This site is intended for health professionals only

#GPnews: Junior doctors raise £90k to challenge contract in High Court

16:40 The #JustHealth campaign, which was launched at the weekend in response to the govenment’s imposition of the junior doctor contract, has now raised nearly £90,000. 

The campaign was set up by NHS staff and patients, and is hoping to initiate a judicial review on the impact of the new imposed junior doctors’ contract on ‘patient safety and stability of the NHS’.

The review, however, is much broader than the BMA’s review on the Government’s failure to carry out an equality impact assessment before imposing the new contract and will consider all Government decisions that led to the contract imposition.

The campaign aims to raise a working case fund of around £250,000 – and they are looking for donations through Crowd Justice.

16:16 Dr Amanda Doyle, a GP and CCG lead from Blackpool and the co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, has been named one of the heads of NHS England’s new strategy for ‘place-based’ commissioning.

As NHS England unveiled the map of 44 new regional ‘footprints’, Dr Doyle was put in charge of the one spanning Lancashire and South Cumbria.

‘How is this relevant to me?’, we hear you ask. As previously reported, each new region is going to have to come up with a plan to ensure general practice is ‘sustainable’ in the future. We predict much talk of ‘new models of care’.

Leaders for other regions include hospital trust chief executives and council presidents.

Dr Doyle said: ‘I am very conscious that my role is only one of many that will be needed if we are to secure sustainable services and I don’t underestimate the task that we have ahead of us.’

15:02 MPs are listening to parents, charities and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) this afternoon, on whether the meningitis B vaccine should be given to all children and not just newborn babies.

The live-streamed evidence session, hosted jointly by the House of Commons Health Committee and the Petitions Committee, comes after parents suffering the loss of children through meningitis collected over 820,000 signatures to an online petition calling to extend vaccinations.

The JCVI has previously said an extension would ‘not be cost effective’.

12:45 Elsewhere, the former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has claimed that the NHS is a ‘toxic’ place to work and has subsequently left junior doctors exhausted and at ‘breaking point.’ 

Professor Gerada added that junior doctors are regularly ‘bullied’ by NHS management, and forced to work within a culture of ‘fear and blame’, the Mail Online reports. 

The former RCGP chair, who also leads the Practitioner Health Programme – the support service for sick doctors – also said there is growing number of people within the profession suffering with mental health problems.

10:41 Going cold turkey is the best way to quit smoking, with those ditching the cigarettes completely 25% more likely to succeed than those who cut down gradually, reports the Independent.

University of Oxford researchers split some 700 smokers into two groups, telling one half to quit completely on a set day and the other to reduce gradually until the quit day.

A month later, 50% of the group who had gone cold turkey were not smoking compared to just 39% of those quitting gradually.

Lead study author Dr Nicola Lindson-Hawley said: ’The difference in quit attempts seemed to arise because people struggled to cut down. It provided them with an extra thing to do, which may have put them off quitting altogether. If people actually made a quit attempt then the success rate was equal across groups.

’We also found that more people preferred the idea of quitting gradually than abruptly; however regardless of what they thought they were still more likely to quit in the abrupt group.’

9:40 The Royal College of Physicians’ president Professor Jane Dacre will say in a speech today that there are not enough doctors to run a seven-day NHS, the BBC reports this morning. 

At the College’s annual conference, Professor Dacre will raise her concerns to ministers that the key issue of recruiting more doctors will need to be urgently addressed if the government’s flagship seven-day NHS policy is to work.