Cannabis and the lung

The use of cannabis is embedded within many societies, mostly used by the young and widely perceived to be safe. Increasing concern regarding the potential for cannabis to cause mental health effects has dominated cannabis research and the potential adverse respiratory effects have received relatively little attention.

The impact of new national HIV testing guidelines at a district general hospital in an area of high HIV seroprevalence

The latest UK national human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing guidelines, released in September 2008, state that HIV testing should be offered to all patients with indicator conditions and considered in all general medical admissions in high-prevalence areas. We audited testing rates at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, a high-prevalence area, one year before and one year after the publication of the new guidelines. In the year after publication the rate of HIV testing in patients with indicator diseases was as follows: hepatitis B 6%, hepatitis C 28%, tuberculosis 9% and lymphoma 14%.

AJ Cronin and The Citadel: did a work of fiction contribute to the foundation of the NHS?

AJ Cronin (1896–1981) was a Scottish-born doctor-turned-novelist whose most famous novel is  The Citadel, published in 1937. The book describes the struggles of an idealistic young doctor working in Wales and London in the 1920s and 30s. The novel was a global bestseller and its portrayal of a largely ineffective, corruption-ridden system of healthcare is thought to have directly influenced the foundation of the National Health Service in 1948. The Citadel anticipates such phenomena as evidence-based medicine and continuing medical education.

Public health aspects of tuberculosis

This article covers public health aspects of the investigation and management of people who are infected with tuberculosis (TB). It contains a brief overview of the recent epidemiology of TB in Scotland, focusing on changes in Scottish TB incidence and describing some epidemiological associations. We then describe the initial public health assessment of those with suspected TB and responses that should be initiated. It does not address issues relating to the clinical treatment of patients with TB.