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#GPnews: Locums criticise Forward View for implying they are ‘part of the problem’

16:45 A Pulse survey of GPs has found that almost half are still willing to submit undated resignations, despite the multi-billion Forward View support package announced by NHS England last week.

If you are a GP in the UK, you can still take part in the short survey and make your views heard via this link and be in for a chance of winning yourself a brand new TV.

16:30 Google’s artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has signed a data-sharing agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, giving it access patient data from the the 1.6m people coming through its three London hospitals each year.

The agreement, seen by New Scientist, will give DeepMind access to data from the past five years, including information on HIV status, drug overdoses and abortions.

DeepMind said it intends to build an app to help monitor patients with kidney disease but since this information does not exist separately, it needs access to all the data.

The magazine said the rest of Google will have no access to the data, which will be stored outside of DeepMind’s offices.

15:29 A new leaflet, published today on the Government’s website, aims to ‘help primary care staff understand’ the rules on charging overseas patients for secondary care and how they can help recover costs, the Department of Health has told Pulse.

The guidance says: ‘No one can be charged directly for NHS primary medical care but if you are aware that a patient is chargeable or holds an EHIC, S1 or S2, it is helpful if you let the hospital know this when referring the patient to secondary care.

‘The hospital’s overseas visitor manager will use this information to recover the costs of care provided in hospital.’

The leaflet comes as a DH consultation on expanding charging to primary care is awaiting conclusion. The outstanding proposals include charging visitors for things like blood tests, lung function rests and prescriptions, while consultations would remain free of charge.

14:20 The National Association of Sessional GPs has criticised the General Practice Forward View, claiming that it sees locums as ’part of the problem’ rather than part of the solution.

The Forward View offers incentives for locums to take long term flexible roles attached to a particular practice.

However, the NASGP criticises the approach. They say: ‘It’s actually bewildering what the ‘plan’ lacks for this 25% of the GP workforce, who work across multiple settings, often at short notice, sometimes in over-stretched and even desperate practices.

‘Without doubt, practices are struggling and we desperately do need more partners and more salaried GPs in well-supported GP practices. But just ignoring the issues faced by locum GPs and implying they are part of the problem rather than part of the solution, is just burying our heads in the sand. It’s a step backwards and a missed opportunity.’

9:35 ’Scandal-hit’ Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust is ‘continuing to put patients at risk’, reports the BBC.

The mental health trust had been criticised by the CQC for having poor routines that led to the death of a vulnerable teenager.

But on reinspection, the CQC has found routines are still lacking, potentially endangering patients.

It comes as Pulse reported last month that Southern Health, which is part of a multispecialty community provider (MCP) ‘vanguard’, is in talks to take over the running of a whole town’s GP services.