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264 records found from year 2006
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Page 5 of 27
Monday, 03 July 2006 09:31
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
GRANT APPROVED TO BATTLE MALARIA
Dr Bruce Alexander has won a £270,000 grant to battle the killer disease malaria.

The scientist is working on a fabric that can repel or kill the mosquitoes which spread the disease. Malaria claims between 1.5million and 2.7million lives worldwide every year, including one million children in Africa.

Edinburgh University graduate Dr Alexander said: "To keep mosquitoes from biting people you have to have some form of barrier but there are problems with conventional netting.

"They are impregnated with insecticides which lose effectiveness over time and washing. People either have to buy a new net or re-impregnate the net with insecticide.

"The insecticides are pretty nasty if handled wrongly. Our aim is to produce a sustainable product without toxic chemicals".

Dr Alexander added: "It will be the structure of the material that will be effective against the insects.

"It will be its physical properties but for commercial confidentiality, I can't say any more than that".

Dr Alexander has set up Xeroshield, based at the Roslin Bio Centre in Midlothian, to make his dream a reality.

He has been backed by Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian, the European Regional Development Fund and Edinburgh University.

Dr Alexander said: "The Gates grant will provide a couple of years of research and development. We are still a long way from production but it does recognise this is a serious idea”.

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Sunday, 02 July 2006 09:27
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
PATIENTS WAIT UP TO EIGHT YEARS TO GET COMPENSATION
At least one patient every day launches legal action against the NHS in Scotland over errors in treatment that they have received.

Secret figures reveal there were 2123 medical negligence claims against the NHS in the past five years. But only one in five has been settled.

The claims, against 116 hospitals, have cost taxpayers £2million in legal fees alone.

Lawyers, politicians and medics are calling for the introduction of a "no blame" compensation system to fast-track complaints.

Negligence lawyer Cameron Fyfe said: "Patients can wait as long as seven or eight years for a case to be settled.

"It's an intolerable strain on their health and wellbeing, and that's why a 'no blame' system would be preferable for most straightforward cases".

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Peter Terry said: "No-fault compensation with maximum financial limits would benefit doctors and patients, speeding up the process and reducing legal expenses.

"This would free up money that could be invested in developing and improving services for all patients".

SNP health spokeswoman Shona Robison said: "We're committed to looking at a no-fault compensation scheme. The only winners at present are lawyers".

The Scottish Executive said: "It can take many years for medical negligence claims to reach settlement.

"That is often due to the complex nature of the cases, the requirement to seek independent expert medical opinions and for all parties to reach agreement.

"Seventy per cent of claims do not result in a settlement".
   

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Sunday, 02 July 2006 08:48
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
BRITISH JUNIOR DOCTORS IN DEMAND BY AUSTRALIAN HEALTH SERVICE
British doctors are needed to plug gaps in the Australian health service.

Recruiters will be in the UK this autumn to attempt to lure thousands of junior medics and GPs to a new life down under.

The Australian government prefers doctors from Britain because of the standard of training at medical schools here.

Britain, on the other hand, has a glut of junior doctors with little prospect of gaining more senior consultant positions.

The British Medical Association (BMA) claims 21,000 qualified doctors are competing for fewer than 10,000 training posts that lead to consultant positions.

A spokeswoman for the BMA Scotland said: "It is not just fully qualified doctors and consultants who are targeted to go and work in Australia but also trainees . . . and unless we ensure there are enough specialist training places available then there is a real risk they will leave the country, which is a terrible waste of taxpayers' money.

"It is vital we offer good career options and attractive packages to retain and even encourage doctors to work in Scotland".
   

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Saturday, 01 July 2006 11:12
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
PLANS TO OPEN SCOTLAND'S FIRST PRIVATE SECTOR TREATMENT CENTRE GOES AHEAD
Scottish Ministers yesterday pushed ahead with plans to open Scotland's first private sector treatment centre as concerns were raised about creeping privatisation of the English NHS.

Amicus Healthcare has been named as the preferred bidder to run the Scottish Regional Treatment Centre at Stracathro Hospital in Angus. The centre, which will cost £5 million annually during the three-year contract, will be run by Amicus, but will carry out minor surgery on NHS patients from Tayside, Fife and Grampian.

The Scottish Executive said there were no plans to involve the private sector in primary care commissioning north of the Border. But a spokesman added: "We are determined to provide substantial additional capacity in the NHS and increase the use of the private sector to bring down long waits."

A British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland spokeswoman said: "Diverting investment from the NHS to the private sector will do little to solve the problems of the NHS in the long term, indeed we have already seen the destabilising effect in England.

"While the private sector may be a short-term fix to reduce waiting times, it could be detrimental to the NHS, leading to ward or department closures from workload reduction”.

Stewart Maxwell, the SNP's deputy health spokesman, said: "Instead of shifting more resources into the private sector we should be supporting the NHS ... to make the service more responsive to patients”.

Nanette Milne, the Tory health spokeswoman, said she did not object to some use of the private sector to speed up treatment for patients.
   

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Friday, 30 June 2006 10:49
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
TARGETS FOR DENTISTRY WILL NOT BE MET
An Executive report on the future of dental practices in Scotland found that Scotland is short of more than 100 dentists this year and will fail to reach the target for another six years.

The latest figures, compiled by the NHS information and statistics division, show that although the number of NHS High Street dentists, currently 2367, is increasing, it falls short of requirements by 120. This gap is expected to disappear by 2012.

Andrew Lamb, BDA director for Scotland, said: "People already know that there is a shortage of dentists here and many are unable to access dental care because of this. While it's good that longer term workforce issues are being addressed by training more dentists, the executive must also tackle problems facing patients and dentists today."

He renewed the BDA's call for a full review of the executive's recruitment and retention incentives so that their effect on easing the problems many people have in accessing dental care could be assessed. He also called for the views of the dental profession to be properly considered in workforce planning.

"Unless urgent action is taken to resolve the issue about the way dentists' commitment to the NHS is measured, our concern is that many more patients could lose access to NHS dentistry," he said.

Shadow Health Minister Shona Robison said: "These figures show that it is highly unlikely that the Lib-Lab executive will meet their target to recruit enough dentists to meet the needs of the NHS by 2012."

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said: "I am convinced we will continue to see these numbers increase, in line with our dental action plan targets over the coming months. The number of dentists who undertook their vocational training in Scotland last year was an all-time high of 135. This has increased further to 145 funded posts in 2006 and will increase again to 155 in 2007.

"The main problem of access to NHS dentistry is for adult patients who are deregistered against their will and then forced to pay for private treatment. For us to invest money without setting a threshold for the number of adult NHS patients a dentist must treat would compound this problem, not solve it”.

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Wednesday, 28 June 2006 10:50
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
EXECUTIVE URGED TO INCREASE ALCOHOL TAX
Drinks with a high alcohol content should be made more expensive in order to discourage irresponsible drinking, the leader of Scotland’s doctors said yesterday.

Dr Peter Terry, the chairman of the British Medical Association in Scotland, said that the pricing of alcohol in supermarkets was "irresponsible" and urged the Executive to take steps to increase the price of high alcohol products.

He said although this kind of taxation was a reserved issue, there were other avenues that could be explored.

"I would like the Executive to explore the reserved powers issue and look at other ways of pricing alcohol that would help prevent abuse.

"I believe some kind of levy could be used on high- alcohol drinks," he said.

Dr Terry said alcohol abuse was a serious problem in Scotland, leading to ill-health and social disorder.

"It is not the use of alcohol, it is the abuse of alcohol that is of concern," he said.

"We are not out to stop people drinking, but it seems reasonable that if a drink has a higher amount of alcohol it should be more expensive."

Earlier, the BMA's conference voted for more alcohol-awareness campaigns and teaching in schools and universities and for doctors to work to try to change public attitudes.

An Executive spokesman said: "Each and every one of us has a responsibility to recognise the effects of alcohol and to drink sensibly.

He added: "The Executive could not impose any general increase in taxation or excise duty on alcohol."

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Wednesday, 28 June 2006 10:19
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
SCOTS DOCTORS PRESCRIBE SOLUTIONS TO MEDICAL WORKFORCE CHALLENGES
Doctors attending the British Medical Association’s annual conference in Belfast have today agreed on solutions to the challenges of workforce planning in Scotland.

Speaking of Scottish Executive plans to increase the number of medical school graduates at St Andrews Medical School, Sabrina Talukdar, chair of the BMA's Scottish Medical Students Committee, and St Andrews graduate, said:

"One year ago, the Scottish Executive accepted recommendations to create 100 extra medical school places in Scotland which would allow St Andrews graduates to complete their clinical medical training in Scotland rather than Manchester. It was felt that this would increase the chances of the students staying in Scotland and giving service to NHS Scotland in the future."

But, she warned that greater planning was required in order for this approach to be successful:

"This increase in numbers to be planned carefully so that it does not compromise the high quality of training that students receive in Scotland. Many medical schools are working to capacity already and may well struggle to cope with yet more medical students.

"The number of academics must also increase in line with the numbers of students they will have to teach. Scotland already leads the way in terms of recruiting and retaining Medical Academics, and we would hope that this continues."

Conference also debated measures to increase the number of senior doctors in Scotland in the shorter term. Dr Lewis Morrison, a consultant geriatrician from Lothian, and member of the BMA’s Scottish Consultants Committee, said:

"Scotland needs more senior doctors but a significant number of consultants are expected to retire next year and there are currently few if any incentives to stay on.

"MMC goes live next august in Scotland. If we get that wrong trainees will leave Scotland.

"It is simple arithmetic and I hope that this gives a simple message to the Scottish Executive.

· Create sufficient MMC training posts to accommodate all current trainees and you will keep the majority in Scotland. If you keep them in Scotland as trainees more will stay as seniors.

· Make it practical to reduce workload at the end of a career and you will keep your senior doctors working for longer.

· Ensure that senior posts are just that i.e. GPs and Consultants.

"If you build it they will come. If you build it, but you don’t fund it they won't. These measures require adequate ring fenced monies.

"Scotland has an opportunity to largely solve its senior doctor recruitment problems. I urge the Executive to take that opportunity."

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Tuesday, 27 June 2006 10:18
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
'COLLABORATION NOT COMPETITION FOR SCOTLAND'S NHS' SAYS DOCTORS' LEADER
Doctors in Scotland have welcomed the decision not to pursue a series of untested NHS reforms north of the border.

Speaking at the British Medical Association's [BMA] annual conference in Belfast today, Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of the BMA in Scotland addressed the growing divergence in health policy between England and Scotland.

"We are in the midst of a UK-wide experiment," he said. "Health policy is diverging at a fast pace. In Scotland, as in England, Wales and here in Northern Ireland, we are desperate to improve our health service but, for the meantime we are happy to be the control arm of this experiment for we are guided by the principle in medicine of "first do no harm".

"In England, health policy is based on contestability and choice. In Scotland, we believe that collaboration and partnership is better, if only to eliminate the significant process cost associated with commissioning. We also feel that collaboration is more likely to allow a greater integration of primary and secondary care to the benefit of patients."

Dr Terry also criticised Prime Minister Tony Blair for knocking the NHS in Scotland during his campaigning for the 2005 General Election.

"Mr Blair trumpeted the success of the Health service in England compared to that in Scotland.

"The evidence for this success, he claimed, was based on waiting times for elective surgery, an activity that probably results in less than 5 per cent of the total expenditure on health, but unlike most other activity, can be measured and thus financed for the benefit of the patient but also for political gain – so eloquently demonstrated by Mr Blair himself."

Commenting on the issue of choice, Dr Terry called for 'real choices' for patients.

He said: "Patients want ‘real choices’ in terms of involvement in decisions about their care and treatment, not whether they travel the length and breadth of the country for a hospital."

In a written report to conference, Dr Terry expressed his concerns about recent legislation on joint inspection of children’s services.

This law enables inspectors from police, education, health and social work to access children’s confidential health records without consent, even when there are no issues of child protection.

He wrote: "The BMA will campaign to maintain patient confidentiality and protect the doctor patient relationship."

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Monday, 26 June 2006 10:26
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
SCOTLAND'S DOCTORS RENEW CALLS FOR SMOKING AGE INCREASE
Scotland’s doctors today renewed calls for an increase in the purchase age of cigarettes from 16 to 18 in an attempt to deter young people from taking up smoking at an early age.

The calls come as BMA Scotland published a report on the subject on the opening day of the British Medical Association’s annual UK conference in Belfast.

It is one year since doctors voted in favour of raising the purchase age to 18 and the BMA report outlines the benefits that such a move would have on changing Scotland's attitude to tobacco use and decrease the number of young people smoking in Scotland.

Currently around 19 per cent of 15 year olds and 6 per cent of 13 year olds are regular smokers (smoking one or more cigarettes a week), with prevalence higher amongst girls than boys.

Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of BMA Scotland said: "By raising the purchase age of cigarettes to 18, Ministers would send a clear message that Scotland considers tobacco use among young people to be a problem that must be addressed. As part of a wider tobacco control programme, it will make a difference.

"We know that this approach works in discouraging young people from smoking. Experience from other countries has shown that, raising the age to 18 when introduced along with other tobacco control measures such as smoke free enclosed public places and education programmes can have a positive effect on reducing the number of young smokers.

"Scotland led the way in the UK with regard to smoke free enclosed public places and it is now time to lead the way by taking this bold step."

Dr Terry concluded: "A Smoking Prevention Working Group is currently considering the case for raising the minimum legal age for purchasing tobacco and is expected to report its findings shortly.

"We can only hope that the group and the Minister make the right choice that will help reduce the number of young people having easy access to this deadly and highly addictive habit."

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Monday, 26 June 2006 09:31
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
CANCER DRUG TO EXPENSIVE FOR NHS USE
Pemetrexed a drug that can help victims of an asbestosrelated cancer has been turned down for use in the NHS because of the cost.

People who suffer of mesothelioma in England and Wales will not be prescribed the treatment that can extend their lives by months. But the medicine is available to sufferers in Scotland. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) will today recommend a ban on patients receiving Pemetrexed because it is too costly.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs and is triggered by exposure to asbestos. It affects about 1,700 people a year and numbers are rising. The cost is £24,000 a year to treat sufferers.

Joanne Rule, boss of the charity Cancerbackup, said: "This is disappointing. It is unacceptable that if you live in Scotland, you can have the treatment. But if you live across the border, you can't”.

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