ARE YOU A RETIRED BMA MEMBER ?

ARE YOU A RETIRED BMA MEMBER ?

The retired members meetings are organised to encourage retired members to convene and discuss common issues as well as providing an opportunity to meet colleagues and friends.

A report of the 2018 Retired Members Conference can be found at

https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/committees/retired-members-conference/rmc-report

Richard Rawlins is the current chair of the Retired Members Committee

Most recent update is found at.

http://bma-mail.org.uk/t/JVX-54YB6-1BJCJOU46E/cr.aspx

with very useful information

 

 

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BMA In the News

20th August 2018 As Supplied by BMA Comms

BMA stands by Brexit warnings

Following the publication last week of the BMA’s briefing paper outlining the dangers to healthcare if Britain leaves the EU without a deal, Nigel Farage announced his return to political campaigning in an op-ed on Saturday for The Telegraph in which he cited the report: “[W]e are subjected to a daily stream of negative media stories about Brexit in an attempt to beat us into submission. The latest example of this was the British Medical Association suggesting that a No Deal Brexit would lead to huge numbers of people dying. This baseless claim proves only one thing: Project Fear is thriving.”

Responding to Mr Farage’s criticism, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, told The Independent: “The consequences of a no-deal Brexit are potentially catastrophic – for patients, for the medical workforce and for the nation’s health. It is not scaremongering for us, Britain’s doctors, to be honest in warning about the real dangers – based on evidence – that crashing out of the EU could have on health services. We owe it to patients and the British public who have a right to be presented with the facts before having a final say on Brexit.”

The BMA’s warnings were further covered in The Daily Star, Channel 4 News and LBC.

Surgeon-general responds to BMA concerns over military GP IT systems

The Times followed up Friday’s exclusive story about IT problems in military general practice on Saturday, reporting on an upcoming meeting between representatives from the BMA’s armed forces committee and staff from the surgeon-general’s office. Responding to the concerns outlined by the BMA in the original Times article, the surgeon-general, Lieutenant-General Martin Bricknell, wrote in a blog post: ““The use of any medical IT system that poses even the smallest hazard to our people deserves our full attention. If there are problems, we are committed to addressing these in the most efficient way possible.”

The story was also picked up by The Guardian, The Sun and MailOnline. Watch AFC chair Dr Glynn Evans speaking with Forces TV about the issueshere.

BMA Scotland council chair to retire early over pressures

The Times Scottish edition’s front page reports that BMA Scotland council chair Dr Peter Bennie is to retire early from the health service over daily pressures and staff shortages.

In an interview with the paper, Dr Bennie, who will retire aged 55 after 32 years in the health service, said: “One of the things which makes my colleagues quite happy about retirement is that working as a doctor is increasingly stressful, because of the fear of what might go wrong and not being supported with that and the lack of sufficient colleagues to feel you can do the best job that you can.”

What should we call junior doctors?

The Times reports on a poll being carried out by Health Education England, asking healthcare staff and the public to propose an alternative term for junior doctors. The survey is being led by Scarlett McNally, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, follows claims that the term is “discriminatory and belittling”. Commenting on the poll, BMA junior doctors committee chair Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya said: “While what we call [junior doctors] may divide some, we are united in our desire to tackle the more pressing issues affecting their lives, including unsafe rotas, low morale and unacceptable working conditions.”

Council’s bid to end period poverty

East Lothian Council in Scotland is putting free tampons and sanitary towels in all of its buildings to help those experiencing “period poverty”. The i Newsreferences the BMA’s ARM motion calling on the government to provide sanitary products for free.

Other news

A King’s Fund report suggests that some patients should be treated by admin staff when they visit their GP. Report author Beccy Baird told The Telegraph: “We need to look at different models. It could be a ‘microteam’  – where patients are assigned to a team, rather than to one GP, so that there is a nurse care manager, an admin worker and a care assistant doing much of the work, and the patient doesn’t always have to see a GP.”

Patients are avoiding visiting the GP over fears they will be told bad news or “lectured” about their unhealthy lifestyles, according to a study from University College London. The story was covered in MailOnline and BBC Breakfast.

EU migrants living in the UK will be given right to remain here, even in the case of a no-deal Brexit, according to leaked Cabinet papers. The Telegraphhas the story.

Dangerous syringe pumps allegedly linked to hundreds of deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital continued to be used in the NHS for eight years in a bid to cut costs, according to an investigation by The Sunday Times.

 

BMA in the news

17.08.2018 as supplied by BMA Comms

Poor military IT impacting healthcare of troops

The BMA armed forced committee chair, Colonel Glynn Evans, did an exclusive interview with the Times which featured as the main story on their front page this morning. In it he warned that poor IT systems were placing troops’ healthcare at risk. Speaking to the Times, Colonel Evans said: “They are worried about the systematic failure of the IT system not allowing them to deliver safe medical care,” He added: “My members tell me this represents potentially material risk to the soldiers, sailors and airmen they look after.”

Some of the issues include, computer screens freezing on a daily basis, difficulty checking medical history records and incomplete checks on potentially harmful anti-malarials such as Lariam.  Colonel Evans called for an urgent fix and said that the surgeon-general must accept responsibility for the interim risk to patient care.

The story was also covered by the Sun and by Politics Home

NHS has not been prioritised in Brexit negotiations

To coincide with the publication of the BMA briefing paper on the impact to healthcare in the event of a no-deal Brexit, BMA council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, has written an exclusive opinion piece for the Independent as he warns that the NHS has not been prioritised in the Brexit negotiations. He writes:  “The UK government has finally started planning to ensure the health sector and industry are prepared in the short term for a no-deal Brexit, including stockpiling medicines and equipment and reviewing supply chains.” He added: “We believe this is too little, too late and, quite frankly, proof that the impact on the NHS has not received the attention it deserves in the Brexit negotiations.”

The was further coverage of the briefing paper in the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Irish News, iNews, BMJ, Cornwall live, Plymouth Herald, Daily Recordand GP online and was mentioned on Talk Radio.

Commenting on the briefing paper, BMA council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said:

“The BMA believes the public should have a final informed say on the Brexit deal and, to reject the notion of a ‘no deal’ given all the serious risks that such an outcome carries.”

He added: “Some will say the BMA is scaremongering by warning of the dangers of a no-deal Brexit, but this is not the case … As experts in delivering health services and providing care for our patients, we have a duty to set out the consequences of leaving the EU with no future deal in place.”

 

Call for specialist unit to investigate medical manslaughter

 Pulse and GP online report that the BMA has called for a national police unit that is dedicated to investigating gross negligence manslaughter cases in health care. In evidence submitted to the GMC’s independent review, the BMA had suggested that the specialist unit would ensure investigations are ‘processed promptly, reliably and consistently’.

Responding to the GMC-commissioned review into gross negligence manslaughter, the BMA said:  ‘The BMA is concerned that serious incidents are currently not always investigated in a timely and effective manner, with robust action plans not always properly developed and implemented and learning shared as appropriate.’

 

NHS performance figures show NHS in year-round crisis

There was further coverage of the BMA consultants committee chair Dr Robert Harwood’s interview with the Press Association about recently published performance data that indicates the NHS is in a year-round state of crisis focusing on the lack of critical care beds, in the Lancaster Guardian.

Other news

The Huffington Post reports that the government has been urged to make e-cigarettes available on the NHS after as a report published today by Parliament’s science and technology select committee said the government should “urgently” review the approval systems for prescribing e-cigarettes.

The Telegraph reports on research by the King’s Fund which reveals that more GP’s are choosing to work part time as they are increasingly choosing to widen their portfolio of work outside of the surgery due to the intense and unmanageable workloads in general practice.

 

No deal Brexit ?

16th August 2018
The BMA today published a briefing on the potential dangers of a No Deal Brexit
The briefing document can be accessed at
Also I note from the minutes of a recent GMC Council meeting (publically puublished)
The GMC
  • Has established an internal working group on EU withdrawal.
  • Continues to argue strongly in favour of legislation to reform professional regulation.
 The aims of this internal working group are to
  • scope the potential impact and opportunities arising from the vote to leave the EU
  • identify GMC  legislative priorities
  •  influence any regulatory developments until the time that the UK actually leaves the EU.
  •  help implement the new regime, including possible transitional arrangements.
  
 The risks the GMC has identified include
  • Brexit will inevitably have a significant impact on the UK Government’s legislative programme
  • Whether or not there is a realistic prospect of early legislation.
  • The volume of legislation required to withdraw the UK from the EU will mean that there is potentially insufficient parliamentary time to introduce statutory reform.
 Reference

BMA in the news this weekend

As supplied by BMA Comms

NHS performance figures show NHS in year-round crisis
BMA consultants committee chair Dr Robert Harwood was interviewed by Press Association about recently published performance data that indicates the NHS is in a year-round state of crisis. The figures show over half a million people waited over four months for hospital treatment, and three and a half thousand people waited more than a year.

The Wirral Globe used extracts from Dr Harwood’s interview in an article about the lack of critical care beds at a teaching hospital in the region. Dr Rob Harwood said that critical care units work hard to keep occupancy at a lower level, to allow them to accept unpredictable emergency admissions. He said: “If units are down to the last couple of beds then critical care consultants have to start making very difficult decisions about who to admit. These pressures can no longer be blamed on the winter,” he added. “The NHS has been starved of resources over the last 8-10 years and we still expect it to deliver the goods.” Dr Harwood added: “Without this, the NHS will continue to fail to meet demand, patients will continue to suffer unnecessarily, and the current workforce will be stretched even more thinly.”

Majority of GPs intend to retire before the age of 60
The majority of GPs are intending to retire before the age of 60, Pulse reports.
A survey of 759 members by the trade magazine found the average GP will retire at 59 because the work burden has become too great and their living standard has deteriorated rapidly. Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP committee executive team member, said: “While 59 may not seem a particularly young retirement age, it is concerning that many GPs would like to retire earlier, citing burnout.

Dr Kasaraneni added: “GPs are unable to continue working under this intense pressure, seeing dozens of patients a day, dealing with heavy workloads and plugging staff shortages. Others are no longer willing or able to deal with the burden of running a practice when funding for services has not kept up with demand, making the delivery of safe, high-quality patient care difficult.”

“Virgin has secured NHS funding that could have been spent on patients”

New analysis reported in The Guardian revealed Richard Branson’s Virgin is now one of the leading healthcare providers having been awarded almost £2bn in NHS contracts in the past five years. BMA consultants committee chair Dr Robert Harwood said the BMA had already laid out its concerns with the increasing role independent sector providers.
Dr Harwood said: “Two years later, these concerns still stand and spending on healthcare from ISPs increased by over a third since 2013/14.”

Millions missing out of seven-day GP access

Magic Tees follows up on a BBC investigation which found five million people across England are unable to book an appointment with a GP outside of working hours as figures show that 10 percent of registered patients live in areas where there is no access to GPs in evenings and at weekends. BMA north east regional chair Dr George told the station in order to realise a seven-day service, the resources for a five-day one must be cemented.

GPs should lobby MPs over ‘bombardment’ of GDPR-related patient data requests
According to Pulse, GP leaders are encouraging practices to lead a campaign against the use of data protection laws as solicitors and insurance companies ‘bombard’ practices with requests for patient information. 

Other news

The Daily Telegraph reports patients are resorting to paying privately for operations as figures reveal that since 2013 those waiting more than six months for elective procedures has tripled.

Press Association reports on an innovative pilot in Sandwell which flags people with long-term conditions who are at high risk of hospital admission to a team of 100 staff who make sure they are seen as early as possible. The new system has led to patients in one area avoiding 17,000 nights in hospital and the NHS saving £7 million to be reinvested back into patient care.

In response to NHS GP patient survey, a number of publications including the The Daily Mirror ranks the best and worst GP surgeries across the country.

 

sLNC and BMA News

STAFF SIDE LNC

The staff side LNC took place on Friday 10th August 8 – 11 am I have previously blogged about the constituent and function of this committee that includes Consultant SAS and Junior Doctor representatives that meets every six weeks and  four times a year with management on the joint Local Negotiating Committee. Mr Sunil Trakru is the Chair.

The following are abbreviated notes of the proceedings.

Two new members have been appointed to the LNC and accredited as trade union representatives.

Mariyam Mirfenderesky           Consultant Microbiologist

Hirsh Godbole                            Consultant  Urologist

Staff side minutes of the previous sLNC and Joint LNC meetings discussed for accuracy and action points.

General discussions around certain documents and issues took place

  • Change management policy
  • Probationary policy (does not apply to Doctors)
  • Case for Change
  • Junior Doctor remuneration for short term locum cover
  • NMUH Current financial position Month 4
  • New Consultant Contract
  • SAS issues
  • Discussion about executive positions being advertised (CoO and MD)
  • Appontment of a Flexible working champion
  • Occupational Health Policy and adherence to it
  • Junior doctor issues
    • Representation on the LNC
      • Authorsisation of Exception reports by Educational Supervisors

 

BMA  and other Matters

  •  A visitor scheme to attend various committees is available.

 

  • The BMA has updated its advice and information on the Prevent Strategy

https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/ethics/confidentiality-and-health-records/anti-radicalisation-strategy      as of 10th August 2018

 

Upcoming meetings

London Regional Assembley  September 12th

  • There are six seats available , self nominate through the website
  • JF is on as representative of North Thames Regional Consultant Committee

Next LNC Fora & NELRCC September 26th 2 – 6.30 pm

JF Attended ARM as part of the UKCC representative. Further details on JF’s website including motions passed. Next years ARM is in Belfast 2019.

JF is now part of the UK Delegation to UEMS European Union of Medical Specialist. (appointed by BMA)

 

BMA News items Supplied by Comms

NHS performance stats show NHS in year-round crisis

NHS performance statistics figures published yesterday revealed the NHS is experiencing a year-round crisis as the BMA’s response featured in the Mirror and the Yorkshire Post. They survey found that half a million people waiting over 4 months for hospital treatment and a further three and a half thousand waiting more than a year.

Commenting, BMA consultants committee chair, Dr Rob Harwood, said: “The pressures, widespread across our hospitals and the wider NHS, can no longer be blamed on the winter; today’s figures show they are anything but seasonal. Behind these statistics are patients suffering distress and potentially failing health as they wait months longer than they should for care.”

He added: “Without more sustained investment in staff and services, the NHS will continue to fail to meet demand, patients will continue to suffer unnecessarily, and the current workforce will be stretched even more thinly, compounding recruitment and retention problems.”

You can read the BMA’s full response here.

GP Patient survey

A new survey published by NHS England which surveyed members of the public on their experience of using GP services revealed the extent to which patients are waiting to access GP appointments with one in four having to wait a week or more to see their GP. BMA GP committee chair, Dr Richard Vautrey, was interviewed on LBC Radio this morning discussing the findings of the survey and his comments featured in the Express and Pulse.

Commenting, Dr Vautrey, said: “Patients are having to wait longer for appointments and are often unable to see their preferred doctor. This causes understandable frustration for both patients and GPs alike.” He added: “Practices do not have the resources to meet the ever increasing demands of a growing population.

Women’s health papers: Mental health inequalities

As part of the series of coverage from BBC Radio 4 woman’s hour on the publication of the BMA’s women’s health paper, BMA junior doctor committee deputy chair, Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, discussed mental health inequalities for women particularly for those in their middle ages.  The report acknowledges women and girls have greater health and social care requirements in comparison to men across their lifetime, although there are indications that health and social care services are not meeting their specific health needs. Episode can be found here.

Wednesday’s woman’s hour featured BMA representative body chair, Dr Anthea Mowat, discussing women’s reproductive health. The episode can be found here.

Professor Dame Parveen Kumar features on this morning’s woman’s hour discussing women’s unmet health needs in terms of cancer, preventable risks for deprived women and the need for integrated services.

Struggling to get a GP appointment in Cambridgeshire

 An article in the Cambridge News explores the pressures on general practice in the area as they note that the BMA has warned that “chronic underfunding” and “workforce shortages” is putting patient care at risk.

 Dr David Wrigley appointed deputy council chair

Pulse reports that Lancashire GP Dr David Wrigley has been elected as the BMA council deputy chair taking over from Belfast consultant Dr Sara Hedderwick.
Other news

 Chip portions in Glasgow are almost twice the size they should be, new research has shown, Sky News reports. The average portion of chips sold in the city is 80 per cent larger than official guidance recommends according to Obesity Action Scotland.

NHS England has appointed London GP Dr Nikita Kanani as its next acting primary care director. Read the full story in Pulse.

A nurse who had boiling water tipped on her face by a psychiatric patient highlights the risks to which some health workers are exposed, Metro reports.

Autistic adults in American are being let down by the healthcare system. What can we learn about improving health outcomes for people with autism?The Independent has the full story.

European News

BMA warns against Brexit proposal to shorten training for doctors

 

 

 

 

BMA London News and other news

 

2018-08-09

Useful infomation relating to Barking and Redbridge NHS Trust and Ealing CCG

https://www.bma.org.uk/connecting-doctors/bmalocal/bma_london_events/f/64/t/4193

 

Supplied by BMA Comms

New report outlines how to address women’s health needs

A new BMA board of science report examines how many women’s health needs are unmet and such inequalities must be addressed. The report acknowledges women and girls have greater health and social care requirements in comparison to men across their lifetime, although there are indications that health and social care services are not meeting their specific health needs.

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour is devoting three days’ programming to looking at the issues raised by the report, what the BMA is calling for, and why it’s important to take a gender-specific, life-course approach to healthcare.

The first discussion on yesterday’s show saw Dr Anthea Mowat, BMA representative chair, Dr Sue Mann from Public Health England and Professor Nicole Westmarland, Fellow at the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, discuss health inequalities for women under 40 including domestic violence and reproductive health with Prof Jenni Murray. Listen back here.
On today’s programme, at 10am, BMA junior doctors committee deputy chair Dr Hannah Barham-Brown talks about how women’s mental health needs go wanting and how an integrated approach could improve outcomes for many people.

LMC warns against GPs registering homeless patients at practice address

Local GP leaders in Worcestershire have advised their practices not to register homeless patients using their surgery’s address, contrary to NHS England advice, Pulse reports.
The article,  mentions the BMA’s guidance to practice on registering practices.A BMA spokesperson said: “Our guidance on patient registration says homeless patients are entitled to register with a GP using a temporary address which could be a friend’s address or a day centre for example.” The guidance was in the May edition of the LMC’s newsletter

Italy to take lax approach to mandatory childhood immunization

Italy is relaxing its child vaccination laws, leaving scientific and medical communities worldwide baffled and appalled, The Daily Mail reports. The country’s right-wing government has amended the law which requires all parents to prove their child has had 10 obligatory vaccinations, including polio, measles and chickenpox.  The article mentions a 2003 BMA report which found vaccination was the safest and most effective way to protect the young from infectious disease, and encouraged parents to choose immunisation for their children.

Bring BME doctors’ groups under one roof, leading GP says

Professor Aneez Esmail, a GP and professor of general practice at the University of Manchester told a conference of BME health leaders the biggest problem in the fight against racism is the fragmentation of black and minority ethnic doctors into several organisations.

Pulse reports Prof Esmail suggested the BMA or BIDA (The British International Doctors Association) were the best organisations to bring these organisations under one umbrella.

Doctors pay award is “unacceptable”

The BMA has released the results of a survey of its members following the government’s recent announcement on the pay review, which revealed that nine out of ten doctors believe the Government’s proposed 2 per cent pay increase is not good enough. There was further coverage in The Daily Express.

Other news

BBC News Online reports on a large US study published in The Lancet which reveals that regular physical activity, of at least 45 minutes, three to five times a week, can reduce poor mental health.

The findings also revealed people who exercised for periods of 90 minutes at a time suffered up to one day extra of poor mental health each month compared to those who stuck to 45 minute sessions.

The Guardian reports on a ‘summer crisis’ in the NHS as hospitals are having to adopt winter-style emergency measures, including turning away patients through being busy, as the NHS struggles to cope with illnesses caused by the heatwave in the UK.

The chair of the RCGP, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, has warned that patients could increasingly walk away from the NHS because of long waits to see their family doctor, The Daily Telegraph reports. She warned that family doctors were ‘really struggling’ to cope with escalating demands on them, contributing to ever longer waiting times.

 

 

BMA in the news 2018-08-07

 

BMA in the news as supplied by BMA Comms 07.08.2018

“Virgin has secured NHS funding that could have been spent on patients”

New analysis reported in Monday’s Guardian revealed Richard Branson’s Virgin is now one of the leading healthcare providers having been awarded almost £2bn in NHS contracts in the past five years. Responding to these reports, BMA consultants committee chair Dr Robert Harwood said the BMA had already laid out its concerns with the increasing role independent sector providers.
Dr Harwood said: “Two years later, these concerns still stand and spending on healthcare from ISPs increased by over a third since 2013/14.” He added: “Some of the contracts awarded to the private sector have been poor value for money.  In the case of Virgin, they have secured even more NHS funding that could have been spent on patients by winning a cash settlement from several NHS trusts as a result of legal action.”

Dr Harwood’s remarks were reported in The Daily MirrorThe Daily MailPulse and, in print, Metro, The Independent and The Daily Star. 

Read the full statement here.

Daily Mail claims junior doctors plotting fresh strikes

The Daily Mail reports Junior doctors are plotting strike action which threatens fresh chaos for the NHS. The newspaper claims the junior doctors committee has been polling members to assess their ‘strength of feeling’ and appetite for industrial action. The story adds the BMA’s official online survey closed on Saturday. The BMA is not aware of the survey the Daily Mail refers to, and The Daily Mail wouldn’t give more details on the survey. The BMA said doctors have rightly expressed their frustration at another sub-inflationary pay rise, that for a large group of doctors will not be back-dated to April effectively halving its value.

NHS England director of primary care steps down

There was further coverage of the BMA’s response to the resignation of Dr Arvind Madan from his position as NHS England’s primary care director in HuffPost.

Following Dr Madan’s resignation yesterday, BBC Radio Tees hosted a radio discussion about pressures on GP services and how increasing demand is forcing some GPs to consider whether they can continue. BMA north east regional council chair Dr George Rae told presenter Mike Parr he disagreed with Dr Madan’s comments that GPs are underworked and underpaid and he had done a great disservice to GPs.
Dr Rae explained general practice was going through one of its greatest crisis because of escalating workloads which GPs don’t have the resources with which to cope.

Read the BMA’s full response here.

Health minister claims Brexit could solve NHS recruitment crisis by allowing students to qualify more quickly

There was further coverage of the BMA’s response to Stephen Barclay’s claims that leaving the EU will solve critical issues in the NHS by reaping the benefits of reduced regulation in GP Online and Practice Business.

Read the BMA’s response including a letter to the minister here.

Other news

The Daily Mail reports a text message warning system which alerts doctors to deadly cases of sepsis is revolutionizing the fight against the killer.

Public Health England have shot down claims Love Island’s Dr Alex could front a major STI campaign, The Daily Mirror reports.

Apparently an inside source claimed the ‘dishy doc’ has been offered a six-figure sum to promote better sexual health but PHE have said that’s tripe. In an official statement, they confirm they haven’t offered any sum of money to Dr George.

 

BMA in the news amd other items of news

All information supplied by BMA Comms

31.07.2018

Four in five doctors fear
 Brexit is bad for people’s health

A new study from the BMJ journal of epidemiology and community health finds doctors are concerned Brexit could have devastating consequences for the NHS and the country’s health. The poll of 1,200 medics found 83 per cent thought leaving the EU would hurt the NHS, and 79 per cent voted for the UK to remain in the UK in the 2016 referendum.

The Independent reports the BMA is backing its campaign for a ‘final say’ and the public should be given a vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal.

The front page story includes comments from BMA treasurer Andrew Dearden who said, “Doctors are criticised all the time for not giving people enough information to make their decisions, if we use jargon or don’t spend enough time on it. This is the ultimate informed decision. This is the one where people need all of the information and time to assimilate it before they choose what they would like to happen.”

Dr Dearden was also featured in The Daily Mirror who also spoke to junior doctor committee member Dr William Sapwell. In its leader column, the newspaper argues we deserve informed answers to tough realities instead of meaningless assurances and platitudes from those whose past Brexit promises. Our view was also mentioned in the front pages review on LBC.

Millions missing out of seven-day GP access

An investigation published by the BBC yesterday revealed more than five million people across England are unable to book an appointment with a GP outside of working hours. Only 10 percent of registered patients live in areas where there is no access to GPs in evenings and at weekends. Responding to the analysis, Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, BMA GP committee executive team workforce lead, said: “While general practice continues to struggle under the intense pressures of increased demand, unmanageable workloads and a workforce crisis, these figures show that the vast majority of patients have some access to GP services out of normal working hours.”

Dr Kasaraneni’s comments were included in The Daily Mail. The story was also covered in The Lancashire Evening Post, The Blackpool Gazette, The Worcester News and The Wigan Evening Post. The story was also covered in iNews.

GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey was interviewed about the findings on BBC Radio Surrey and BBC Radio Norfolk on Monday and clips from his interviews were used in news bulletins on BBC regional stations throughout the day. GPC member Dr Rob Barnett was interviewed on BBC Radio Merseyside. The BMA’s position was mentioned on the evening BBC news programme for the north east, Look North.

Read the full statement here.

Court rules on end-of-life decisions

BBC News Online reports on a Supreme Court ruling which means there is no longer a requirement to gain legal permission to end the life of a patient that is in a permanent vegetative state.

The case and the BMA’s involvement was mentioned on yesterday’s Today Programme on BBC Radio 4, in The GuardianThe Times and  The University of Oxford’s Practical Ethics blog. Times columnist Melanie Phillips said this decision shows the slippery slope unelected lawyers have set us on.

Care not Killing director Dr Peter Saunders mentioned the BMA’s stance in an interview on BBC News Online and how they hoped to engage with the Association on the issue.  Director of the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, Jenny Kitzinger, said BMA guidance must be followed which includes a second independent opinion from an expert in the field before any course of action is taken.

BMA London chair warns no 24 hour public health lab leaves capital vulnerable to pandemic

The BMA London regional council chair has written to the Mayor of London warning a lack of public health resources leaves the city vulnerable to serious infectious disease like Avian Flu or Ebola. Dr Gary Marlowe, a GP in Hackney, has told Sadiq Khan the BMA has been made aware London’s capacity to deal with an emergency outbreak has been reduced despite ‘the clear and present danger’ posed to a global capital.
The story was covered in the BMJ. Read the press release in fullhere.

 

DVLA tells drivers to get GP sign-off before re-applying for revoked licenses

Pulse reports The BMA is planning to complain to the DVLA after it asked people with revoked driving licenses to seek a GP assessment before re-applying.

Earlier this month, the DVLA sent a letter to patients tasking them with checking with their doctors that they’re able to satisfy the medical standards for driving but a DVLA spokesperson clarified this doesn’t mean applicants need any type of assessment. They added: “Drivers may choose to contact their GP to confirm this, but this does not require the GP to necessarily perform an examination with the patient or meet with the patient face-to-face.”

Responding to the letter, BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: “Whilst the DVLA appear to be trying to cut their workload by reducing applications that will ultimately be unsuccessful, the consequence is a potential increase in workload for GPs.”

Unnecessary A&E admissions

There was further coverage of analysis that shows thousands of people were admitted to hospital as an emergency with conditions that would not normally require hospital treatment in The Dorset Echo and The Newcastle Sunday Sun.

Other news

Doctors are being urged by NHS Improvement to stop prescribing expensive branded medicines to save hundreds of million a year, The Daily Mail reports.

BBC News Online reports women in England are illegally taking abortion pills they have bought over the internet because they cannot get to clinics to take it. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has now called on the new health secretary, Matt Hancock, to change the legislation so that women can take the second pill at home.

Thousands of women are having to cope alone with mental health problems caused by pregnancy or giving birth because the NHS cannot provide the necessary help, a leaked report has revealed. According to The Guardian, the report commissioned by Health Education England was completed in May 2017 but hasn’t been published by HEE nor NHS England.

The Yorkshire Post reports on a Birkbeck University study which reveals more than two in five consultants had symptoms of anxiety and over a third were depressed. The study found stressful working conditions and a lack of workplace autonomy were among the causes of poor mental health among consultants.

Other news items

 30/7/18

Medical schools launch new tool for understanding clinical academic workforce

New chair of GMC Council appointed

4/7/18

Advance HE Conference – Higher Education: a rapidly changing world

includes comments on risks of Brexit and International compertititon