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PR and Med Ed news in brief

Our weekly round up of healthcare PR stories

Live doctor video link

Telemedicine clinics linking consultants with cancer patients have proved extremely successful, according to patients who have used them. While the method may sound a little unorthodox, and more akin to Blade Runner than the health service, the clinics, which use ISDN lines to link up hospitals across the country have given patients valuable information about the risk of them developing cancer.

Specialist cancer genetics units are in short supply in the UK, making it difficult for people to find out about the risks of developing the disease. The technology has enabled many patients, who would have otherwise been seen by a nurse, to discuss sensitive issues with consultants via a 40-minute video link.

Patients have been enthusiastic about telemedicine clinics, started by consultant James Mackay. While many of them admitted that they felt a little strange to begin with, one patient said that after a while you become totally engrossed in what is being said and unaware of your surroundings.

Emergency response campaign

The Stroke Association is launching a new campaign to highlight the need for emergency response to stroke by healthcare professionals and the public, and raise awareness of how to recognise the signs of stroke. The 18-month campaign will be rolled out together with a report from the Stroke Association entitled What's the Emergency? detailing the failing in the emergency response to stroke. The charity will also be holding its inaugural Duke of Kent Lecture at the Royal College of Surgeons to tie in with the launch of the campaign in October.

CancerCampaign gets kick start

Cancer Research UK has enlisted the help of Kevin Shinkwin, Macmillan Cancer Relief's parliamentary affairs manager, to lead its battle to make all UK workplaces smoke free. In his role as cancer campaigns manager, Shinkwin will be responsible for CancerCampaigns, the charity's anti-smoking initiative, which began in March.

Charity chief, Professor Alex Markham has led calls from the health lobby for an outright ban on smoking in public places.

2nd September 2008

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