News in brief

Bigger pharmacists role

Pharmacists are to be given a much greater role in helping people with relatively minor medical conditions under government plans. The proposals in a Department of Health White Paper will give them the power to prescribe some common medicines, provide support for people with conditions such as high blood pressure or asthma, and screen for vascular and some sexually transmitted diseases.

OHN register deadline

The Association of Occupational Health Nurse Educators is advising OH nurses that the latest date for migrating to Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Register, or the third part of the register, is 31 December this year. First-level nurses who hold a diploma or certificate in OH awarded before 1998 and who wish to maintain or be accredited must transfer before this date.

Miscarriage risk for vets

Female vets run twice the risk of miscarriage as a result of exposure to anaesthetic gases and pesticides, a study in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine has suggested. The study of 2,800 veterinary graduates found that women carrying out surgery and exposed to anaesthetic gases that were not filtered out of the atmosphere for an hour or more a week were almost 2.5 times more likely to miscarry.

Abuse rife for NHS staff

NHS workers are still reporting high levels of violence and abuse, but training to combat it appears to be improving, according to the Healthcare Commission. Some 13% of NHS workers said they had experienced physical violence from patients or their relatives in the 12 months prior to the survey in 2007, the same as in 2006, and up one percentage point from 2005. But the number of trusts offering training to combat it was up four percentage points to 26%.

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