Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 19-25 October 2016

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 27 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5734

GP premises

Nearly 300 general practices will get upgrades

NHS England’s chief executive, Simon Stevens, announced that almost 300 surgeries in the Midlands and the east of England would benefit from premises and technology improvements this year as part of a £900m (€1.01bn; $1.10bn) investment in general practice infrastructure over the next five years. NHS England also pledged to invest £11m in 2016-17 and more than £24m in 2017-18 to fund 22 psychological therapy schemes around the country, designed to improve mental healthcare for patients with long term conditions, and £5m to support GPs with indemnity costs for working in out-of-hours services and unscheduled care services. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.i5689)


National prescription drug helpline is urged

The UK government should set up a national helpline to support people addicted to prescription medicines, increase funding for support services, and develop guidance on tapering and withdrawing drugs with input from professional groups and patients, the BMA said. The recommendations appeared in a paper produced by the BMA, charities, patient groups, and medical bodies as part of an effort to tackle prescription drug dependence. The project focuses particularly on benzodiazepines, “z drugs” (zolpidem, zopiclone, zaleplon), opioids, and antidepressants. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.i5725)


Brexit NHS promise “should be upheld”

More than 40 MPs signed a letter calling on the UK government to ensure that the “Brexit” promise to increase NHS spending by £350m (€393m; $428m) a week is upheld. The letter, organised by Vote Leave Watch—which aims to hold “Leave” campaigners to their pre-referendum promises—called on the chancellor, Philip …

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