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#GPnews: NHS England calls for GPs to back its plan



15:30 A UK teenager has become the first British child to be cryogenically frozen. The girl, who died of cancer last month, fought a court battle for her body to be frozen and stored after her death.

Before her passing, the 14-year-old said: ‘They may find a cure for cancer and wake me up. This is my wish.’

Her body has since been frozen at -196C in a ‘cryostat’ tank in Detroit, US.

Her father, who had fought her in court, said: ‘Even if she is brought back to life in, let’s say, 200 years, she may not find any relative and might not remember,’ reports the Daily Mail.

14:00 The King’s Fund health think-tank is also asking for more social care funding in the Autumn Statement.

It said in a release: ‘The most pressing priority for the Autumn Statement is to address the critical state of social care. With an increasingly threadbare system taking an unacceptable toll on older people, their families and carers, finding more money for social care is an early test of the Prime Minister’s commitment to a more equal country that works for everyone.’

It was responding to an NHS Improvement report that said NHS trusts had a deficit of £648m in the first half of this year.

12:35 NHS Providers has warned the Government that it must address NHS underfunding in next week’s budget statement – or inform NHS workers which services it should start rationing.

Chief executive Chris Hopson said the extra money should go towards general practice and social care, to reduce demand on hospitals and urgent care services, reports Pulse’s sister title the Commissioning Review.

He said: ‘NHS trusts are working flat out to develop new and better ways of delivering patient care, but they urgently need targeted extra investment in the areas of greatest need. Investing in general practice and social care, as well as stopping the raids on capital spending to ensure our hospitals and other buildings are fit for purpose, must be an urgent priority.

‘This would help GPs and care services to ease the rising pressure on hospital, ambulance, community and mental health trusts, which in turn would improve the quality of care people receive.’

He said that with the funding currently that is currently planned, ‘over the next three years demand and cost will rise by at least 4% a year whilst real terms health funding per head is flat or actually reduces’.

He warned: ‘We therefore have to decide what the NHS should prioritise. The NHS simply cannot do all that it is currently doing and is being asked to do in future on these funding levels.’

09:30 GPs and practice staff must ‘suspend their cynicism’ about the GP Forward View if it is going to work, according to the lead on primary care at NHS England.

Speaking at Management in Practice London, NHS England’s national director of primary care Dr Arvind Madan told the audience he understood ‘the cynicism’ around the Forward View which includes an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice from 2020, but there was ‘no plan B’.

He said: ‘I shared the cynicism and that’s why I got involved. It’s pretty easy to throw rocks at this stuff but we don’t have a plan B so why don’t we get behind it and see if we can do it?

‘I would say, if you can, suspend your cynicism for a little while and give this a chance to breathe and see if it’s starting to make a difference.

‘The worst case scenario here is if this could have been a viable solution for the system but the cynicism stopped general practice from holding its hand out to take the option.’

Dr Madan, who was the keynote speaker at the conference, organised by Pulse publisher Cogora, said that ‘the penny had dropped’ across the NHS that a ‘strong general practice’ was essential for the sustainability of the wider health service.

‘We’ve had a decade of underinvestment. A third of GPs are ready to leave in the next five years – if you look at GPs over the age of 50 that jumps to almost two-thirds. Morale is at its lowest level since records began in 2001.

‘This is a really difficult backdrop in which to implement change,’ he said.

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