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#GPnews: ‘Hospitals will struggle to cope during junior doctors’ strike’

17:07 The crisis in general practice is UK-wide but GPs in Essex appear to be having a particularly hard time.

Essex LMC is fearing a complete collapse of general practice in some parts of the county, after their GP practice survey found almost one third has considered handing back their contract.

16:30 A major UK study has found that over the past 20 years, the incidence of dementia in the over 65s has decreased by 20%.

They conclude that 30% of cases are likely avoided by lifestyle changes, but deprivation remains a key risk factor.

Read the news story here

14:40 The GMC has said that junior doctors who work in hospitals which will be hit hard by next’s week all-out strikes should not take part in case patients end up suffering harm, the Guardian reports

GMC plaque  Ralph Hodgson - online

The regulator has updated its guidance for trainee medics just days before junior doctors take industrial action on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, withdrawing urgent and emergency care – following the Government’s imposition of the new contract. 

The GMC said that an all-out strike was ‘unjustified in hospitals that would struggle to ensure safe care.’  

Its updated guidance states: ‘The GMC cannot second guess the situation facing each doctor in training in England – that must be a matter for individual judgement. But given the scale and repeated nature of what is proposed, we believe that, despite everyone’s best efforts, some hospitals may struggle to cope.

‘In these cases where local circumstances are particularly acute, the right option may be not to take action that results in the withdrawal of services for patients.

‘We ask every doctor contemplating further and escalated industrial action to pause and consider again the possible implications for patients, not only in terms of the immediate action but also in terms of the cumulative impact on patients and the additional risk posed by the withdrawal of emergency cover.’

12.03 The age at which people lose their virginity could be related to their genes, a University of Cambridge study has found.

It seems the age is dependent both on what age kids reach puberty and their brain genetic make-up – with risk-takers more likely to have intercourse earlier, and those who are more irritable likely to postpone their sexual debut. 

The study surveyed 125,000 people, finding 38 gene variants associated with the age of first sexual intercourse, the scientists write in the Independent.

They discovered that a risk-taking gene was ‘associated with losing your virginity early and having a higher number of children throughout life’ while studies of a gene linked to irritability led to their conclusion that ‘people who are more irritable typically have a later encounter’.

11:10 The BMA is claiming that there is a myth being perpetuated in the NHS that private sector providers are better than public ones.

In a report on NHS privatisation the BMA calls for private sector providers to face the same quality scrutiny as NHS providers.

This comes as more than two thirds of BMA members surveyed said that they were uncomfortable with NHS services being provided by independent providers, including commercial and social enterprises.

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said the report was a ‘clanging alarm clock’ to the Government and commissioners to pose the questions of whether ’the private sector provide[s] value for money, and comparable quality and safety to patients, and how… it impact[s] on other services’.

He said: ’[T]he ideology – that private provision is mysteriously, inherently, consistently better than public provision – has taken precedence over the evidence… This is a matter of concern to our members.’

09:40 Junior doctors have been urged to consider breaking strike in the face of crisis during next week’s all-out action, reports the Telegraph.

Mr Hunt said maternity, A&E and intensive care were the areas where they were ’most keen to ensure that we maintain critical doctor cover’.

But House of Commons Health Committee chair and former GP Dr Sarah Wollaston asked the BMA to exempt maternity and A&E units from the strike.

She said: ‘We know that even with goodwill arrangements in place to bring people back where hospitals are overwhelmed the delays will cost lives.’