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#GPnews: ‘Filibustering’ Tories ‘block’ NHS reinstatement Bill from second reading

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16:20 ‘Filibustering’ Tory MPs blocked the NHS reinstatement Bill from having its second reading in Parliament this afternoon by talking ‘for hours’ about deporting foreigners, the Independent reports.

The Bill, which aims to make the health secretary accountable for the direct running of the NHS instead of the arms-length bodies (including NHS England) which took over in 2013, has seen some cross-party support and has also been promoted to the public by high-profile celebrities.

The Independent said ’Tory backbenchers regularly “talk out” backbench legislation they do not like’, and in a Twitter video after the debate Green Party leader Caroline Lucas – who is bringing the Bill – apologised to supporters that the political process had not ‘matched their commitment’.

But she added: ‘The good news is that this isn’t the end of the Bill. We’ll go on fighting this.’

15:18 Alzheimer’s patients with gum disease have a ‘six-fold’ increase in the rate of cognitive decline compared to those with better oral health, according to a new study carried out by teams from two UK universities.

The teams from University of Southampton and King’s College London reached the finding by assessing 59 patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s with a six-month interval, taking blood samples for inflammatory markers and having a dental hygienist assess their oral health.

Professor Clive Holmes, senior author from the University of Southampton, admitted the ‘small study’ needed to be followed up with more research but told the Independent that ‘if there is a direct relationship between periodontitis and cognitive decline, as this current study suggests, then treatment of gum disease might be a possible treatment option for Alzheimer’s’.

11:15 Health minister Shona Robison is now speaking at the Scottish LMCs Conference:

10:45 The Government has increased the prescription charge by 20p from £8.20 to £8.40 per item.

In a statement to Parliament, health minister Alistair Burt said the increase comes as ‘the Government… must make the best use of NHS resources’.

The Government has also frozen the charge for prepayment certificates (at £29.10 for three months and £104 for one year), while charges for wigs and fabric supports increase by 1.7%.

Mr Burt highlighted that 90% of prescription items are dispensed for free and that this would continue to be the case.

The Government is also increasing NHS dental charges by 5% this year and next, ‘for those who can afford it’.

10:05 We will have all the news from the Scottish LMC conference taking place today. Follow our Twitter account for news as it happens.

Scottish GPC chair Dr Alan McDevitt said in his speech that there is a ’lack of willingness’ to adequately fund the new contract.

He said: ’While we believe that our arguments and our vision have persuaded the Scottish Government – indeed much of our language used in our vision of general practice is evident in the recently published national clinical strategy – there is so far a lack of willingness on the part of the Government to actually commit to adequately funding the new contract and primary care.

’Without providing a realistic planned programme of investment for the new contract and primary care, without providing a realistic planned programme of increased staff and GPs, then that shared vision will not be delivered.

’Unless the Government can set out the investment required to sustain general practice and primary care then the change we have started towards the vision will stall and wither.’

8:50 This morning a big story is featuring across most of the papers on new research which has revealed that a new breast cancer therapy can destroy deadly tumours in 11 days. 

The Guardian  reportsthat by using Herceptin in combination with another drug prior to having surgery can reduce the size of tumours in women with an agressive form of breast cancer in under two weeks – and it could even kill the tumour.

The findings of the study found that around a quarter of 66 women with HER2 positive breast cancer treated for 11 days with both trastuzumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib saw their tumours rapidly shrink significantly or even disappear.

The results of the Cancer Research UK-funded study were unveiled at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam yesterday.