This site is intended for health professionals only

#GPnews: A&E waiting time targets are ‘undeliverable’, providers warn

Top headlines

Nine in ten GPs think Jeremy Hunt should go

Practices blocked from using CV risk tool on IT system following errors

17:07 Advertising foods high in fat, salt and sugar to under-16s could be banned, in a bid to curb childhood obesity, reports the BBC.

The plans, being consulted on by industry regulator the Committee of Advertising Practice, would extend an existing ban on TV adverts extended to all other media, including online.

It said the new rules could make a ’meaningful contribution to tackling this important health issue’.

Official data shows that one in five children in England are obese at the end of primary school.

15:30 NHS Providers have defended the work of acute trusts following yesterday’s news that March saw the worst-ever waiting times in A&E departments.

In a statement, chief executive Chris Hopson said it was ‘not surprising that large increases in demand lead to missed performance targets’, with the NHS being ‘run at capacity levels that no other advanced health system would even contemplate’.

Calling for ‘honesty and realism’ about what trusts can deliver against the backdrop of current demand, he said: ‘This deterioration will be difficult to reverse and is more the result of undeliverable demands being placed on NHS trusts and foundation trusts than their individual performance.’

12:07 Nearly half of middle-aged men in Britain can be classed as ‘problem drinkers’, reports the Daily Mail.

A poll has showed that 44% of men aged 45-65 drink more than the recommended maximum of six pints of beer a week.

Instead they drank an average of 16 pints a week, while one in ten men in the age group consumed as many as 21 pints.

Charity Drinkaware warned this means 3.5m men are putting their health at risk by regularly drinking too much.

Chief executive Elaine Hindal said that for many middle-aged men drinking was ‘part of their daily routine and often goes unnoticed’.

She said: ’As there are often no immediate negative consequences, they are unaware how their drinking may be impacting on their health.’

Public health recommendations on alcohol intake were dramatically revised down earlier this year. For men, the recommended intake of 21 units was lowered to just 14 (the equivalent of six pints of beer).

11:22 Prince Charles has been accused of ‘animal cruelty’ after disclosing his farm animals are being treated with homeopathy rather than antibiotics.

‘The prince’s belief in homeopathic medicines for humans has long been known, as well as his support for homeopathy in the NHS,’ writes the Guardian.

Although many experts say homeopathy is of no use, some have said there could be a beneficial placebo effect for patients who believe it to work.

But, as the Guardian points out, this is unlikely to be the case for cows and sheep.

9:30 Our top story today is a Pulse survey that reveales 90% of GPs want health secretary Jeremy Hunt to leave his post. The DH have questioned the scientific rigour of the survey.

Apropos of nothing, the King’s Fund has refuted claims by Mr Hunt that the recent NHS funding settlement is the sixth biggest of all time.

The think-tank’s chief economist John Appleby, writes in a blog post: ’Jeremy Hunt has claimed recently that in 2016/17 the NHS will receive the sixth biggest funding increase in its history. The claim made health economists like us stop in our tracks, as it appears to describe a very different situation for the NHS to the one we recognise.

’To check, we decided to calculate for ourselves how this year’s increase compares. We’re afraid to say, although perhaps not surprised given our previous research, that we have a very different figure. We find that – in real percentage terms – this year it is in fact the 28th largest funding increase since 1975/76.’

Got a story? Let us know by tweeting the hashtag #GPnews or emailing