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#GPnews: NHS Choices used by patients ‘with an axe to grind’, says GPC

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GP vacancy rates at highest recorded with one in eight positions unfilled

Practices to be given £8,000 bursaries to train new nurses

15:30 Health select committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston – who is also a GP – has had some words on the US presidential debate. We’ll just leave this here:

14:00 Websites such as NHS Choices are used by patients with an ’axe to grind’, the GPC has said. 

On an article published on the BMA website, GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘Practices have had grave concerns with the simplistic and misleading sites such as NHS Choices, which bases judgements on the feedback from tiny numbers of patients who often have a particular axe to grind

‘Such sites often don’t provide patients with useful or balanced information that patients can use to make truly evidence-based judgements about a practice or the care it delivers.

‘[Withdrawing anonymity] is something we would like to see and we’ve repeatedly raised this, but the Government has not gone down that route, which I think is unfortunate. We want to know who it is so we can address the concerns.

‘In some cases it can cause quite a lot of stress for individual doctors.’

11:50 The RCGP has responded to Pulse’s report on GP vacancy rates. Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, says that the GP Forward View needs to be implemented urgently.

She said: “General practice is currently facing intense resource and workforce pressures, caused by years of underinvestment in and undervalue of our service.

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’General practice makes 90% of all NHS patient contacts. GPs and our teams are making at least 60m more patient consultations a year than we were five years ago, but over the same period our workforce has not risen in step with demand – and we have also seen a decline in resources for our service.

’This survey brings home just how important it is that we do everything in our power to recruit more GPs, urgently implement schemes to retain existing ones, and make it easier for trained family doctors to return to practice in the UK following a career break or period working abroad.

’NHS England’s recent GP Forward View announcement provides a lifeline for general practice; now it is vital the proposals in the document are implemented urgently so that GPs and our teams are fully supported to provide excellent patient care now, and in the future.

’General practice is the bedrock of the health service. We keep the NHS sustainable and our patients safe, so it’s vital that we have enough GPs and practice team members to do so for years to come.’

11:15  Elsewhere this morning, a new survey has revealed that the proportion of people who smoke in Wales has reached a record low. 

The Welsh Health Survey 2015, carried out by the Welsh government, has found that 19% of adults reported they currently smoke, down from 26% in 2003/4.

The reduction in the number of people smoking means the Welsh Government has already exceeded its aim of cutting smoking rates to 20% by 2016 and looks as though it is likely to achieve its 2020 target to reduce smoking levels to 16%. 

10:45 Pulse editor Nigel Praities spoke on Talk Radio this morning to presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer, discussing our lead story on rising GP vacancy rates. 

datalowdown gp shortage figures 580x1065px

datalowdown gp shortage figures 580x1065px

9:30The Telegraph’s front page features comments made on the Pulse website about GPs facing ‘decision fatigue’. Dr Rachel Ali told the LMCs Conference last month that she ’would much rather be one of my first five patient contacts of the day, than my last five’.

It also features the results from Pulse’s vacancy rates story, which has found that one in eight posts are currently vacant – the highest ever.

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