All NHS staff who do not have a professional qualification will have access to an individual learning account of £150 or dedicated training to NVQ levels 2 and 3 from 1 April. Employers are being encouraged to collaborate with local education providers to foster personal and career development for staff.
Complaints of misconduct to the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting increased by 16 per cent to 1,255 in 2000. The council is processing more cases than ever and has agreed a rule change to allow professional conduct committee hearings to proceed with a quorum of two rather than three members.
Patients at two GP practices in Oxford and Derbyshire will be the first to have direct Internet access to their medical records in a pilot scheme to assess which format electronic health records should be made available.
Volunteers can view their records on computers in private areas in Bury Knowle Health Centre and Hadfield Medical Centre.
All NHS trusts and medical schools are now required to search records and catalogues - as well as making a comprehensive physical search - to locate retained organs that may have been overlooked. New taskforces are being set up in regional offices to support trusts and make inspections where there are concerns.
The Department of Health is co-ordinating a new campaign aimed at stopping discrimination against people with a mental illness. It will be targeted mainly at young people, employers and the media. Research conducted with the National Union of Students and National Schizophrenia Fellowship showed a high degree of ignorance among young people about mental illness, with 40 per cent believing people with mental health problems are more likely to be violent.