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#GPnews: ‘NHS will experience pockets of meltdown this winter’

15:00 Regular blood pressure checks could save thousands of lives in the next decade, say health experts. 

Charity Blood Pressure UK have urged the public to attend regular blood pressure checks – who claim that by doing so could prevent 45,000 cases of stroke, heart attack and heart failure over the next 10 years, saving the NHS more than £1bin

Professor Graham MacGregor, chairman Blood Pressure UK, told the Huffington Post‘Having your blood pressure checked is one of the biggest steps that you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure and yet so many millions are taking unnecessary risks with their health’.

12:35 The NHS will suffer ‘pockets of meltdown’ this winter as the health service comes under increasing pressure, a leading doctor has told the Guardian

Dr Mark Holland, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the resilience of medical units was being ‘put to the test like never before’ – and that hospitals are cutting services, subsequently putting the health service at risk of ‘slowly deteriorating like it did in the 1990s’. 

Dr Holland also warned that hospitals who are already finding it difficult will find it even harder to operate this winter, leading to ‘pockets of meltdown.’

9:00 In case you missed it over the weekend, NHS Providers – which represents hospitals across England – has warned that the NHS is close to breaking point due to an escalating cash crisis.

Writing in the Observer, Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, says that years of underfunding have led to ‘impossible’ demands and hospitals may have to introduce ’draconian rationing’ unless there is a cash injection as part of November’s autumn statement.

The Observer said this was an ’unprecedentedly bleak assessment’.

He said: ’NHS performance rarely goes off the edge of a cliff. As the 1990s showed, instead we get a long, slow decline that is only fully visible in retrospect. It’s therefore difficult to isolate a single point in that downward trajectory to sound a warning bell.

’But NHS trust chairs and chief executives are now ringing that bell. We face a stark choice of investing the resources required to keep up with demand or watching the NHS slowly deteriorate. They are saying it is impossible to provide the right quality of service and meet performance targets on the funding available. Something has to give.’

Former chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee chair Dr Johann Malawana has a particularly interesting spin on this:

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