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#GPnews: Patients urged to be more like ‘Gary’

15:00 NHS Swale CCG is urging patients to be ‘more like Gary’.

In a tweet it praised the (potentially fictional?) Gary for going to see his GP when he had back pain.

Presumably, Gary’s implied heroics consisted of not going to A&E and putting undue pressure on urgent care services.

But commenters suggested that perhaps Gary would be wasting his GP’s time as well.

And NHS Bexley CCG chair Dr Nikita Kanani, a GP in southeast London, suggested Gary should try the new NHS symptom checker app first.

15:00 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has commented on his sepsis campaign targeting parents.

He said: ‘Sepsis is a devastating condition that we need to far get better at spotting across the NHS. By raising awareness and improving clinical practice we will save lives in the fight against this horrible illness.’

14:30 The number of children and young people who smoke and drink is in decline, NHS Digital reports.

The 2015 Health Survey for England found that 16% of kids aged 8-15 reported ever having an alcoholic drink – the lowest ever reported since the survey began, and down from the highest point of 45% in 2003.

And the proportion who reported they had ever smoked a cigarette has decreased from 19% in 2003 to 4% in 2015.

But while this may be good news for public health, it seems problems with poor diets may take away from it. Among children aged 2-15, 28% were overweight or obese in 2015.

Among adults:

  • Smoking rates had fallen from 28% in 1998 to 18% in 2015;
  • 83% had drunk alcohol in the last year and around half drank at least once a week (44% of women, 52% of men);
  • and a quarter of adults were obese in 2015.

13:45 Communities secretary Sajid Javid has defended his local government funding settlement, which will see councils allowed to raise an extra 6% in tax over the next two years to plug gaps in social care funding.

The Labour Party and the BMA and others have said this will not go far enough to tackle the ‘crisis’ in social care around the country.

But Mr Javid said his measure ‘recognises the cost of delivering adult social care and makes more funding available sooner’, reports the BBC.

11:35 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt is launching a sepsis awareness campaign aimed at parents today, reports the Independent.

This forms part of the Government’s wider work to raise awareness of the condition via the ‘think Sepsis’ campaign.

The new advert, aimed at parents and carers of children from 0-4 years old, says they should take immediate action if their child looks mottled, bluish or pale, appears lethargic or difficult to wake, is abnormally cold to touch, is breathing rapidly, has a rash that does not fade when pressed or has a fit or convulsion.

Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director for NHS England said: ‘This campaign is an important addition to our ongoing work – we will never treat sepsis in time unless everyone “thinks sepsis”.’

09:30 NHS chief executive Simon Stevens is calling on the Government to reprioritise funding spent on older people.

Mr Stevens told MPs yesterday that the pensions triple lock, and free bus passes, should be scrapped in favour of funding elderly care, reports the Daily Mail.

He said: ‘It seems to me there is no point in saying we are putting all of the available increase into triple lock pensions including for much better off pensioners if it then means you’ve got 14 or 15% of pensioners still living in poverty and not able to get the social care they need.

‘We’ve got to have a single conversation about the new social contract for older people – and we’ve got to make it easier for older people themselves to take back control in terms of how those funds are used for their own services rather that partitioning them up in ways that other people have decided.’