This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Newspapers hail the return of the ‘proper’ family doctor, and other news

A round-up of the health news headlines on Friday 15 November.

GPs are the top of the headlines everywhere this morning as the new GP contract heralds ‘a return of the “proper” family doctor’ according to the Telegraph


and the solution to all A&E woes according to pretty much everyone else – while the Times says GPs will be forced to reveal how much they are paid to satisfy their patients they are ‘good value’.


Click here for full details and analysis of the new contract deal.

In other news, a campaign group has claimed loneliness is driving more and more otherwise healthy people to visit their GP. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, one in five patients go to their doctor because of an ‘intense feeling of isolation’, the Metro reports, with GPs seeing a many as 10 lonely people a day.

Campaign director Kate Joplin said the problem is putting ‘an unnecessary strain on GP surgeries and social care services’ and called for a ‘more co-ordinated public health response that targets resources towards better support for the lonely and prevention of loneliness for those at risk’.

The Daily Express meanwhile says senior doctors are warning the NHS could be ‘crippled’ by what is predicted to be the worse winter for decades. With temperatures as low as -15 degrees, they say it could lead to a crisis on over-stretched wards and are calling for frail and elderly people to go to their GP or pharmacy at ‘the first sign of illness’ instead of waiting until they need urgent treatment, particularly for breathing problems.

Professor Mike Morgan, of NHS England, said: ‘My message to the public is simple: look after yourself this winter. If you know someone who is frail or elderly or has an existing health problem and they are feeling unwell, encourage them to seek early advice, go to their local pharmacy or GP before one problem leads to another and they end up in hospital.’

Finally experts say so-called ‘designer vagina’ operations should not be done in under-18s unless medically necessary, in a move to stop an increasing trend for women to undergo the surgery.

The number of labial reductions – the most common procedure – carried out on the NHS increased five-fold in the past decade, while 266 were performed in girls under 14 between 2008 and 2012, reports the Independent.

The figures could just be the ‘tip of the iceberg’, as private clinics do not have to record their data, according to a joint report from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RCOG) and the British Society for Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology.

Clinicians also need to do more to ‘inform women about natural variations in genital appearance’, said to Dame Suzi Leather, chair of RCOG’s ethics committee.

Related images

  • newspapers stacked square daily digest - online

Readers' comments (1)

  • Yesterday I was fortunate enough to require medical assistance on the very day on which our shambolic Government and the esteemed BMA launched the return of old-fashioned family doctors. In anticipation of the new service, I had been tucked into a Bath chair in a thick plaid dressing gown, with a warm glass of Madeira. I had been told that 'The Doctor' would arrive at 10 O'clock, and at precisely 9.58 I was alerted by the lodge porters that the gentlemen (no more of these silly lady doctors, thank heaven) had just motored through the southern gate, perfectly judging the two minutes that would be required to attain the end of the ornamental drive. I gazed through the open French windows, and was rewarded by the sight of a gleaming 1957 Alvis 3-litre coasting to a halt on the recently raked limestone chippings by the coach house. The glint of the sun off the abundant chrome trimmings, and the majestic row of dials that were momentarily revealed on the walnut dashboard as the doctor extracted his Gladstone bag from the passenger seat, were a tonic in themselves.
    After the doctor had been shown into my sick room, and we had greeted each other in first name terms, he accepted a sherry and a cigarette, and for a few minutes we caught up on news of our old school and college chums. His was a vastly reassuring presence, clad in stout tweeds from which arose the mingled odours of iodine, carbolic, gun-dog, cordite, cigars and whiskey. When it came down to business, he took a stained balsa spatula from his beautifully patinated leather case, wiped it on his thigh, and inserted it into my mouth as I did my best to say 'aaaarrrrrggghhh'. His diagnosis was text-book, delivered to the point, with no intelligible details that might cause worry or concern to the patient. I was prescribed two teaspoons of the linctus three times a day, a linseed poultice for the melanoma on my arm, and was ordered to stay in bed for the next six weeks. I felt better already. Thank heaven for the BMA, I thought.
    Continued at

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say