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#GPnews: BMA rejects calls to cancel junior doctor strikes

14:30 New research has revealed that more than two thirds of doctors have been ‘left with no choice but to ration care’ for some treatments, ITV News reports

A survey of 1,000 doctors found that some services and treatments including mental health care for children, hip and knee replacements and cancer drugs are ‘being restricted in a bid to save the NHS money.’ 

The vast majority of doctors that were surveyed agreed that further rationing of treatments is inevitable – as the ‘demand for care increases and the NHS’s finances continue to be stretched.’ 

12:05 Elsewhere today, a new review has found that frail elderly people have been left to look after themselves because government-funded care has been scaled back. 

The number of over-65s being helped by councils had fallen by a quarter in the four years to 2014, the BBC reports

The review, published the King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust, highlights the growing numbers of elderly people being left with no care or having to pay for it themselves.

It also found that spending on care by councils had fallen by 25% in real terms in the five years to 2015, to £5.1bn – and the numbers getting help from their council with care had fallen by 26% to 850,000 in the four years up to 2014.

But the Department of Health said: ‘We understand the social care system is under pressure, and this government is committed to ensuring those in old age throughout the country can get affordable and dignified care.’

9:45 The BMA has confirmed that the planned five-day strikes by junior doctors in England will still go ahead despite calls for them to be shortened or called off all together. 

The BMA’s council of last night decided to continue backing the planned walkouts – despite concerns that it will cause disruption to hospitals and consequently put patient safety at risk, the Guardian reports. 

Members of the BMA council last night debated suggestions to reduce the duration of the strikes, call them off, or to undertake a new ballot of England’s 54,000 doctors below the level of consultant – but decided to go ahead with the strikes. 

Three five-day strikes will take place in England from October to December.