11:45 Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director for NHS England, has announced his retirement from the organisation at the end of 2017.
Sir Bruce, who has been the medical director for 10 years, has been appointed as chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.
Sir Bruce said his role at NHS England ‘has been and continues to be a huge privilege’.
He said: ‘But the time must come to make a change and I now have the opportunity to focus my attention on improving services for women and children in my home city. I am really looking forward to it.’
In a recent interview with Pulse’s sister title, Healthcare Leader, Sir Bruce said suggestions that regional plans to overhaul health and social care services can be fully implemented by 2021 are ‘really ambitious’.
He also said that GPs will become ‘the consultant physicians’ of the health service in the next two decades as the likes of MRI scanners become hand-held and other procedures become ‘increasingly minimally invasive’.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England said: ‘Bruce has given superb medical leadership to the NHS and has been a great source of wisdom and advice to us all.’
9:30: The RCGP has reacted to the CQC’s clamping down on websites selling prescription medicine,
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, RCGP chair, said: ’We cannot tolerate a laissez faire attitude towards dispensing of prescription medication; they are not sweets.
’We were shocked and disappointed last month to hear about the apparent minimal security checks on some websites to ensure patients are obtaining prescription drugs appropriately. It’s concerning today to see reports that this is more widespread – and the CQC are absolutely right to take a hard line against this.
’GPs and other prescribers in the community are highly trained to take into account physical, psychological and social factors when treating a patient, and will only prescribe drugs if it suits the unique health needs of the person sitting in front of them. We are also careful to ensure that the drugs work safely in combination with other medications that the patient may be using and to consider any previous history of allergies.’