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Seven days in medicine: 12-18 April 2017

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1901 (Published 20 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1901

General election

Politicians must not duck NHS crisis, says doctors’ leader

Mark Porter, BMA council chair, called on UK politicians of all parties not to duck the crisis in the NHS after the prime minister, Theresa May, announced a general election on 8 June. “Health is always one of the most important issues for the people of this country, and with the NHS at breaking point, having been put through one of the worst winters on record, it must be a central issue in the upcoming election,” he said. “The NHS must not be pushed to the margins in the focus on Brexit. Consecutive governments have been in denial about the state of the NHS and, when it comes to elections, have chosen to use it as a political football. Our health and social care systems can no longer cope without urgent action.”

Regulation

Surgeon who operated on wrong vertebrae escapes sanction

A consultant neurosurgeon who operated on the wrong vertebrae in a patient’s spine and kept his mistake hidden from the patient and his NHS trust was spared any sanction by a medical practitioners tribunal despite its finding that his practice was impaired on the grounds of dishonesty. Nicholas Brooke, who was working at Spire Southampton Hospital in England, realised his error only three days later when writing a discharge letter. He called the patient after three weeks to see whether he was still in …

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