An independent Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care has argued in its interim report, A New Settlement for Health and Social Care, that the current health and social care systems are no longer fit for purpose and that England needs a single system with a ring-fenced, singly commissioned budget that has more closely aligned entitlements.
General Medical Council (GMC)-commissioned research has concluded that graduates of the Professional and Linguistics Assessments Board (PLAB) exam have on average poorer clinical knowledge and skills than UK graduates, according to their performance in the MRCGP exam.
Negotiations over removing barriers to trade between the EU and the United States, which commenced in July last year, have prompted the shadow health secretary to call for an exemption for the NHS in order to protect it from market forces and international competition law.
The Government has announced that it is introducing a new Health and Work Service to provide occupational health advice and support for employees, employers and GPs. The aim of the service will be to help people with a health condition to stay in work or to help them to return to work after a period of sickness.
A judicial review brought by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) found that the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and the General Medical Council (GMC) had not directly discriminated against any candidates but, in his final judgment, judge Mr Justice Mitting said “the time has come” for the RCGP to address the differentials in pass rates.
The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for an independent review of the Government’s pilot projects on access to GP services, which are supported by £50 million to open surgeries seven days a week and offer appointments from 8am to 8pm, telephone and online consultations.
The Department of Health (DH) has confirmed that high levels of GP interest in the £50 million GP Access Fund, announced in October, has meant that more surgeries than the original estimate have been included in the scheme.
The first audit of data disclosures, designed to demonstrate how the NHS is working to improve transparency in patient data usage, has revealed that the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) released medical record information on more than 450 occasions since being established in April 2013.
The new NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, warned in his first speech in post that pressure on the NHS was “intensifying” and that the way care is delivered outside hospitals must be “radically" transformed to cope with England’s growing older population.