- Almost half of patients needing a hospital admission waited longer than 18 weeks from the point of referral to treatment in August. However, Department of Health data shows that 76% who needed treatment but not admission were seen within the timescale which is set to become a national target in December 2008.
- Health minister for Northern Ireland Michael McGimpsey has launched a campaign to encourage people to apply to become mental health nurses or learning disability nurses. The drive to fill university places is to combat a shortage of new nurses in both fields.
- The NHS Working in Partnership Programme has launched a website to help practice nurses and others interested in self-care. Self Care Connect will help professionals show patients how they can manage long-term conditions with a variety of research and resources from across the world.
- The DH has updated guidance on the commissioning of services for people with learning disabilities and challenging behaviour or mental health needs. The guidance, first produced in 1993, has been revised by its original author Jim Mansell, professor of learning disabilities at the University of Kent. It is aimed at directors of nursing, trust chief executives and directors of social services.
- The Food Standards Agency has launched a joint investigation with the Health Protection Agency into a steady year-on-year increase in listeria deaths in England and Wales. The number of listeria-related deaths jumped from 70 in 2000 to 130 in 2005.