News in Brief


Worries over intercalation

Medical schools expect intercalation numbers to fall over the coming years. The BMA conference of medical academic representatives heard there was anecdotal evidence of a decreasing interest from students taking a year out within their degree to conduct research. One of the reasons given for the fall was the expense of intercalation in light of the increase of tuition fees to £9,000 a year.

RCP fees rise 2.6 per cent

The JRCPTB (Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board) which includes the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow and London has decided to increase its annual membership fees by 2.6 per cent from August this year. This will mean specialty and core medical trainees will pay £169, and SpRs on the pre-2007 curricula will pay £149, rising from £165 and £145 respectively.

Rise in ambulance diversions

The number of hospitals which have forced ambulances to turn away patients in need of emergency care has risen by 24 per cent, according to data obtained by the Labour party. The data from the House of Commons library disclosed that there were 357 occasions when hospitals in England were no longer able to accept any new patients brought in by ambulance – apart from cases deemed to be life threatening – in 2012-13. This was up from 287 in 2011-12.

Commissioning help

The Royal College of Physicians has launched a Clinical Commissioning Hub – an online resource for those commissioning secondary care services in England, service planners and clinicians designing these services across the UK. It aims to help those wanting to find out more about the new health structures in England, including how they can get involved.