#weekinreview - 24 February

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


On Saturday (25 February) the BMA meets to decide on pensions industrial action. An exclusive poll for GP magazine found 90% of GPs support action and 40% would strike over pension reform.

In other news, Care Quality Commission chief executive Cynthia Bower resigned. Her CV now includes delayed GP practice registration and responsibility for Mid Staffs. Next job suggestions on a postcard to the usual address please. Health secretary?

Top 5 articles this week

1. GPs demand help to cut cost of vitamin D care

2. Downing Street Health Bill summit angers BMA

3. GPs told to 'prescribe' smartphone apps

4.  Lansley faces 'selective listening' claim over Health Bill

5.  Exclusive: Poll finds GPs back industrial action on pensions



Conservative Health secretary and GP Dr Una Coales (@drunacoales) ponders getting tougher with patients. She tweeted:

Meanwhile, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) had praise for a Tory. He tweeted:

@GPforhire was dismayed by his patients:

While GP Dr Oliver D Starr (@15Medical) found humour in his patients. He tweeted:



#weekinreview has been focusing on the wealth of anti-Health Bill material on the web in recent weeks.

For balance, this week we welcome health minister Simon Burns to the blogosphere with The truth about ‘privatisation’ and why government is a risky business:

I’m happy to discuss competition in the NHS – it’s a legitimate and important area of debate that ignites strong feeling. But let’s leave behind this idea that we’re hell-bent on privatising the NHS. It isn’t true, and it gets in the way of the much more meaningful discussion around the role of competition in the NHS both now and in the future.'


On a similar theme, King’s Fund chief executive Professor Chris Ham (@profchrisham) on which is the bigger threat to the NHS: Privatisation or inertia?:

There is a much greater risk that inertia, rather than privatisation, will block the changes that are needed to address the Nicholson challenge and bring about improvements in the quality of care and patient safety. Inertia is a result of the size and complexity of the NHS and the pressures facing staff to respond to the demands placed on them; it is often easier to live with the current situation than to seek ways of working differently and more effectively.’


Monday 27 February: BMA Council decision on pensions industrial action.

Wednesday 29 February: Coverage of the previous day’s 100th birthday GPC meeting.

Neil Durham

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