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#GPnews: Thatcher tried to bring in compulsory private health insurance system

15:15 For those of you not lucky enough to be there, there are a few pictures of the General Practice Awards flying around on social media. Professor Graham Watt, the founder of Deep End GPs, a group that furthers the cause of deprived practices, won a lifetime achievement award. You can also read an interview with him here.

11:30 The number of GPs in Sunderland has decreased by 25% since 2013, a local MP has found.

Bridget Phillipson, who requested figures from the DH, found that the number of full-time equivalent GPs in the NHS Sunderland CCG area has fallen from 201 in September 2013 to 154 in March this year, the Sunderland Echo reports.

GP practices in the CCG area have on average more than 1,800 registered patients to one FTE GP – significantly more than the average for England.

9:40 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was secretly trying to drive through plans to introduce compulsory private health insurance despite a public pledge to protect the NHS, private Treasury papers released by the National Archives reveal.

The Guardian report s that the papers, from former chancellor Sir Geoffery Howe’s office, show plans to dismantle major public services were being worked on in private, even after a cabinet rebellion at the 1982 Conservative Party Conference when part of the plans were leaked.

Mrs Thatcher claimed publicly to be ‘horrified’ at the suggestion, and historically pledged ‘the NHS is safe with us’, but the most recent papers show that two months later the plans were still being worked on and included proposals for charges for state schooling, and a system of private medical facilities.