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​#GPnews: GMC scraps plan to add photos to the medical register

16:30 NHS England’s annual staff survey (covering all trusts and some CCGs, but on a voluntary basis) has found that almost half of staff (47%) believe there is ‘not enough staff to do the job properly’.

But despite this, NHS England’s communication highlighted that ‘across 32 key findings, over 80% were more positive than last year’.

It said this inluded 80% of frontline NHS staff sayomg they are able to do their job to a standard they are personally pleased with.

Speaking at the UK Health and Wellbeing at Work conference in Birmingham today, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘Perhaps surprisingly given the well understood pressures, it’s encouraging to see that frontline NHS staff say their experience at work continues to improve, with overall employee engagement scores at a five year high.

‘There’s still much to be done to ensure staff are properly supported, and local NHS employers are now being incentivised to better support the health and wellbeing of their own staff.’

13:50 The number of people quitting smoking has hit a 40-year high, reports the Daily Mail.

The Office for National Statistics annual survey on adult smoking showed 56.7% of those who had previously smoked had quit, with the total proportion of smokers in Britain plunging to 17.2%.

Despite this, ONS said cigarette smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death, with 80,000 2014 deaths linked to smoking.

Millions of people used e-cigarettes to quit or reduce cigarette smoking, the article added.

11:35 NHS Providers have called for a review into NHS winter crises after finding hospital trusts had to add 4,500 extra beds a day at the height of pressures.

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The report said this was equivalent to eight extra hospitals and patients felt at the time that their experience in the NHS was ‘distressing and potentially dangerous’, writes the Guardian.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said: ‘This has been the busiest winter ever for the NHS. Be in no doubt, these figures show a system running hot and – in particular times and places – overwhelmed by the demands placed on it, risking patient safety.’

10:50 The GMC has changed its mind on plans to completely overhaul the look of the medical register, following a consultation launched last summer.

This had suggested the register could include conflicts of interest, higher qualifications, scope of practice, languages spoken, practice location – and photographs.

Assistant director Richard Marchant wrote in a blog on the GMC’s website: ‘We have listened carefully to the views expressed by the profession in response to this – in particular their concerns about privacy and safety – and we won’t be making any significant changes at this stage.’

But he added that the work would go on, in cooperation with the medical royal colleges, to look at whether a doctor’s scope of practice could be included.

He wrote:  ‘Understanding a doctor’s current scope of practice would let us produce tools and support, which are relevant to a doctor’s area of clinical expertise, building on what we did last year when we developed guidance for doctors who provide cosmetic treatments and surgery.

‘So we do want to begin exploring how we might be able to collect information about doctors’ scope of practice in an accurate and meaningful way – without imposing any extra costs or burdens on doctors or compromising their privacy or safety in any way.’

09:50 The Government is set to hire hundreds of health civil servants at the same time as making others redundant at great cost, reports the Telegraph

The Department of Health has just got rid of 500 jobs as part of a bid to cut spending, but many are receiving ‘generous redundancy payments as part of a total £30m payout’, says the report.

At the same time, health minister David Mowat revealed plans to hire 340 new civil servants – with the news coming as NHS spent close to £2bn on redundancies since 2010.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said the DH strategy made ‘no sense’ as the NHS is trying to save £22bn.

A DH spokesperson said the department had ‘been redesigned to make sure it is fit for purpose’.

The added: ‘We are continuing to cut running costs and are recruiting new staff with the right skills to effectively lead the health and care system as it addresses the challenges of the future.’

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