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#GPnews: Health bodies respond to Grenfell Tower tragedy

14:50 The London Ambulance Service has responded to the tragic fire in Kensington, London, today.

Its director of operations Paul Woodrow said: ’Following this morning’s fire at Grenfell Tower, west London, we have treated and taken 64 patients to six hospitals across London, where 20 people are currently in critical care. Our thoughts are with everyone affected.

’Over 100 of our medics have been working hard to respond to this incident, including ambulance crews, advanced paramedics, advanced trauma teams from London’s Air Ambulance and those staff managing the incident in our special operations centre. Our hazardous area response teams are also on scene, who carry specialist equipment including breathing apparatus. We’ve been treating patients for a range of injuries, as well as for smoke inhalation.

’A major incident has been declared and we continue to work closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene.

’Members of the public who are concerned about friends and relatives should contact the police Casualty Bureau on 0800 096 1233.

’We urge Londoners to only call us in a genuine emergency and to call NHS 111 for urgent healthcare advice.’

Meanwhile, NHS England (London), issued a statement: ’Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic incident at the Grenfell tower block in Kensington. Our priority as the NHS is to continue to work closely with emergency services and all organisations involved. We have tried and tested measures in place to manage this but we would also encourage Londoners to use NHS services wisely and seek advice from NHS 111 in the first instance.’

9:25 The front page of the Daily Mail today proclaims that GPs are being replaced by ’cut-priced medics’ - also known as physician associates.

It is something that has been around for a while, with Pulse reporting extensively on them. They were even a central part of NHS England’s GP Forward View.

There isn’t much new in the Mail’s story - which picks up that there are 3,000 physician associates being trained - but the Mail’s special slant has been criticised by some GPs:

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Readers' comments (3)

  • To be fair, PA's are being supported because they are cheap and may be available. Hardly positive or quality reasons.

    In the USA they are used in very strictly controlled ways and have found a niche.

    I have come across a few ( very able and motivated ones from St Georges) and very quickly they seem to be choosing niche roles in safe hospital jobs rather then primary care - so they may not be the cavalry!

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  • It is "The Daily Criminal" that has had a "dirty hand" in causing the GP crisis through a "sick and perverted" campaign against GPs and healthcare professionals driven by greed, power and political meddling.

    Hunt should "discipline" his "vicious" and "out of control pet".

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  • Jo Smit makes a very good point indeed; so too does Daily Mail. The PA "Doctors" will mean the NHS will be in no hurry to find more GPs; or the other possibility will be money is spent by the NHS to fund extra GPs and the PAs (and locums and Nurse-practioners and so on), so creating a worse impact on NHS finances.Who are the fools in charge of NHS employment and Forward Plan?
    Will someone take responsibility? and watch out for fools who support the Plan too. Roll heads.

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