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#GPnews: Rebranded NHS Litigation Authority set to take new role in claims prevention

15:15 Drinking a pint of beer a day is now good for you, apparently.

The Independent reports that the habit of having roughly 14 units of alcohol a week has been linked to reduced risk of developing several serious heart conditions.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge and University College London analysed electronic records of 2m healthy UK adults, finding that moderate drinkers were less likely than teetotallers and heavy drinkers alike to seek medical help for heart attacks and strokes caused by blood clots.

‘In terms of biology, people who drink in moderation tend to have lower levels of inflammation, or higher levels of good cholesterol,’ said study lead Steven Bell.

Cheers to that.

12:45 The NHS Litigation Authority will rebrand as NHS Resolution as of next month, as it takes on a new strategy of resolving claims outside of court to a greater extent.

The strategy will be especially focused on taking earlier action when it comes to maternity incidents, which represent the highest value claims payouts for the NHSLA annually.

NHSLA said that whilst it was not a regulator, it did have a role to play in learning from mistakes and helping to aid prevention of their recurrence.

NHSLA chief executive Helen Vernon said that going forward, NHS Resolution would be ‘delivering fair resolution and learning from harm, which extends our role beyond the historic narrow remit of claims management’.

She said: ‘In those rare cases which involve brain damage at birth, we will work with the family, healthcare staff and the trust, right from the start to ensure that we learn from what went wrong and share this rapidly across the NHS.

‘Increased support to the NHS in delivering candour in practice and in sharing learning for improvement will be coupled with a fresh approach to resolution which reduces the need for costly and stressful court proceedings.’

The news comes as the Department of Health launched a consultation into a new ‘rapid resolution and redress scheme’ for severe birth injury earlier this month.

11:45 Public Health England looks unlikely to be launching a national screening programme for Group B streptococcus (GBS) in pregnancy, following a recent review.

It said in an announcement that following a further comprehensive review of the evidence, the independent expert screening committee has not recommended it takes the step.

The announcement said that the test currently available ‘cannot accurately distinguish between those mothers whose babies are at risk and those who are not’, meaning that ‘a large number of women would unnecessarily be offered antibiotics, with the balance of harms and benefits from this approach being unknown’.

Some 150,000 pregnant women carry GBS every year in the UK and in 400-500 cases the bacteria passes to the baby in labour, causing early onset GBS in the the first seven days of the baby’s life.

PHE said that ‘with prompt treatment the vast majority of babies affected by this condition will fully recover’.

UK National Screening Committee director of programmes Dr Anne Mackie said a national screening programme approach would ‘cut against the grain of ongoing efforts to reduce the number of people receiving unnecessary antibiotics’.

The recommendation will now be considered by ministers.

09:50 The BMA’s new junior doctor leader, GP trainee Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, was the first doctor on the scene after the Westminster terror attack yesterday.

GP colleagues have hailed his efforts as he stepped into action to try and help the injured in the immediate aftermath.

Following the ordeal, he tweeted that he was home safely. Well done, Dr Wijesuriya, from all of us at Pulse.

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