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#GPnews: Doctors will not have to declare private earnings, decides NHS England

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NHS England set for primary care budget underspend of nearly £50m this year

GP contract deal comes with 3.3% overall uplift to funding

15:20 Healthcare leaders in Yorkshire have gone ape to get the word out on its regional plans to reshuffle the NHS in England.

The sustainability and transformation plan (STP) region will be launching a clever ‘social media and guerrilla marketing campaign’ that reaches out to patients with ‘limited access to digital media’.

In true ‘guerrilla’ fashion Humber, Coast and Vale STP has publicly announced the campaign with an eight-page document and a shoestring budget of £10,000.

So expect pithy STP report jargon to strike when least expected.

Read the full story on our sister publication The Commissioning Review.

13:45 NHS England has decided that doctors will not have to declare their private earnings.

The suggestion, which had been floated last year, has been dropped in draft new conflict-of-interest guidance from NHS England, reports the Telegraph.

The new guidance also says doctors can continue to accept small tokens of appreciation, such as chocolates.

But doctors will have to declare any gifts that they receive worth more than £50, and decline anything that could be seen to affect their clinical judgement.

It also says doctors can accept hospitality worth up to £75 (lunch, coffee etc), declaring anything worth more than £25.

The new guidance is subject to consultation and due to come in from June.

Sir Malcolm Grant, chairman of NHS England, said: ‘The public rightly expects NHS staff to behave appropriately and use the healthcare budget to achieve the best outcomes for patients. While behaviour is exemplary in virtually all instances, there are times when more could have been done to prevent standards slipping.’

11:55 The chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said his organisation ‘welcomed’ Jeremy Hunt’s ‘public acknowledgement that the NHS is facing “completely unacceptable” problems’.

But he added that NHS ‘staff continue to give their all in extremely challenging circumstances’, with the NHS ‘treating more patients than ever’.

‘But we can not carry on like this,’ he said.

In response, Mr Hopson called for ‘a urgent review of how the health and care system has handled this winter’s pressures to establish what lessons must be learned and what will be done differently next year’.

09:30 Commenting on long A&E waits and waits for operations in the NHS, and crying doctors unable to give the care they want, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has told BBC News that performance in some parts of the NHS is ‘completely unacceptable’ and said it was ‘frustrating’ to him.

He said: ‘It is incredibly frustrating for me. I am doing this job because I want NHS care to be the safest and best in the world.

‘That kind of care is completely unacceptable. No one would want it for members of their own family.’

Mr Hunt said the Government is ‘trying very hard to sort out these problems’ but that progress had been ‘disappointingly slow’.

But Sir Robert Francis, who led the Government’s much-lauded review into care failings at Mid-Staffs, ‘said the financial pressures on the NHS – together with the high levels of demand – had created an environment in which a care scandal equal to Mid Staffordshire was “inevitable”‘, the BBC report said.

And Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow health secretary, responded: ‘These are hollow words from the Secretary of State this morning. On his watch the NHS is suffering from the biggest financial squeeze in history and social care is at tipping point.

‘Jeremy Hunt appears to be finally waking up to the scale of the crisis but he must now accept responsibility. Instead he offers just hand wringing but no solutions.’