News in Brief: 5 Oct 2007

Call to action for men's health
The Men's Health Forum is calling on the Commission for Equality and Human Rights to take immediate action to ensure the NHS improves the health of men. PCTs needed to be the first target because only 60 per cent of them published a gender equality scheme by the April deadline, said Peter Baker, chief executive of the forum.

Genetics in general practice conference
The Primary Care Genetics Society is to hold its second conference on 'The Relevance of Clinical Genetics to General Practice Medicine' at Newcastle upon Tyne 15 November 2007. Topics include genes and diabetes, IHD and genetic gastroenterology. Programme details and a booking form are available from

Landmark London trust merger
The largest NHS trust in the UK was launched this week. Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust and St Mary's NHS Trust have been merged with Imperial College London to form an Academic Health Science Centre. The centre includes five London hospitals and covers 50 clinical specialities.

Chefs cook-off for hospital standards
Top chefs are set to throw their culinary might behind a campaign to improve standards in hospital and care home kitchens with a cook-off for the cameras. Noel Edmunds will host the Fresi Steady Cook showdown between three chefs who all hold or have held Michelin stars: Derry Clarke of Dublin, Paul Heathcote of Lancashire and Paul Rankin of Belfast, also a TV chef. They will compete against each other to serve up a nutritious meal in less than 20 minutes before audiences in Manchester and London. The events are free. For more information call 0845 602 2484.

Forum to tackle MRSA
Anew forum designed to link health workers tasked with driving down MRSA rates was launched at the 37th annual Infection Control Nurses Association (ICNA) conference in Brighton. At the meeting, ICNA was officially dissolved and the Infection Prevention Society launched. The new society wants to extend membership to the wider medical professions.

Smashed piano replaced for music festival
Organisers of the Two Moors music festival, jointly founded by Devon GP Dr Jane Darling, took safe delivery last week of an £85,000 hand-built Bosendorfer piano. The Imperial Concert Grand, donated by the makers, replaces a model that slipped out of the removal lorry and landed in irreparable splinters earlier this year. 'This gift is stunning news for which we are hugely grateful,' said South Molton GP Dr Darling. She set up the music festival in 2001 with her friend Penny Adie, a pianist and opera singer, after Exmoor and Dartmoor were devastated by foot and mouth disease.

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