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#GPnews: A third of patients ‘unhappy to discuss sexual health via NHS app’

16:05 Pulse Live Birmingham is under way today and we have been asking GP delegates to submit ideas to support Pulse’s War on Workload campaign – the campaign aimed at reducing workload and make GPs’ working lives easier.  

Hull-based GP and GPC committee member Dr Zoe Norris got involved with the campaign earlier today, suggesting that GPs should ‘use online groups for peer support’.

Have you got any suggestions..tell us here

14:08 A third of NHS patients would not be happy to discuss their sexual health via an app, and a quarter would not discuss mental health online, a survey of 1,000 patients found.

But Apadmi Enterprise, the mobile app developer which ordered the survey, also found patients were unhappy with the slow progress of more NHS services being available online.

The survey comes as the Government has announced plans for GPs to access NHS 111 and their health records online, and as NHS England is working on developing more apps to treat mental health problems.

Apadmi Enterprise CEO Matt Hunt said: ‘As the public becomes more tech-savvy, there is an increasing demand from patients to be able to access information and engage with healthcare providers online. This presents a massive opportunity to revolutionise the NHS and dramatically improve patient care.

‘However with all new developments healthcare providers need to consider patients’ needs and concerns around this type of technology, especially when it comes to security and the more sensitive nature of many health related issues, to guarantee success.’

13:07 A majority of people in Northern Ireland want to abolish criminal penalties for doctors and medical staff who assist women to have abortions, reports ITV News.

An Amnesty International survey found 59% supported such a change to legislation.

The survey also found that 58% want to decriminalise abortion so that there is no penalty for women having them in Northern Ireland.

An Amnesty International spokesperson said it was time for Northern Ireland’s ‘outdated’ abortion laws ‘to be brought into the 21st century’.

11:40 The number of patients taken to hospital by ambulance who waited more than an hour to be transferred into A&E nearly trebled in two years, reports the BBC.

The data, obtained by the Labour Party, revealed there were 76,000 waits over an hour in 2015/16, compared to 28,000 in 2013/14.

In the same period, waits of more than 30 minutes increased by 60%, from 258,000 to nearly 413,000.

NHS England told the BBC the issues were due to ‘increasing demand’, while the Department of Health said they expected hosital and ambulance trusts to ‘work closely’ together to address the issue.

But Unison head of health Christina McAnea said: ‘There’s a national crisis in the ambulance service because of an extreme lack of funding across every part of the NHS.’

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: ‘The figures speak for themselves. It is clear that this Government has failed to grasp what is happening in our overstretched hospitals.’

09:35 The likelihood of recovering from a mental health problem is strongly linked to deprivation, official figures suggest.

NHS Digital has published its annual report on talking therapies this morning, finding that:

  • Over 200,000 referrals were received from the most deprived 10% of areas, compared with under 92,000 from the least deprived area;
  • Whilst 55% of patients from the least-deprived areas recovered, only 35% of those in the most deprived areas did so.

There were 1.4m new referrals for treatment in 2015/16, with over 950,000 patients entering treatment. Of these, 81.3% waited less than six weeks and 96.2% less than 18 weeks, NHS Digital said.

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