Minerva: April 2000
The United Kingdom's dead citizens charter was established last year to improve end of life experiences and promote better funeral practices. It identifies 30 areas that need an overhaul, including the availability of information for relatives organising a funeral. Institutions such as hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes need funeral advisers, say the National Funerals College, to guide relatives rationally through a choice of funeral directors and disposal options. A pilot study is planned.
Many general practitioners dream of paperless surgeries, where piles of patient records, BMJs, and guidelines no longer litter the carpet tiles. For now, however, 96% of practices are stuck with paper, according to a recent British survey (British Journal of General Practice 2000;50:46.7). Most respondents blamed high costs for slow progress with computerisation. Others were worried about the legal status of purely electronic records. The NHS Executive's plans to convert all practices to electronic records by 2005