Top headlines today
16.25 Meanwhile, a new poll has revealed that the public’s support for the second round of the junior doctors’ strike is as high as it was for the first strike back in January.
The survey results of 847 adults, carried out by Ipsos MORI, has dealt another blow to health secretary Jeremy Hunt after 66% of those surveyed support the second junior doctor strike.
Also, since the last strike, support for the notion of industrial action has strengthened among the public, with a nine percentage point rise to 49% in the proportion strongly supporting the doctors in the dispute with the Goverment.
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14.30 Despite talks between Government negotiators and the BMA earlier today – in a bid to prevent the junior doctor strike tomorrow – the BMA has just Tweeted that industrial action will still go ahead as planned.
13:00 It’s health questions today in Parliament, and once again the health secretary is talking up how much general practice is benefiting.
Responding to health questions in the House of Commons today, health secretary Jeremy Hunt was asked by MPs about patients waiting longer for GP appointments.
Mr Hunt responded: ‘It does take too long to get to see a GP. We are committed to sorting it out and the record investment in our NHS Five Year Forward View will make that possible…
‘What we are doing is reversing the historic underfunding for general practice with an increase of more than 4% a year in funding going into primary care and general practice for the rest of this Parliament, and I think that will give hope to the profession, who are absolutely vital for the NHS.’
Simon Burns, the MP for Chelmsford in Essex, asked about cuts to PMS funding in light of NHS England’s tendering for the contract of the Sutherland Lodge Surgery.
Mr Burns asked: ‘Does he think it is possible in the NHS review of the PMS scheme to ensure that good and innovative work is promoted by PMS, as exemplified by Sutherland Lodge Surgery, can be sustained?’
Health minister Alistair Burt responded: ‘Well I hope so, Mr Speaker, and I appreciate the Right Honourable Gentleman’s visit yesterday with members with that surgery and also representatives of the NHS.
‘The £1.4m release from PMS in Essex will be reinvested within the CCG area but it is important that there is an opportunity for all practices to bid for that money so that some of the work already done under PMS – if it is vital and still needed – gets this chance to continue, and certainly with services that are rated outstanding.’
11:45 Fresh from his grilling of the health secretary, it looks as though Andrew Marr has a new legion of fans:
Good timing: into A&E tonight for urgent treatment on mashed-up toe. Everyone VERY nice… Thanks.
— Andrew Marr (@AndrewMarr9) February 8, 2016
11:00 An excellent letter in the Telegraph today:
— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) February 9, 2016
Keen readers of the blog will notice a similarity to the petition we reported on yesterday.
10:45 A British Social Attitudes report has found that patient satisfaction with the NHS is dropping because of long waits to see a doctor, staff shortages and the service getting too little money, new research reveals.
The Guardian lead on the 5% fall in satisfaction over the past year, with a similar increase in dissatisfaction of 8% – the largest annual rise ever seen.
The think-tank revealed that only 60% of people are satisfied with the NHS, dropping from 70% in 2010.
9:20 A big claim from the Independent this morning. Quoting sources from the BMA, the paper claimed that Jeremy Hunt vetoed a deal to end the junior doctor dispute which was supported by the NHS’s own negotiators.
The source told the Independent that the DH ‘saw the offer as an opportunity to resolve the dispute’.
They added: ‘The one person who would not agree was Jeremy Hunt. Even though the NHS Employers and DH teams thought this was a solution he said no.
‘Negotiations have completely broken down… There are no more dates planned for talks. The BMA wants to continue negotiating but the other side have walked away.’
The DH said the claims were ‘completely untrue’, and that the BMA had ‘continuously refused to discuss unsocial hours pay’.