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#GPnews: Reaction to the suspension of this month’s junior doctors strikes

17:05 Plenty of reaction to the announcement that the BMA was calling off this month’s strike action.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: ’The NHS will be relieved that the BMA has called off next week’s industrial action. We remain concerned however that the planned industrial action in October, November and December is an excessive response to any outstanding concerns, particularly as it relates to a contract agreed by the BMA Junior Doctors Committee as recently as May.’

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ’The public will be relieved that the BMA has decided to call off the first phase of these unprecedented strikes, so this is welcome news. But if the BMA were really serious about patient safety, they would immediately cancel their remaining plans for industrial action which, as the GMC says, will only cause patients to suffer.’

However, the most amusing exchange was between formed junior doctors committee chair Dr Johann Malawana and the Telegraph’s political editor James Kirkup:

15:15 Following the Academy of Medical Royal College’s intervention in the junior doctor contract row – which led to member colleges distancing themselves – its trainees committees have clarified what exactly juniors are angry about. 

The letter, below in full, is well worth a read:

13:15 Whole brain radiotherapy holds ‘no benefit’ to lung cancer spread, Lancet research has found. 

The national study of more than 500 patients found that the treatment did not prolong or improve their quality of life.

Consultant clinical oncologist Dr Paula Mulvenna from Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trusttold the BBC how whole brain radiotherapy to successfully control tumours. ‘But in our lung cancer clinics, we were not seeing the improvements we had hoped for’.

11:20 A quarter of GP training places in Scotland are vacant, according to astory in the Herald today.

In 2015 a fifth were vacant, but 34 more GP training places were advertised this year compared to last year.

There is a similar lack of trainees in other specialities with only five of 16 vacancies filled in emergency medicine.

Dr Alistair Douglas, president of the Society for Acute Medicine Scotland and a consultant in Tayside, said they had thought Scotland might benefit from the junior doctors’ dispute in England but ‘It was probably over optimistic to say they would all up sticks and move north. You have to remember junior doctors will apply for multiple posts. We (in acute medicine) also had more applications this year, but that did not convert into jobs.’

Pulse has already reported that NHS Education for Scotland have offered 100 more GP trainee places to start in February 2017, with ‘golden handshakes’ of up to £20,000 to work in hard-to-fill rural places. 

9:45 A cash-strapped CCG is reviewing plans to ration treatments for obese patients and smokers after being leaned on by NHS England bosses, the BBC has reported.

NHS Vale of York CCG was proposing to delay non-life threatening procedures for patients with a BMI exceeding 30 and smokers.

But the BBC says NHS England, which can intervene as the CCG is under special measures, said the group had agreed to rethink the move.

A spokesman for NHS England said: ’Reducing obesity and cutting smoking not only benefits patients, but saves the NHS and taxpayers millions of pounds.

’This does not and cannot mean blanket bans on particular patients such as smokers getting operations, which would be inconsistent with the NHS constitution.’

Pulse has reported in the past that NHS Vale of York CCG has had problem, withGPs issuing a vote of no confidence in the leadership. 

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