Published: 20/03/2003, Volume II3, No. 5847 Page 8

David Highton, chief executive of Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals trust, is to quit the trust he helped to move from zero to one-star status in June last year. Last month, the trust had a deficit of£20m, but it is expecting land sales to help it reach technical balance by the end of this month.

Recruitment and retention difficulties meant the trust spent£14m on agency staff as it attempted to meet government waiting-time targets over this year.

Nurses who register as higher-level practitioners may have to pay their Nursing and Midwifery Council fees twice.NMC chief executive Sarah Thewlis told Nursing Times that adding another tier to the nursing register to protect professional titles such as nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist could cost money, and charging nurses to record higher-level practice on top of their basic NMC fee had not been ruled out.

Research jointly published by mental health charity Rethink and Loughborough University has challenged claims that children are damaged by growing up in families where a parent has a severe mental illness.Many children feel that caring for a mentally ill patient can improve relationships.

www. rethink. org/ news+campaigns/ press_releases/index. html

The Department of Health has produced the first issue of a monthly newsletter looking at patient and public involvement in improving patient experience of the NHS.Future editions of Patient Focus will explore examples of patient and public involvement and consider how they can help shape policy.

www. doh. gov. uk/ involvingpatients/ cnonewsletter_march2003. htm

The royal colleges of GPs and nursing are to host a joint conference on whether the proposed new GP contract can achieve change in sexual healthcare in primary care.

ww. rcgp. org. uk