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#GPnews: Extended GP opening should be determined at local level, says report

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15:55 London GP and former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has pointed out that passports don’t really say much about who is entitled to free NHS care.

She added that showing EHIC cards would be a more helpful way forward.

14:40 It should be left to local areas to decide whether or not to roll out the ‘seven-day’ NHS, the NHS Confederation has said.

A new report from NHS Confederation looked at evidence (including Pulse’s extensive body of investigative work on the GP Access pilots) to determine the case for seven-day services, in both hospitals and general practice.

The report said: ‘It is clear that what works in one locality may not be right for another area, so it is essential that decision-making takes place within local communities, rather than at a national level.

‘At the heart of this decision-making process should be an active consideration of local demographics, health profiles, geography, current service provision and current and potential clinical outcomes.’

13:10 MPs are due to debate NHS funding in Parliament this afternoon, with Labour set to call for increased funding.

On the eve of the Autumn Statement – due to be delivered tomorrow – the opposition motion that brought the debate says: ‘That this House notes with concern that the deficit in the budgets of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England at the end of the 2015-16 financial year was £2.45 billion;

– further notes that members of the Health Committee wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about their concerns that Government assertions on NHS funding were incorrect and risked giving a false impression;

– and calls on the Government to use the Autumn Statement to address the underfunding of the NHS and guarantee sustainable financing of the NHS.’

12:30 Doctors will be too scared to give lifesaving treatments to patients if police and prosecutors ‘continue to hound’ them, according to a senior clinial adviser to the NHS.

Professor Sir Norman Williams said in a comment piece forthe Daily Mail that prosecutors are being more ‘energetic’ in trying to secure convictions when patients come to harm.

He was writing following the overturned conviction of Dr David Sellu, who served time in prison after a patient suffered unexpected complications.

‘Every day doctors and nurses have to make decisions, often in an atmosphere of high intensity and under considerable pressure. If they get these wrong they have the propensity to harm patients,’ Professor Williams wrote.

‘Such decisions can always be criticised and at times acts of omission or commission might constitute negligence, which is normally resolved by civil proceedings. Until recently it was unusual for a criminal case to be brought before a court of law and it was even rarer for a prosecution to be successful.

‘Such cases are now being pursued more commonly and the bar for conviction may have been lowered,’ he added.

11:00 Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has responded to the reports that NHS treatment may require proof of ID.

He said this was ‘testament to the desperate squeeze on our NHS finances’.

He said: ‘The NHS is supposed to be free at the point of need, not free at the point of ID.

Mr Ashworth said that ‘of course the NHS should recover money it is owed’ but said ‘this should be done in a way that doesn’t place disproportionate administrative burdens on an already underfunded NHS’.

He added: ‘So rather than hiding behind this spun story, Jeremy Hunt needs to come clean, give the NHS the money it needs and rule out what many fear is a secret Tory strategy to cut services.’

09:40 The Department of Health is looking at rolling out requirements for patients to show two forms of ID before receiving NHS treatment, report several papers this morning.

Speaking in front of the Public Accounts Committee yesterday, DH permanent secretary Chris Wormald said a hospital in Peterborough is already carrying out passport checks, reports the Guardian.

Mr Wormald said: ’On the general question of are we looking at whether trusts should proactively ask people to prove their identity – yes we are looking at that.

‘Individual trusts like Peterborough are doing that and it is making a big difference – they are saying please come with two forms of identity, your passport and your address, and they use that to check whether people are eligible.’

Mr Wormald admitted that the move, which was aimed to reduce free use of NHS resources by non-eligible patients, was ’quite a controversial thing to do, to say to the entire population you’ve got to prove your identity’.