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At the heart of general practice since 1960

BHS under fire over drug firm role in ABCD rules

A report from an independent think-tank has revealed disparities in the quality of health services across the UK despite 'sustained and substantial' increases in NHS spending.

Successes in recent years included reduction in waiting times, rapid access to primary care, reduction in deaths from lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer and high patient satisfaction.

But the report, one of the most comprehensive to date on the state of the NHS, identified many areas with wide variations in quality of care (see box).

Main findings

·Most recent data shows a five-fold difference in rates of antibiotic prescribing between general practices in England and Wales

·Women from deprived areas are less likely to be screened for breast and cervical cancer

·37 per cent of patients reported they had not had a thorough medication review with their GP in the past two years

·Diabetes control in children is poor and in Scotland rates of emergency admissions in 10-

19-year-olds with diabetes have increased by 16 per cent over the past decade

·There has been a 33-fold increase in prescriptions of statins since 1994

Source: Nuffield Trust

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