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NHS news in brief

Our weekly round-up of NHS and healthcare stories

New inquiry into NHS IT upgrade
The National Audit Office (NAO) is to launch another inquiry into the controversial ?6.8bn NHS IT upgrade project. The programme, run by a governmental agency called Connecting for Health, aims to link 30,000 GPs with 300 hospitals in England. The NAO issued a report in June, criticising delays in the project. It said the exact remit and timescale of the new investigation had not been decided yet. ìWhen we published the report, we said we may revisit it and that is what we are doing,î said an NAO spokesman.

Pyschiatrists call for Alzheimer's drug rethink
In a study, psychiatrists have called for a re-examination of the way resources are allocated on the NHS for dementia care, and in particular the use of cholinesterase inhibitors. In 2001, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended that licensed cholinesterase inhibitors donepezil, rivastigmine and galantamine be made available on the NHS for the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer's disease. However, the research has revealed ìquite consistently that these medicines have modest beneficial effects compared with placebo,î according to the report's lead author, Anthony Pelosi, consultant psychiatrist at Hairmyres Hospital in Scotland.

30th September 2008

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