Skip navigation

News and Announcements

HTA publications

There is now a steady output from the NHS R&D Directorates Health Technology Assessment Programme. Bandolier has reviewed some of these, but they are exhaustive and we are finding it hard to keep up. A list of publications follows:-
  1. Home parenteral nutrition
  2. Diagnosis, management and screening of early localised prostate cancer.
  3. The diagnosis, management, treatment and costs of prostate cancer in England & Wales.
  4. Screening for fragile-X syndrome
  5. A review of near patient testing in primary care.
  6. Systematic review of outpatient services for chronic pain control.
  7. Neonatal screening for inborn errors of metabolism: cost, yield and outcome.
  8. Preschool vision screening.
  9. Implications of socio-cultural contexts for the ethics of clinical trials.
  10. A critical review of neonatal hearing screening in the detection of congenital hearing impairment.
  11. Neonatal screening for inborn errors of metabolism: a systematic review.
  12. Routine preoperative testing: a systematic review of the evidence.
  13. Systematic review of the effect of laxatives in the elderly.
Details about the reports and how to obtain them can be obtained from NCCHTA in Southampton. Their fax number is +44 (0) 1703 595639 and email on email on . They can be also found on the Internet at


The North Thames Research Appraisal Group (NTRAG) offers a wide range of critical appraisal skills training for healthcare professionals. Tutored by experts in the field, our 1998 Improving Clinical Effectiveness programme will improve your ability to assess a wide range of medical evidence in terms of its validity and relevance to clinical and management decisions.
Call 0171-830 2549 for an information pack and booking forms, or email . Alternatively, you can reserve a place on any of our workshops by accessing our web-site: .

Sound and fury

Routine preoperative testing is big business. Many, perhaps most patients coming for surgery have a range of preoperative tests done, including biochemistry, haematology, ECGs and X-ray, and others. Are they necessary?
A great review of the evidence [1] suggest that for the most part they are not. The authors provide all the evidence necessary for test providers to sit down with consumers to discuss what makes sense to do, and what can be dispensed with. Rational choice could save much money and make things less complicated. And more important, there are important hints about where doing tests does make sense.

This HTA review is a must for laboratories and surgical teams.


  1. J Munro, A Booth, J Nicholl. Routine preoperative testing: a systematic review of the evidence. Health Technology Assessment 1997 1: No 12.

Bandolier conference - CHLAMYDIA - What should we be doing?

The conference is being held at The Wellcome Institute, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE on Friday, March 27th, 1998, starting at 9.45 am. The draft programme is:

Setting the scene:Dr Jenny Hopwood
Epidemiology:Dr Mike Catchpole
Perspectives from primary care and the community: Dr Lucia Grun
Perspectives from the hospital: Mr Peter Greenhouse
Diagnostic tests; current and in the pipeline: Dr Helen Lee
Current treatments: Dr Geoff Ridgway
Systematic review of current treatments: Dr Andrew Moore
Economic issues in Chlamydial infection: Professor Mo Malek
The way ahead; questions we want answered; priorities for future research

Registration for the Bandolier Conference costs £135 (NHS employee) or £270 (non-NHS employee). For a registration form contact: Eileen Neail, Bandolier , Pain Research Unit, The Churchill, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LJ. Tel: (01865) 226132, Fax: (01865) 226978.

previous story in this issue