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#GPnews: Total GP contractual uplift before expenses is 3.2%

18.03 A full list of extras on the GP contract on the main site… Latest story is that GPs will have to record and report what they spend on locums, when going over a cap to be set out by NHS England.

16.11 A new report has predicted that introducing a tax on sugary drinks in the UK would prevent almost four million people becoming obese over the next ten years.

Statisticians working on behalf of Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum modelled the impact of the tax to predict a 16% reduction in the number of cans of sugary drinks consumed, reports the BBC.

Although this would translate only as an average 15 calorie reduction per person per day, the statistical impact was much larger.

Alison Cox, from Cancer Research UK, said: ’The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous.

‘These numbers make it clear why we need to act now before obesity becomes an even greater problem.’

The report, which comes as the Government is expected to unveil a delayed national obesity strategy within weeks, does not conclude that there would be any reduction in current levels of obesity.

14.42 Following on from yesterday’s prediction from NHS trusts that they could end 2015/16 £2.3bn in debt, figures from Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority have shown that the overall NHS deficit could reach more than £2.8bn.

And, according to the Telegraph, this is ‘largerly fuelled by spending on agency doctors and nurses’ (see previous blog post at 09.30).

The Labour Party’s shadow health minister Heidi Alexander said: ’The Government needs to be honest about what this crisis means for patient care. It means cuts to frontline staff, longer waits for treatment and services at risk of closure.

’Ministers are in denial, but the staggering decline in the NHS’s financial performance is a direct result of decisions they made.’

To read Pulse’s recent Big Interview with Ms Alexander, focused on her views on the crisis in general practice, click on this link.

13.25 After much wrestling with the figures, NHS Employers has confirmed to Pulse that the 2016/17 contractual funding uplift is 3.2%, which should translate, according to the parties, to a 1% pay uplift… The main story is now updated to reflect this.

12.03 Not that you will have missed it, but the GPC just announced the 2016/17 contract deal. There are a lot of good news in there, but GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul is keen to stress general practice still requires a much bigger rescue package.

The deal includes:

– a £220m funding increase translating to a 1% uplift for practices

– an end to the unpopular dementia DES

– agreement to explore the end of QOF and the unplanned admissions DES

10.40 The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England has hailed a trial that saw her writing to over 1,500 GP practices about their antibiotic prescribing.

As previously reported by Pulse, Public Health England (PHE) researchers found it had led to a 3.3% reduction in prescribing among targeted GPs.

The study, now published in the Lancet, showed that GPs who received the letter reduced their rate of antibiotic prescriptions to 127 per 1,000 compared to 131 per 1,000 by GPs who did not receive the letter. Patients were also targeted, however there was no significant difference in the rate of antibiotics prescriptions in that group.

CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies said: ’We know that drug resistant infections are one of the biggest health threats we face.

’This innovative trial has shown effective and low cost ways to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics which is essential if we are to preserve these precious medicines and help to save modern medicine as we know it.’

09.30 Nine in ten hospitals are breaching the new spending cap for locum doctors and nurses, the Telegraph reports.

Newly released figurers show that over 20,000 shifts a week are being filled by locums.

The figures show that 194 (85%) out of 228 NHS trusts are non-compliant with the new rules, six weeks since they were introduced.

It comes as the King’s Fund’s quarterly survey of NHS managers showed trusts are expecting a combined £2.3bn deficit for 2015/16.

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