News in brief 210907

Fitness-to-practise guidance condensed
The GMC has published a condensed version of its fitness-to-practise guidance. The core ethics of good practice remain the same but the guidance is designed to be more readily accessible. For more information visit

BMA deputy chairwoman named
Dr Kate Bullen, an associate specialist anaesthetist from Bristol has been named as the new BMA deputy chairwoman. She replaces east London GP Dr Sam Everington who has held the post since 2004.

Pizza entrepreneur turns his sights on cancer
A pizza restaurant entrepreneur has been asked to help modernise NHS cancer services. Luke Johnson, who relaunched Pizza Express, is in talks with cancer specialist Professor Karol Sikora over setting up a string of cancer centres that will offer patients every aspect of care from initial screening to chemotherapy.

Prescribing guide launched
A prescribing guide specifically for practice-based commissioners has been launched by the NHS Alliance and the Primary Care Pharmacists' Association. The guidance explains how service redesign in prescribing can reduce costs. It is available free to NHS Alliance members or for £10 to non-members. Contact

Launch of GP receptionist training course
A new training course for GP receptionists has been launched by the Association of Medical Secretaries, Practice Managers, Administrators and Receptionists (AMSPAR). The 30-hour Certificate for Healthcare Administration courses start next month in centres across England. For more information visit

Breast Cancer Research campaign
GPs are being asked to display the latest poster in Breakthrough Breast Cancer's campaign to end confusion about the disease. In a survey being promoted as part of the campaign, called 'Show Your Breasts Some TLC: Touch Look Check', a third of the 1,190 women questioned mistakenly believed a persistent cough or an extra nipple are signs of breast cancer. The survey found women ignore actual signs of the disease, such as an inversion of the nipple and changes in the skin on the breast, and therefore delay vital GP visits. For more information visit to download the poster.

NICE asked to issue fibromyalgia guidelines
The Fibromyalgia Association UK has put forward a submission to NICE for the development of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for the condition. Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, which is thought to affect up to 4 per cent of the population. Dr Kim Lawson, a lecturer in pharmacology at Sheffield Hallam University who helped put forward the submission, said that current treatment was giving very limited and inadequate control of the condition.

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