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NICE in credibility struggle over Alzheimer's

Fitness to practise review

The Government is to conduct a review of the fitness to practise procedures of all medical professions. The review will run alongside the Chief Medical Officer's review of the GMC and revalidation for doctors.

Health Secretary John Reid said the CMO's review held in the wake of the Shipman Inquiry had thrown up issues that affected regulation of all health professionals. Some 800,000 dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals will be affected. The review will report by the end of 2005, Dr Reid said.

'Quit' services will fall short

NHS smoking cessation services are insufficient to deliver Government smoking targets, a study concludes.

The target is to cut smoking by 5 per cent by 2010, but services may struggle to deliver a 1 per cent cut, according to the BMJ study.

The audit, published online this week, found smoking cessation services in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear cut smoking by just 0.1 to 0.3 per cent in 2003/4. It concluded that Government policy ignored the health inequalities gap and risked widening it.

HIV multi-drug resistance

A patient has been identified with a virulent strain of HIV resistant to multiple classes of antiretroviral drugs.

US doctors identified a New York man who had had sex with multiple partners and used the illegal stimulant metamfetamine. His case, reported in The Lancet, is the first to combine multi-drug resistance with rapid progression to symptomatic AIDs after HIV infection.

'Derail new walk-in centre'

GPs in Manchester have hit out at plans to spend £3.5 million on a privately-run walk-in centre at a major railway station.

Dr Peter Fink, secretary of Manchester LMC, said the centre ­ due to open next spring ­ would 'inevitably damage local health services' and cause an acute shortage of nurses in the city. He said: 'It is the wrong type of care, in the wrong place at the wrong time.'

The money would be better spent on out-of-hours services, he added.

GPwSIs 'key to NHS success'

GPs with a special interest will treat more skin cancer cases, cut waiting times and provide better access for patients across the NHS in Wales by 2015, an NHS Confederation report argues.

The report, backed by the Welsh Assembly, paints a picture of health care in 2015 using examples of current best practice.

It includes an aspiration that waiting times for operations will plummet to just three months and that funding will match that of other European countries.

Death-knell for paperwork

A Government review of bereavement administration could cut GP paperwork.

The review by the Cabinet Office's Regulatory Impact Unit aims to reduce the bureaucracy involved in registering deaths for inheritance tax purposes. A Cabinet Office spokesman said the review, to be published shortly, could affect death certification.

GMC bid to beat identity theft

Doctors from the European Economic Area who want to work in the UK must present their passport to the GMC in person before being allowed to register.

Under new rules designed to counter identity theft, the GMC will keep passport details and take a digital photograph of the doctor.

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