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#GPnews: Stevens reiterates call for QOF to be abolished in 2018

16:00 The youngest children in school classes are more likely than their older classmates to receive medication for ADHD, a new study has claimed. 

The study, published in the Western Medical Journal of Australia, found nearly 2% of 6-15-year-olds in Western Australia received a prescription for ADHD medication in 2013 – and claim that those born in the last months of the school year intake were more likely to have had a prescription than the oldest children in the year.

Researchers also highlighted concerns that children are ‘being misdiagnosed with the psychiatric disorder’ and medicated for what could simply be age-related immaturity, the Guardian reports

14:30 Elsewhere today, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said public safety could be at risk because the NHS is currently not allowed to carry out checks on the rising number of nurses coming to work here from EU countries, the Telegraph reports

The NMC has told ministers to use Brexit as an opportunity to close ‘gaping loopholes in regulation’, amid a tripling in the number of nurses coming to Britain from the EU.

The nursing regulator claimed the current system – which forces regulators to automatically register nurses and midwives from Europe as safe to work, without any checks, even if they had not practised for decades – was ‘unsafe, and posed a public protection risk.’

A statement from the NMC, presented to the Commons Health Committee, said: ‘Under the conditions of automatic recognition enshrined in the Directive, we are required to recognise a nurse or midwife’s qualification even if they have been out of practice for a significant length of time. We believe that this poses a public protection risk.’

12:10 Simon Stevens has restated NHS England’s ambition to deliver a replacement for QOF in time for next year’s (2018/19) contract, telling a Health Foundation conference today that a replacement would be worked up in the next 12-18 months.

Mr Stevens said last year that QOF was at the ‘end of its useful life’ but that it couldn’t be scrapped ‘cold turkey’.

At the same speech today, the NHS chief executive praised the value for money of GP and said an overhaul of the model for funding doctors’ medical training was also in the works.

9:30 London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned Londoners to avoid strenuous activity due to the ’shameful state of London’s toxic air’.

It is the first time a ‘very high’ air polution has been issued for London under a new alert system, the BBC reports.

Warnings were issued at bus stops, roadside signs and Tube stations. It was put down to cold, calm and settled weather, meaning winds are not dispersing local pollutants.

A spike in pollution on Sunday was the highest level recorded since April 2011.


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