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Medicopolitical Digest

Hospital waiting lists increaseGPs quiz their leaders on core servicesMedical students are worse off than other studentsConsultation begins on genetic testing codeMedical managers call for better clinical audit training

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 30 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1406
  1. Linda Beecham

    Hospital waiting lists increase

    Evidence of renewed pressure on hospital waiting lists in England has emerged from Department of Health figures for the quarter ended 30 September.

    The total number of patients waiting for admission increased by 4000 (0.4%) to 1 060 200, which is 2% more than at the same time last year. The quarterly rise is accounted for by 4600 more patients waiting for over one year and 600 fewer who had been waiting less than 12 months. The number waiting over 12 months—15 000—is 12 900 lower than a year ago.

    The junior health minister, John Horam, focused on the latter figure as a considerable achievement, recalling that six years ago there were 200 000 patients waiting more than two years. At the end of September only 26 patients were waiting for longer than 18 months.

    GPs quiz their leaders on core services

    General practitioners' negotiators have agreed that it is time to review the issue of local medical committees (LMCs) and trade union protection in view of the role that LMCs might adopt in helping family doctors with negotiating and preparing contracts to provide non-core services.

    LMCs have been told that they should not set prices which are then adopted by doctors but they can respond on behalf of doctors, working either in small or large groups, by negotiating contracts with health authorities or NHS trusts for various types of non-core activity. If LMCs took the initiative in setting prices that were followed by all local doctors this might give rise to a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading.

    Last week members of the GMSC and secretaries and …

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