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#GPnews: ‘Hunt failed to attend seven NHS crisis meetings’

15:55 It has emerged that health secretary Jeremy Hunt skipped seven NHS crisis meetings in the last year despite warnings that hospitals face ‘meltdown’, the Mirror reports

According to the tabloid, an annual report from the Department of Health shows that Mr Hunt has missed seven meetings of DH’s board meeting in the 2015-16 financial year.

The meetings are used to ‘identify the root causes of performance challenges, and develop and implement plans to mitigate risks and improve outcome’.

13:45 Elsewhere this afternoon, shadow health secretary Diane Abbot has said that Labour will ‘expose the scandal of the Government’s Stability and Transformation Plans.’ 

The STP proposals are intended to connect local services and will be rolled out across local areas. 

NHS England area teams, CCGs, trusts and local authorities will be expected to implement their own plans setting out how to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View and the Government mandate to NHS England locally by 2021. 

But Labour say the plans could have ‘devastating consequences for frontline services across England.’

Abbot said: ‘We want to hold the Government to account for these plans, which could have devastating consequences for frontline services across England.

‘So far we’ve seen no consultation on these plans, which have been drawn up in order to hide enormous damage to the NHS. 

‘We will be calling on Government to publish the evidence it has been hiding, to close the deficits with funds not more cuts, and to scrap the STPs if they can’t demonstrate real improvements.’

11:45 Dr Robert Morley, GPC contracts and regulation subcommittee chair, has told Pulse that despite Government figures claiming that GP earnings increased by 2% in 2014/15 to £101,500, any increase will ‘not even get close to offsetting the massive increase in workload and stress that partners are facing.’

He added: ’The figures may be accurate but any increase in partner earnings simply reflects the fact that there is a decrease in the number of partners out there and workloads are going up.

‘If the number of GP partners had remained static we would have seen a massive decrease in profits.

‘The issues determining partner profit are hugely complex, there are so many variables but again, any increase will not even get close to offsetting the massive increase in workload and stress that partners are facing.’

Read Pulse’s full story here 

09:15The Telegraph reports that junior doctor strikes may be on brink of being called off, as BMA representatives met for ‘crunch talks’.

According to the paper, ‘BMA insiders’ are desperate for the announced monthly five-day strikes to be called off, amid fears NHS could not ‘survive’ them.

A source said: ‘We have to find a way out of this, even if we take all night. If we pursue strikes on this scale it will end up killing people. There is no way that we should be contemplating action like this about a dispute on terms and conditions.’

Another said: ‘To go ahead with five-day strikes would be unthinkable – I’m not sure the NHS could survive it.’

BMA has already called off the first strike action, scheduled for September, after NHS England said it was too short notice for providers to plan for patient safety.

Last week, Pulse reported that Simon Stevens, the NHS chief executive, said he could not ‘guarantee’ patient safety if the strikes did go ahead.

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