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#GPnews: NHS budget would be cut by £11bn after Brexit, warns Labour

15:50 A new petition has been launched by a GPC committee member calling for A&E ‘time targets’ to be changed so that patients are given treatment based on ‘clinical need’, opposed to within a set timeframe – regardless of their problem.  

Dr Paul Cundy, who chairs the GPC’s IT committee, is lobbying health secretary Jeremy Hunt to ‘stop forcing A&E departments to see and deal with absolutely everything and anyone who walks in through their doors within 4 hours.’

Instead, Dr Cundy argues, patients should be seen on a ‘clinical need basis’ allowing emergency departments to ‘allocate resources more effectively and patients might think twice about turning up in the first place.’ 

The petition has currently got 66 signatures, and you can sign it here

14:30 UK scientists have developed a new blood test to help doctors identify what the best drug is to treat a patient suffering with depression.

Researchers from London’s King’s College said that patients who test positive for inflammation are in need of more aggressive therapy from the outset, the BBC reports

The researchers have trailed the blood test so far on 140 people with depression, and have said that a larger trial will be undertaken to understand how effective it can actually be. 

11:55 London Mayor Sadiq Khan went along to visit Lambeth’s GP Good Food Co-op today – to check out the great work which is going on down there. 

The initiative is maintained by patients and doctors and nurses working in the borough, who have created a network of food growing gardens.

The gardens, which are built in GP practices, are often visited by people with long term health conditions to learn how to grow food in a safe environment.

And the Mayor looks most impressed with the work going on down there: 

11:20  Labour’s shadow health secretary, Heidi Alexander, will give a speech today highlighting the dangers that leaving EU could pose on the NHS’ future. 

Heidi Alexander 3x2

Heidi Alexander 3×2

Miss Alexander will make reference to warnings announced by the Institute of Fiscal Studies earlier this week that existing the EU would mean that public finances could be squeezed further, subsequently impacting on NHS funding. 

The shadow health secretary will say in a speech at Unison’s London HQ: ‘In the worst-case scenario, new analysis published by Labour today reveals that the Tories would have to cut the Department of Health’s budget by up to £10.5 billion in 2019/20 to meet their promise of balancing the books by the end of the Parliament.

‘That’s £10.5 billion pounds worth of cuts which if made today would mean every hospital trust in England cutting 1,000 nurses and 155 doctors.’ 

9:30 A big exclusive on Pulse this morning: the NHS is actively identifying GPs from Spain, Romania, Poland and Italy in an attempt to plug the GP crisis.

Lincolnshire LMC is leading on this. Dr Kieran Sharrock, medical director, told Pulse: ‘We need to increase the whole number of doctors in the UK, and the only way to do that is to go outside.

‘We want to push ahead with this as soon as we can, because even if we vote out in the referendum, we’ll still be in Europe the next day. It would take primary legislation to get us out of Europe, that’s 12-18 months I would have though and in that time we can maybe get some doctors here.’

Read the full story here.