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#GPnews: NHS 111 ‘not safe and effective’ for children, warns paediatrics college

17:30 A new campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the danger sepsis poses – which could save the lives of 14,000 people each year, according to a charity.  

The Independent reports that the UK Sepsis Trust’s campaign plans to heighten awareness of the condition – which is the second biggest killer in the UK after heart disease – and claims the lives of 44,000 people each year. 

The charity has said that thousands of avoidable deaths could be prevented annually if healthcare professionals were better trained, the public was better educated, and a national registry which documents progress in sepsis care was established. 

15:45  Meanwhile, junior doctors made the most of the opportunity to mock health secretary Jeremy Hunt at the weekend, after he attended a rare Cabinet meeting on Saturday to discuss the EU referendum. 

Junior doctors were quick to point out on social media the irony of Mr Hunt working on a weekend – as they echoed the furore over his imposition of a new contract to enforce a seven-day NHS.

14:00 The junior doctors row is set to explode again. After a meeting of the junior doctors committee on Saturday, its chair Dr Johann Malawana sent a letter to junior doctors telling them that further industrial action is ‘inevitable’. You can read the full story here.

12:30  Elsewhere, NHS 111 has come under fire again, with the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics claiming that the service is not ‘safe and effective’ for diagnosing illness in young children, according to a report in the the Telegraph.

Professor Neena Modi – who said there is question mark over whether 111 call handlers, who are not medically trained, should be carrying out assessments – also lamented over the decline of GP out-of-hours services, adding that it was a loss to the country. 

Last month, a report into the tragic death of a 12-month-old toddler in 2014 concluded that NHS 111 call handlers are currently unable to identify potentially fatal cases of sepsis because the system is not sensitive enough to pick up red flags. 

12:00 Locums are warning that some locum GPs may move to a ‘higher-paying profession’ altogether as a result of changes announced on Friday.  

National Association of Sessional GPs chair Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: ’The mere mention of a maximum rate could undoubtedly artificially constrain the locum market: some practices may be prompted to use this indicative rate as a ceiling, some locums will significantly increase their rates to match it, and some GPs will stop work altogether and move to a higher-paying profession. Either way, there will be no winners, only losers.

‘At the end of the day, this could just make it even harder for struggling and overworked practices to find decent GP cover for their patients.’

10:00 In case you missed it, here are the main points:

  • Practices will receive a 3.2% funding uplift, which is due to result in a 1% pay increase. The GPC and NHS Employers negotiated this without using the DDRB’s ’pay calculator’, but instead looking at all expenses including indemnity increases, CQC rises, locum costs, etc.
  • The dementia DES will be scrapped from April.
  • The GPC and the Government will explore the end of QOF from next year, but it is unchanged this year.
  • They will also explore the end of the unplanned admissions DES, though it will remain this year.
  • There will be a 28% increase to the item of service fees for vaccinations and immunisations from £7.64 to £9.80.
  • Practices will be required to record data on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments until 2020/21;
  • They will also record annually the number of instances where a practice pays a locum doctor more than an indicative maximum rate, as set out by NHS England.
  • The Government has also committed to ’a national strategy to reduce bureaucracy and manage demand on GP services’.
  • GP practices will be required to record data on the availability of evening and weekend opening for routine appointments, which is to be collected until 2020/21.
  • GP practices will record annually the number of instances where a practice pays a locum doctor more than an indicative maximum rate, as set out by NHS England.
  • The MenACWY 18 years will be extended to allow for the opportunistic vaccination of 19-25 year old non-freshers who self-present for vaccination.
  • NHS Employers and GPC will work with NHS England and the Department of Health to ensure that appropriate and meaningful data relating to patients’ named accountable GP is made available at practice level. This data will be shared internally within practices and used to improve services for patients.

9:30: The big new continues to be the GP contact. If you have not already read it, GP practices are going to be forced to tell NHS England if they spend more that the maximum rate for locums. 

But we have lots more on its way.

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