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​#GPnews: Jeremy Hunt instates new ‘bed blocking’ monitoring process

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Twenty struggling practices forced into 100k-patient mega-merger

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15:00 Councils and hospital trusts are going to start being measured on their performance on reducing delayed hospital discharges, also known as ‘bed blocking’.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said this comes as the £2bn extra funding for social care announced in the spring budget would ‘help meet adult social care needs’ and ‘reduce pressures on the NHS, by supporting more people to be discharge from hospital when they are ready’.

In a statement, Mr Hunt said: ‘This government is clear that no-one should stay in a hospital bed longer than necessary: it removes people’s dignity; reduces their quality of life; leads to poorer health and care outcomes for people; and is more expensive for the taxpayer.

‘In this year’s mandate to NHS England, I set a clear expectation that delayed transfers of care should equate to no more than 3.5% of all hospital beds by September.’

12:40 GP leaders have welcomed a new resource from NHS England to hospitals about the new contractual requirements not to dump unnecessary workload on GPs.

Acting GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘General practice is facing unprecedented and mounting pressure from rising patient demand and widespread staff shortages. A significant extra burden is resulting from inappropriate and unnecessary work being transferred to general practice from secondary care settings.

‘Doctors and patients alike are frustrated that old fashioned systems prevent patients from being able to contact the hospital directly to rebook a missed appointment or to receive a fit note from a hospital doctor when they are unable to work.

‘Instead 15 million unnecessary appointments are made with GPs to deal with these and other issues when they could easily be dealt with in other parts of the NHS. At a time when GP services are struggling to provide enough appointments to the public this out of date bureaucracy is unacceptable.

‘Following significant pressure by the BMA’s GP committee, this new guidance provides clear national requirements that NHS managers and clinicians should follow to reduce inappropriate workload and by doing so deliver a better service to our patients.

‘It’s now imperative that NHS managers stick to their obligations which are laid out here and in recent changes to hospital contracts. Improving patient care is at the centre of this work as when implemented these measures will make the delivery of appointments and care much smoother for the patient.’

Click here for the full resource

11:50 Pastry-licious sandwich chain Greggs has launched a diet plan under which participants eat nothing but Greggs for the whole month.

Using four volunteers, who between them lost over two stone, Greggs showed it was possible to do so.

The plan includes a lot of salads and pre-packaged fruit but also subs, sausage rolls and pizza.

But, with Saturday’s lunch option being one single slice of margherita pizza, we’re not ready to sign up just yet…

Click here for the full menu card.


09:50 With more female than male graduates in some countries around the world, society has been left with a lack of eligible men with whom these women wish to have children, reports the Telegraph on today’s front page.

The paper quotes exerts saying that ‘a “terrifying” demographic shifts had created a “deficit” of educated men and a growing problem of “leftover” professional women’.

This was actually the finding of a Yale University study which looked into the reasons why women are increasingly choosing to freeze their eggs.

Prof Marcia Inhorn, Professor of Anthropology at Yale University, said:  ‘There is a major gap – they are literally missing men. There are not enough college graduates for them. In simple terms, this is about an oversupply of educated women.

‘In China they call them “left over women”. It sounds cold and callous but in demographic terms this is about missing men and left over women.’

In the UK by the year 2000, 54% of graduates were female, the article added.