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#GPnews: Practices and trusts should merge, says CQC’s chief hospital inspector

15:05 An interesting discussion taking place on Twitter, led by Pulse editor Nigel Praities, on the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals’ comments that he wants to see more hospitals and practices merging:

12:50 Drugs intending to help treat weak bones in elderly patients suffering from osteoporosis may be making them weaker, according to scientists at Imperial College London, the BBC reports.

Bisphosphonates are an extremely successful prescribed class of drugs that slow down the natural processes by which the body removes ageing or damaged bone.

But doctors have raised concerns that bone fractures are occurring in elderly patients who have taken the drug for a prolonged period.

Dr Ritchie Abel, who led the team said: ‘What we wanted to see was whether the bone from bisphosphonate patients was weaker or stronger than bone from untreated controls. Rather startlingly, we found the bone from the bisphosphonate patients was weaker. That’s a conundrum because the bone should be stronger. The drug is clearly working, but it also leads to the build-up of micro-cracks in the bone and that could increase the likelihood of a fracture.’

9:30 The boss of Capita, which runs primary care support services, has stood down after the company fell out of the FTSE 100,the BBC reports. It also revealed that annual pre-tax profits had fallen 33% to £74.8m.

The company has been under fire for the botched rolling out of primary care support services, which has seen patient records lost and GPs unable to practise as Capita has been slow in adding them to the performers list. 

The BBC reports that Capita is also under investigation by the BBC afterallegations that its collectors targeted vulnerable people for as part of its remit to collect the licence fee, spurred on by an aggressive incentive scheme.

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