Archive for January, 2009

Doctors get sick too

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Wales’ Auditor General report out today on staff sickness levels in the NHS makes for interesting reading for BMA members. It says it’s still a “significant problem”, even though some improvements have been made. Since April 2004, time off work because of ill health has averaged out at 14 working days per year for an [...]

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Kicking domestic abuse into touch during the Six Nations

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

I’d like to commend the Wales rugby team for getting involved in the latest initiative around domestic abuse and highlighting the very real and negative consequences that can stem from our national game. Members of our Six Nations squad faced a press conference yesterday to talk about how big a problem violence in the home [...]

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Information about Eligibility for Inclusion on the GMC Specialist Register: restoration of the Existing Specialist Route

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Below are the contents of a letter from the GMC about its Specialist Register and the restoration of the Existing Specialist Route. The BMA is trying to circulate this to members as widely as possible, as I am aware that some members may not know about this or have been “caught out” previously. Eligibility for [...]

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Cancer drugs decision is a step in the right direction

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

The news in today’s Western Mail that our Health Minister’s telling all Local Health Boards in Wales to fund four kidney cancer drugs is a welcome move and should hopefully provide some comfort to families in desperate need of the medication. The drugs in question are Sutent, Nexavar, Avastin and Torisel, which haven’t yet been [...]

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Welsh NHS hospital buildings – "not so safe as houses"

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Worrying news from the Welsh Liberal Democrats today. They’ve uncovered figures which apparently show a half a billion pound repair and maintenance bill to get NHS hospital buildings in Wales to an adequate safety level. Perhaps what’s even more of a concern is the fact that some of these safety targets were set back in [...]

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Free prescriptions for all English patients soon too?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Judging by the latest announcement from the DoH, it looks like free prescriptions could slowly be creeping in via the backdoor in England. From today, thousands of cancer patients can start applying for free prescriptions, with that being extended at a later date to any patient with a long term health condition. With the current [...]

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Welsh children taught how to “mend” their eating habits

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The Welsh Assembly Government has come up with what seems like Wales’ answer to America-style fat boot camps. Under the Mend (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do It!) Scheme, children aged 7-13, considered to be overweight can access diet and exercise courses. Official statistics seem to suggest this is a necessary step to take, with youngsters here having [...]

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More support for presumed consent for organ donation

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Research published in the BMJ today gives more weight to BMA Cymru Wales’ calls for introducing a presumed consent system (where people opt OUT, instead of IN) for organ donation in Wales. The report looks at 13 studies that either assessed organ donation rates before and after the introduction of presumed consent in a single [...]

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Free prescriptions prove their worth as the credit crunch continues to bite

Monday, January 12th, 2009

I think it’s worth taking a minute to point out the good that some health policies in Wales are doing to help patients stave off the credit crunch. Prior to free prescriptions some patients may have thought twice about accessing health care, or not picked up their prescription, because of the cost. This is now [...]

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Better access to patients’ details for out-of-hours GPs is just what the doctor ordered

Friday, January 9th, 2009

The news that GPs who provide out-of-hours cover, will soon be able to access patients’ records electronically, is very much a move in the right direction. It makes perfect sense really that doctors’ should have this kind of information at their finger-tips, in order to be able to provide the most accurate decision when diagnosing [...]

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Headway being made on NHS reorganisation

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Yesterday, BMA Cymru Wales held its second Policy day regarding the current plans for restructuring the Welsh NHS. The day was well attended by members and I really do think those able to make it, took away a great deal, including a large dose of reality from BMA Scotland’s Chair of GP committee, Dr Dean [...]

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Let’s end the ban on using mobiles in hospitals NOW

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

The Department of Health in England has finally issued guidance on more widespread use of mobiles in hospitals, five years after it was reported outright bans weren’t needed. This is an issue BMA Cymru Wales drew attention to last Summer, when it was announced hospitals it Wrexham and Flintshire were easing the rules. It would [...]

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