RCN Health News Alert

Tuesday 11 August

Hospital scorecard rating scheme launched

A website that allows NHS patients to rate and compare hospitals and specific treatments has been launched today. The website will rank hospitals using criteria such as mortality rates, cleanliness and quality of food. Health Secretary Andy Burnham said that the new system would help patients to make the right choices when looking for a hospital.

Doctors call for more clarification on assisted suicide

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Medical Protection Society has said that doctors need clarification on whether they are legally required to inform the authorities if a patient tells them that they plan to travel abroad for an assisted suicide.

Changing role for school nurses

A feature article in The Daily Mail shows how the role of the school nurse has changed and expanded in recent years. The article says that Sir Al Aynsley-Green, Children's Commissioner for England, has called for more school nurses to tackle mental health problems amongst children and teenagers. The article also features comments from health experts who feel that the Government needs to increase investment in school nurses and that 2010 recruitment targets for school nurses are very unlikely to be met.

  • Daily Mail, p62

Conservatives reveal NHS IT plans

The Conservatives have said that they are planning to axe large parts of the Government's £12 billion NHS IT programme. This includes plans for a NHS patient record central 'spine' which would have allowed NHS workers to have universal access to records. The Independent reports that there has been strong criticism to the Conservatives' plans to contract private companies to host patient records online. Health and IT experts have raised concerns over the possible security risk posed by allowing third parties to hold patient records, with MP David Davis saying that the plan was 'dangerous'.

Parliamentary Update

• Both Houses are in recess

Other business:

• Health Secretary Andy Burnham launches New Hospital Comparison Card