New Immune Cell to Help with Lung Cancer Therapy

Researchers have reportedly identified a new type of immune cell which could have a massive impact on lung cancer. Scientists say that it will be possible to predict which lung cancer patients will benefit most from treatment with immunotherapy by utilising the newly discovered cell. Cancer Research UK has been involved in the funding of the study, which has been published in the journal Nature Immunotherapy. And researchers demonstrated that lung cancer patients with a high level of tissue-resident... Readmore

GP Practices in Northern Ireland Set to Lose Money

GP practices based in Northern Ireland will lose thousands of pounds following the collapse of services across the nation. Officials from the health department in Northern Ireland have already informed GP organisations that they will not change the way that QOF payments are made. This is despite the fact that increased list sizes have been caused by the raft of practice mergers and closures required in order to ensure that the service remains operable. Northern Ireland GPC (NIGPC) is now preparing... Readmore

NHS Spare Land Eyed for Homes for Health Workers

Health service leaders have suggested that the NHS should utilise some of its spare land to create around 40,000 new homes for doctors, nurses and other key staff. These critical workers are being negatively affected by a serious housing shortage, according to healthcare observers. However, many people believe that house price inflation is ultimately caused by speculation, readily available credit and profiteering, and that simply making more homes available would have little impact. Nonetheless,... Readmore

Over 50% of GPs Ready to Participate in List Closure

A major new poll suggests that over 50% of GPs are willing to participate in a mass closure of patient lists. This would highlight the ongoing crisis in general practice, and illustrates the difficulties being caused by a lack of investment and resources. When surveyed by GPOnline, 54% of GPs indicated that they would be willing to participate in “plans for GP practices collectively to close their lists”. This would be intended as a general protest at the crisis facing this critical... Readmore

Indemnity Costs Excluding GPs from Profession MDU Claims

A major survey has suggested that newly-qualified GPs are being excluded from the profession due to imposing indemnity costs. Indemnity has long since been recognised as a major barrier to recruiting new doctors to this critical area of the health service. And the MDU has revealed that the extortionate cost of indemnity is not only resulting in younger GPs leaving the profession, but also forcing many into early retirement. Responding to the issue, the MDU indicated that it has been inundated... Readmore

Women Face Barriers to Achieving Senior GPC Roles

Senior GPC members have warned that both women and the sessional GPs face unfair barriers to acquiring senior roles within the General Practitioners Committee. And GPC leaders have essentially concurred with this verdict, conceding that more must be done in order to ensure leadership proportionally represents the profession. Top women GPs have warned that there is currently an uneven playing field in terms of recruitment, which is illustrated by the composition of the GPC compared with the profession... Readmore

15% of GP Posts in Scotland Unfilled

The British Medical Association has discovered that around 15% of practices in Scotland have at least one GP post that has been vacant for more than six months. Of 514 practices that responded to a BMA GP vacancy survey - representing more than half of the 963 GP practices in Scotland - 74 (14%) reported at least one GP post that had been unfilled for over half a year. 125 were vacant in total, indicating that the majority of practices had more than one position available. Across the 514 practices... Readmore

Research Suggests Beta-Blockers are Prescribed Excessively

The Guardian newspaper has reported that beta-blockers may be over prescribed. Picking up on a study which examined the commonly used medicine, the publication noted that “many patients given beta-blockers after a heart attack may not benefit from being on the drugs”. Beta-blockers are used to regulate the heart by making it beat more slowly and with less force. They are most frequently prescribed for those to be facing the risk of heart failure. Yet the new study involving English... Readmore

GPs Request Support in ORder to Challenge CQC Ratings and Inspections

The approach of the Care Quality Commission has been challenged by some prominent individuals working within the healthcare system. While the efforts of the regulator have steadily evolved during its short existence, there is still a feeling that sometimes the standards set by the Care Quality Commission are too stringent. And proposing a motion at the LMC conference in Edinburgh earlier this month, Dr Umar Tahir from Manchester LMC suggested that the commission must change in order to meet... Readmore

Labour Government May Scrap GP Forward View

The former senior health administrator Lord Philip Hunt has suggested that a Labour government would not view the package of support for general practice as a ‘done deal’. Labour ministers would instead wish to ‘re-examine’ both the GP Forward View rescue package launched last year, and the wider NHS Five Year Forward View, “to make sure that it is realistic”. Extra funding for general practice was promised in the Labour manifesto, as part of a £37bn five-year investment package. But... Readmore

GMC Publishes Plan to Create More Generalists

The General Medical Council has published plans for standardised postgraduate medical training. It is intended that this new approach will help bring down barriers between specialties by training all doctors in a more flexible and generalist manner. Postgraduate medical curricula should focus more on the ‘generic’ aspects of training common to all doctors, according to the GMC. And the authoritative organisation has outlined its view on the profession in its newly published ‘Excellence... Readmore

Total Number of GPs Remain Below 2015 Levels

Health leaders have warned that the total number of GPs working within the NHS system has yet to return to 2015 levels. This is based on official headcount and full-time equivalent data over the final quarter of the 2016/17 financial year. The figures would seem to indicate that the NHS is far from being on track to meet the Conservative party’s pledge of training and retaining an additional 5,000 GPs by the end of the decade. This policy appeared in the recent Conservative election manifesto. NHS... Readmore
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