Doctor Patient Partnership says people need further education about how to access health services when they are away from home, following a survey of 50 patients who attended Royal Cornwall and Derriford hospitals over the eclipse period. It found that 64 per cent thought they had to visit accident and emergency and could not use a GP if they needed medical care.

Welsh first secretary Alun Michael has said he is 'firmly committed' to tackling drug abuse in Wales, following two inquests into drug-related deaths in Anglesey. There have been six other deaths in the past six months in Gwynedd. The new substance misuse advisory panel has been asked to look into the situation in north Wales at its next meeting.

The General Medical Council is to consider at its November meeting whether there are types of offence for which a doctor should be struck off for life. More than four out of five struck-off doctors are never restored to the register, but GMC president Sir Donald Irvine said that the system 'may be capable of further improvement'.

NHS human resources director Hugh Taylor has issued a revised code of practice, Age Diversity in Employment, to tackle age discrimination. He says the code is intended to help ensure that employers recruit and retain the best person for the job by eliminating the use of age as an employment criterion.

Age Diversity in Employment. Department of Health, PO Box 777, London SE1 6XH.

The Royal College of Physicians and the National Asthma Campaign have written jointly to public health minister Tessa Jowell calling for a national programme to tackle asthma, which they say costs the NHS£672m a year. The move coincides with the launch of new outcome measures by the RCP.

Measuring Clinical Outcome in Asthma: a patient-focused approach. RCP, 0171-935 1174.£15.