Published: 19/08/2004, Volume II4, No. 5919 Page 8

The Department of Health is inviting comments on plans to introduce a European health insurance card that will replace the E111 form which entitles eligible travellers to free or reduced cost treatment in the European economic area.

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

Local pharmacies could face closure under government proposals to relax drug dispensing rules, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has warned. It says a proliferation of pharmacies in shopping centres as a result of proposals to license any pharmacist willing to open for over 100 hours a week would 'inevitably' mean closure of neighbourhood pharmacies.

www. psnc. org. uk

The Patient Information Advisory Group has relaxed its code of practice to allow acute and ambulance trusts to share identifiable patient details for clinical audit purposes.The move follows pressure from organisations including the Ambulance Services Association.

www. dh. gov. uk

The Royal College of GPs is calling on its 21,000 members to write to the prime minister urging him to support a ban on smoking in public places.

It is also asking members to distribute its Stub it Out publicity, which points to evidence that up to 700 deaths a year are attributed to passive smoking-related illnesses.

www. rcgp. org. uk

Following the introduction of registration of qualified and student social workers, the General Social Care Council has launched a consultation on its proposals exploring how to order and categorise registration of all other social care staff. the closing date is 8 November.

www. gscc. org. uk/news_consult. htm

Paramedics from West Country Ambulance Services trust treated 72 people for minor injuries, shock and hypothermia following the flash flooding and landslide in Boscastle, north Cornwall, this week.