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#GPnews: Junior doctors’ court case against Hunt ‘in public interest’

16:33 Renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street has warned that the loss of EU funding in light of Brexit could put the lives of vulnerable patients at risk.

The hospital, which has recently received around 10% of its research budget from the EU, also worries about losing EU staff and partnerships, reports the BBC.

The hospital’s chief executive Dr Peter Steet said: ‘For the vulnerable, very ill children we care for, every day counts.’

15:30 Junior doctors’ campaign group Justice for Health were thrown a lifeline yesterday to carry on their High Court case against health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s initial imposition of the junior doctor contract. 

Mr Justice Green said the case was in the ‘public interest to be heard’, and allowed the application for a judicial review to proceed – with a three-day hearing expected to take place in September, the Evening Standard reports. 

Within hours of yesterday’s High Court ruling, over 3,500 cash donations were given to the Justice for Health cause – allowing it to continue to fund its court case against Mr Hunt. 

12:35 The House of Commons health committee has launched an inquiry into suicide prevention, in light of rising rates of people dying by suicide in the UK.

It is inviting contributors, including GPs, to submit evidence relating to why suicide rates are rising: social and economic costs; potential solutions and barriers to rolling them out, including in primary care; media reporting of suicide; data collection; and anything else that may be of use to the inquiry.

It comes as in 2014 the number of UK suicides reached 4,882. Although men continued to be over-represented (three-quarters were male suicides), there was a 14% increase in female suicide between 2013 and 2014, ‘demonstrating the necessity of work targeted at both sexes’, said the committee.

10:55 Alcohol consumption is directly linked to at least seven different forms of cancer, according to a new analysis.

Researchers said it could be the direct cause of mouth and throat, larynx, breast, colon, liver and bowel cancers and was potentially behind almost 6% of all cancer diagnoses.

They said that the risk was greater the more a person drinks, but that low to moderate drinkers were also increasing their risk of cancer, reports the Daily Mail.

Professor Jennie Connor, of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at Otago Medical School in New Zealand, said: ‘There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites, and probably others.

‘Confirmation of specific biological mechanisms by which alcohol increases the incidence of each type of cancer is not required to infer that alcohol is a cause.’

9:20 The NHS Litigation Authority has claimed that  £56.1bn will be needed to cover known and future claims for clinical negligence for past patient care.

Its annual accounts state: ‘The main feature of NHS LA’s accounts is the provision arising from the indemnity schemes that we operate on behalf of the NHS and DH. The provision has increased significantly from £28.6 billion to £56.4 billion over this financial year.’

In response to the NHS Litigation Authority Report and accounts 2015/2016, Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director at the MPS said: ‘It’s good news that the NHS LA has seen a small drop in the number of claims for clinical negligence to just under 11,000, but the cost has increased by over £300m on last year.

‘In one year the NHSLA has also seen the increase in damages payments increase by 23% and payments made to claimant lawyers’ increase by 43%. Increases of this magnitude are unsustainable and it’s deeply concerning to think about what the cost to the public purse may be in ten years’ time if action isn’t taken now.’