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#GPnews: Low fat advice having ‘disastrous consequences’

17:05 The long-term financial plan for the NHS is already ‘outdated’ and the health service is facing a £10bn black hole by 2020, a new report has claimed.  

An analysis of NHS finances by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has predicted that the health service will exceed its budget by £10bn-a-year in four years’ time as it continues to struggle to make £22bn in planned efficiency savings, the Guardian reports

The authors of the report said that new charges or rationing of care would have to be introduced, otherwise the government would have to raise taxes to make up for the shortfall. 

CIPFA cheif excutive Rob Whiteman said: The NHS faces a shortfall of £2.45bn this year and that’s likely to grow to £10bn by 2020. The Five Year Forward View, an attempt to bring long-term planning to the NHS, has floundered after just one year.

‘Failure of long-term financial planning will degrade services and cost more in the end. We’re seeing a worrying trend toward centralised control and a health service falling into a desperate scramble from one year to the next.’

15:15 Did you miss the LMCs Conference last week? 

Catch with all of Pulse’s coverage here

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey also spoke to Pulse about the vote in favour of mass resignation at conference, and how it represented the ‘anger from the profession’ and ‘a desire to see concerted action from NHS England to address the crisis facing general practice’ 

14:15  New research by the Medical Protection Society has found that ‘missed or delayed’ diagnosis of cancer is the most common reason for high value claims. 

A review of the defence union’s top 100 ‘high value clinical negligence claims’ opened in the UK in 2015 has found that alleged missed or delayed diagnosis of certain conditions commonly recurred.

Of these conditions, alleged missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer was the most common and led to 16% of high value claims, followed by cauda equina syndrome (13%), meningitis and encephalitis (8%) and peripheral ischaemia (7%). 

Head of underwriting policy at Medical Protection, Dr Nick Clements, said Medical Protection deals with a small number of significantly high value claims each year, ranging from several hundreds of thousands of pounds to multimillion pound claims.

He added: ‘Doctors in the UK are practising in an increasingly challenging environment, in which we have seen a significant rise in the number and value of clinical negligence claims over a five year period. This has caused a rise in membership subscriptions for a number of different specialties, which we know has been difficult for members.

‘Ultimately, we exist to protect members’ interests, and this is never more apparent than when they are facing a claim against them for millions of pounds.’

11:55  Official advice urging the population to take up low-fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having ‘disastrous health consequences’, a health charity has warned.

A new report, published by the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration, accuses major public health bodies of working in partnership with the food industry – and have subsequently called for a ‘major overhaul’ of current dietary guidelines. 

The charity said the focus on low-fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat, t he Guardian reports. As an alternative to the current guidelines, the charity calls for a return to ‘whole foods’ such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high-fat, healthy foods including avocados.

10.40 In response to NHS chief Simon Stevens’ comments that ‘Brexit’ could damage the NHS, Labour’s shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander said: ‘Simon Stevens is absolutely right: leaving the EU could have very serious consequences for the NHS. 

‘I would be the first to criticise the Tories’ appalling record on the NHS. However, if we vote to leave the EU on 23 June we risk plunging the NHS into an even deeper crisis. A crisis that could leave us with fewer doctors, fewer nurses and frontline services at risk of closure.

‘The vote in four weeks’ time is not just about whether or not we remain a part of the European Union. It’s about the future of our economy, the future of public services and the future of our NHS.’

9:40  NHS boss Simon Stevens has warned that a vote to leave the European union at next month’s referendum could ‘damage the NHS’. 

Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew MarrShow yesterday, Mr Stevens said that warnings from the Bank of England governor Mark Carney that voting to leave the EU could hit the economy, should be taken very seriously, adding that it would be ‘very dangerous for the NHS.’ 

The NHS chief said that when the economy sneezes the NHS catches a cold because public funding is undermined, arguing that the net increase in funds available to the government if the UK left the EU may not amount to enough to adequately give the health service the funding it needs. 

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