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#GPnews: Men ‘more likely to discuss mental health with their barbers than their GPs’

14:10 Over half of men (53%) living in Britain are more likely to discuss sensitive mental health issues with their barbers, rather than their GPs, according to a new survey from a collective of barbers who have come together to help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide

The survey from men’s mental health charity The Lions Barber Collective and male grooming brand The Bluebeards Revenge revealed that 71% of men have a ‘good’, or in some cases a ‘very good’ relationship with their barber. In contrast, 59% rated their patient to doctor relationship as just ‘average’ or ‘poor’.

The results come ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10.

12:50 Palliative care in England is improving, according to new data released by the National Council for Palliative Care and Public Health England.

The report found that, in 2014-15:

  • 81% of patients supported by community palliative and hospice teams die out of hospital compared to a national average of 48%. The involvement of a community team more than doubles the chance being able to die at home.
  • The survey indicates that at least a third of those with an expected death are seen by palliative and hospice community teams. Although this is significant, it still demonstrates potential unmet need for many people towards the end of life who could benefit from palliative and hospice care.
  • There has been a steady increase in the proportion of people admitted into specialist palliative care and hospice beds from hospital. This is in line with national policy and personal preferences.

Claire Henry, CEO of the NCPC said: ’We all want good quality end of life care for everyone, and it’s important we know the current situation. We need to see continuous improvement in end of life care, and gathering and sharing this data is one of ways we achieve this. I’m grateful to everyone who has worked hard on this report, from our colleagues at Hospice UK and Public Health England to all those service providers who took the time to gather, report and check their data.’

Professor Julia Verne from Public Health England said: ’Every individual has a right to receive good medical care at the end of their life, though this does not always need to be from specialised services, as well as respect for personal choices such as where they would prefer to be cared for and die. Many people draw comfort from the familiar surroundings of their own home, and it is encouraging that the MDS survey suggests that at least 30% of patients are receiving specialist support from community palliative and hospice teams.’

9:50 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has made a statement to Parliament, warning that 1 million hospital appointments and 100,000 elective operations will be cancelled due to the junior doctor strikes.

He also claims that the junior doctors committee chair Dr Ellen McCourt had been supportive of the new contract, which she said was ‘safer for our patients, safer for our junior doctors… and also fair’.

Mr Hunt added: ’We recognise that since those comments the new contract was rejected in a ballot of BMA members. But it is deeply perplexing for patients, NHS leaders, and indeed the government that the reaction of the BMA leadership, who previously supported the contract, is now to initiate the most extreme strike action in NHS history, inflicting unprecedented misery on millions of patients up and down the country.

‘We currently anticipate around up to 100,000 elective operations will be cancelled and up to a million hospital appointments will be postponed, inevitably impacting on our ability to hit the vital 18 weeks performance standard.’

The JDC called off the planned strike for this month following discussions with NHS England, who said they were not prepared for no junior doctors to be working for five days this month. The BMA points out that it gave the required seven days’ notice. 

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