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White coats to go in cleanliness bid: Hospitals in England will have to adopt a “bare below the elbows” dress code to reduce the numbers of cases of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile, the Department of Health has said. See www.dh.gov.uk
Mammography screening reduces mortality from breast cancer: Organised mammography screening reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer, a study that was based on more than 300000 women in Finland has found (International Journal of Cancer doi: 10.1002/ijc.23070). Results from the study, which followed up women from 1992 to 2003, shows that breast cancer mortality fell by 22% (relative risk 0.78 (95% confidence interval 0.7 to 0.9)).
Breast cancer charity launches poster campaign: Breakthrough, the UK's leading breast cancer charity, is offering general practices copies of a breast awareness poster which aims to debunk some of the myths about potential signs of breast cancer. See www.breakthrough.org.uk
Public has its say on how NHS should be run: Members of the public were invited to attend public meetings in each of England's 10 strategic health authorities this week to voice their opinions on how the NHS delivers care. Findings from the meetings, which were each expected to attract about 1000 people, will feed into the next stage of health minister Ara Darzi's review of the NHS.
Hillary Clinton sets out $110bn plan to bring health care to all: Senator Hillary Clinton has proposed a $110bn (£55bn; €80bn) plan to help fund health insurance for 47 million Americans who are currently without cover. Under the plan everyone would be required to take out health insurance, and federal tax subsidies would be available to help those least able to pay.
Polio worker is killed in fighting: Farah Warsame Direye, a World Health Organization employee who was involved in Somalia's national polio immunisation day on 11 September, was shot dead by members of a militia while in the Galgadud region, close to the Ethiopian border. The action was not specifically targeted at humanitarian workers, said WHO.
Statin use falls after TV show: The use of statins in the Netherlands has fallen for the first time, by nearly 2%, after a Dutch television programme questioned their use (BMJ 2007;334:604-5 doi: 10.1136/bmj.39157.755718.DB). Figures compiled by the Foundation for Pharmaceutical Statistics and published in the Dutch Pharmacy Association's journal show that this spring the number of people each month who stopped taking statins rose by 35%, while the number who started taking them fell by a third (www.sfk.nl).