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#GPnews: LMC leader ‘concerned’ about decision to drop GP mass resignations ballot

16:45 The Government has launched a consultation into expanding the ‘Ofsted-style’ CQC ratings system.

The DH said that when ratings were introduced in 2014 they were limited to NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts, GP practices, adult social care providers and independent hospitals, but it now ‘would like’ the CQC to develop ratings for other sectors that they regulate as well.

It said these included:

  • cosmetic surgery providers;
  • independent community health service providers;
  • independent ambulance services;
  • independent dialysis units;
  • refractive eye surgery providers;
  • substance misuse centres;
  • termination of pregnancy services.

16:02 One in seven NHS hospital trusts has suspended an acute service due to a shortage of doctors or nurses over the past 12 months, according to an ITV News investigation.

For example, the investigation revealed that the Airedale NHS Trust had suspended maternity services 11 times over 12 months.

An Airedale NHS Trust spokesperson said: ‘The diversion only occurs in the interests of maintaining patient safety.’

NHS Improvement told ITV News that ‘the safety of patients will always come first’ and that ‘where providers find that they have too few staff available to maintain a service it is right that they take steps to ensure that patients are protected’.

15:02 The LMC leader who proposed the motion to ballot GPs on submitting mass unsigned resignations has said she is ‘concerned’ about the GPC’s decision not to go ahead with the plans.

Dr Jackie Applebee, chair of Tower Hamlets LMC, said that the vote at the LMCs conference in May, which supported a bid to ballot the profession, had shown the ‘strength of feeling’ among GPs.

She said: ‘I understand that if NHS England has said that they accept all of the demands of the Urgent Prescription for General Practice that some might perceive this to be a breakthrough, however it will take more than words.’

Her comments come as GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has told Pulse that legal advice and feedback from GPs contributed towards it dropping the mass resignations plan.

Read the full story here

14:20 Giving antibiotics to very young children may increase their risk of developing type-1 diabetes, because they kill off ‘good’ gut bacteria, a study has suggested.

New York University researchers have only trialled their hypothesis on mice, but they found that it doubled the risk.

The findings come against a five-fold rise in under-fives diagnosed with diabetes in the UK over the past 20 years, reports the Daily Mail.

But researcher Martin Blaser stressed that parents should still follow the advice of GPs and give their children antibiotics, the article added.

13:40 Young people are more serious, work focused and pressured these days compared to 2005, a survey carried out for the Department for Education has shown, with severe impacts on their mental health.

The Longitudinal Study of Young People in England 2014 found that many year 10 students, who ‘have been growing up in a rapidly changing environment’, had symptoms of psychological distress. But this was much more common in girls (37%) than boys (15%).

Mental wellbeing had worsened since 2005, particularly among girls, as ‘young people felt less control over their own destinies’, the report said. Cyber bullying was also mentioned as a factor causing mental distress.

‘Overall, young people’s health and wellbeing was slightly worse in 2014 than in 2005 in terms of overall self-reported health and psychological distress. This is particularly so for girls, young people living in single parent and reconstituted families, and those with a long-standing illness or disability that affects their schooling,’ the report said.

11:40 There has been a massive hike in patients falling victim to surgical mistakes over the past decade, reports the Telegraph.

Between 2005 and 2015 the number of patient attendances due to an ’unintentional cut, puncture, perforation or haemorrhage during surgical and medical care’ increased from 2,193 to 6,082.

Calling for a Government review, Peter Walsh, of the charity Action Against Medical Accidents, blamed ’inadequate staffing and increased pressure at work’, as well as more complex procedures and better reporting of incidents.

There was also an increase in the number of procedures overall, but Mr Walsh said: ‘Of course it is a known risk of surgery that these things happen, but that doesn’t make it OK and much of the time they are really bad errors that are perfectly avoidable.’

10:34 Wind musicians should take precautions to avoid developing ‘bagpipe lung’, experts have warned, after a man died.

The 61-year-old musician developed hypersensitivity pneumonitis as a result of fungi lurking in his bagpipes, writes the Guardian.

The condition is already referred to as ‘bird fancier’s lung’, ‘farmer’s lung’ and ‘hot tub lung’, linked to other activities which can cause it.

According to the article, based on a study published in scientific journal Thorax, not only bagpipers have developed the disease because of their musical endeavours. There were previous reports of a saxophone and a trombone player with symptoms of hypersensitivity pneumonitis, but they recovered after cleaning their instruments.

‘Physicians should be aware of this potential risk factor and promote wind instrument hygiene,’ wrote the researchers from the University Hospital of South Manchester.

09:00 The Guardian has obtained leaked documents from the DH showing that officials had severe reservations around health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s push for seven-day services.

The documents state that the health service has too few staff and too little money to deliver a seven-day NHS on time and patients may not notice any difference even if it happens.

The biggest danger is ‘workforce overload’ – a lack of available GPs and other health professionals, ‘meaning the full service cannot be delivered’.

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, said: ‘To see in black and white that the Government has not only ignored [our] concerns – and those of other leading healthcare organisations – but has also disregarded its own risk assessment’s warnings about the lack of staffing and funding needed to deliver further seven-day services, is both alarming and incredibly disappointing.

‘The fact that the government is yet to set the objectives or assess the impact of further seven-day services, despite starting to implement extra services, only goes to show that this was nothing more than a headline-grabbing soundbite set to win votes rather than improve care for patients.’