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#GPnews: Plans to scrap student bursaries may ‘worsen NHS staff shortages’

17:15 Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted today that the CQC inspection regime ‘added duplication’ to overall NHS regulation.

Speaking at a King’s Fund leadership event, Mr Hunt was talking about the CQC and its processes, later conceding that with other bodies regulating NHS services – it has meant there is some duplication of regulation for the whole health service, including GPs. 

It comes just a day after the CQC unveiled its five-year strategy for regulation – revealing that it would be stepping up the usage of unannounced inspections and will target GP practices that have received a number of reports of poor care. 

15:35 Government plans to scrap bursaries and charge nurses and other health staff for their degrees have come under further scrutiny today. 

The Royal College of Nursing and Unison have warned that it could turn people off from pursuing a career in the NHS and worsen staff shortages, the BBC reports

It comes as ministers plan to radically overhaul the funding system at the end of 2017 – and charge student nurses, midwives and staff such as physiotherapists for their degrees.

The government has unveiled proposals to scrap bursaries, grants and to no longer cover course fees – and instead introduce university fees to bring health staff in line with other students.

RCN general secretary Janet Davies said: ‘Our members tell us that the fees could put people off, particularly older students who come into nursing later on. They are very important for the diversity of the workforce. This seems a risky move at a time when we are short of staff.’

14:05 Campaign group GP Survival has created a superb summary of last week’s LMCs Conference, highlighting awareness of their key ‘GP State of Emergency’ campaign.

The video features Pulse blogger Dr Zoe Norris, and members from the Resilient GP group and Londonwide LMCs.


12:15  Cumbria CCG is launching a fresh recruitment campaign in a bid to attract GPs to work in the area. 

The CCG, in partnership with the area’s out of hours service Cumbria Health On-Call, will host a ‘recruitment fair’ on 17 June to try and persuade doctors that Cumbria is a good area to work, reports the Cumberland and West Morland Herald

The event will be advertised nationally and will also be promoted via a social media campaign – in the hope of luring doctors from across the country to the fair.

During the event, doctors and trainees will be able to speak to local GPs and discuss the advantages of the county and the career opportunities available. 

10:55  A new report has revealed that adults in Scotland have increased their alcohol consumption for the second year in a row. 

The report, published by NHS Scotland, shows that sales of alcohol in 2015 were 20% higher in Scotland than they were in England and Wales, with each adult consuming the equivalent of 477 pints of beer.

NHS Scotland said the rise in alcohol consumption could be attributed to the higher proportion now being sold in supermarkets and off-licences, reportsTheTelegraph

9:35  This morning we reporting on the publication of new figures from NHS Improvement which reveal that GPs in England have ‘dramatically’ cut back on the amount of antibiotics they are prescribing patients



NHS Improvement have said that prescriptions for all types of antibiotic have decreased by over 2.6 million on the previous year to around 34 million in 2015-16, adding that it is a ‘fantastic result’ achieved in just one year. 

Chair of the RCGP, Dr Maureen Baker said that GPs – and other healthcare professonals – are heeding the warnings from the College about the increasing resistance of antibotics among the population. 

‘These figures show that healthcare professionals across the UK are taking our warnings about growing resistance to antibiotics, and its terrible consequences, seriously and are working hard to address them.’ added Dr Baker. 

‘Such a significant drop in prescribing shows that the work the College is doing to support appropriate prescribing and urge healthcare professionals to say ‘no’ is taking effect, despite the pressure GPs often face from patients to prescribe antibiotics.

‘However, we can’t be complacent. We all have a responsibility to curb this dangerous growing resistance to what are excellent and life-saving drugs when prescribed appropriately.’


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