In brief

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 27 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1715

Flu vaccination rates vary across Europe: Coverage of influenza vaccination varies widely between countries, a study has shown (Journal of Infection 2009 Apr 17, doi:10.1016/j.jinf.2009.04.001). Coverage varied from 9.5% in Poland to 28.7% in the United Kingdom in 2007-8. Coverage in the elderly people was most in the UK, at 70.2%, and vaccine uptake in children was lowest in Ireland (4.2%) and highest in Germany (19.3%).

Managing bladder problems in multiple sclerosis: Second line treatments, such as bladder injections of botulinum toxin A and intermittent self catheterisation, should be more widely available to people with multiple sclerosis who have bladder problems, says evidence based guidance from a multidisciplinary expert group (Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2009;80:470-7, doi:10.1136/jnnp.2008.159178). The guidance sets out who should see patients who have multiple sclerosis at different stages of their condition and what investigations and treatments should be available.

Medical excellence network discussed for Africa: An African network for medical excellence, which would apply the model of the Salam Centre for cardiac surgery in Kharthoum to other health priorities, was discussed among nine African countries in Venice last week and will be presented to the World Health Organization’s general assembly in Geneva next May(BMJ 2008;336:1152-3, doi:10.1136/bmj.39588.392431.4E).

Men jailed for defrauding Department of Health: Two men, who conspired to defraud the department of health of nearly £50 000 (€55 000; $73 000) by abusing the welfare food scheme, have been jailed at Leeds Crown Court. Sanjive Dutta, who was employed by the department, was sentenced to a year of imprisonment, after he agreed to conceal and wipe out debts owed by shopkeeper Ishrat Ehsan in return for payment. Mr Ehsan received 21 months’ imprisonment.

Critical incident reporting system for Austria: The Austrian Medical Association will launch a critical incident reporting system at the end of May that will allow doctors and patients to anonymously report mistakes in medical treatment, according to the association’s president, Walter Dorner. Similar reporting systems already are in operation in Germany and Switzerland.

Comments sought on guidance to reduce wrong route errors: The National Patient Safety Agency ( is running a consultation until 19 June on a draft patient safety alert to promote a purchasing for safety initiative for neuraxial (spinal and epidural) medical devices with safer connectors to further minimise wrong route errors. The guidance follows continued reports of incidents involving wrong route errors, specifically with common luer connectors and infusion spikes.

Only one in four English children get enough exercise: A survey of 260 000 families in England for the Change4Life campaign ( has found that almost three quarters (72%) of their children are not getting 60 minutes of daily activity outside of school. The survey also found that 45% of children watched television or played non-active video games before school, and only 22% did something active after their evening meal.


Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1715

View Abstract

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial