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News In Brief

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News In Brief

- The Welsh Assembly has provided £4.5m to honour a pledge to provide a minimum of one family nurse per secondary school made by the Labour and Plaid Cymru coalition. The total health and social services budget for Wales for 2008–2009 is £5.7bn.

- Fairfield General Hospital in Lancashire is to take 38 beds from Rochdale Infirmary following fire safety concerns at the latter. An assessment earlier in the year ruled
that patients who could not walk unaided should not be put in wards on the first or second floors of the older part of the infirmary.

- The first cross-college, cross-agency working group has been launched in order
to tackle inadequacies in NHS treatment for people with learning disabilities and
mental health problems. The RCN, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of GPs will together work with Mencap and the Royal Society of Medicine in a bid to improve services.

- The number of complaints made about the NHS fell by 4% from 95,047 in 2005–2006 to 90,801 in 2006–2007, figures from the NHS Information Centre reveal. Most complaints were made against medical staff. Just 22% were against nursing and midwifery staff.

- Have you experienced problems attending mandatory or personal development training in your trust? Do you think budget cuts are making it impossible to progress your career? Do you feel patient safety is being put at risk?
NT wants to know. Email:

- Northern Ireland has launched a campaign to encourage more students to become mental health or learning disability nurses. The campaign recognises nurse shortages in both fields and responds to the Bamford Review of 2006, which concluded that NI’s mental health service needed a major overhaul.

- The government has set up a consultation on implementing the Independent Safeguarding Authority, the new body responsible for preventing professionals deemed to be a danger from working with vulnerable adults and children. The new body will oversee the Protection of Vulnerable Adults list, Protection of Children Act list, and List 99 schemes.

- A formal consultation on health minister Lord Darzi’s plans for health service reform in London has been delayed until the end of the month. Pressure group London Health Emergency says the financial problems in the capital’s health service have delayed the consultation, which was due to start three weeks ago.

- Staff at a London hospital trust have received a £100 bonus to celebrate the organisation’s ‘excellent’ rating in the Healthcare Commission’s annual health checks. Staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will receive the cash at the end of this month.

- The RCN has joined the Alcohol Health Alliance to campaign for tighter restrictions on advertising and availability of alcohol. Headed by the Royal College of Physicians, the alliance of 24 leading health organisations and charities was launched last week to reduce health damage caused by alcohol misuse.

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