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#GPnews: ‘Truth’ around the GP recruitment crisis ‘needs to be told’

Top headlines 

Third of practices in town could close within 18 months

Only 100 extra GPs added to workforce in six months

16:45 Tens of thousands of NHS workers need job protection as Britain negotiates Brexit, shadow health secretary Diane Abbott has warned. 

The London MP voiced her concerns at Labour’s party conference today, stating how the loss of freedom of movement for the 135,000 EU workers would cause the NHS ‘to collapse’, the Evening Standard reports

She added: ‘It is extremely foolhardy that ending access to EU markets is a price worth paying to end free movement’.

14:30 The political conference season is well and truly in full swing. Here’s a quick round-up of the key stories from the Labour conference in Liverpool impacting GPs:

Shadow health minister wants to prioritise five-day NHS – read in full

Government’s GP technology drive will exclude vulnerable patients, Labour warns – read in full

12:30  Elsewhere today, still focusing on the GP recruitment crisis, but this time north of border in Scotland, GP leaders have warned members of Holyrood’s health committee that GP recruitment problems are starting to affect patients. 

The BMA’s Dr Alan McDevitt told ministers that ‘the crisis will manifest’, while the chair of the RCGP in Scotland claimed ‘the truth’ concerning GP recruitment needed to be told. 

The panel were being challenged by committee members on their use of the term ‘crisis’ to describe current recruitment issues, but Dr McDevitt said while he regretted talking about the profession in ‘negative terms’, the truth needed to be told, BBC News reports.  

11:10  This morning we are leading on new figures released by NHS Digital which reveal there were 7,613 practices in England in March 2016 – a decrease of 61 from September 2015.

Meanwhile, the figures also show that only 100 extra GPs were added to the workforce in the those six months – while the proportion of the workforce that is female is increasing, with women now making up 52.1%.

Read the full story here

9:45  It’s emerged this morning that the BMA is facing a backlash from its members following its ‘appalling’ handling of the junior doctor dispute, with some medics cancelling their membership in protest, the Guardian  reports

The bitter reaction comes after the BMA announced at the weekend that it was cancelling its three planned five-day strikes in October, November and December – after it decided such industrial action could have an impact on patient care.  

Junior doctors have reportedly posted in the Facebook discussion group with angry messages about the BMA and Dr Ellen McCourt, the chair of the union’s junior doctor committee and some have gone as far as posting screen-grabs of cancelled direct debit forms of their BMA membership.