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Highlights from the literature
  1. Thirukumaran Duraisami,
  2. Jonathan Wyatt

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No win, no fee

Hospitals in England are under pressure to ban advertisements by ‘no win, no fee’ lawyers that many National Health Service (NHS) trusts have been using to boost their revenue and offset the cost of producing information leaflets for patients. One company has agreements with 170 hospitals and has produced £9.2 million of savings for the NHS in the past decade. Since the NHS is spending more and more each year on cases brought by aggressive ‘no win, no fee’ lawyers and with the intention of spending more on patient care, there is a campaign urging the Department of Health to take action against any law firms that breach advertising guidelines (BMJ 2012;344:e635).

Safe staffing levels in emergency departments

Following the public inquiry into the high number of deaths at Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, it is expected that recommendations will be made in order to protect the safety of patients. It seems likely that these guidelines will cover minimum staffing ratios and the skills mix of doctors and nurses in the emergency department (ED) and in elderly care wards in England (BMJ 2012;344 …

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