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BMA launches lease deal template for GPs
The BMA has launched a template lease agreement designed to facilitate local negotiations to reach agreements for premises owned by NHSPS. GP practices that use the template as part of their negotiations between now and 30 November 2017 will see relevant costs incurred, such as stamp duty and a proportion of legal fees, paid for by NHS England. In addition, practices that experience an increase in their service charges as a result of the terms of their new lease can access funding to assist in mitigating the impact of such costs during a transition period while the efficiencies and savings sought by NHSPS (National Health ...
Source: BMA News - May 25, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA publishes guidance on the impact of EU policy
A guide to the impact of European policy and legislation on the UK’s medical profession has been published by the BMA. The guidance describes the referendum as ‘a momentous issue, the result of which could have huge implications for both the nation and indeed the medical profession’. The document comes one month before the referendum poll and provides clear and impartial facts about the role of EU legislation and directives and their influence on healthcare, including a mutual recognition of professional qualifications that allows UK-trained doctors to work in other member states and enables more than 30,...
Source: BMA News - May 24, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Care at risk unless deficit tackled
Patient care is at risk unless the financial crisis facing hospitals in England is addressed, as new figures reveal the total deficit now stands at £2.45bn. The current cumulative deficit exceeds the previously predicted deficit of £2.8bn projected during the middle of the previous financial year by £461 million.  Latest figures released by NHS Improvement show that 157 out of 240 hospital and other NHS trusts in England reported being in deficit by the end of the 2015/16 financial year. Responding to the figures, BMA council chair Mark Porter reiterated the association’s call for Government to...
Source: BMA News - May 23, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

'We will fight for what the forward view has not tackled'
GP leaders are pushing ministers to roll out their blueprint for general practice, alongside the BMA’s more far-reaching 'urgent prescription'. This was the call from BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul on the first day of the local medical committees 2016 conference in London on 18 May. Dr Nagpaul (pictured) told LMC members the General Practice Forward View, released by NHS England last month, offered a 'glimmer of hope' to primary care but was 'not yet a solution' to the ongoing crisis. 'GPs are facing an environment in which it feels we’re being set up to fail,' he added, 'where a workforce that is thou...
Source: BMA News - May 23, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

General practice needs 'contingency planning'
The NHS must prepare emergency plans to prevent general practice collapsing under sudden surges in workload, a conference of representatives from the profession’s local medical committees has agreed. Such emergency plans should become a legal duty for NHS bodies, according to a motion passed at the LMC 2016 conference on Friday. The motion, proposed by Derby and Derbyshire LMC member Peter Holden (pictured), called for the ‘urgent incorporation of contingency planning for large numbers of patients being left without general practice services at very short notice’. Such plans must be grafted into ‘al...
Source: BMA News - May 23, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA welcomes new Welsh Government plans
BMA Cymru Wales has welcomed the new Welsh Government’s plan to boost GP numbers and resurrect the failed Public Health (Wales) Bill. Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones was re-elected as first minister last week after a ‘one-off’ deal was struck with Plaid Cymru. A previous vote had seen Mr Jones and Plaid leader Leanne Wood tie for the position after Labour failed to win a majority in the Welsh Assembly election. As part of the Compact to Move Wales Forward, a fund will be set up to ‘end the postcode lottery for new drugs and treatments’, and more GPs will be trained and recruited. The first mi...
Source: BMA News - May 20, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Ex-BMA president to appear at Hay Festival
Former BMA president Baroness Ilora Finlay will make an appearance at this year’s Hay Festival. Baroness Finlay will share the stage with former Aberavon MP Hywel Francis and poet Gwyneth Lewis. They will discuss how the knowledge of a person’s impending death often prompts people to tell their story through the arts — through writing, painting or recording. The panel will explore how death is viewed in society and how people can help lay down a person’s legacy before they die by listening and sharing stories. Read more about the panel discussion on Friday 27 May   The story so far Tra...
Source: BMA News - May 20, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Seven-day GP services unworkable, conference hears
The Government should abandon its mantra on routine seven-day GP services and put greater investment into emergency weekend cover services instead, a conference has heard. Doctors at yesterday's LMCs (local medical committees) conference said ministers’ current emphasis on seven-day working was unachievable in light of continuing under-resourcing .   Suffolk GP Christopher Browning argued that the drive for routine GP appointments on Saturdays and Sundays was politically driven and contrary to the needs of most patients.   He added: ‘Have you ever tried to see your accountant on a Sunday? A dentist? Y...
Source: BMA News - May 20, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

GPs may be balloted on industrial action
GPs could be balloted on their willingness to take industrial action after a motion urging the move was backed at a conference of representatives from the profession’s local medical committees. LMC representatives voted in favour of the motion after it was proposed by Tower Hamlets LMC chair Jackie Applebee and backed by BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul. The motion proposed that the government blueprint for the future of primary care was not an ‘adequate response’ to the GPC’s statement of need within the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice. It said the GPC should ask the BM...
Source: BMA News - May 20, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Northern Ireland junior doctors committee chair elected
BMA Northern Ireland has announced that Chris Hoo has been elected as BMA Northern Ireland junior doctors committee chair. He will take over from Conan Castles, who served as chair of the NIJDC for three years. Mr Hoo has been a member of NIJDC since September 2013 and joined it with 'a desire to improve training and working conditions for junior doctors'. At present, he works as an ST7 in plastic surgery at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, County Down.   Unique challenges Mr Hoo said: ‘I am delighted and grateful to be elected as the new chair of NIJDC. 'I also want to extend my deepest thanks to the outg...
Source: BMA News - May 20, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Patients voice concern over GP access
GP leaders in Scotland have warned that urgent action is needed on recruitment and retention following the results of the latest patient survey. The Health and Care Experience Survey 2015/16, published on 17 May, shows that, while patients were overwhelmingly positive about the care and treatment they received, they were less happy about access. Although positive ratings for getting to see a GP remained high (at 71 per cent) and fell just one percentage point compared to the previous year, this marks a 10 per cent fall from the 2009-10 figure of 81 per cent. Alan McDevitt (pictured), chair of the SGPC, said the trend was w...
Source: BMA News - May 19, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Emergency measures considered over Scotland's doctor shortage
Health boards in the north of Scotland have been asked to consider invoking measures generally used for major incidents to help cope with medical workforce shortages. The move would involve sharing staff between health boards in an extension of the ‘mutual aid’ arrangements put in place to deal with issues such as a flu pandemic or major traffic accident. The NoSPG (North of Scotland Planning Group), a collaboration of six Scottish health boards, including NHS Grampian, Highland, Tayside and the island boards, has been trying to come up with ways of coping with shortages of doctors. A paper prepared for conside...
Source: BMA News - May 19, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA agrees junior doctor package
The BMA today reached an agreement with the Government on a new contract for junior doctors in England. More than a week of intensive and constructive talks followed a prolonged dispute, which has seen five periods of industrial action. BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana (pictured above) said: ‘I believe that what has been agreed today is a good deal for junior doctors and will ensure that they can continue to deliver high-quality care for patients.’ The key improvements for junior doctors are: Recognition of junior doctors’ work and contribution across every day of the week Proper co...
Source: BMA News - May 18, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Welcome healthcare chief reappointment
The BMA has welcomed the reappointment of Shona Robison as the Scottish cabinet secretary for health, wellbeing and sport. The association said it will bring continuity at a critical time for health services. Ms Robison, SNP MSP for Dundee East, (pictured above, left) served in the same role in the last parliament and has been closely involved in areas such as negotiating a new Scottish GP contract. BMA Scottish council chair Peter Bennie said: ‘I congratulate Shona Robison on her reappointment to the post and look forward to continuing to work with her at this critical time for the health sector in Scotland. &lsquo...
Source: BMA News - May 18, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Mixed picture for vanguard programme
Discussions over the impact of models revealed a mixed picture of the vanguard programme during a special BMA event in Newcastle on 11 May.   Sunderland clinical lead and CCG (clinical commissioning group) executive Dr Fadi Khalil spoke about how the MCP (multispecialty community provider) vanguard in his area had taken a three-pronged approach to tackling the pressures facing primary care.   Changes include a recovery-at-home service to help patients recuperate out of hospital, community integrated teams for those with complex needs and an enhanced approach to primary care to encourage and explore further integr...
Source: BMA News - May 17, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA Q and A: mental healthcare in the armed forces
BMA armed forces committee chair Glynn Evans answers your questions What is the BMA doing about mental healthcare in the armed forces? The association is pressing for greater provision in mental healthcare for military personnel during the latest reading of the Armed Forces Bill. The bill, which has been debated during its report stage in the Lords in recent weeks, has included discussion of two amendments drafted by the BMA and tabled by Labour party defence spokesperson Lord Touhig. The five-yearly Armed Forces Bill provides the legal basis for the UK’s armed forces and its system of military law.   What are...
Source: BMA News - May 17, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Penalties for under-resourced doctor concerns
GP practices rated outstanding or good by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) have benefited from more funding than those deemed inadequate or requiring improvement, the BMA can reveal. A report released today highlights the pattern between practices with higher average funding per patient and better inspection ratings — raising concerns that under-resourced doctors are being penalised. The report calls for fairer funding across the country and appeals to the Government and NHS England to ensure all practices are given at least the same funding as the average practice rated outstanding. ‘This analysis shows there...
Source: BMA News - May 16, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Seven-day plan is unworkable, says royal college leader
The unresourced plan to expand seven-day services in the NHS has crushed morale in a service already ‘stretched beyond reason’, a royal college president has said. Royal College of Physicians of London president Jane Dacre told the BMA junior doctors conference that the policy was not workable with staff struggling to meet existing demand. Professor Dacre also told the conference that health policy — particularly during a time when resource was so scarce and demand so high — must be based on scientific evidence. It followed a week in which health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s analysis of the ‘...
Source: BMA News - May 16, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Plain tobacco packaging ruled 'lawful'
Regulations drafted by the EU to allow for standardised tobacco packaging are lawful, a court has ruled following a legal challenge. An EU directive issued in 2014 had ruled in favour of standardised packaging of tobacco products, as well as the outlawing of menthol cigarettes, by 2020, and the placing of new regulations on e-cigarettes. Poland, Romania and the tobacco industry challenged the validity of the directive, but last week’s ruling in the European Court of Justice dismissed the challenge and upheld the original directive. The ruling that the EU directive on tobacco products is valid means that standardisat...
Source: BMA News - May 16, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Junior doctors a 'generation of leaders'
A generation of junior doctors have shown they are ‘inspiring’ leaders who will ‘go to extraordinary lengths’ to improve the NHS for patients. That was the message from BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana, who told a conference of colleagues that the unity created by the long-running contract dispute should be celebrated. Speaking at the BMA’s annual junior doctors conference Dr Malawana said there are now leaders on every hospital ward in the country and praised consultants, SAS doctors and GPs for coming together. ‘There is much on which we and the government differ, but...
Source: BMA News - May 14, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

'Safe spaces' for mentally ill
A £15m fund has been unveiled by the Government, which will be used to create ‘safe places’ to stop people with mental health problems being kept in police cells. The cash will be available in 10 police force areas — and it is expected to be used to build new facilities or refurbish existing ones. The money can also be used to create mental health crisis cafes or provide ambulance transport to places of safety, to ensure police cars aren’t used. The move follows BMA campaigning that called for the Government to commit to provide appropriate mental health facilities and urged action to tackle p...
Source: BMA News - May 13, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Out-of-hours provider hands contract back to commissioners
A social enterprise running out-of-hours primary care services across three English counties has handed its contract back to commissioners amid spiralling demand and lack of resource. CNCS (Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Services) has been providing out-of-hours care in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland for more than 10 years but doctors say it has been unable to cope with the needs of patients and dwindling staff numbers. Care across the region will now be fragmented with a mental health trust, the organisation that runs 111 locally and another out-of-hours specialist taking over in different areas. North Nott...
Source: BMA News - May 13, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Doctors leaders ready to work with new Welsh Government
Doctors leaders have said they look forward to working with the new Welsh Government following last week's elections for the Welsh National Assembly. It looks likely that Labour will once again form a minority Government after winning 29 seats out of 60 — despite a drop in its overall share of the vote. The surprise outcome in the election was Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's ousting of Welsh Government minister Leighton Andrews from his Rhondda constituency seat. Ms Wood had been one of 20 regional AMs voted for by a system of proportional representation but decided to contest her home constituency seat for this ...
Source: BMA News - May 13, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Pension reforms slow recruitment
Health services on the Isle of Man are struggling to attract and retain doctors as uncertainty with proposed public sector pension reforms continues. Ministers from the Isle’s parliament, the Tynwald, have continued to defer debating a series of recommendations designed to increase sustainability in the island’s public sector pensions fund, which faces a deficit in terms of past-service benefits. The BMA is among a number of trade unions warning that failure to safeguard pension funds or deviation from terms offered to staff on the mainland, risks increasing the numbers of doctors leaving the island. There is n...
Source: BMA News - May 12, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Poor leadership to blame for staffing crisis
Unrealistic efficiency targets, poor leadership and a failure to recruit, train and retain medics have caused a spiralling staffing crisis in the NHS. A damning report released today by the Commons public accounts committee, which includes MPs from across the political spectrum, says Government and NHS leaders’ failures have led to a shortfall of 50,000 NHS staff. It calls health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans for ‘seven-day services’ into question — suggesting the Government has made ‘no coherent attempt’ to consider the staffing needs necessary to deliver its pledge. Committee ch...
Source: BMA News - May 11, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Exasperation with GP support services
NHS England must take responsibility for and address the systemic failings in GP support services following last year’s takeover by private firm Capita. BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul has written to NHS England to express his concern, following a ‘multitude of serious complaints’ from GPs regarding PCS (Primary Care Support) England. In his letter of 6 May, Dr Nagpaul (pictured) explains that shortcomings and delays in practices’ core administrative functions were resulting in increased workloads and impacting care quality for patients. He says: ‘Capita appears to have been considerabl...
Source: BMA News - May 11, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Hunt: staff shortage due to excessive 'optimism'
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has admitted successive governments — including his own — have failed to train enough staff to satisfy the needs of the NHS. Speaking during health questions in Commons, Mr Hunt blamed the rocketing NHS agency bill, which drained the service of £3bn last year, on an ‘optimistic’ view of how few staff could safely manage a ward. Mr Hunt (pictured) claimed to be taking action to decrease the vast costs — suggesting the agency cap implemented by the Government last year, which gives hospitals a defined limit on spending with agencies, would save £1bn a yea...
Source: BMA News - May 10, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA Q and A: what has happened to the GP rescue package?
BMA GPs committee chair Chaand Nagpaul answers your questions A special local medical committees conference was held in January that gave the BMA GPs committee six months to negotiate a ‘rescue package’ for general practice with the Government. What has happened since then? We have worked hard to demonstrate the reality of the crisis via our Urgent Prescription for General Practice campaign. Our heatmap survey results in February, March and April highlighted that nine out of 10 practices have seen a rise in workload over the past year, and half report that quality of care has deteriorated. One in 10 says they...
Source: BMA News - May 10, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

GP rating sites — out there and unfair
The number of websites allowing patients to post reviews of the care they receive from their GP practices is increasing. But doctors say that many reviews are unfairly negative and even abusive, with GPs often unable to respond to anonymous reviewers, as Peter Blackburn finds out 'It is very easy to be a popular doctor, but it’s much harder to be a good one.’ That is the warning of Leeds GP Richard Vautrey, as the profession is left increasingly open to criticism on TripAdvisor-style websites where care, compassion and life-saving expertise are rated by patients as if they were restaurants or hotels. Government...
Source: BMA News - May 10, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA re-enters contract talks
The BMA will today re-enter talks with the Government over the junior doctors’ contract. It comes after the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges called on both sides in the dispute to return to the table — with negotiations chaired by a third party. Five days of ‘intensive talks’ from Monday to Friday are planned and ACAS chair Sir Brendan Barber will lead the negotiations. BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana (pictured) said he hoped ‘real progress can be made’. He said: ‘The BMA has agreed to re-enter talks with the Government on outstanding issues in this dispute, whi...
Source: BMA News - May 9, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Hunt's death rates rationale refuted
The number of people dying in hospitals over the weekend is lower than during the week, according to a new study — contradicting the Government’s justification for imposing the junior doctors’ contract. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said the new contract, which has led to industrial action on five occasions, needs to be forced through because high death rates at weekends are linked to lower staffing levels. Mr Hunt has often cited a British Medical Journal study, co-authored by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, as evidence to support his policy, but those assertions have been challenged by ...
Source: BMA News - May 6, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

General practice faces spiralling crisis, study shows
General practice needs more investment, practical support to improve ways of working and a better understanding of what is driving increased demand — or the service could collapse. Research from the King’s Fund exposes the spiralling crisis in primary care with the number of consultations having increased by 15 per cent over the past five years. The size of the workforce has not met the increased demand, rising by just 5 per cent in the same time period, with doctors retiring earlier and in greater numbers and just one in 10 trainee GPs seeing themselves working in primary care full time five years from now. Th...
Source: BMA News - May 6, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Imposition will be 'final straw' for juniors, doctors hear
  The imposition of the junior doctors’ contract will be the ‘final straw’ for many exhausted doctors, Royal College of Physicians president Jane Dacre told a BMA special representative meeting. Professor Dacre said morale was already near rock bottom owing to intense workload, but that it was growing worse. She said at the meeting in London on Tuesday 3 May: ‘Staff are being stretched beyond reason to care for far too many patients, there is little quarter given to career planning and life outside medicine and, last but not least, the spectre of having to provide a seven-day service in the fut...
Source: BMA News - May 6, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

NHS 'needs our hope and effort'
  BMA council chair Mark Porter (pictured) has called on doctors to unite in the face of spiralling demand, shrinking resource and a growing recruitment and morale crisis. In a speech to the BMA special representative meeting on Tuesday 3 May Dr Porter said colleagues owed it to patients and themselves to ‘rise above the many provocations’ and take the NHS forward. The SRM was called to address the crisis in morale and workforce, and to propose solutions. It addressed issues including the £22bn funding gap anticipated for the NHS in England, and the crisis in morale, recruitment and retention across...
Source: BMA News - May 5, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

'Passion and commitment' needed to solve NHS crisis
Doctors must ignore the point-scoring approach of politicians and use their passion and commitment to tackle the crisis facing the NHS. BMA representative body deputy chair Anthea Mowat (pictured) made the rallying call during her closing remarks to last week’s BMA SRM (special representative meeting). Praising colleagues for their inspiration and ideas on the challenges facing the health service, she told the SRM that far from being ‘road blocks’ to progress and reform, doctors were ‘passionately committed to building a better health service’. She said: ‘Many of the solutions I’ve...
Source: BMA News - May 5, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Fall in demand for training places
The number of UK medical students ready to fill vacant junior doctor training places has fallen by more than 300 — leaving a potential black hole in NHS staffing. The UK Foundation Programme, a two-year medical training programme bridging the gap between medical school and specialist training, usually plans to need around 200 extra students on the reserve list owing to initial applicants dropping out withdrawing or failing exams. At this time last year the reserve list to fill those slots was made up of 352 medical students — leaving the places oversubscribed — but that number is now just 45. It means the...
Source: BMA News - May 5, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA agrees to restart contract talks
The BMA has agreed to return to negotiations with the Government on the junior doctors’ contract — and has called for a deal which could ‘break the impasse’. The association immediately accepted the AoMRC's (Academy of Medical Royal Colleges) plea for a five-day break, which means the Government will pause the introduction of the contract while outstanding issues are discussed. The Department of Health initially appeared to refuse the offer — suggesting that the contract must go ahead — but has now agreed to return to talks, which are planned to resume on Monday. BMA junior doctors commi...
Source: BMA News - May 5, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Public health doctors urged to confront political challenges
Public health doctors must speak out on the political challenges to healthcare or risk becoming irrelevant, a conference has heard. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine professor of European public health Martin McKee said that the profession must not shy away from tackling Government economic policies that negatively impact public health. Professor McKee made the points during the annual Sandy Macara (pictured) memorial address at this year’s public health medicine conference on 4 May on what would have been Sir Sandy’s birthday and in front of an audience that included Lady Sylvia Macara and members...
Source: BMA News - May 4, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Prove contract’s equality, DH told
The  junior doctors’ contract could break the UK’s international obligations on equality, the statutory body responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws has warned. The EHRC (Equality and Human Rights Commission), which promotes and enforces legislation such as the Sex Discrimination Act, says the Department of Health ‘does not appear to have explicitly considered the impact of the contract on the right to just and favourable working’ under a UN international convention. The ICESCR (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), adopted by the UN General Assembly in the...
Source: BMA News - May 4, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

How to cope with 'rocketing' indemnity premiums
The BMA has issued guidance about medical indemnity in a bid to help GPs cope with spiralling costs. The association has worked with the medical defence organisations to produce a report which outlines what exactly indemnity is, what options are available to GPs and why the cost of premiums is rocketing. The report also considers possible solutions, including indemnity premiums for GPs being covered by the NHS. It says the number of claims being made against doctors is rising every year, with an annual claims inflation of around 10 per cent and £5m pay-outs no longer being out of the ordinary. Peter Holden, a GP in ...
Source: BMA News - May 4, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA council chair: 'Rise above provocations'
BMA council chair Mark Porter has called on doctors to remain united and focused on achieving positive change, in a rousing speech to the 2016 special representative meeting. Dr Porter (pictured above, far left) urged all members of his profession not to lose hope or determination in the struggle for a stronger health service, in an impassioned address to the BMA SRM today. He added that doctors owed it not only to themselves but to patients to ‘rise above the many provocations’ in order to take the NHS forward. He said: ‘We must believe that we can make British medicine better and our health service bett...
Source: BMA News - May 3, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

BMA Q and A: leadership and autonomy
BMA SAS committee chair Amit Kochhar answers your questions What are you looking forward to at the BMA SAS (staff, associate specialists and specialty doctors) annual conference in May? The theme of our conference this year will be leadership and autonomy. We want to use the opportunity to encourage SAS doctors to make use of their leadership skills and, equally important, to consider ways that we can encourage employers to facilitate autonomous working. We will hear from two high-profile speakers — GMC chair Terence Stephenson and King’s Fund director of leadership development Vijaya Nath, who will both be ta...
Source: BMA News - May 3, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Call for action on promised GP funding
The Government must take action to ensure that promised funding for GP practices is delivered ‘as quickly as possible’. That is the message from BMA GPC deputy chair Richard Vautrey, pictured, as new NHS figures show the number of GPs working in primary care is decreasing, despite a relentless surge in demand. The HSCIC (Health and Social Care Information Centre) has revealed that the number of full-time equivalent GPs, excluding locums, working in primary care in England is thought to have decreased from just over 34,700 in 2014 to 34,055 in 2016. The numbers equate to a 1.9 per cent drop in the number of GPs...
Source: BMA News - April 29, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Priced out of medicine
Rising demand for services, a blame culture and a recruitment crisis have fuelled soaring indemnity premiums for doctors who simply want to practise medicine and are doing so in a complex and demanding environment. For how long can costs spiral out of control?  Practising in a perfect storm of slumping resource, rocketing demand and a vast recruitment crisis seems like a tough enough task for GPs. But on top of the relentless strain, doctors are being hit by a rapid rise in medical negligence claims, which means indemnity premiums have rocketed — and concerns that the compensation culture could impact on patient...
Source: BMA News - April 29, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Scottish GP workforce faces 'severe difficulties'
Doctors leaders in Scotland have warned that general practice is facing severe workforce problems after a survey revealed that almost 60 per cent of GPs were planning to leave or cut their hours. The survey, carried out by ComRes for the Royal College of General Practitioners (Scotland), found that nearly nine in 10 of those questioned felt that lack of resources was putting patients at risk. Meanwhile, 77 per cent said they worried about missing something serious with a patient because of their workload. The findings were released in the last week of campaigning before the Scottish Parliament elections on 5 May. BMA Scott...
Source: BMA News - April 29, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Junior doctor thanks public for support
A junior doctor has sent a heartfelt message of thanks to supportive patients who are standing by medics during their dispute with Government. Writing in the Swindon Advertiser before a two-day strike which saw junior doctors withdraw from hospitals — with consultants and senior medics filling the gaps — Charis Banks (pictured) said industrial action was the ‘last resort’ for staff and thanked the public for sticking by them. The 34-year-old, who will begin training as a specialist anaesthetist in August, said: ‘As doctors our place is not outside on the picket line, but inside the hospital, t...
Source: BMA News - April 29, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Call to improve armed forces' mental healthcare provision
  The BMA has continued to press for greater provision of mental healthcare for military personnel, during the latest reading of the Armed Forces Bill. The bill, which was debated during its report stage in Lords on Wednesday, saw discussion over two amendments drafted by the BMA and tabled by Labour Party defence spokesperson Lord Touhig. They included providing a lump sum payment to service personnel upon diagnosis of a mental health condition resulting from service, and a legal obligation on the Government to ensure parity of esteem between mental and physical health. Lord Touhig said that he backed the BMA’s...
Source: BMA News - April 28, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Make a difference overseas
Doctors wishing to make a difference overseas are invited to take part in this year’s BMA Humanitarian Fund, which is launched today. Applications are open today and are open to all current NHS employees aiming to take part in a humanitarian medical project between July 2016 and July 2017. The fund, which last year was increased to £30,000, provides financial support to doctors looking to take part in projects in the developing world. Operating for more than 10 years, recent projects have included a programme providing treatment to deaf children in Sri Lanka and operations to reverse cleft palates in Kenya. BMA...
Source: BMA News - April 28, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

'Lift imposition so talks can resume'
The BMA has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt to restate the firm commitment of junior doctors to resolve the contract dispute through negotiation. Following two days of industrial action, BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana reiterated his objective of breaking the impasse over the contract, but said that it was impossible with ‘the threat of imposition hanging over our heads’. In the letter, Dr Malawana also takes issue with Mr Hunt’s claim that the contract is all but agreed. He lists a number of unresolved issues, including protection against working excessive hours, the impact of...
Source: BMA News - April 27, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news

Tweeting their gratitude: juniors thank senior colleagues
Consultants and other senior doctors across England have stepped in to cover shifts and look after patients — while junior doctors take their contract dispute with Government to the picket lines. Patients, fellow staff and the junior doctors taking industrial action have all paid tribute to the senior medics — who are overwhelmingly supporting the strike — on social media. The usual hashtags, such as #juniordoctors have been awash with praise and camaraderie, and new slogans such as #consultantcover have also cropped up. At King’s College Hospital, London, a team of consultants were working a nine-h...
Source: BMA News - April 27, 2016 Category: UK Health Source Type: news