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MPs told working in general practice is like ‘being pelted with rocks’

MPs have been told that working in general practice is tantamount to being ‘pelted with rocks’, given the overwhelming workload and lack of available staff. The comment came as part of the Health and Social Care Committee’s first evidence hearing today (1 March) for its recruitment and retention inquiry. Addressing MPs on the impact poor […]


NHS pushes recruitment for backlog-focused staff

NHS England has launched a new platform to recruit ‘reserve’ staff who will be trained to support GP practices and health clinics. The programme is open to former healthcare professionals or those outside the NHS, and will see reservists trained for a paid support role. Local services will be able to deploy staff from the […]


England GP practices to open 9-5 on Saturdays under contract update

GPs in England’s primary care networks (PCNs) will be required to open from 9am to 5pm on Saturdays from October under new enhanced access arrangements. The plans were revealed today as part of the GP contract updates for 2022/23, which include changes to both the core GP Contract and the Network Contract DES. They will […]


NHS App to become health service’s ‘front door’ post-Covid, Government says

The Government wants to see 75% of adults in England using the NHS App by March 2024 as the ‘front door’ to the health service. It will have expanded functions to offer patients information on waiting times as well as personalised advice, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said. Setting out his priorities on […]


Mandatory vaccines for NHS staff to be scrapped, Government confirms

The Government has confirmed that it will revoke the GP Covid vaccine mandate in England this month, amid strong support for the move. The health secretary announced that GPs and their patient-facing staff would no longer be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 just days before the 3 February deadline for unvaccinated staff to get […]


NHS decisions should start ‘at the most local level possible’

Bureaucratic central leadership could threaten NHS reforms, a report has suggested, arguing that decision-making in the NHS should instead start ‘at the most local level possible’. Commissioned by the NHS Confederation, the report said the Government must address ‘excess bureaucracy’ or risk undermining its Health and Care Bill, currently passing through the House of Lords. […]


Number of breast cancer screenings dropped by 44% last year

Just 1.19 million people aged 45 and over were screened for breast cancer in 2020-21, representing a 44% drop on the year before. New data, published by NHS Digital, revealed a similar decrease among women aged between 50 and 70 during the same period, with the number of people screened dropping by 39% from 1.84 […]


PCNs told to prepare for potential autumn booster campaign

Local areas should prepare to potentially offer Covid boosters to all patients aged over 50, and those who are vulnerable, from September, NHS England has said. In a letter to practices and commissioners yesterday, it said they should ‘plan’ for a 15-week campaign, with a ‘minimum scenario to offer vaccination to JCVI cohorts 1-6 and […]


Government to extend relaxed rules enabling more NHS staff to administer vaccines

The Government intends to extend relaxed vaccine rules that placed paramedics and midwives amid a wider workforce that could administer Covid jabs during the pandemic. The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 were temporarily amended during preparations to the Covid vaccination campaign in 2020, to allow for ‘midwives, nursing associates, operating department practitioners, paramedics, physiotherapists and pharmacists’ […]


Government must provide ‘urgent clarity’ on free testing for NHS staff

Heath leaders have called on the Government to provide ‘urgent clarity’ on whether free testing will remain in place for NHS staff, following a series of sweeping cuts to Covid rules. In a statement delivered to the Commons (21 February), Prime Minister Boris Johnson told MPs that free tests would only remain for vulnerable people […]