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News In Brief

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News In Brief

  • NHS boards in Scotland are on target to phase out hidden waiting lists by the end of this year, according to Scottish health minister Nicola Sturgeon. She said the number of patients on day case waiting lists with an Availability Status Code, which are not included in waiting targets, had fallen by a third over the summer.

  • Health visitors and school nurses are being asked to encourage children to give their views to a government investigation into the risks to young people from harmful or inappropriate images online or in video games. For details visit

  • Numbers of people presenting to statutory drug treatment services for benzodiazepine addiction has increased by more than 3,000 this year, according to official statistics. Data in a written answer by health minister Dawn Primarolo showed 12,793 people were in treatment for benzodiazepines in 2006-2007, compared with 9,681 in 2004-2005.

  • Nurses have voted to restrict patient visiting hours at St George's Healthcare NHS Trust in south London. The trust, which allowed wards to decide their own visiting hours, has now agreed a blanket rule of 3pm to 8pm. It said the change would improve infection control and mealtimes.

  • The Whittington Hospital in north London has named a new ward after nursing pioneer Mary Seacole, as part of its black history month celebrations. Elizabeth Anionwu, emeritus professor of nursing at Thames Valley University, and a leading authority on Ms Seacole, opened the ward last Friday.
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