Top headlines today
17:20 Finally, to end your day, here is a message from the minister for primary care, Alistair Burt. Filmed before the Special LMC Conference, he said he was looking forward to hearing the tough things to come out of it, adding ‘I’d be a pretty poor minister if I only wanted to hear the good things’.
He said he was ‘aware general practice was under pressure’, but added that he was ‘genuinely excited’ by the work done on the ‘new models of care’.
15:20 The Patients Association has responded to yesterday’s story from the BMA about 55% of GPs reporting that the quality of services they provided had deteriorated over the past year.
Katherine Murphy, chief executive, said: ‘The Patients Association calls on the Government to recognise that a tipping point has now been reached in primary care. As demand for services increases, funding must be available to give patients the access to and standard of care that they need.
‘Patients are desperate for a more holistic and patient-centred approach to healthcare, which GP practices are struggling to provide. This has to change to ensure patient safety.’
12:00 A minister for international development has said that patients who are concerned they may have the Zika virus should visit their GP.
Speaking in the House of Lords, Baroness Verma told peers: ‘The actual virus does not travel well because the climate in the UK is not consistent with its doing so; nor is it passed from person to person. So the risks in the UK are low, but my advice would be to see a GP if there are concerns.’
11:40 A Cochrane Review paper has found that smoking bans in public places lead to improved population health. It concludes: ‘There is evidence that countries and their populations benefit from improved health after introducing smoking bans, importantly to do with the heart and blood vessels. We found evidence of reduced deaths. The impact of bans on respiratory health, on the health of newborn children, and on reducing the number of smokers and their cigarette use is not as clear, with some studies not detecting any reduction.’
11:00 In Lincolnshire, older people have been warned about fraudsters pretending to be from a local GP surgery and asking for an appointment to discuss the person’s mobility needs.
During the appointment, the older person is persuaded to buy unnecessary or inappropriate – and always expensive – mobility aids, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.
10:25 The BMA has released a report calling for better training and support to help healthcare professionals in the UK prevent, diagnose and manage fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and reduce the number of children affected each year.
It calls for:
- Training programmes for healthcare professionals on the prevention, diagnosis and management of the range of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders should be implemented in the UK.
- Training on the prevention, diagnosis and management of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders to be integrated into undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and continued professional development.
- Healthcare professionals to be supported with the necessary time, resources and guidance to ensure they are able to provide advice and support to expectant mothers at every stage of pregnancy on the risks of maternal alcohol consumption, when clinically appropriate.
9:30 We start today with a rebuttal from the GP Survival group to headlines this week that GPs want to stop care home visits. They say it is ’grossly irresponsible’ to suggest so.
— GP Survival (@cgps_gp) February 1, 2016