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#GPnews: GPC to meet NHS England over ‘need for longer GP appointments’

16:55 Big breaking story this afternoon – the GPC has abandoned its plans to GPs ballot on mass resignation. 

The GPC said it has decided to not ballot members on potentially submitting undated resignations after claiming that it has won concessions on workload from NHS England. 

15:10  Elsewhere today, the Government has unveiled new plans to stop the NHS ‘buckling’ under pressure this winter. 

Hospitals could cancel thousands of operations and appointments as part of a bid to protect emergency care by diverting senior doctors from operating theatres into wards and A&E departments this winter, the Telegraph  reports

The Government’s plan – which will be rolled out across the country – could see the cancellation of many operations and appointments in the lead up to Christmas, while senior doctors have been asked to concentrate on discharging any patients who can safely be sent home – in an attempt to free up bed space on the wards. 

12:48  Researches are hoping to uncover new information about the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease – with the help of hundreds of volunteers. 

The BBC reports that by using techniques such as wearable technology, it could allow them to identity biomarkers – the very early physical signs of the condition. 

Around 250 volunteers will be taking part in the scheme – funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the Medical Research Council. 

Researcher Jennifer Lawson, from Oxford University, said: ‘Over the last decade or more, 99% of clinical trials into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease have failed.

‘We think the reason for that is we are simply trying these in people far too late.

‘By the time someone comes to their GP and they think they might have some memory problems and they get a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, it’s likely the brain has been under attack from this illness for 10 or even 20 years before.’

11:05 A very interesting analysis inthe Guardian today. Following Labour leadership Owen Smith’s comments on the privatisation of the NHS, Guardian health editor Denis Campbell looked at the figures.

He said there has been no ‘explosion’, but more an ‘inexorable’ rise in the proportion of the NHS budget going to private firms.

The analysis quotes DH  figures that show that the amount of its funding that has gone to ‘independent sector providers’ more than doubled from £4.1bn in 2009-10 to £8.7bn in 2015-16.

Read the full thing here.

9:30 A leading obesity expert has called the Government’s new obesity strategy a ‘national scandal’.

The Guardian reports that Theresa May has failed her first test as PM with a ‘watered down’ strategy.

Prof Graham MacGregor, an NHS cardiovascular expert and chair of Action on Sugar, said the final version of the strategy was even worse that the one he had seen by David Cameron. 

’She [May] came in saying “We are going to look after the poor and the socially deprived” and immediately shown she’s absolutely not interested. This is a huge crisis facing the UK: we are the most obese nation in Europe; it’s going to bankrupt the NHS. Farcically, she’s gone backwards even on Cameron. It’s a national scandal.

’It’s been watered down in the last three weeks. To release it [while May is] on holiday when neither Jeremy Hunt nor her are there, it augurs very badly for her as prime minister. If she continues like that it’s [going to be] a disaster.’

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