Nurses allowed control of nursing home shifts

Suitably qualified enrolled nurses will be able to take charge of shifts in nursing homes under guidance published this week by the Royal College of Nursing, following extensive negotiations with the UK Central Council for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting and the NHS Confederation. It is aimed at clearing up confusion about which nurses can be left in charge of shifts caused by differing interpretations of regulations by health authorities and boards. Confederation special projects manager Chris Vellenoweth said the new guidance would 'safeguard the position of vulnerable people in nursing homes' and allow owners to be clear about what was required of those left in charge.

IHSM opens employment advice line for managers

The Institute of Health Services Management has launched an employment support helpline for members. Lines opened on Tuesday, and calls have already come in from managers concerned about redundancy and bullying at work. Telephone: 0171-821 8299.

Pill scare likely cause of increase in abortions

The number of abortions in England and Wales rose significantly in the first quarter of 1998, compared with the same period last year, according to the Office for National Statistics. They rose by 3.8 per cent to 45,437 or 3.55 abortions per thousand women aged 14-49 deemed to be at risk of pregnancy, the same rate as 1988. Abortion rates fell steadily from 1990 until 1995 but have increased since. The pattern is commonly blamed on the 1995 contraceptive pill scare.

Legal Abortions, March Quarter 1998. 4. The Office for National Statistics, 1 Drummond Gate, London, SW1V 2QQ.

Adoption guidelines to end 'misguided practices'

Guidelines to 'bring adoption back into the mainstream of services for children' were announced by junior health minister Paul Boateng last week. They emphasise the benefits of adoption and seek to end the 'misguided practice' of ruling out prospective adopters on grounds of age, race or health.

Adoption, achieving the right balance. Local Authority Circular (98) 20.

Children favour healthy options, MORI poll reveals

Children want fruit and vegetables in burger bars, tough curbs on smoking and more health information produced by their peers, according to a MORI poll of 1,200 11-16 year-olds. Barnardo's and Glaxo Wellcome, who commissioned the poll, have launched a 3m Right Fit scheme to finance health projects for young people.

Telephone 0800 358 8866.

Disabled women's sexual needs 'overlooked'`

Disabled women's sexuality is 'overlooked or suppressed' by health and education services, according to a report for the King's Fund by SHE UK (Sexual Health and Equality). Sex education is rarely provided for disabled girls and family planning clinics are often inaccessible, it claims.

She Dances to Different Drums, 14.95. Available from the King's Fund Bookshop, 0171-307 2591