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#GPnews: Doctors told to cheer up as grumpiness risks patient safety

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NHS pushes on with EU GP recruitment despite ‘homegrown’ doctor pledge

Jeremy Hunt ‘wants to boost GP morale by awarding more gongs’

16:30 Prescriptions for medication to treat type 2 diabetes have increased by 35% in the last four years, according to a new analysis of official data.

The analysis by Exasol found that based on the current trend, some five million people in England would have the disease in another four years’ time, reports the Independent.

Creating a ‘heat map’ of England, they found the greatest prevalence was in the east of England, stretching from East Anglia to Hull, as well as in parts of East London and parts of Lincolnshire.

Experts put this down to the areas having large populations of people whose ethnicity made them more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

13:55 A trial for patients to seek help from pharmacists rather than their GP is being extended across Wales.

According to the BBC, the Common Ailment Scheme aims to ease pressure on GPs by allowing patients to get treatment from pharmacists for minor conditions, such as head lice. Last year, 19 pharmacists did 2,000 consultations under the scheme and the scheme is to be rolled out across North Wales by March.

According to the BBC, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said it was ‘the first in Wales to extend the CAS to all its pharmacies’.

This follows a £750,000 investment in technology from the Welsh government last March as part of its Choose Pharmacy project which allows patient discharge information to be shared with a nominated pharmacy, among other measures to increase pharmacist and GP integration.

12:21 NHS tops a list of areas of concern among people in the UK, according to a new poll.

A survey from Ipsos Mori, of almost 1,000 adults, found the NHS has replaced immigration as the top concern, reports the Guardian,

In all, 40% of respondents cited the NHS/hospitals/healthcare as a concern, while 39% cited immigration or immigrants and 35% cited the EU or Europe.

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But when asked what was the single most important issue facing Britain, Europe was chosen by the largest proportion of respondents, at 23%, with immigration at 20% and the NHS third with 10%.

11:15 Seven in ten public sector workers cite work stress as a key health concern, a survey by union representatives has found.

The TUC said stress had now become the top health and safety concern, reports the Independent.

Union boss Frances O’Grady said it was ‘in no-one’s interests to have overstretched workforces’ as ‘people who experience high anxiety are less productive and are more likely to take time off’.

She said: ‘Stress is preventable if staff have reasonable workloads, supportive managers and a workplace free from violence, bullying and harassment.’

Meanwhile, a report to mark World Mental Health Day by charities Mental Health First Aid England and Mind, and Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, urged employers to ‘transform’ mental health support.

Poppy Jaman, chief executive of Mental Health First Aid, said: ‘Our workplaces need to undergo a transformation. People are working increasing hours, with less resources, and under more pressure. Millions of employees feel unsupported and employers must act now to retain top talent and boost productivity.

‘Better access to support is critical to improve outcomes for those living with a mental health issue. Support in the workplace plays a vital role for employees and the economy. Mental health issues, stress, depression or anxiety account for almost 70 million days off sick per year, the most of any health condition.

‘We will only make headway when employers value mental health as they do physical health.’

09:40 Doctors should take a leaf out of the romantic film Love Actually and be more loving and positive, the NHS whistleblowing lead has said.

The comments, which make the front page of the Times this morning, come from Dr Henrietta Hughes, a GP who holds the role of national whistleblower guardian.

Arguing that the NHS needs more of the ‘trust and joy and love’ hormone oxytocin, Dr Hughes told the paper that unless doctors came into work with a more ‘positive’ attitude, their ‘low-level grumpiness’ could harm patients by contributing to a ‘toxic environment’.

She said: ‘If you think about that scene in Love Actually where everybody is meeting at the airport, that’s the oxytocin feeling. So wouldn’t it be better if oxytocin was the predominant neurotransmitter in the NHS?’

She added that patient safety was the ‘responsibility’ of ‘every single person’ in the NHS, and that extended to relationships with colleagues.

She said: ‘If you’re a consultant and you’re responsible for ensuring the safe care of your patients, then it’s your duty to have good relationships with your colleagues. And if you’re struggling with that, do something about it.”

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