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Thursday, 4 November, 1999, 15:24 GMT
Royal College of Nursing conference '99

The Royal College of Nursing met in Harrogate to discuss the future of the profession at a time of unprecedented change. BBC News Online Mandy Garner was there to provide up to the minute news and analysis.

Aromatherapy hazards warning
The public is unaware of the potential risks of complementary therapies, but a campaign to improve regulation and labelling could change that.

'Make cycle helmets compulsory'
Nurses have backed a campaign to make the wearing of cycle helmets compulsory.

League tables 'should be more relevant'
Nurse's leader Christine Hancock wants hospital league tables to include all aspects of care.

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'Prescribe contraceptives in schools'
School nurses should be allowed to prescribe all forms of contraception to secondary school children, the college decided.

Male rape 'must be tackled'
The government must address shortcomings in health service support for men who have been raped, the college heard.

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'Zero tolerance' on violence
There should be zero tolerance of violence against NHS staff, nurses said.

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Larger primary care role urged
Nurses want more responsibilities and the right to head up primary care groups.

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Inmates' health rights 'violated'
The quality of prison health care is highly variable and some prisoners are being denied basic rights, nurses said.

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Women's health units row
Nurses voted to support the creation of more women's health units, despite concerns that men are being left behind by the NHS.

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21st century nurse
Nurses in the next century may look more sporty and less like Florence Nightingale, say nurse leaders.

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Mentally ill 'denied quality care'
Staff shortages on mental health wards mean many patients are being cared for by bank and agency staff - nurses fear this could be putting both staff and patients at risk.

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Extended prescription powers promised
The government intends to give nurses the right to prescribe drugs without first consulting a doctor.

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Attack on racism
The RCN president has promised action to combat racism in the health service.

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Praise for 5m recruitment
A scheme to encourage former staff back into hospitals by improving child care and rotas is welcomed.
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