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#GPnews: ‘Brexit could worsen NHS nursing shortages’

16:20 While junior doctors from campaign group Justice for Health attended the High Court today to challenge health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s initial imposition of the junior doctor contract from earlier in the year, Labour MP and a doctor in A&E, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, unleashed a broadside in Parliament against the health secretary’s handling of the row. 

Dr Allin-Khan said Mr Hunt’s pursuit for a seven-day NHS is ‘floored’ and claimed the High Court declared today that the health secretary ‘might have a case to answer’. 

14:30 Elsewhere today, the NHS has announced a raft of new measures which it hopes will ‘cut the health service’s annual trust deficit.’ 

The measures will also look to ‘sharpen the direct accountability of trusts and CCGs to live within the public resources’ which have been made available by the Government in 2016/17.

The announcement comes as NHS England also revealed today that nine CCGs have been placed in special measures. The ratings were based on how each CCG discharged its responsibilities, in line with inspection criteria from last year. The CCGs in special measures include Coventry and Rugby, Croydon, east Surrey, Enfield, north Somerset, north Tyneside, south Gloucestershire, Vale of York and Walsall.

David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: ‘We’ll continue to highlight examples of trusts who are providing care that is both clinically and financially sustainable as we prepare with NHS Improvement to publish new ratings of how effectively trusts are using their resources to deliver high-quality services to patients.

‘Although the context is increasingly challenging, the goal remains the same: good, safe care – the care that we would want for ourselves and our families.’

12:35  The Royal College of Nursing has warned that employers in south-west England are already struggling to recruit without bringing in talent from abroad, following the UK’s recent Brexit vote. 

The RCN has warned that staffing levels across the west of England could subsequently be badly affected if immigration rules change following Brexit, ITV News reports

The college is now calling on the Government to protect the future of EU nurses already working in England. The warnings come as a debate is to take place in the House of Lords today on the impact of the vote to leave the EU on safe staffing levels in the NHS.

11:15 Campaign group Justice for Health has attended the High Court today to kick off its legal challenge against health secretary Jeremy Hunt and his initial imposition of the junior doctor contract earlier in the year. 

The judicial review, launched by NHS staff and patients, will look at the impact of the new imposed junior doctors’ contract on ‘patient safety and stability of the NHS’.

11:00  Pulse’s exclusive story yesterday on NHS England’s drive to cleanse GP practices’ lists was not only featured in most of the national newspapers, but even by the Telegraph’s  cartoonist ‘Matt’, who summed up the article perfectly:

9:25  This morning we are leading on the big announcement from Public Heatlh England which has said everyone in the UK should consider boosting their vitamin D levels during the autumn and winter months by taking a daily supplement. 

New Public Health England guidelines urge everyone over the age of five to take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D from October to March.

Dr Andrew Green, chair of the GPC clinical and prescribing subcommittee, said the new advice was ‘really helpful’ as it signified a move away from GPs carrying out vitamin D testing and prescribing.

Dr Green told Pulse: ‘This guidance refers to general supplementation for the population at large and prescriptions are not indicated. Supplementation of vitamins for the general population is not part of GMS, so GPs should not get involved.’

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