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Independents' Day


London bombings study

The Health Protection Agency is compiling a register to monitor the long-term health effects of the London bombings a fortnight ago.

GPs of people who were exposed to the bombings will be responsible for obtaining consent for inclusion in the register and carrying out long-term follow-up.

The HPA will be looking at long-term health effects from inhalation of smoke, the psychological impact, and the risk of hepatitis B and C from exposure to blood.

Holding fire on revalidation

The Chief Medical Officer's review of revalidation is still in the 'analytical phase' of its work six months after it was set up in the wake of the Shipman Inquiry.

Sir Liam Donaldson (pictured), who is chairing the group, said: 'We are still reviewing the systems used in other parts of the world, looking at what the underlying principles are.'

Mouth cancer awareness

Cancer Research UK is launching a new campaign to raise awareness of mouth cancer

in the hope that more cases will be detected early. The campaign, which is being funded by the Department of Health, will be targeted at people who drink and/or smoke heavily, those who are not registered with an NHS dentist and those who chew tobacco or betel quid with areca nut, gutkha or paan.

E. coli still not controlled

A surge in E. coli infections due to antibiotic-resistant strains in the south-east of England is still not under control, the Chief Medical Officer has warned. The infections have also been seen in other parts of the UK.

In his annual report, CMO Sir Liam Donaldson said GPs in Southampton had been encouraged to submit urine samples when patients did not respond rapidly to first-line treatment for urinary tract infections.

Male depression prescribing

Male GPs are much more likely to prescribe antidepressants than their female colleagues, new research finds.

A survey of 200 GPs by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that 61 per cent of male GPs would prescribe antidepressants first-line to patients with mild or moderate depression, compared with 37 per cent of women GPs.

Men were also twice as likely to believe them to be effective ­ 43 per cent of male GPs compared with 17 per cent of female doctors.

Meldrum re-elected GPC chair

Dr Hamish Meldrum will serve a further three years as GPC chair after being re-elected unopposed on Thursday. The rest of the GPC negotiating team was also re-elected unopposed.

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