Published: 29/07/2004, Volume II4, No. 5916 Page 8

The shortage of dentists in England will rise to between 3,640 and 5,100 by 2011, according to a workforce review published last week by the Department of Health. It reveals that in England alone in 2003 there was a shortage of 1,850 dentists.Health secretary John Reid has pledged to recruit an extra 1,000 by 2005.

www. bda-dentistry. org. uk

The Department of Health has announced that blood donors who are unsure whether they have had a blood transfusion and apheresis donors who have previously had a transfusion are now excluded from giving blood as a precaution against the possible spread of variant CJD.

www. dh. gov. uk/Publications AndStatistics/fs/en

Ministers have signalled that plans for compulsory HIV testing of immigrants applying to enter Britain have been dropped.Their comments, understood to have been made at a private meeting of the all-party parliamentary committee on AIDS, followed concerns that as well as appearing discriminatory, testing might not be cost effective, could fuel illegal immigration and might dissuade those with the disease from seeking treatment.A Home Office spokesman said no formal decision had been made.

The Carers (Equal Opportunities) Act, which became law last week, will ensure that all carers know they are entitled to an assessment of their needs. It places a duty on councils to consider carers'outside interests such as work, study or leisure when carrying out an assessment.

www. dh. gov. uk/PublicationsAnd Statistics/fs/en

The Department of Health has published a guide for lay people who are older people's champions. It defines the major roles of champions as helping older people engage with the community and take a greater role in decisions about their own lives.

www. dh. gov. uk/ PublicationsAndStatistics/fs/en