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#GPnews: Health secretary put on spot over GP clinical correspondence ‘scandal’

12:50 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt have had to answer an urgent question in the House of Commons this afternoon following the NAO report showing nearly 2,000 patients may potentially have been harmed by NHS SBS failing to redirect clinical correspondence to GP practices.

Labour shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said it was an ‘absolute scandal’ and that it was ‘unacceptable’ that the full picture of harm is not yet clear.

He further criticised the fact Mr Hunt himself is an SBS board member, but Mr Hunt said there had been no conflict of interest, with the DH always putting patient safety first.

Mr Hunt said: ‘In all this process our priority has been to keep patients safe.’

10:00 CCGs are being forced to advertise to try to boost demand for GP appointments under the Government’s seven-day access scheme.

As we reveal today, one area had as little as 2% take-up of appointments on Sundays, and only 68% meet the Government target of 60%.

GP leaders comment that the scheme is ‘a luxury’ tha the NHS ‘can’t afford’.