Published: 10/01/2001, Volume 112, No. 5787 Page 6

Ninety-nine per cent of the 200 general practices involved in the pilot scheme to ensure that patients can see a GP within 48 hours are achieving the target, the Modernisation Agency has said.The National Primary Care Development Team programme has also seen the creation of more than 200 GP specialists and has improved the survival rates for patients with heart disease.

Guidance for referrals to specialist services has been issued by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. It covers 11 conditions, from acute back pain to psoriasis, and is intended as a resource for local health communities to develop their own local service guidelines.

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The NHS Alliance has backed health ministers' support for alternative therapies to be made available on the NHS. It follows the decision by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to prepare guidelines on complementary therapy and palliative care.

The British Dental Association has supported calls for a single complaints system for both private and NHS patients.

It follows a report in consumer magazine Which? that claims flaws in procedures mean patients do not get proper compensation when things go wrong.

A£2.3m package to involve patients in developing cancer services in England has been announced by the government.The extra funding will allow local cancer networks to gain the views of those affected by the disease on NHS services.A series of consultations will be developed in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Relief.

The author of 'Talking Turkey' (HSJ , 20 December 2001) was Sarah Carr, and not Sue Carr, as stated in the introduction to the article.Sarah Carr's book, Tackling NHS Jargon: getting the message across has just been published by Radcliffe Medical Press.