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At the heart of general practice since 1960

TIMELINE

Special interests defined

The Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board is to define curricula for GPs with special interests. A five-year plan sets out a strategy to establish and maintain standards in medical education. The PMETB took on postgraduate training this month.

Bowel Ca referral delays

Scottish MPs have demanded greater scrutiny of GP referral for bowel cancer. A report said GPs were ‘not always' following existing guidelines.

MSPs said they were ‘concerned' that GP referral of suspected cases would remain inconsistent, with some patients continuing to experience ‘unnecessary delays' in referral.

Quantity over quality

NICE places more emphasis on quantity than quality, a new study reveals. The Health Policy analysis found NICE guidance was influenced more by number of trials ‘than their size, quality, relevance or significance'.

Health posts protected

PCTs must not make any cuts which affect the ‘Choosing Health' public health drive as part of the current round of restructuring, the Department of Health has advised.

A letter to health authority finance directors says that all consultant and specialist public health posts and posts working on frontline services outlined in ‘Choosing Health' must be protected.

Lancet letter attacks GSK

GlaxoSmithKline has been accused of misleading doctors over a study on the safety of salmeterol (Serevent).

A letter in the latest issue of The Lancet claims GSK delayed publication of results that suggested an increase in asthma-related deaths among users, and presented data in a misleading manner.

GSK says it has acted responsibly and transparently.

DoH aims to cut red tape

The DoH has launched a ‘reducing burdens' section of its website with details of how GPs can ease patient demand and cut red tape.

Posters for practices that explain how patients can help to cut bureaucratic burden, and appointment cards which advise patients of other ways to access healthcare advice, are available for downloading.

Delays ‘fuelling STI rise'

Long waiting times for GUM clinics are fuelling the rise in STIs in the UK, the Terrence Higgins Trust claims.

The trust says many local health services are a long way from the Government's 48-hour target .

‘A quarter of people in England have to wait more than two weeks. It is simply not good enough,' said Nick Partridge, the trust's chief executive.

Child protection drive

GPs are being urged to take up extra training on child protection. The NSPCC this week sent out literature on child protection to all GP practices, as part of a mass public information and awareness drive.

UK behind in cancer drugs

The UK is lagging behind other European nations in the adoption and availability of cancer drugs, according to a report from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet.

Austria, Spain and Switzerland were the leaders in adoption and availability but ‘the UK, Czech Republic, Hungary, Norway and Poland lag behind'.

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