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#GPnews: Jeremy Hunt 'accidentally' flashes notes stating Brexit's devastating NHS impact

15:15  On the topic of the health secretary, Mr Hunt was apparently a bit reckless with his paperwork whilst on the way over to a Cabinet meeting at Number 10 this morning.

Photographers snapped a picture of notes he was carrying on the Brexit effect on the NHS, which said: 'Hard Brexit means people fleeing UK.'

But the Independent was among those to suggest that showing off the notes, which were in a very large font indeed, may not have been without purpose on the Brexit-opposed health secretary's part.

And the photographer who took the picture, tweeting from @PoliticalPics later said: 'Trust me it was no accident.'

12:10 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt and his ministers have been taking questions on health in the House of Commons in the last half hour.

One of the questions focused on GP numbers and the Government's target to have an extra 5,000 GPs in 2020 compared to 2015.

MPs pointed out it's not looking so promising, but general practice minister Steve Brine - answering his first-ever health question - said the Government remained 'committed' to the target.

Julie Cooper, the MP for Burnley said she spoke to a GP who, due to recruitment problems, had been able to take just one week's leave 'in the past three years'.

She asked how, when it takes 10 years to train a GP, the 5,000 target could realistically be met.

Mr Brine said: 'The good news is that more people are coming into general practice, and we want to continue to encourage that, but of course we also have to take action to prevent the early retirements and to bring people back to general practice, and we are indeed doing that.'

The health team was also asked about rising GP indemnity, to which Mr Brine repeated the commitment to provide 'appropriate' funding to mitigate inflation to indemnity in the short term, while working on longer term solutions.

11:20 Evey week a new person gets their hands on the @NHS Twitter account to 'share their NHS story'. This week it is Dr Abbie Brooks, a salaried GP in York. Follow her here.

10:50 The MDU has issued advice to GPs who may find themselves in a 'good samaritan' situation, having to help in a medical emergency whilst off duty.

They said to take into account:

  • your safety - don't put yourself at unnecessary risk;
  • your competence - don't try to work outside your abilities, or whilst under the influence of alcohol;
  • the availability of other options - are more qualified or able people on the scene?

They added that where possible, doctors should also:

  • make a detailed record of the incident and your involvement;
  • obtain consent from the patient;
  • explain your actions and treatment to the patient;
  • have a witness or chaperone present, with the patient’s consent where appropriate, particularly if you intend to conduct a physical examination.

Dr Beverley Ward, MDU medico-legal adviser said: 'In our experience, doctors frequently come forward to help in off-duty emergencies and they have an ethical duty to do so.

'In a survey about Good Samaritan Acts answered by 117 MDU members, the vast majority (88%) had experienced at least one incident where they had been called upon to help a person in distress.

'However, in 60 cases over the last five years, doctors have needed our help following the incident. Some have had to give a statement to the police or if the person died, to the coroner, while in three cases there was a complaint.

'Fortunately, complaints are rare and we are not aware of any doctor being sued. Additionally, the Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015 helps to protect those acting in an emergency in England and Wales from legal action. The MDU also provides worldwide Good Samaritan act indemnity for our members.'

09:30 The chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has said DNA tests should become routine within the NHS.

The CMO said this should begin with cancer and rare diseases but eventually become as commonly used as blood tests, reports the Guardian.

Acknowledging that some patients may be hesitant to hand over their genome for science, Dame Sally said: 'The age of precision medicine is now and the NHS must act fast to keep its place at the forefront of global science.

'This technology has the potential to change medicine forever – but we need all NHS staff, patients and the public to recognise and embrace its huge potential.

'Genomic medicine has huge implications for the understanding and treatment of rare diseases, cancer and infections.'

Seen something interesting? Email or tweet @pulsetoday with the hashtag #GPnews

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Cobblers

    In the Times today:

    Will people be happy with a database of their genetics? Insurance companies will not be allowed to see it but researchers may.

    Professor Dame Sally Davies is blunt: if you don’t allow genetic data to be gathered, your treatment will be worse as doctors will not understand the best way to treat you. After the debacle of the attempt to centralise GP records to boost research, she is banking on self-interest being more effective than altruism.

    In the Guardian:
    She talked of a new “social contract”, in which the public recognises that they and everybody else will benefit if they allow data about their own genome to be studied.

    I have read and re-read the above. Prof Davies says “if you do not allow data sharing you will receive worse treatment” Nothing about saving future lives with research from data sharing, it is specifically in the present tense in that ‘share or be denied best treatment’.

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Arrogance is ingrained in some, you could expect some humility and attempt to understand and not give ultimatums to people. Not becoming of a Professor, though can be becoming of a Dame as titles are for sale, aren't they? So any Tom or slippery Dick can win the lottery and buy a title by funding a political party.

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  • Cobblers

    Hmmmmmm my post was moderated.

    All I said was that I felt it breached GMC Good Medical Practice.

    I really do not think that should be censored. A valid viewpoint in my opinion.

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  • Vinci Ho

    (1)I don't this can be moderated:
    ''In our society , those with the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is.''
    1984 , George Orwell
    (2) Such a caveat with Dataism of 21st century Homo Deus
    This is worth reading:
    Google DeepMind NHS app test broke UK privacy law - BBC News

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  • Vinci Ho

    Quote from this article:
    The deal between the Royal Free(NHS Foundation Trust)and DeepMind first became public in February 2016 and caused controversy over the amount of patient information being shared without public consultation.
    In March this year, an academic report into the way patient data had been handled found "inadequacies" in the way information had been handed over.
    The authors said that it was "inexcusable" that patients had not been told about what had been happening to their data.
    At the time, Google DeepMind said the report had "major errors" that misrepresented the way it and the Royal Free had used data.

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  • Vinci Ho

    This is quote from Wikipedia (moderate if you like):
    Unusually for a British Chief Medical Officer, Davies does not have a background as a specialist in public health. Nevertheless, Davies has written and spoken extensively about the rise of antimicrobial resistance in medicine and animal husbandry, including carrying out work to raise its profile on the international scene.[13] Davies delegated authoring and editing her statutory annual reports to other doctors and healthcare practitioners, although she wrote an introduction to each and oversaw their compilation. She is particularly concerned about excessive alcohol consumption, especially by young women – who, she told the BBC in 2013, "we know can only take about half the alcohol that men can" and so are more prone to liver damage as a result.[14]

    In July 2013, she was asked by the BBC whether she had ever favoured female doctors in order to counterbalance discrimination against them as a group. Davies replied: "I probably do positively discriminate because, as the men appoint in their own image, so do I appoint in my own image. I like having bright sparky women around, so I do understand how difficult it can be for the men to actually challenge the stereotypes and think differently".[7]

    She regularly briefs Whitehall's most senior ministers and officials, including the Prime Minister herself. As of 2015, Davies was paid a salary of between £210,000 and £214,999 by the department, making her one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.[15]

    In her 2014 annual report, Davies said that the government needed to make tackling obesity a national priority. The report also made recommended a national audit of ovarian cancer, and challenged "taboos" around the menopause and incontinence "to make sure embarrassment is never a barrier to better health."[16]

    In January 2016, Davies reduced the recommended weekly alcohol limit for men to that for women, in new guidelines warning of the association between alcohol consumption and some forms of cancer. The guidance gave a new weekly limit of 14 units, while at the same time saying there was no safe level of alcohol consumption.[17] The Financial Times said the two messages were "inherently contradictory"[18] and Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge, revealed that drinking the maximum allowance set by Davies would be no more dangerous than eating bacon sandwiches or watching films.[19]

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  • Dame Sally Davies=Delores Umbridge from Harry Potter.

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