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Seven days in medicine: 30 May to 5 June 2018

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2475 (Published 07 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2475

Junior doctors

“Substantial improvements” to working lives

The “enhancing junior doctors’ working lives” programme, set up by Health Education England in the wake of the junior doctors’ dispute two years ago, has initiated the most significant changes to postgraduate medical training for some years, said Jeeves Wijesuriya, chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee. He said that a new system of study budgets, bespoke return-to-work packages, a less than full time training option, and a new system for training preferences had all helped, although problems still existed “including with educational supervision, diminishing mentorship, and the ever greater demands of a system under pressure.” (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.k2444)

NHS finances

£1bn deficit masks true scale of hospital’s woes

NHS Improvement, which oversees NHS providers, said that the service is “broadly in balance,” as the deficit of £960m (€1.1bn; $1.28bn) reported by hospitals is matched by a projected underspend of £955m by healthcare commissioners. However, analysts questioned the conclusion, claiming that it was achieved only by one-off savings and a non-recurrent £1.8bn transfer from the sustainability and transformation fund set up to help transform the NHS. If these are discounted, said Sally Gainsbury, senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, the true provider deficit is closer to £4bn. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.k2432)

ID checks

Only one in 180 patients is found liable for charges

A group of 150 health workers called for ID checks in the NHS to be scrapped. In a letter to the Evening Standard they said that “healthcare must never be a ‘hostile environment.’” The …

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