Published: 22/08/2002, Volume II2, No. 5819 Page 6

Babies and children undergoing operations will be given blood plasma imported from the US as an extra precaution against CJD, the Department of Health has announced.The fresh frozen plasma will be given to children born after 1 January 1996 who should not have been exposed to BSE via the food chain. It comes after scientists advised the government of a theoretical risk of vCJD transmission through blood transfusions.The plasma will have further treatment to reduce the risk of blood-borne viruses.

Trusts have been warned that they have less than 18 months to ensure that bedside televisions and phones are available to patients in all major hospitals.The Department of Health pointed out that trusts can 'select'one of eight suppliers licensed by NHS Estates.The 2004 deadline specified in the NHS plan was brought forward to December 2003 by health secretary Alan Milburn.

Young people are the worst offenders in missing GP appointments, according to a survey by the Doctor Patient Partnership and the Institute of Healthcare Management.Missed appointments over the past year account for 5 per cent of all GP appointments.Of the GP practices surveyed, 67 per cent said they thought 16-34 year-olds were most likely to repeatedly miss appointments.

www. dpp. org. uk

The Department of Health has issued an appraisal scheme for consultants employed jointly by the NHS and universities.The scheme will support the requirements of the General Medical Council's revalidation procedures, ensuring that clinical academics can be appraised jointly by both employers on a single occasion.The scheme was drawn up by the DoH, the Department for Education and Skills, the University and College Employers Association, the Council of Heads of Medical Schools and the British Medical Association.

www. doh. gov. uk