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April 17, 2012
Managing patient demand: the view from a former GP and Director of Healthcare Advisory.

Practice staff stand accused of being disconnected from the level of patient demand.

Dr Rupert Dunbar-Rees, a former GP and Director of Healthcare Advisory at BDO Alliance, told GP Business practices have to go "back to basics" if they want to better manage patient demand.

"Most capacity in primary care is delivered around historical cultural norms – ie when the GP wants to be on call with their time scheduled around other commitments," he said.

March 13, 2012
Dr Laurence Buckman, Chair of the BMA's GPC described the letter as “odd”

The Chair of the RCGP has voiced her surprise at the reaction to a letter submitted to Prime Minister David Cameron offering to "work together" to implement government health reforms.

Dr Clare Gerada's letter, dated 6 March, has been widely reported as evidence of her 'backpedaling' over the college's public opposition to the controversial Health Bill.

It calls for greater RCGP involvement in discussions concerning the implementation of the bill.

November 3, 2011
Plans to increase patient choice to be introduced at a slower than expected pace

Practice boundaries will remain under the new 2012/13 as the government's plans to increase patient choice are introduced at a slower pace than expected.

Pay freezes will continue to bite as it is agreed GPs will not receive a salary increase in line with other doctors.

However, negotiations between the BMA's GPs' Committee (GPC) and the NHS Employers organisation resulted in a 0.5% general practice funding increase to help practitioners cope with the rising cost of expenses.

October 12, 2011
Organ donors should have their funeral expenses paid by the NHS as a way of tackling the current shortage of organs, it is claimed

Organ donors should have their funeral expenses paid by the NHS as a way of tackling the current shortage of organs, it is claimed.

report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics suggests that covering funeral costs provides an "ethical way" of encouraging more people to sign the Organ Donor Register.

October 6, 2011
Overseas doctors with a “poor grasp” of the English language will be barred from working for the NHS, under new rules announced by the Health Secretary

Overseas doctors with a "poor grasp" of the English language will be barred from working for the NHS, under new rules announced by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley yesterday (4 October).

In his address to the Conservative Party during its annual party conference in Liverpool, Lansley said, "proficient language skills were equally as important as proper medical qualifications" when practicing as a doctor in England.

He revealed a commitment to empower the General Medical Council (GMC) to take action against doctors who fail to communicate to the standard required.

September 23, 2011
The British Medical Association (BMA) has decided it is "not appropriate" to ballot its members on strike action over pension reforms "at this point"

The British Medical Association (BMA) has decided it is "not appropriate" to ballot its members on strike action over pension reforms "at this point".

Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA Council, has backed the planned industrial action by public sector workers on the 30 November but stopped short of announcing the BMA's inclusion.

"We share the intense anger of all NHS staff about the way in which the government is attempting to bring about wide-ranging changes to our pensions without genuine negotiation," said Meldrum.

September 23, 2011
The British Medical Association (BMA) has pledged to up its anti-Health and Social Care Bill lobbying activity ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords

The British Medical Association (BMA) has pledged to up its anti-Health and Social Care Bill lobbying activity ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords.

A programme of lobbying, local events and further campaigning activity has been agreed to highlight doctors' major concerns about the Bill.

September 15, 2011
“Hands off our pensions” was the rallying cry to public sector workers as a series of union leaders served notice of strike action ballots over pension reforms

"Hands off our pensions" was the rallying cry to public sector workers as a series of union leaders served notice of strike action ballots over pension reforms.

In proposing a motion for supporting mass public sector walkouts, the leader of one of the UK's largest healthcare unions issued a formal notice to 9,000 employers that his 1.1 million union members would be balloted.

March 2, 2011
A doctors' leader has warned that government proposals to offer financial rewards to GPs for good performance could be seen as 'disgracefully unethical'.

A doctors' leader has warned that government proposals to offer financial rewards to GPs for good performance could be seen as 'disgracefully unethical'.

Chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) general practitioners committee Laurence Buckman explained he would not give his approval to any plan where doctors saved money for the health service - as well as possibly denying patients treatment - in order to be paid more.