15:55 Are you a fan of Channel 4’s Homeland series? If so, you may recognise the name Damian Lewis who plays Brody – the Hollywood star has joined a raft of GP leaders, other medics and fellow celebrities in calls to reform the Health and Social Care Act.
Mr Lewis has signed an open letter calling on MPs to vote in favour of the NHS Bill when it has its second reading in Parliament this Friday – which calls for the health secretary’s direct accountability for providing a comprehensive health service to be reinstated, ending of the internal market in the NHS and excluding it from the transatlantic trade deal TTIP.
13.24 A well-known Nottingham GP has had their lifetime of service recognised after local residents voted for the city’s newest street to be named in his honour.
McCracken Close, on a new development providing affordable housing for people with learning difficulties, is named after Dr James McCracken, who established his surgery on a small housing estate in Rise Park in 1964, before it moved into the premises of the local hospital.
Dr McCracken, who received an MBE for services to general practice before he died in 2005, was also an obstetrician who delivered his last baby shortly before he retired, having delivered the baby’s mother 32 years earlier, writes the RCGP.
13:03 Picture of the day comes from Dr Trisha Elliott near Edinburgh.
Just a smidgen of snow on the hills today.
Hey ho, better get off to see how my patient on IV antibiotics is doing. pic.twitter.com/Kha29lytIB
— Trisha Elliott (@Trisha_the_doc) March 7, 2016
12:25 Elsewhere, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Steven’s has launched a scheme that will see hospitals given a £600m fund to offer anti-obesity measures including Zumba classes and sports clubs to ‘overweight doctors and nurses.’
The scheme – which will initially be offered to only NHS trusts – will allow every hospital to earn a share of the fund if they take certain measures aimed at improving the health of their staff – including cutting the sales of ‘junk food and sugary drinks in place of tasty, healthy and affordable alternatives.’
Mr Stevens said the health service needed to ‘practice what it preeached’ and ’do it’s bit to end the country’s obesity epidemic’.
He added: ‘The NHS needs to practice what it preaches by offering better support for the health and wellbeing of our own 1.4 million staff.’
10:22 Another large campaign, this time from Public Health England, is aimed at encouraging middle aged people to make lifestyle improvements.
With the tagline ‘How are YOU?’, the £3.5m ‘One You’ campaign asks people to consider positive improvements they could make in terms of drinking less alcohol, eating healthier and increasing physical activity levels.
The campaign, which sees PHE partner with commercial entities such as Asda and Slimming World, was described by PHE national director Professor Kevin Fenton as ’unprecedented’ in scale.
He said: ’For the first time, Public Health England is launching a campaign that talks to adults directly about all of the things they can do to improve their health… This will see One You in every community, on every high street, in local health services, on websites and in social media.
’We want everyone across the country to know that it is never too late to get your health back on track.’
But not everyone was supportive of the move. The Institute of Economic Affairs’ head of lifestyle economics Chris Snowdon told the Guardian: ’It is astounding that this hectoring quango is squandering £3m promoting a tedious website that nobody will visit.’
09:30 The Government has launched a major campaign to improve dementia care by 2020, and of course this will be ’seven days’ a week.
The main points of interest for GPs in the implementation plan include:
- CCG-level ‘Ofsted-style’ ratings for dementia care
- All dementia patients to have a personalised care plan, overseen by their ‘named GP’
- A six-week waiting time target between GP referral and assessment at a memory clinic
- Pilots to include assessment of dementia awareness and risk factors as part of NHS Health Check
- NHS England negotiating to include ’measuring diagnosis in black, Asian and minority ethnic origin and other seldom heard groups’ as part of QOF/GPES.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: ‘I want Britain to be the best place in the world to live well with dementia… Hospitals can be frightening and confusing places for people with dementia, so our new plan will guarantee them safer 7 day hospital care, as well as tackling unacceptable variations in quality across England through transparent Ofsted style ratings.’