news

Drug company Pfizer has described health secretary Frank Dobson's September circular on prescribing the anti-impotence drug Viagra as 'unlawful' in the High Court. In an action proceeding despite Mr Dobson's decision to increase slightly the number of men eligible for NHS Viagra last week, lawyers said he had not properly 'blacklisted' it, but had tried to limit its circulation through guidance, breaking new ground for the NHS.

Chief nursing officer Yvonne Moores has announced that she will retire in November. Her

40-year career included periods as chief nursing officer in the Scottish and Welsh Offices. She is the only person to have held all three CNO posts.

Pressure group London Health Emergency has called for a£100m investment to 'plug the gaps in London's overstretched mental health services'. An LHE report found severe pressure on acute beds in south-east London, with one unit in Lewisham reporting 148 per cent occupancy.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has joined in condemnation of television series Psychos. Channel 4 says the title refers to psychiatrists, not patients, but the college said it was 'simply untrue' that 'psychos' was often used in this way. 'The title will very obviously be assumed to refer to patients,' said a spokesperson for the Changing Minds Campaign.

Health minister Baroness Hayman has officially opened a£2.4m endoscopy unit at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. The cost of the Hermon Taylor endoscopy unit, which will see 4,500 patients a year, was met by the hospital's trustees.

A step-by-step guide to the effective leadership of primary care groups will be published by the NHS Executive and the NHS Confederation tomorrow.

A Development Framework for PCG Leadership. One copy free to PCGs. Further copies from the NHS Confederation,

0121-471 4444.£25.