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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round of NHS and healthcare stories

Hewitt criticises Cameron for reference to his son
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has criticised new Conservative leader David Cameron for making reference to his disabled son in his first keynote speech on the NHS.

Cameron said few politicians had seen more of the inside of NHS hospitals than him, as he had slept at the bedside of his three-year-old son Ivan, who suffers from severe epilepsy.

In an interview with The Independent on Sunday, Hewitt said other members of the House of Commons also had very extensive personal experience of the NHS, such as Chancellor Gordon Brown.

ìOf course he's got deep personal experience of the NHS because of his child but it's dangerous territory, I think, for politicians to be talking too much about their own family experience,î she commented.

Doctor shortage could damage public health drive
A shortage of doctors could severely hamper a government drive to boost public health, according to the British Medical Association.

Public health trainee doctors say government primary care reforms mean their careers are stalling and consultant posts are being withdrawn. The uncertainty surrounding primary care trust mergers in England under Commissioning a Patient-led NHS has prompted some PCTs to freeze public health recruitment.

As many as 100 public health juniors could be trapped at specialist registrar level or forced out of the speciality altogether, according to BMA public health doctors.

HC to investigate Oxford Radcliffe cardiothoracic services
Patients are being asked to comment on their experiences of the adult cardiothoracic service provided by the John Radcliffe Hospital cardiac surgery unit at the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust.

A Healthcare Commission (HC) team is to investigate the service after concerns were raised about the quality of care at the unit.

As part of the investigation, the HC team will conduct face-to-face and telephone interviews with people from within and outside the trust about their experiences of, or views about the cardiothoracic services.

30th September 2008

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