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GPs must 'fundamentally change', Liverpool 'stem cell factory' and Jamie Oliver says PM must 'be bold' on sugar tax

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

GPs need to ‘fundamentally change’ their way of working to cope with the challenges of a dwindling workforce and aging population, according to the chief executive of Scotland’s NHS Highland.

In an interview with the Independent, Elaine Mead said that the NHS’s current model of diagnosis isn’t ‘fit for future’ and more patients will have to be diagnosed over the phone or by pharmacists.

NHS Highland, which covers 41% of the Scotland’s land mass, has struggled to recruit to its rural and remote communities and had to adopt ‘creative solutions’ instead. Ms Mead says they can be seen as an early indicator for the rest of the UK.

The NHS will set up a ‘stem cell factory’ in Liverpool to treat patients at high risk of diabetes related kidney problems and reduce the need for dialysis and future complications, the BBC reports.

The centre will use stromal cells, grown from donated human bone marrow, and in a pilot will treat 48 patients at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, and two other sites.

Diabetes is the most common cause of end stage kidney disease, which kills around 40,000 people a year in the UK.

And finally, TV chef and public health campaigner Jamie Oliver has called for David Cameron to ‘be brave and bold’ and move to introduce a sugar tax when he appeared in front of the Commons Health Select Committee yesterday.

The Telegraph reports Mr Oliver said he had had ‘robust’ discussions with the Prime Minister about the tax, and that he believed the possibility hadn’t yet been written off, despite previous indications from ministers that they were opposed to the plan.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Sorry but it's patients and DOH who must change. They must stop the never ending demand and 'everything is urgent' culture. GPs cannot cope with the demand and never ending inappropriate workload.

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  • Being a GP who left NHS Highland to come to England, I do miss the old fashioned "GP of the community" feel that one gets there. But, and its a big but, it is utterly relentless as one usually has to do one's own on call and the financial position of these small practices is precarious. It just needs a member of staff to go off sick and one doesn't take that months drawing in order to pay for locum staff

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  • Ultimately, if the NHS pays Management Consultants [who merely tell you to work harder] £ 3000/ day and doctors who actually do the work £300/ day, soon market forces will drive the workers away.
    It is market forces that have to change. The NHS has to value and worth its doctors more then you will have doctors.
    Otherwise bright young things will choose easier ways of making a living.

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