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#GPnews: Hunt says Brexit will harm the NHS

17:05 Finally today, we report that a mental health trust and a GP provider company will jointly run five GP practices over the next 15 years after they won an APMS contract bid.

Read the full story here.

17:00 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has waded into the Tory in-fighting over a potential exit of Britain from the EU.

In an Observer article, Mr Hunt said a ‘Brexit’ would lead to NHS budget cuts, falling standards and an exodus of overseas doctors.

The health secretary claimed a Brexit ‘would inevitably mean less money for public services like the NHS’, adding that ‘[t]hose who want to leave need to explain how they could protect the NHS from this economic shock’.

15:00 This is a slightly disturbing picture, showing the number of trainee doctors who are looking to leave the English NHS:

This comes as the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has called on the Government and junior doctors to come back to the negotiating table over the imposed contract and threatened strike.

14:15 The Scottish Labour Party has rowed back on pledges to ensure all Scots would get a GP appointment in 48 hours if they win May’s general election to the Scottish Parliament.

According to a report in the Press and Journal, health spokesperson and Labour MSP candidate Jenny Marra said that actually there was ‘a little bit of confusion about’ the major announcement made at the party’s conference earlier this month.

She said: ‘[A]ctually it is not a guarantee to see a GP directly but a GP’s appointment, so within the surgery and signposted off to the appropriated healthcare professional.’

Scots will be casting their votes on 5 May in the fifth general election since the Scottish Parliament was established in 1999.

13:50 In case you missed it, the royal colleges are calling for junior doctors and the Government to get back round the negotiating table by dropping their respective threats of strike action and contract imposition.

Labour have responded to the call from the royal colleges.

Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander said:  Jeremy Hunt must start listening to the growing chorus of medical and patient voices who are urging him to think again.

’Patients must always come first and it is time the Government accepted responsibility for their shambolic handling of these negotiations and returned to talks.

’Jeremy Hunt has four weeks until the next period of industrial action. It is vital that he uses that time to find a solution to this dispute that does not involve imposition. If he fails to do so the only losers will be patients.’

12:20  Also today, Public Health England has issued a ‘new and improved’ prostate cancer pack for GPs. 

The new pack includes updated information that GPs can use to discuss the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer with well men. 

PHE said the updated information will help guide well men and their GPs when deciding whether to have a PSA test – but adds it does not apply to men at high risk or with symptoms of any age.

The updated information can be found here.

10:45 South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was forced to urge people visiting A&E with complaints of stomach aches from eating one too many Easter eggs to stay at home and rest instead.

Its Facebook page said: ’Believe it or not, we do have people coming into A&E with stomach aches caused by over-indulgence. If you’ve had one too many Easter eggs and a big Sunday dinner, you’re likely to feel better after a rest at home and drinking plenty of water.’

9:30 Pulse’s investigation on the DH being set to miss its target to attract 5,000 new GPs by 2020 can been covered by most of the national press.

It featured in the Mirror, the Times,ITV, Daily Mail and the Express.

We revealed that, even with the most optimistic slant, the DH is unlikely to attract much more than 2,000 of the 5,000 GPs that have promised.