16:30 Fascinating update from Professor Louis Appleby, who is leading the GMC-commissioned investigation into the fitness-to-practise process. You can read our earlier interview with him here. He has told Pulse that he thinks too many doctors are being investigated.
Met doctors today who have recovered from mental illness but their careers have not – they have strong views about @gmcuk investigations.
— louis appleby (@ProfLAppleby) February 15, 2016
15:40 A new YouGov poll makes poor reading for health secretary Jeremy Hunt. Overall, 17% of voters think he is doing a good job, compared with 65% who think he is doing a poor job – worse than Prime Minister David Cameron, chancellor George Osborne, home secretary Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Even Conservative Party voters were unimpressed with Mr Hunt – 35% thought he was doing a good job, compared with 49% who think he is doing a poor job.
It also found that most of the public thought junior doctors were right to strike – 52%, with 32% of people against.
Finally, 45% of people said they blamed the Government for the strike action – compared with 17% who blamed the BMA, and 30% who said they were equally to blame.
13:10 There is some doubt emerging whether the £1bn per year additional funding for the implementation of the mental health taskforce report is genuinely new money or not. Here is the best ‘explanation’ (inverted commas here are deliberate) that we could find thus far from NHS England.
— Andy McNicoll (@andymcnicoll) February 15, 2016
11:40 A city council is organising a ‘high level’ summit to discuss the growing numbers of GP practices closing.
The Leicester Mercury reports that Leicester deputy city mayor Councillor Rory Palmer has invited DH officials to discuss the problems with practices closing in the city.
It follows growing patient concern over the closure of surgeries and the state of primary care in Leicester.
Councillor Palmer told the paper: “The overall challenge will be discussed but more importantly the event will be focussed on solutions and ensuring all parts of the health system are working collaboratively to strengthen primary care in Leicester.
’I will also be inviting national decision makers from the Department of Health because we need to ensure Ministers in Whitehall understand the challenges facing GPs and that primary care is properly funded.
’GPs are feeling under real pressure and resolving that has to be a priority nationally.’
9:25 An interestinginterview with the health secretary in the Guardian this morning, in which Jeremy Hunt says he has always had ‘admiration’ for the NHS “and the NHS ’remains the single biggest reason why most people are proud to be British’.
On the junior doctors’ contract row, he says that one of the reasons for younger medics having low morale is the problems coming from lack of staffing at weekends.
He says: ’I think one of the reasons morale is low in junior doctors is because if you go and work at weekends now as a junior doctor – which they do in abundance – it is very tough. There are half the number of consultants working in A&E departments on a Sunday as there are in the rest of the week, despite it being one of the busiest days of the week.’