Unison proposes 'forums' for primary care groups

Health authorities should set up primary care group staff forums to ensure nurses and other community staff can be properly involved, Unison said this week. Its response to the Department of Health's draft guidance says forums would give legitimacy to nurse representatives on PCG boards, and enable them to keep in contact with their constituencies during their term of office. The draft PCG guidance does not say how such representatives should be found.

Scotland 's first privately financed hospital opens

Scotland's first privately financed hospital has been opened by the Queen. The 3m Kincardine Community Hospital in Stonehaven replaces two ageing units and provides 49 beds, a minor injuries unit and outpatient facilities. Management is shared between the trust and CHS Healthcare Ltd, a nursing home provider which joined a consortium put together by the trust to build and run the hospital after a 10-year contract was put out to tender in 1995.

Psychiatric unit redesigned after Dobson's veto

Service users and carers have been developing revised plans for a new psychiatric unit at Charing Cross Hospital in west London after health secretary Frank Dobson vetoed the original plan. He intervened in May after campaigners objected to plans for single rooms arranged on a mixed- sex ward, and to the overall H-shaped design, which afforded poor patient observation. The new design features four single-sex wards on an L-shaped pattern. Riverside Mental Health trust is also studying the feasibility of locating the unit on a different site.

North Derbyshire contender for Confed job

Another contender has thrown her hat into the ring in the election for chair of the NHS Confederation. Dianne Jeffrey, chair of North Derbyshire Community Health Care Service trust, said she wanted to see a 'strong and powerful' confederation, with a voice 'respected by national and local government and other agencies'.

Sane calls for better patient monitoring in hospital

A patient with learning difficulties and a history of mental illness and violence, who escaped from a Nottingham hospital and attacked a baby with a knife, should have been more closely monitored, according to mental health charity Sane. An official report into the incident said it was difficult to find fault with the care offered at Highbury Hospital, Nottingham. But it called for better communication policies and improved risk management. Malcolm Calladine is now a patient in Rampton.

Trusts must address equal opportunities in nursing

Junior health minister Baroness Hayman has written to trusts telling them to improve nurse employment policies in the light of a Policy Studies Institute report revealing that male nurses have greater career success than women. The Department of Health-commissioned report found that men were twice as likely as women to be in senior H and I nursing grades, even though men are in a minority in nursing and female nurses had better qualifications. It says women are more likely to take career breaks to raise children, which has a negative effect on career progression.

Gender Inequalities in Nursing Careers is published by Grantham Books. 01476-541080. 14.95.

Steps towards new managers' organisation

Plans for a new organisation for NHS managers - bringing the Institute for Health Services Management and Association of Managers in General Practice under one umbrella - will be circulated in September. The AMGP will hold its annual general meeting on 16 October and the IHSM may call an extraordinary general meeting to coincide with it. A shadow organisation would run until March 1999.