News in brief 140308

Darzi blogs back Health minister Lord Ara Darzi has denied claims that all GP practices will be forced to relocate to polyclinics in his blog, noting: 'Some people have recently claimed that the Review aims to drive primary care solely into polyclinics. This is not the case.' He also said that 'heavy investment' in primary care was needed if community care was to expand (www.ournhs.nhs.uk).

Use NHS surplus to boost access The NHS Alliance is urging the NHS to use the predicted £1.8 billion surplus to help practices opening extended hours. Analysis of spending in the first nine months of the financial year suggests a surplus of 2.3 per cent of the budget for 2007/8. The alliance suggests that funds be used to improve in availability of services.

Updated HPV data The HPV vaccine Gardasil reduces rates of pre-cancerous cervical lesions and other abnormal smear results within three years of vaccination, according to a presentation at the Society of Gynecological Oncologists conference in Tampa, Florida this week. Follow-up data from 18,000 women aged 16-26 who took part in three international trials of the HPV vaccine showed a 43 per cent reduction in rates of high-grade HPV in vaccinated women.

Clarification GP is happy to clarify Bury PCT's position in relation to our story "Unqualified' GPs to staff Darzi clinics' (GP, 7 March 2008). The PCT would like to point out that Phil Emmott was a former assistant chief executive and not deputy chief executive as described. Stephen Mills, Bury PCT chief executive, said: 'Bury PCT has prepared a specification for the delivery of one GP-led health centre and one new GP practice by December 2008. All new GPs will be fully qualified.'

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