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#GPnews: Fewer GMC investigations ‘encouraging’, say medico-legal advisers

16:45 GP indemnity provider MDU has responded to Pulse’s news that GMC fitness-to-practise investigations decreased by more than 800 in 2016.

Dr Caroline Fryar, head of advisory services at the MDU, said this was ‘very good to hear’ and that it ‘will help to reduce the significant stress on doctors of a GMC investigation’.

She added: ‘We have been working with the GMC, using our experience of supporting members, to suggest the types of cases that often do not need to be formally investigated and could be dealt with via the provisional enquiry process.

‘For example, cases where the doctor has made a one-off clinical error, such as a delay in diagnosis, and can demonstrate they have learnt from their mistake and do not present a danger to patients.

‘It’s really encouraging to hear this new approach is paying off in reducing the burden on the profession of needless GMC investigations. We will continue to work with the GMC aiming to further reduce the number of investigations and the stress caused upon the profession.’

15:25 Doctors’ charity the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) has launched a new campaign focused at helping medical students cope with pressures.

It has made available two new publications, supported by MDDUS, focusing on managing stress and financial problems respectively.

RMBF chief executive Steve Crone said: ‘Since we started providing help to medical students in 2012, we have seen our support make an enormous difference to the lives of dozens of student beneficiaries, and hundreds more have accessed our online resources.

‘However, we know that there many are more out there who are struggling against unexpected hardship. We want to reach as many students in difficulty as we can, and we have built key relationships with UK medical schools to ensure that all medical students can access our help in times of crisis.’

Find out more about the campaign here

12:30 A rise in kidney cancer has been linked to the growing number of people being obese, reports the Guardian.

Cancer Research UK analysis found there was a 40% rise in  the UK in the past decade, and that in about a quarter of cases – 20,000 – this was linked with overweight or obesity. A further quarter was linked with smoking.

The charity said that based on current obesity projections, kidney cancer could become the fastest-growing type, with a further 26% increase in cases by 2035.

11:40 A patient has waited close to four years to leave hospital after being declared fit for discharge by doctors, the BBC reports.

The patient has been in a hospital bed at the Hywel Dda University Health Board in Wales for more than 1,338 days, it says.

The patient, who has a ‘serious mental health condition’ has finally had out-of-hospital care arrangements made and is expected to leave hospital in around six months’ time.

A response letter from Welsh health secretary Vaughan Gething revealed another two patients have been stuck in hospital beds for more than one and a half years.

But, despite this, a Welsh Government spokesperson said that delayed care transfers were at a 12-year low.

Conservative Assembly Member Darren Millar said: ‘No patient should have to wait almost four years to be discharged from hospital.

‘While bed blocking is extremely costly for the NHS in Wales, the real cost is the quality of life of patients whom it affects.’

09:30  Shadow health secretary Jonathon Ashworth completed the London Marathon yesterday in under 4 hours 20 minutes.

Jeremy Hunt’s opposite number was running to raise money for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (Nacoa UK), which provides support and advice to children whose parents suffer from alcoholism or similar addictive problems.

Mr Ashworth has talked in Parliament about growing up with a father who suffered from alcoholism. He received messages from fellow MPs, including Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, congratulating him on his quick time and for raising awareness of an important issue.

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