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Alcohol poisoning in Dutch youth rises sixfold: Since 2000 the total number of patients treated for alcohol poisoning in Dutch emergency care departments has more than doubled to about 1800 a year. Cases involving 10 to 14 year olds have increased sixfold, to just fewer than 100. The study, published in the Dutch Medical Association journal, Medisch Contact, was based on a representative sample of one in five hospitals (www.medischcontact.nl).
Standards for record keeping produced: A national set of standards for record keeping for hospitals has been developed by the Royal College of Physicians' health informatics unit, in a bid to improve patient care and reduce the risk of litigation. The 12 standards reflect best medical practice and relate to the quality of records. Standards for structure and content for specific areas of care are also being produced (www.rcplondon.ac.uk).
Care of community mental health patients is improving: Mental health services in the community are improving, but concerns remain over social inclusion and access to counselling, a snapshot survey from the Healthcare Commission shows. The survey, of almost 16000 service users at 69 trusts, shows that doctor-patient relationships, information, and access to out of hours and telephone crisis care have all improved. But about one in three service users who wanted counselling or help with benefits did not receive it (www.healthcarecommission.org.uk).