Doctors Warning On Alcohol-Related Deaths

Representatives of BMA Scotland have warned that the latest figures published by the National Records of Scotland on alcohol-related deaths make it essential that efforts to tackle the harms of alcohol misuse are redoubled. The figures show that in 2016 there were 1,265 alcohol-related deaths, an increase of 10% on the previous year and the highest annual total since 2010. Chair of BMA Scotland Dr Peter Bennie expressed his concern on the matter. “These latest figures showing a worrying... Readmore

Chief Inspector of Hospitals Speaks out on NHS Funding

England’s outgoing chief inspector of hospitals believes that more money should be spent on hospitals, but also concedes that funding is not the sole answer to the NHS crisis. Prof Sir Mike Richards says that the health services in a particularly worrying condition, and that urgent investment must be a priority. In particular, Richards suggested that a pay rise for nurses is essential, and asserted that the NHS will have problems returning nursing staff if this is not instigated. But the chief... Readmore

Number of NHS Staff Vacancies Jump 10% in Just 12 Months

Official figures indicate that the number of unfilled NHS post escalated by 10% in the last 12 months alone. This means that tens of thousands of jobs are vacant across the NHS system. Responding to the data, the Labour Party accused Theresa May and the Conservative government of taking the whole service for granted, effectively overseeing "an unprecedented workforce crisis in the NHS". In March this year, there were 30,613 vacant full-time NHS positions being advertised, compared to 26,424... Readmore

GP Leaders Warn of ‘Airbrushing’ Over GP Numbers

GP leaders have warned that the government must not ‘airbrush’ its failure to deliver satisfactory increases in GP numbers. This follows the Health Secretary's annual review of performance in NHS England failing to evaluate progress on GP recruitment; a serious red flag indicating that all is not going according to plan. Jeremy Hunt lauded the GP Forward View and good progress on implementing improved access to GP services in the report, also noting the requirement for a larger primary-care... Readmore

GMC Releases Six-Point Action Plan

In an attempt to ensure that medical revalidation is more positive and meaningful for doctors, the General Medical Council has released an action plan of six major commitments. These milestones are to be delivered by March 2018, in the ongoing effort to improve general practice in particular. The action plan is intended to correlate with the recommendations outlined in Sir Keith Pearson’s ‘Taking Revalidation Forward’ report. This document was released back in January. Responding... Readmore

NHS Set to End Prescription of Homeopathic Medicine

The NHS has suggested that doctors should cease prescribing homeopathic medicine. Simon Stevens, NHS England's chief executive. asserted that "at best, homeopathy is a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds which could better be devoted to treatments that work”. Although the amount of money spent on homoeopathy is minimal at present, less than £100,000, the recommendation of the healthcare authorities is to phase it out completely. Homeopathy utilises highly diluted doses of natural... Readmore

BMA Document Suggests List Closures Would be Particularly Effective

Several prominent GP leaders have thrown their weight behind the proposed industrial action that is currently being balloted on by the British Medical Association. A letter is currently being circulated among general practitioners, which argues that this approach is “the best choice to cause maximum disruption for government, but minimal harm to patients”. BMA deputy chair Dr David Wrigley, chair of BMA London regional council Dr Gary Marlowe, GPC members Dr Jackie Applebee, Dr Louise Irvine,... Readmore

Biggest Reorganising of Ambulance Service in 40 Years Announced

A major reorganisation of the ambulance service will fewer 999 calls classified as a life-threatening. The shake-up is considered the largest in 40 years of this critical aspects of the healthcare system, with the aim of reducing the number of incidents requiring a particularly rapid response. NHS England has approved the new approach, with ministers signing off the new arrangement. It is presumed that the new guidelines will result in approximately 8% of callouts being classified as requiring... Readmore

Practices to Vote on Collective Closure of Lists

General practices across the country have been sent a critical letter on an indicative vote. The text of the letter question surgeries on whether they will be prepared to participate in a collective closure of practice lists. This headline-grabbing activity would be a response to the perceived failure of NHS England’s GP Forward View to provide adequate resources. And the British Medical Association is now asking doctors whether they would temporarily suspend patient registrations, or apply... Readmore

Migrants to be Forced to Pay for Non-Urgent Treatment

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is currently finalising plans which will see migrants essentially refused access to non-urgent NHS treatments. This new policy will see such individuals forced to pay up front for minor treatments by the end of the calendar year. Critics of this policy have pointed to the fact that it was not included in the Queen’s Speech. But the Department of Health nonetheless expects to implement the decision of Hunt in the foreseeable future. The policy will... Readmore

UK Drugs Industry Takes Court Action in Price Conflict

A consortium of major pharmaceutical countries is taking the NHS to court in order to prevent what it considers to be unfair limitations on drug pricing. This latest legal action follows on the back of a government initiative put in place in April. The action was intended to limit funding for medicines to those that cost the NHS less than £20 million annually during the first three years of utilisation. However, the pharmaceutical industry believes that this is unduly limiting, and that... Readmore

NHS Needs 5,000 More Beds to Achieve Safe Occupancy

A report authored by senior medics indicates that the NHS requires another 5,000 beds in order to achieve safe occupancy levels. Without this investment it will be impossible for the publicly-funded healthcare service to hit the critical four-hour waiting time targets, according to the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. The ‘Winter Flow’ project of this authoritative organisation indicated that the NHS required a serious increase in available beds in order to “combat exit block, overcrowding... Readmore
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