Doctors

The merger of PEMTB (the body which regulates postgraduate medical education) with the GMC took place as planned on 1 April 2010 as the legislation now awaits approval only by the Privy Council. The legislation also changes the GMC’s powers to re-register doctors in the event of a national emergency. From 1 April, should there be an emergency, the GMC will be able to restore doctors to the GP register without them having to submit a formal application.  

Nurses  

The NMC has published its report on the extraordinary review of pre-registration nursing education and maternity services following criticism of the standard of care at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The report found that, whilst improvements had been made, there was still some way to go. Full details can be found at: http://www.nmc-uk.org/aArticle.aspx?ArticleID=4166  

Dentists

There has been a change to the Medical Devices Directive 93/42/EC which affects the provision and manufacture of dental appliances. The regulations implementing the changes came into force in the UK on 21 March 2010. The regulations can be found on the MHRA website: http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulate/Devices/ RevisionstothemedicaldevicesandAIMDDirectives/index. htm.

The GDC intend to publish an updated version of their “Standards on Commissioning and Manufacturing Dental Appliances” guidance.  

Department of Health

The Department of Health has published a report on Progress in Implementing the White Paper “Trust Assurance and Safety”. This looks at the steps being taken to enhance confi dence in healthcare professionals and their regulators. To read the report, click on the link below: http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/ groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/@ps/documents/digitalasset/ dh_113987.pdf  

The Department of Health has also opened a consultation on the possibility of opening up the boundaries for registering with a GP, for example allowing people to register in an area in which they are not resident but which is more convenient. The consultation runs to the end of May 2010 and information is available from their website at:http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/ Liveconsultations/DH_113437  

On 15 March 2010, the Chief Medical Offi cer issued his annual report for 2009, which can be read at http://www.dh.gov.uk/ en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/AnnualReports/ DH_113912. The recommendations are wide ranging. General themes include the obesity crisis and the need to increase our levels of activity. The elderly are advised to prepare properly for cold weather and are encouraged to become more involved in the healthcare of their grandchildren as they take a greater part in their upbringing. There are sections dealing with more specifi c risks such as passive drinking, prostate cancer, antimicrobial resistance and pain.