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#GPnews: Carr-Hill formula review delayed yet another year

17:01 A GP has written a book about patient consultations, and the Daily Mail has helpfully summarised it into a handy guide for patients.

Under the heading ‘Revealed: What your GP is REALLY thinking during your consultation’, the article has taken a number of tidbits from London GP Dr Graham Easton’s £14 best-seller-to-be.

It advises patients on everything from why the GP will be scrutinising their hands for signs of hidden disease to why they are ignoring their toddler.

15:50 The long-pledged changes to the Carr-Hill formula, which weights GP practice funding based age and deprivation, has been – surprise, surpise! – delayed for yet another year.

Read the full story here, and see why deputy GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey (who was first involved in a review that launched back in 2007) thinks it’s sensible not to ‘rush’ the changes.

But the GPC has secured one change to take place before the never-ending review comes to fruition. Namely, separate funding arrangements for university practices, practices that are very rural, and practices with many non-English-speaking patients.

13:43 And, as has been reported across various news outlets today, that Dementia Map (see post below) is showing that services for dementia patients are ‘patchy’ across England.

The Telegraph reports on a ‘post-code lottery’ for things like end of life care and whether patients with dementia can be treated in care homes or if they have to go to hospital.

For example, it highlights Cornwall and Devon, Cumbria and coastal areas of East Anglia as areas which score highly for allowing patients to be treated in care homes rather than in hospitals; and North East Lincolnshire for carrying out regular checks on dementia care.

Meanwhile, a number of London areas are the worst at ‘allowing patients to die at home’, as 60% of patients with dementia die in hospital across three boroughs.

Mr Hunt said: ‘By publishing the current levels of care, we are shining a spotlight on areas where there is still work to be done, whilst highlighting where we can learn from best practice.’

12:00 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has been frolicking with Hollywood A-listers this week.

The occasion? Carey Mulligan, the internationally acclaimed actress, was named an international UK ambassador for dementia awareness by the Government and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The venue? Somewhat randomly, Heathrow Airport.

The Department of Health, which is also launching a ‘Dementia Atlas’ interactive map of England with comparisons for dementia prevention, diagnosis and support, said in a statement: ‘To mark the announcement, Carey spent time with Health Minister Jeremy Hunt at Heathrow Airport, which is working towards becoming the world’s first dementia friendly airport, to lead a Dementia Friends training session for the airport’s staff.’

Ms Mulligan said: ‘My Nans has dementia and I have experienced first-hand how devastating it can be. It affects everyone differently, and it’s so important that everyone affected by the condition is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

‘At the moment, there’s not nearly enough awareness and as a global society we have a duty to change that.’

Mr Hunt said: ‘Carey Mulligan will be a great asset both in raising awareness and promoting the benefits of the Dementia Friends programme – at home and globally.’

10:33 GBBO news! It has just been announced that a nurse will take up her wooden spoon to battle on the Great British Bake Off this year. Norfolk respiratory nurse Kate is hoping to gain an edge on her culinary competitors by using seasonal fruits and produce gathered from her parents’ farm, with sugar craft (and a killer bedside manner) said to be her particular strength. 

09:42 Viruses are more dangerous and likely to take hold if people are exposed to them in the morning, according to new science.

In fact, researchers found viruses were 10 times more infectious in the morning, which they said would be a crucial finding when it comes to halting pandemics in future. The scientists said the variation was down to 10% of genes changing activity during the day controlled by the internal clock.

One of the researchers, Professor Akhilesh Reddy, told BBC News: ‘It’s a big difference. The virus needs all the apparatus available at the right time, otherwise it might not ever get off the ground, but a tiny infection in the morning might perpetuate faster and take over the body.’

He added that ‘in a pandemic, staying in during the daytime could be quite important and save people’s lives, it could have a big impact if trials bear it out’.

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