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Two weeks in primary care...News Roundup

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Consultation

NMC consults on fee rise

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has launched its consultation on a proposed increase to the annual registration fee.

The consultation will run from 8 May until 31 July 2014, to gather the views of nurses and midwives on a proposed increase in the registration fee from £100 to £120.

Jackie Smith, chief executive and registrar of the NMC, said: 'This consultation is an opportunity for all nurses and midwives to have their say on the proposed increase to the annual registration fee. We are proposing to increase the registration fee by £20 which would enable us to make the much needed improvements we have committed to.'

The NMC's Council will make the final decision on the fee rise at its meeting on 1 October this year.

Vulnerable Groups

QNI launches homeless health initiative

An initiative to improve the health of the homeless has been announced by the Queens' Nursing Institute (QNI).

The project will support nurses and other healthcare professionals to improve the health of those without secure housing. Research, publications, events and workshops will help nurses learn about the specialist and complex needs of the homeless.

David Parker-Radford,the project's manager, said: 'We want to identify possible barriers to accessing healthcare for the homeless, and help nurses and other professionals to remove these obstacles. To achieve this, we will be running learning events throughout England and Wales, as well as issuing policy documents and guidance.'

The average life expectancy for someone without a home is almost half the national average. The Monument Trust (the Sainsbury family's charity, which has funded other initiatives to help the homeless) is funding the project, which will last for three years.

For more information about participating in this project, contact david.parker-radford@qni.org.uk or call 0207 549 1410.

EU Regulation

Indemnity insurance bill laid in parliament

A bill making it a legal requirement that nurses have indemnity insurance in order to be registered with the NMC has been laid in parliament.

The EU regulation came into force on 25 October 2013, and is now being adopted by the UK government. Subject to the parliamentary and privy council approval, the bill is expected to come into force on 17 July this year.

When applying to register with the NMC, or on renewal of membership, nurses will be required to declare that they have the appropriate indemnity. For more information, visit www.nmc-uk.org/registration/professional-indemnity-insurance


World Health

Polio resurgence an 'emergency'

The recent resurgence of polio is a 'public health emergency,' the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

An emergency committee was convened at the end of April to discuss the global outbreak of polio. A total of 417 cases were reported in 2013. Somalia was the most affected, with 194 reports of polio. The disease had been almost eradicated across the globe after a vaccine was created in the 1950s.

The disease remains endemic in only three countries (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan), but was also reported across Africa, central Asia and the Middle East in 2013. An outbreak in Syria has caused particular concern, due to the effect it could have on the large refugee population displaced by the civil war.

The WHO has published vaccination recommendations for travellers to affected regions.

Research

Increase in diagnoses of coeliac disease

The numbers of people in the UK diagnosed with coeliac disease has increased four-fold since 1990, the charity Coeliac UK said.

Research by the University of Nottingham has shown that the increase contrasted with a decrease in the numbers diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis, which commonly manifests in those with coeliac disease. The authors said that this could suggest that diagnosing and treating coeliac disease prevents dermatitis herpetiformis developing. The study also found a large regional variance in the number of patients diagnosed with coeliac disease, with the most diagnosed in Northern Ireland and the least in London.

The week beginning May 12 was Coeliac awareness week.

Dementia

First meeting of World Dementia Council

The World Dementia Council met for the first time in London last month to discuss the international effort to improve treatments for dementia.

The council was created to support world dementia envoy Dennis Gillings to raise awareness and promote investment in the research and development of dementia treatment. The council includes representatives of several G7 members, including the US, Germany and Japan.

The council hopes to create international cooperation on finding treatments. The council was introduced in December 2013 at the G8 dementia summit in London, where the states in attendance agreed to double funding for dementia research and set a target date of 2025 by which to identify a cure or disease-modifying treatment. The G8 is now G7 as a result of Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

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