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#GPnews: GPs shun London because they can’t afford housing, says influential MP

17.10 An update on the Government’s stance on extending MenB vaccinations to older children:

David Cameron said at Prime Minister’s Questions today that the government and expert advisors would need to ‘look at all the evidence carefully’ before making any decision, reports ITV.

17:03 Almost 900,000 smokers in England may have tried to quit their habit using an e-cigarette in 2014, new research has suggested.

The University College London researchers told the Independent their study suggested e-cigarettes were helping ‘significant’ numbers to quit, but numbers were ‘not as high as some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim’.

16:10 The Welsh Government has responded to Pulse’s exclusive yesterday, by saying it has no plans to consider removing patients who have not see the doctor for five years from GP practice lists, following Pulse’s exclusive that an NHS England local area team were developing plans.

Pulse reported yesterday that the NHS East of England area team is considering plans to identify patients who have not visited the GP for five years and kicking them off practice lists if they do not respond to two letters.

A Welsh Government spokesperson told Pulse ’We have no plans to introduce such measures in the Welsh NHS.’

This was also announced at the Policy Forum for Wales where Dr Rebecca Payne, chair of RCGP Wales tweeted that ’Wales committing not to remove people from GP lists just because they don’t see the doctor.’

#pfwevents Wales committing not to remove people from GP lists just because they don’t see the doctor

— Rebecca Payne (@Oohgpwales) March 2, 2016

Pulse’s story has been picked up in national newspapers like the Times, the Mail, the Guardian and the Sun among others.

15:30 A rather concerning tweet here, from the consultants’ conference:

It follows on from Pulse’s story that medical school students are also shunning a career in medicine. Is this what the health secretary’s legacy will be?

15:15 Doctors are calling for a ban on tackling in school rugby,the BBC reports.

Over 70 medics and academics have signed a letter to ministers and health education bosses across the UK and Ireland to allow schools to host only touch and non-contact rugby.

The signatories argue that one-third of all rugby injuries are due to tackling, including repeat concussions – which are linked to cognitive impairment, depression and memory loss – as well as fractures, ligament tears, dislocated shoulders and spinal injuries.

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The letter said: ‘These injuries… can have short-term, lifelong and life-ending consequences for children.’

14:40 Elsewhere on the site, in case it passed you by, a new study has shown that over half of doctors think general practice is more attractive than hospital medicine.

Meanwhile, Copperfield has gone ’beyond the point of giving a toss whether that teetering edifice called family medicine, which we’ve valiantly propped up for so long, finally topples into oblivion’.

14:00 An influential London MP has said there is a GP recruitment problem in her constituency because housing costs are too high.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee and Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch in east London, said about the Government’s housing policy: ’The Chancellor makes great claim for his policy, but in inner-London in my constituency, housing is a real crisis. This morning I met the head of our CCG.

’We have a crisis in GP recruitment and in hospital doctor appointments. Even highly paid doctors cannot afford to get on the housing ladder in my constituency, and that is causing a crisis in public services. What will he do about that?’

George Osborne replied: ’We are doing two things about that. First, we are building more homes in London than were ever built under the previous Labour Government, and we have also just introduced Help to Buy London, so that we help Londoners deal with the very high cost of housing in the capital.’

13:00 More from the consultant conference, and this time they are praising the health secretary…

…but only for improving recruitment in Australia.

11:15 Consultants have backed a motion of no confidence in the NHS leadership at the BMA Consultants Conference in London today.

Chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors committee Dr Johann Malawana tweeted a picture of the vote showing it was clearly carried against health secretary Jeremy Hunt, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and chief medical officer Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

10:05 The Government has rejected a public petition, signed by over 800,000 people, to extend meningitis B vaccinations to all children under 11, because it is ‘not cost effective’.

Since last year, the MenB vaccine is offered to infants at two month, with further doses at four and 12 months, but high-profile cases of older children suffering from the disease sparked the call for eligibility to be expanded to older age groups.

Now, the Government has responded to the petition, saying: ‘When any new immunisation programme is introduced, there has to be a cut-off date to determine eligibility.

’While this is extremely difficult for parents whose children aren’t eligible there is no other way of establishing new programmes to target those at highest risk without introducing inequalities.’

8:30 Pulse’s story on patients being potentially booted off practice lists if they don’t see their GP in five years dominates the health news headlines today. 

It’s been picked up in the Times, the Mail, the Guardian and the Sun among others. 

Elsewhere, our top story today is on education bosses launching a landmark review of GP culture in medical schools.

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