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#GPnews: NHS mental health services are ‘terrible’, says Labour leadership contender

15:35 New research has revelead that the vast majority of Britons would not let someone with mental health problems look after their children or marry into their family. 

The survey – British Social Attitudes carried out by NatCen – looked into attitudes towards mental illness found that many Britons say they are still uncomfortable working with or socialising alongside people with depression or schizophrenia, The Independent reports. 

12:45 Labour leadership hopeful Owen Smith has strongly criticised NHS mental health services today, branding them as ‘teribble’. 

In an interview with The Huffington PostSmith was commenting on a recent time when he was caring for his brother who had a ‘major episode’ relating to his epilepsy that meant he had to be hospitalised for a week.

Smith, who’s brother was normally cared for by his parents, said he was in hospital for 29 hours from the Monday night until the Wednesday to accompany his brother. 

‘And I tell you what, it’s a real eye-opener for me into just how terrible mental health services are in Britain, that he was bounced essentially between mental health services and A&E,’ Smith added. 

‘He ended up being kept on a gurney [hospital stretcher-trolley] in A&E for a week, when he should have been having specialist mental health care.’ 

Smith’s comments come after he faced mounting questions on where he was at the time of the alleged Labour coup to take down Jeremy Corbyn as the party’s leader – however, it’s emerged he was caring for his brother at the time of the coup.

11:30 Elsewhere today, 26 hospital trusts have been invited by NHS England to bid for a £100m+ funding pot to become centres of ‘global digital excellence’ and drive forward better use of technology in health.

The 26 acute trusts will need to demonstrate their potential to become ‘world leaders’ in health formatics, NHS England said, adding that each trust could win up to £10m each to invest in their digital infrastructure and specialist training. And between 10-16 trusts will be selected to become centres of ‘global digital excellence.’

It is hoped that once the centres have been set up – they will lead the way for the entire system to move faster in getting better information technology on the ground – ‘delivering benefits for patients’ and sharing resources on a local level.  

9:30 In case you missed it last night, health secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday kicked off negotiations for GP pay for 2017/18.

In his letter to the pay review body, Mr Hunt asked them to focus on salaried GPs, saying there are growing in number.

He added that pay restraint will continue.

He said: ’The Government has made it clear that pay restraint in the public sector continues to be a crucial part of its plans for the continued prudent management of public finances to help support long term planning and to help protect jobs.’

Read the full story here.


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