#weekinreview - 17 February

A glance back over this week's primary care news, opinion, top tweets and best gaffes.


GPs have demanded the UK-wide roll-out of a scheme to support doctors with mental health and addiction problems that helped 77% of its patients back to work and generated huge savings.


#weekinreview has been covering GP Dr Kailash Chand’s (@KailashChandOBE) anti-Health Bill campaign since launch of his petition last year.

This week it passed the 100,000-signature mark triggering a parliamentary debate and, as promised, former deputy prime minister John Prescott posted a video of himself singing to mark the occasion.

In the end Prezza (@johnprescott) went for neither of #weekinreview’s suggestions but chose Frank Sinatra/Shakin’ Stevens classic I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter. Why? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.



Conspiracy theorists ahoy this week. Warwick University’s @DrTomFlynn on #hackgate:

Seriously, if anyone can identify a witch hunt, it's the Sun newspaper #Ironic


Academic and Health Bill opponent @AllysonPollock on the government's binge drinking crackdown:


‘Hayfestival sundancer’ @PeterFlorence was expressing some of the exasperation GPs feel:



But it's not all anti-Health Bill in the blogosphere. Nuffield Trust director Dr Jennifer Dixon on the mounting efforts to block the #healthbill via @NuffieldTrust:

So again the broad direction of the Bill is not wrong. Broad direction is one thing, but whether a policy is workable depends on detail especially with such sweeping and interconnected changes. And politicians, or officials for that matter, may not have time to work out enough detail with the current penchant for over-rapid policy-making.

'The answer in future may be to load less into Bills, and move forward more steadily with changes to regulations. This might result in greater and more thoughtful progress, albeit perhaps less politically visible – therein lies the rub for governments.'


@NeneComm (Nene Commissioning chief executive Ben Gowland) on the vital role GPs can play as part of teams in improving healthcare:

We have already seen a 17% (440 patients) reduction in deaths in hospitals compared to last year following the introduction of new end of life service.  However, the most successful and ambitious scheme has been our £3 million Community Elderly Care Service. This all started when a Consultant Geriatrician asked me for 20 minutes on one of our agendas to present the concept. We quickly harnessed the collective enthusiasm around the table and ensured that doors of organisations on which we previously had to pound on heavily to find a solution were flung open due to the collaborative bottom up approach. The business case was quickly developed, piloted and approved.'


1. Treating vitamin D deficiency to cost £100m a year by 2013

2. GPs write to prime minister urging him to drop the Health Bill

3. Prescott gives vocal backing to GP's anti-Health Bill campaign

4. Exclusive: Mums-to-be face risks after skipping flu jabs

5. SHAs fear Health Bill threatens patient care and commissioner support

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