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Gerada accused of health bill climbdown, and hidden costs of NHS reforms revealed

A round-up of the health news in the papers on Tuesday 13 March

The Independent accuses Dr Clare Gerada an embarrassing climbdown and u-turn in policy on it's front page today, in light of her letter to David Cameron last week. The ‘extraordinary appeal' to the Government marks a ‘truce in the vitriolic battle' between the PM and the RCGP chair, according to the Independent, as it calls for talks on how to implement the Health and Social Care Bill.

Dr Gerada's letter, which we reported last week, tells Mr Cameron that she understands his ‘passion' for the NHS and that she wants to help him ‘find a way through the tensions'. It all sounds a bit like a Richard Curtis script but the Independent reports that the letter most likely followed meetings of the RCGP Council at which senior members feared the organisation was becoming ‘alienated' from the Government over the bill.

In a GP news-heavy morning, the Guardian's front page splash exposes the costs to the NHS of GPs being involved in commissioning.

Apparently senior GPs are spending as little as one day a week seeing patients because they are too busy setting up and running new clinical commissioning groups. With GPs spending up to four days a week involved in their CCGS, the cost to the NHS can reach £123,900 a year to replace them with a locum, according to data published by False Economy.

Dr Laurence Buckman chair of the GPC told the Guardian it was ‘incredibly bad timing as the NHS shouldn't be wasting precious resources on reorganising itself yet again'.