This site is intended for health professionals only

#GPnews: Hunt rejects offer to call off all-out junior doctor strikes

12:54 The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is rebranding itself as NHS Digital starting from July, it has announced.

It has also appointed a new chair – former economist and NHS England specialised commissioning lead Noel Gordon.

It comes as the new top story on the site focuses on new NHS Digital statistics showing that actually over one million patients have opted out of having their records shared.

This option was given to patients amid the fallout over the botched scheme two years ago, which continues to have status: pending.

10:17 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has rejected the BMA’s offer to call off the junior doctor strikes next week if he withdraws his contract imposition.

In a response letter to yesterday’s offer, Mr Hunt wrote that it was ’simply not credible to call for further contractual talks or offer to suspend industrial action whilst still refusing to discuss Saturday pay’.

He said the BMA not being willing discuss this during previous talks had left the Government with ’no choice but to introduce a new contract’.

’It is not now possible to change or delay the introduction of this contract without creating unacceptable disruption for the NHS,’ Mr Hunt said.

Next week’s planned two days of all-out strikes, including withdrawal of urgent and emergency care, are the first in the history of the NHS.

09:33 A major trial to prevent children getting type-1 diabetes is launching in Scotland. The BBC reports that researchers are contacting 6,400 families affected by the disease.

Children with siblings who have type-1 diabetes will be offered metformin – to test whether the drug, commonly prescribed to treat diabetes, can prevent it from developing in the first place.

As yet, scientists have not found a way to prevent type-1 diabetes.

Prof Terence Wilkin, from the University of Exeter Medical School, is leading the autoimmune diabetes Accelerator Prevention Trial (Adapt). His theory is that metformin may protect the beta cells from being damaged as they struggle to cope with demand for insulin.

He said: ’It is possible that a modern environment accelerates the loss of beta cells by overworking and stressing them. As a consequence, this could be contributing to the rising incidence of type-1 diabetes, which is appearing in ever younger age groups.

’Adapt will use a medication to protect the beta cells from the stress, so that they survive longer.’