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In brief

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• Personal care must improve dramatically if health services in England and Wales are to be ‘world class’, says a Healthcare Commission report. Commission chairperson Sir Ian Kennedy said: ‘Most organisations offer patients a good overall experience, but some lag behind.’ The State of Healthcare 2007 was published last week

• A judge has ruled that Beverly Allitt, the nurse convicted of murdering four children in the hospital at which she worked, must serve at least 30 years in custody. Mr Justice Stanley Burnton said Allitt, who was 31 when she was jailed for life in 1993, should serve the term even though she was suffering from a mental illness.

• Crisis resolution home treatment teams have reduced pressure on hospital beds since they were introduced in 2002–2003. The National Audit Office said last week that mental health inpatient admissions fell from more than 100,000 to just over 80,000 in 2005–2006, while CRHT interventions increased from 30,000 to more than 80,000 over the same period.

• NICE has launched a draft guide to its appraisal methods, aiming to provide an overview of how it assesses new health technologies. Nurses and other healthcare professionals have until the end of February to comment on the Guide to the Methods of Technology Appraisal.

• An appeal against the decision by Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust to sack Unison branch secretary and community psychiatric nurse Karen Reissmann was ongoing as NT went to press. A decision was expected on 10 December.

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