Clinical News

NICE 'Alcohol Dependence and Harmful Alcohol Use' Quality Standard

Monday, 05 September 2011 10:19

Scope of the Quality Standard

This quality standard covers the care of children (aged 10-15 years), young people (aged 16-17 years) and adults (aged 18 years and over) drinking in a harmful way and those with alcohol dependence in all NHS-funded settings. It also includes opportunistic screening and brief interventions for hazardous and harmful drinkers.

Alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use quality statements

The quality standard refers to harmful drinking and alcohol dependence collectively as 'alcohol misuse'. It requires that services should be commissioned from and coordinated across all relevant agencies encompassing the whole care pathway. An integrated, multidisciplinary approach to provision of services is fundamental to the delivery of high-quality care to people who misuse alcohol. A specialist alcohol service is one in which the primary role is the assessment and management of alcohol misuse, including both psychological and physical effects. Some specialist addiction services will have this role for both drug and alcohol misuse.

National Campaign to Promote Awareness of Bowel Cancer Symptoms - end January - end March 2012

Wednesday, 10 August 2011 14:44

The Department of Health has confirmed that it will run a national campaign to promote awareness of bowel cancer symptoms for eight weeks in the early part of next year. This will include TV adverts and information sent to GPs. Two pilots earlier this year showed an increase of 50% in patients presenting to their GP during this period and an increase of between 34-50% for colonoscopy referrals. Mindful of this additional pressure Sir Bruce Keogh has written to all NHS chief executives to ask that they prepare for additional demand, not just for the campaign, but also beyond. The letter predicts a 5-10% annual increase in activity over the next several years.

The full letter can be seen here. Please note Appendix A of the letter which highlights the capacity implications from the pilot sites. The BSG is talking to the DH about how to create a sustainable increase in capacity and provide appropriate planning tools to cope with increased demand effectively. There will be implementation meetings taking place locally this autumn, dates to be confirmed, where the BSG will be represented.

RCS: Vacancies for Assessors on Advisory Appointment Committees

Friday, 22 July 2011 10:09

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Representatives on Advisory Appointment Committees for Consultant Upper/Lower GI Surgeon Posts

The College is dealing with an ever increasing number of Advisory Appointments Committees for consultant posts in Upper and Lower GI surgery. BSG members are encouraged to apply.

The College Assessor role is vital in ensuring the best candidate for the job is appointed and that the process is fair and open within current legislation and employment practice.

Application packs are available from Miss Bravinthy Nanthanan, at The Royal College of Surgeons of England. Please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or telephone 0207 869 6262.

The eligibility criteria for College Assessors are as follows:

  • An assessor must be an established consultant or honorary consultant in the NHS
  • They must have been in active practice for a minimum of five years
  • The assessor must be a fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons of England

Hepatitis in prisons

Friday, 22 July 2011 09:45

The Health Protection Agency and Offender Health produce a quarterly bulletin called 'Infection Inside' which looks at current topics regarding health protection in prisons. The current issue focuses on hepatitis to mark World Hepatitis Day on 28 July. Hepatitis affects a large percentage of the prison population and Dr Martin Lombard DH Clinical Director for Liver Disease says that 'During the course of developing a strategy for liver disease, it has become apparent that a significant proportion of people in correctional institutions may be unaware that they are at risk of developing liver disease. Data from a variety of developed countries (including England, Scotland and Ireland) shows overall HCV seroprevalence rates in correctional facilities ranging from 20-40%, with much higher rates in those prisoners with a history of IDU: data compiled by the HPA indicate that approximately 26% of prisoners were tested in 2009 and 22% of those were positive'.

For further information about work carried out by Offender Health and the Health Protection Agency in prisons see http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/PrisonInfectionPreventionTeam/ . The full version of the current bulletin ‘Infection Inside’ can be accessed below.

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