In brief

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 01 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1268

New national guidance issued on patient consent: National guidance has been issued by the Department of Health to ensure that best practice on patient consent is adopted throughout the NHS. The guidance includes model consent forms, to be used by next April. The guidance, which was drawn up by an advisory group that included representatives of patients and carers, health professionals, and NHS managers, is accessible at

United States approves contraceptive skin patch: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first transdermal skin patch contraceptive. Ortho Evra releases norelgestromin, a progestogen hormone, and ethinylestradiol, an oestrogen, through the skin into the bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. A full report is available on

Irvine attacks doctors' arrogance: Sir Donald Irvine, outgoing president of the General Medical Council, last week attacked the continuing arrogance, paternalism, and complacency of some doctors. In a speech at Northumbria University, Sir Donald also said that government ministers should stop trying to manage the NHS. His full speech can be accessed at

NICE to get advice from a citizens council: The National Institute for Clinical Excellence is to get advice on topics relating to social, ethical, or moral questions from a new citizens council. The council will have up to 30 members, who will be representative of the population of England and Wales.

Alder Hey chief dismissed: Hilary Rowland, chief executive of Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool, which was at the centre of a furore over the retention of children's organs without parental consent, has been sacked for misconduct and bringing the hospital trust into disrepute.

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