Press release from UEMO (European Union of General Practitioners / Family Physicians) President Dr Aldo Lupo 27th May 2017

UEMO calls for EU to recognise the risks to patient safety if Cross Border Care on the island of Ireland is compromised.

UEMO General Assembly unanimously agreed today to send a letter to Michael Barnier, EU Chief Brexit Negotiator, stating that the care provided by general practitioners on both sides of the Border is essential and valued by all.

In the interests of patient care UEMO called on the EU to ensure four points:

  1. The ongoing cooperation of safe provision of cross border patient services
  2. The free movement of patients and health professionals across the border
  3. The continued recognition of medical qualifications across borders on the island of Ireland
  4. Clarification of funding for joint medical research initiatives.

Council of Europe Visit to the UK Prisons and Immigration Centres in 2016

The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment has released its report based on visits to UK prison and immigration centres in 2016.

Recommendations of the report agree with several areas that the BMA Forensics Medicine Committee has been advocating for some time, (eg on treatment of prisoners with mental health problems, and the transfer of prisoners for medical care.) Read more about the report through

2017 COE UK Visit

Executive Summary

Full report

The Department of Justice response is awaited.


Thursdsay The Daily Mirror’s front page quotes Dr Mark Porter, warning about the state of NHS funding.   

Commenting on a report from The King’s Fund which shows half of trusts faces the cancellation or delay of operations Dr Porter said this was “a disgraceful failure of our patients”. Dr Porter added: “The NHS is now in a position where it has to put off spending because the money has run out, leaving patients waiting in pain and uncertainty. “Financial targets shouldn’t take priority over the need to provide safe and high quality care. Our health and social care systems can no longer cope without urgent action.” Dr Porter’s comments were also reported in The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Times in print. It was mentioned on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme, Sky News, local BBC stations and commercial radio. He was also interviewed live on LBC about the report at 9.30am this morning.

The Times says GPs will receive half the money saved when they cut the number of drugs given to elderly patients in care homes in a scheme which has been condemned by doctor’s leaders. The story, on today’s front page, quotes BMA prescribing lead Dr Andrew Green who said: “The danger here is that [bosses] should not approach it from the view to reducing costs. They should approach with a view to getting the right care to the patient.” The story also appeared online in The Sun. 

Ahead of next week’s general election, the British Medical Association is calling on politicians to protect the future of patient care in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland following Brexit, by ensuring that a ‘soft border’ is maintained.

Quoted in BBC News NI, BMA Northern Ireland council chair Dr John D Woods said: “Northern Ireland is too small a health economy to efficiently provide some smaller specialist services – the Republic of Ireland is our natural partner for many of these, allowing both countries to provide benefits to patients on both sides of the border.” The news was also covered in The Belfast Telegraph.

A new survey of GPs found that waiting times for an appointment could increase to three weeks if problems with staff shortages and underfunding aren’t addressed immediately.

The survey of 830 GPs revealed 34 per cent of surgeries report an average wait of at least a week, 25 per cent of at least two weeks, 8 per cent of at least three weeks and 1 per cent of more than four weeks.

Commenting on the findings, GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: “‘Unless the government takes decisive action, waits to see a GP will rocket to several weeks in the coming years as patient demand continues to rise, and will seriously compromise patient care. The government needs to urgently stem inappropriate demands on general practice when it has determined that one in four GP appointments are avoidable.”

The story featured in The Daily Mail, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Pulse and The Sunderland Echo. Dr Nagpaul was interviewed this morning live on LBC and Talk Radio. 
BMA online info

The cash has run out and NHS is penniless, says Britain’s top doctor
The Daily Mirror, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

Four in ten NHS trusts will slash routine operations in bid to save money: Patients facing long waits for non-urgent surgery as management forced to make ‘tough decisions’ on spending
The Daily Mail, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

GPs will get ‘bribes’ for taking drugs from elderly
The Times, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Andrew Green) – subscription required

NHS spending cutbacks mean patients will wait even longer for routine operations warns report
The Sun, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

Caring for expat’s health after Brexit could cost NHS £1bn a year
Evening Standard, Wednesday 31 May 2017, (Dr Mark Porter)

Half of CCG areas plan to cancel or delay health spending this year reveals report
Pulse, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Richard Vautrey / Dr Mark Porter)

NHS chiefs ‘bribing’ GPs to radically reduce drugs given to vulnerable older Britons
The Sun, Thursday 1 June 2017, (Dr Andrew Green)

Public sector employees ‘more anxious’ says mental health charity
BBC News Online, Thursday 1 June 2017

GP election candidate explains why she is taking on Jeremy Hunt
Pulse, Thursday 1 June 2017

Cancer patient dies after being denied transfer due to bed shortages
The Guardian, Wednesday 31 May 2017

UK councils under pressure over £1bn invested in tobacco companies
The Guardian, Wednesday 31 May 2017

Patients to face three-week wait before they can see GP
The Daily Mail, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul)

Three week wait could become new normal say doctors
The Times, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul) – subscription required

GP waiting times could rocket towards three weeks
The Daily Telegraph, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul) – subscription required

Average GP waiting times linger at two weeks despite rescue package
Pulse, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul)

Theresa May plans to force NHS to sell off valuable property after controversial Naylor Report
The Daily Mirror, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Kailash Chand)

GP Crisis: Patients could wait up to three weeks to see a GP suggests damning research
The Sun, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul)

Cut our workload or sick patients could wait three weeks to see a GP says doctors
Sunderland Echo. Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Chaand Nagpaul)

GPs ‘bribed’ to withdraw drugs from elderly patients in care homes
The Independent, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr Andrew Green)

Brexit: Hard customs border ‘could risk patient care’ says BMA
BBC News NI, Friday 2 June 2017, (Dr John D Woods)

Soft border ‘would prevent Ebola outbreak’
The Belfast Telegraph, Friday 2 June 2017, (BMA mention)

Long waits for surgery triple in past four years
BBC News, Friday 2 June 2017

Naylor report: Are the Tories really planning to sell off the NHS?
The Independent, Friday 2 June 2017

Samaritans receive record 5.7m calls for help reveal figures
The Independent, Thursday 1 June 2017

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