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Transatlantic threat to NHS decision making, ‘unrealistic’ plans to cut unplanned admissions, and one in six has a work time kip

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has called for the NHS to be ‘exempt’ from a major EU-US trade negotiation – or CCGs may be opened up to legal challenges from US healthcare giants, the Independent reports.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated by Brussels and the US, is meant to promote ‘collaboration across pharmaceutical and life science sectors’. But Mr Burnham warned: ‘If this goes through it will mean that any CCG anywhere in England could be challenged by a US private healthcare company – sued.’

Plans to cut emergency admissions over the next two years, are ‘unrealistic and impractical’ according to patient groups which have said existing community services aren’t sufficient to ‘safely’ handle the extra demand, the Telegraph writes.

Patients Association chief executive Katherine Murphy warned: ‘Reversing demand back to 2004 within two years is unrealistic and impractical. We do not have the services in the community to safely care for patients.’

The article also highlights a recent Kings Fund poll of 42 acute trust finance directors which could not find a single respondent who thought the plans could be achieved.

And finally some comfort for overworked GPs struggling to keep their eyes open while playing catch-up with unplanned admissions DES care plans – you are not alone, as one in six workers falls asleep at their desk once a week.

According to the Daily Mail, a US study found 30% of workers are unhappy with the amount of sleep they get and 76% admit to feeling tired at work most days. Study co-author Dr Jennifer Turgiss warned:  ‘Showing up to work sleep deprived can be the equivalent of showing up to work intoxicated’.

At least there aren’t any plans to increase GP working hours any time soon. Oh, hang on…