New centre monitors children's reaction to drugs

A regional centre to monitor adverse drug reactions in children is being piloted in Trent. Such reactions are often not reported under the existing 'yellow card' monitoring system. The new centre, based in the child health division of Derbyshire Children's Hospital, will stimulate reporting and carry out research on aspects of the safety of medicines in children.

Joint vice-chairs elected at NHS Confederation

The NHS Confederation has elected Keith Jones, Doncaster health authority chair, and Bill Kilgallon, Leeds Teaching Hospitals trust chair, as joint vice-chairs. Mr Jones will chair the confederation's HA/board council and Mr Kilgallon will chair the trust council.

Paramedics recommended for state registration

The Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine has recommended that paramedics, speech and language therapists, and clinical scientists in health become state registered professions. If agreed by the Privy Council, their inclusion will bring the number of professional boards at CPSM to 12, the maximum allowed under the 1960 Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act.

Scottish Office given warning on solvent abuse

Scottish Office guidelines give too low a priority to solvent abuse, which kills proportionately more people in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, Lanarkshire health promotion manager John Boswell has claimed. Mr Boswell is also a trustee of the charity Resolve, the society for the prevention of solvent and volatile substance abuse.

DoH grant funds health and transport study

The Department of Health has given the University of Westminster a 45,000 grant to investigate how transport and health workers can work together better. A report, to be followed by guidance to field workers in each discipline, is expected next spring.

WHO predicts 20 million new cancer patients a year

The World Health Organisation programme on cancer control has forecast that there will be 20 million new cancer patients each year by 2020, and 70 per cent will live in countries that between them have less than 5 per cent of the world's cancer control resources. Programme chief Professor Karol Sikora said this week that health ministries across the world should collaborate with the private sector 'to make a difference through focused national cancer programmes'.

BMA issues guide to primary care development

The British Medical Association has produced a guide for local medical committees on primary care development. It includes a timetable for the introduction of primary care groups and an overview of the white and green papers for each of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom.

Primary Care Development: a guide for local medical committees on www.bma.org.uk

Employment minister welcomes private hospital

Employment minister Andrew Smith has backed a 95-bed private specialist hospital which opened in London this week. The Heart Hospital, owned by Singapore-based Parkway Group Healthcare, will provide 250 new jobs. Its owners claim it will become 'a world centre of excellence for cardiac medicine and surgery'.

Jowell launches ethnic minority health directories

Three directories listing detailed information on health initiatives for black and minority ethnic groups has been launched by public health minister Tessa Jowell. The directories cover good practice from local projects that can be adapted to meet specific needs. They cover initiatives aimed at Asian and African Caribbean people and other ethnic minorities.