Intended for healthcare professionals


In brief

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 11 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3746

MMR uptake in Wales reaches record level: Uptake of the first dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine in Welsh children who reached their 2nd birthday in the first quarter of 2013 passed the 95% target for the first time, up from about 77% in 2003.1 The proportion of 2 year olds who got the second dose of the vaccine was 90%. The number of cases of measles in Wales in the current outbreak, which is mainly affecting young people aged 10-18 years, has reached 1171. Catch-up vaccinations for this age group are still important, said Marion Lyons, director of health protection for Public Health Wales.

BMA takes messages about NHS changes into GP surgeries: The BMA has launched a poster campaign in GP surgeries in England to explain to patients how the NHS is changing and what this means for them. A new web portal ( sets out the key changes, including competition and patient choice, NHS funding, the GP contract, and out of hours services. It also offers doctors’ views and explains how patients can have their say. Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee, said GPs had a vital role in getting information to patients.

Scotland spends more on private sector care: NHS Scotland saw spending on independent care in Scotland rise by 60% in the past year, Scotland’s health secretary, Alex Neil, has said. The rise is partly a result of 20% undercapacity at the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary because planners underestimated the rise in the population. Neil said that spending on independent sector care was only 0.5% of NHS Scotland’s budget but that it should be kept to a minimum.

UK Indian teenagers have better mental health than white teenagers: A study of 1501 adolescents aged between 13 and 15 living in Leicester and London found that a fifth (21%) of teenagers who were ethnically Indian showed signs of depressive symptoms, whereas the proportion among white teenagers was 30%.2 Just under a fifth (18%) of Indian teenagers but more than half (57%) of white teenagers said that they regularly drank alcohol. The only mental health problem for which there was no difference between the two groups was eating disorders, found the study in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Retailer is questioned about krill oil supplements: The chairman of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Andrew Miller, has written to Peter Aldis, chief executive of the health products retailer Holland and Barrett, to ask whether the krill oil supplements it sells in its shops come from sustainable sources and whether this information is clearly labelled on the products. The committee has recently taken evidence on the marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean.

Guangxi region rules that people taking HIV tests must use real names: China’s southern Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, one of the areas most affected by the HIV epidemic in China, has passed a regulation stipulating that people being tested for HIV must use their real names. The authorities say this will help with follow-up and formulating HIV policies, but AIDS activists say it will deter people from getting tested at all, for fear of exposure and discrimination. (See BMJ Group blog by Jane Parry at

Quebec prepares to allow physician assisted dying: Quebec’s government is to table a “dying with dignity” bill in the next few days that would allow some forms of medical aid to help terminally ill people die. The legislation is expected to pass, making Quebec the fifth and largest jurisdiction in North America to allow physician assisted dying. Quebec ministers said that their jurisdiction over health and professional standards would permit them to protect doctors from Canada’s Criminal Code, which makes assisting death illegal.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3746


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