News in brief 150208

ISTC failure GPs share the blame for the failure of the independent-sector treatment centre (ISTC) according to a business lobby group. In a report published this week the CBI said much of their capacity went unused due to GP resistance. It argues GPs 'should not be able to block patients from choosing independent providers for fear their established ways of working will be threatened'.

NICE guidance NICE is to develop clinical and public health guidance as part of its 15th work programme, the DoH has announced. NICE will be asked to produce guidance on severe mental illness in conjunction with substance misuse.

A-Z of local consultants GPs frustrated by referral management and the consumerism implicit in Choose and Book can eat their hearts out. Their colleagues in the Southern Board in Northern Ireland have been issued with an updated A-Z of local consultants with speciality, clinic and contact details to smooth their referrals direct into secondary care (www.southerntrust.hscni.net).

COPD rehab service A three-year contract to help the 8,000 COPD patients in Somerset has been awarded by Somerset PCT to Clinovia, part of BUPA. The £500,000 service was commissioned by Wyvern-Health.com, a consortium of GPs that represents 71 of Somerset's 75 practices. The aim is to reduce hospital admissions by offering cardiac rehabilitation.

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