukewarm response to television executive Greg Dyke's recommendations for a new Patient's Charter.
  • Fraud inquiry trust sets up hotline

    A trust at the centre of a police fraud investigation has set up a confidential phoneline so staff can voice concerns to external auditors.
  • From the Blitz to peace time: victim culture

    The Casualties Union was founded during the second world war by Eric Claxton, an engineer involved in civil defence. He set up a training centre in a bombed-out convent to enable rescue workers to practise on 'casualties' before being sent out to deal with real victims of the Blitz. After the war it was decided to continue training people to deal with peacetime incidents, and branches of the organisation began to spring up all over this country, as well as in South Africa and Australia.
  • Fury over 'sectarian' PCG advice to GPs

    Serious conflict has arisen between the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association over a booklet telling GPs how to maximise their gain from primary care groups.
  • Future of health promotion specialists lies in passing on our expertise to professional groups

    Jeff French's optimistic enthusiasm for health promotion in the current NHS environment is to be welcomed (Career Profile, 19 November). However, we must be cautious about what can be done via the health promotion specialist. I have no doubt about our skill-mix and professional competence, but we are few in number. Surely the future lies with our ability to develop the health promotion skills of those professional groups that work directly with the public and in the community.
  • Gloucestershire 'failed to learn' from West case

    The health service in Gloucestershire has failed to learn the lessons of the Fred and Rosemary West case, according to an independent report commissioned by Gloucestershire health authority.
  • hansard

    A cross-party group of MPs has asked the government to establish a National Forum for Maternity Care to draw up a national maternity care strategy in the UK. Audrey
  • Head for figures

    Visitors to the body zone at the Dome will be able to explore the inside of a giant sculpture of two people embracing (see computer-generated image, left). The reclining figures - of indeterminate sex - will contain images and music focusing on the body. Outside will be an exploration area with interactive exhibits on topics such as nutrition, exercise and medical advances. The emphasis will be on learning but 'not preachy'.
  • Homeless using A&E due to poor GP access

    Homeless people are turning to accident and emergency services because they have difficulty registering with GPs, according to a study by The Big Issue in the North.
  • How chairs and board members will be paid

    Chairs at PCG level one will be paid up to £11,445 for a population of under 75,000 and up to £13,225 for more than 75,000, plus up to £6,000 for locum cover.
  • How was it for you?

    January
  • In a spin

    Critics say the new mental health strategy fails to tackle the staffing crisis or caseload size and is wrong on the 'public safety' issue. Laura Donnelly reports
  • It's a wrap

    news focus
  • Making a drama out of a crisis

    A dedicated band of volunteers is prepared to put itself through everything from a suicide attempt to a bus crash to help first-aiders and hospitals hone their skills.
  • Mayor 'should be strong on health'

    The King's Fund has called for London's new mayor to be given a much stronger role in promoting health.
  • Mental health Dobson's hostel 'third way' cannot guarantee safety

    The recent incident in which a social worker was stabbed in a hostel calls into question the government's plans to increase this type of provision as part of its 'third way' for mental health.
  • Millennium health gains could alleviate local deprivation

    Despite its affluent image, Greenwich is the fifth most deprived borough in London and 11th in the country. St Mary's ward, close to the Dome, is London's most deprived. Unemployment and lone-parent households are above London averages, while educational attainment is below the English average.
  • millennium planning

    Expecting the unexpected: 'Major incidents are easy.'
  • monitor

    Monitor was most impressed by the way the private Grovelands Priory Hospital dealt with our dear friend Augusto Pinochet. After all, not every bed blocker gets a blue-light London ambulance to take them home. But it did make Monitor wonder whether a similar facility was on offer to others in need of a rapid trip across the capital. After all, it can be hell to get to work some days. Alas, LAS was not very forthcoming. A rather terse statement says that making the ambulance available 'at no ti
  • news

    in brief
  • NHS bodies invited to bid for military centre of excellence

    Defence secretary George Robertson is to ask health authorities and trusts to bid for a 'centre of excellence' in military medicine.
  • Nurse, the screens

    The latest films could soon be showing at a hospital near you under a scheme to bring the silver screen into the health service. Barbara Millar asks what managers would recommend
  • On the record

    What is the first thing you do when you arrive at work?
  • One more drag

    Are the measures in the tobacco white paper bold enough? Pat Healy reports
  • Party faithful

    Trusts say it will be business as usual on millennium eve, but paying up to 10 times normal rates may be the only way to guarantee staffing levels.
  • Prescribing a touch of interdiscipline for GPs

    Parliamentary attacks on the medical establishment are not rare these days. But few have the insight to berate the profession for its scientific ignorance as Ian Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North and resident Commons medical science whizz, has done.
  • Private finance initiative allows oncology centre to treat patients on most up-to-date equipment

    Stephen Evans (Letters, 19 November) argues that the Society of Radiographers has a responsibility to influence choices in the acquisition of high technology.
  • Projected feelings

    Karen Caines, director, Institute of Health Services Management
  • Scottish Office tells trusts to go it alone over millennium pay

    The Scottish Office has told trusts they must make their own arrangements for dealing with millennium events in the face of union calls for a Scotland- wide agreement on pay.
  • Short cuts Campaign highlights not-so-merry Christmas meals

    The British Medical Association's junior doctors committee has launched a campaign to draw attention to the plight of trainee doctors working over the holiday period. A Who Cares, We Do! campaign leaflet will be sent to 35,000 junior doctors, featuring a curling spam sandwich. 'While the rest of us enjoy roast turkey and Christmas pudding, junior doctors working over the festive period are often faced with closed canteens,' said a spokesperson. 'Vending machines may be the only source of food
  • Short cuts Fresh guidelines will offer advice on egg sharing

    The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority will issue new guidelines on 'the complex issue' of egg sharing in the next edition of its code of conduct. The HFEA decided last week not to stop women donating eggs in return for IVF treatment, concluding they were 'not motivated by money, but by the desire for a baby'. It also announced last week that it will continue to allow payments of up to £15 for egg and sperm donors 'for the foreseeable future'.
  • Short cuts RCN calls for moves to stop older nurses quitting

    The Royal College of Nursing has issued a 10-point plan to help employers keep older nurses in the profession. It was issued last week with a report by Jim Buchan, reader in the department of management at Queen Mary College, Edinburgh, saying one in five nurses on the register is now over 50 and the pool of potential recruits is declining. The plan includes calls for flexible hours for older nurses responsible for caring for elderly relatives, as well as more mid-career planning.
  • Short cuts Sex discrimination case worker accepts £14,000

    A hospital manager has dropped a sex discrimination case against Stockport Healthcare trust after being offered £14,000 compensation. Julie Harratt was made redundant from her £25,000 job as facilities development manager at St Thomas Hospital in May, but applied to an industrial tribunal, alleging unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and victimisation. Ms Harratt, who worked for the trust and its predecessors for 23 years, claimed a male manager had refused to allocate tasks to her
  • Short cuts Survey finds increase in drug users sharing needles

    The number of injecting drug users sharing syringes and other equipment is 'much higher' than previously recorded, according to a survey carried out by the centre for research on drugs and health behaviour at Imperial College School of Medicine. The survey of 1,214 users not in contact with drug services found that 78 per cent had shared equipment in the previous four weeks. The prevalence of HIV was 1.7 per cent and prevalence of hepatitis B 20 per cent.
  • Short cuts Suspended GP is first to face new watchdog system

    The first case heard under General Medical Council procedures introduced to deal with cases in which a doctor's professional performance appears 'seriously deficient' has led to the suspension of Arefaine Haile, a trainee GP in Yorkshire. A hearing found he was 'unable' to perform basic procedures such as taking blood pressure, and he had 'deficient' knowledge of common drugs. His record keeping was 'superficial' and he was 'unreceptive to criticism or advice from colleagues as to how he migh
  • Social exclusion challenge issued

    The government has been challenged to adopt a set of 46 indicators as an independent means of monitoring progress in tackling social exclusion.
  • Society at large needs to engage in debate on psychopathy

    I welcome the fact that my letter on psychopathic personality disorder (12 November) generated further debate. But Michael Howlett's response (Letters, 26 November) missed crucial points. I agree that the psychiatric profession does not always speak with one voice, but it is important to look at available evidence.
  • Survey results: homelessness and ill-health

    59 per cent of Big Issue vendors surveyed reported 'a long-term illness, health problem or handicap' limiting their daily activities or work. Of these, 31 per cent believed their problem to be drug-related.
  • Testing out a new set of teeth

    'PCGs will want to be sure the means to achieve quality and value for money exist, otherwise many will say they have lost their old teeth and the new set don't bite'
  • The strategy's main points

    'Several hundred' new places in psychiatric wards.
  • Through a glass darkly - a peep at the real world

    I bumped into Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of Sane, at a Christmas party the other evening.
  • Treasury unveils 'contract for renewal' details

    Details of the 'contract for renewal' agreed with the Treasury in return for the NHS's comprehensive spending review settlement were due to be unveiled today.
  • Turn the tables on blame to create opportunity

    Your report on the Bristol inquiry (News, page 2, 29 October) highlights the current 'blame culture' of the NHS, which is easily compounded by a tendency towards tribally separated approaches to problem solving.
  • WEB WATCH

    Kim Dang went under the surgeon's knife last Wednesday. It was a routine cosmetic procedure. And it was broadcast in real time on the Internet.
  • Wheezy white paper sends out weak smoke signals We should demand more than this disappointing document has to offer

    Welcome though the tobacco white paper will be if it saves even one life (and it will surely save far more than that), it was in truth a disappointing document afforded an unwarranted easy ride by the many professional and lobby groups which usually campaign with such vigour (See News Focus, page 13).
  • Why resource 'winners' are really on to a loser

    In the irony of resource allocation, apparent 'winners' can be seen in a different perspective to be 'losers'. The News Focus, 'Last seen heading north', (19 November) may deserve to be renamed 'advantage stays in the south'.

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