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#GPnews: Blood test could ‘predict’ CVD risk, say scientists

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16:58 A blood test to predict CVD risk could be on the cards. The Independent reports on a study finding that patients with high levels of the immunoglobin G (IgG) antibody were less likely to suffer from strokes and heart attack than those with lower levels.

Researchers said this was even when taking into account factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.

The article points out that heart disease kills more people in the UK than any other factor, including one in five men and one in seven women, while treatment for CVD has an NHS price tag of £4bn annually.

14:47 The New NHS Alliance has commented on Pulse’s survey showing that eight in ten practice nurse positions is vacant.

Heather Henry, co-chair of the New NHS Alliance and a primary care nurse, said nurse leaders had warned of a ‘demographic time bomb’ to GP practice nursing for the past 25 years.

She said: ‘These messages were not heeded and the problem is now fully impacting on general practice at a time of unprecedented demand.’

The Alliance has set up a General Practice Nurse (GPN) Forum to raise the profile of practice nursing and debunk myths about the job, including ‘part timers marking time until retirement, needing five years of experience, or being task-focused handmaidens’. Ms Henry said ‘this is just nonsense’.

But she said the GPN Forum had shone light on a problem of newly qualified nurses ‘finding it really tricky’ tro get a job in primary care.

She said: ‘So we say to CCGs, LMCs, GPs and practice managers: “please encourage and welcome student and newly qualified nurses”. Shout for funding from Health Education England and set up practice training hubs within your federation or provider structure. This isn’t peripheral now, it is core to your survival.’

11:54 Doctors at the BMA ARM are not all happy with the catering…

11:37 Councils in London are urging people to get tested for HIV this summer. The ‘Do It London’ campaign will see HIV self-testing promoted across the transport network as well as in GP surgeries.

The campaign comes out of the £3.4 million London HIV Prevention Programme (LHPP), funded by the 32 London boroughs and the City of London in response to the fact that the city continues to have the highest prevalence of HIV in England.

The campaigners highlighted the latest figures suggesting 35,363 Londoners are living with diagnosed HIV. Meanwhile, 2,516 of 6,151 new HIV diagnoses in 2014 were in London, they said.

10:49 Dr Porter was speaking at the BMA’s Annual Representatives Meeting, which will finish on Thursday.

Delegates at the meeting in Belfast also heard that the Government is ‘in denial’ about the state of NHS finances.

Dr Porter said: ‘The chancellor says he has a “fully funded” plan for the NHS. But while he announced £10bn of new money in November, our funding report showed the real increase in health spending is less than half that. As for the rest, for the largest part of the unmet need, the plan relies on what he laughably calls “efficiency savings”.

‘We’ve seen those before. They are neither efficient nor are they savings. They are cuts.’

As the ARM moved on to the motions, delegates have so far voted to reverse the trend of reducing NHS bed numbers.

‘#ARM2016 hears UK has <300 beds/100,000 pop while other European countries >500,’ tweeted Devon LMC interim medical secretary Dr Mark Sanford-Wood.

09:37 ‘Beyond irresponsible’ politicians are ‘playing games’ with the NHS to win over voters in the EU referendum, BMA chair Dr Mark Porter is warning in a strongly worded speech today.

Dr Porter will say that Thursday’s referendum ‘will have profound consequences for healthcare in the United Kingdom’.

He will say that while the BMA has not ‘told members how to vote on this issue’, the BMA cannot be neutral when it comes to ‘condemning the farcical and fatuous claims that have been a by-product of the political campaigns’.

He will say: ‘We’ve warned before about politicians playing games with the health service. Here we see game-playing on a truly continental scale.

‘That promise of billions of pounds of extra NHS funding if we leave the European Union.

‘It’s beyond irresponsible. It relies on the unknowable assumption that the United Kingdom’s economy will be the same size, and the money would still be available. It is a promise that has been proven to be based on fantasy figures, but it is maintained as a slogan designed to deceive.’

Dr Porter will also say that the health service would not exist in the way it does without the contribution of tens of thousands of doctors who have come from overseas to work in the NHS.


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