Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 12-18 June 2019

BMJ 2019; 365 doi: (Published 20 June 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;365:l4261

NHS performance

MPs warn on long waiting times

Patient suffering in England is being overlooked as NHS performance against waiting time targets for cancer and non-urgent care “spirals downwards,” MPs warned. The Public Accounts Committee said that national NHS bodies seemed to understand little about how a long wait can harm patients. A committee report on 12 June found that under half of NHS trusts and foundation trusts currently met the 18 week waiting time standard for elective treatment, and only 38% met the 62 day standard from referral to treatment for cancer patients. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l4184)


Medical schools must expand further, says Stevens

More medical school places will be needed as the NHS expands and more doctors seek opportunities to work flexibly, said NHS England’s chief executive. In 2018, medical school places increased from 6000 a year to 7500. Speaking to The BMJ at the Health Foundation’s annual event last month, Simon Stevens said that a further expansion would be needed to meet future service demands. “A 25% expansion in medical undergraduate intake is only the first stage,” he said. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l4240)

Medical marijuana

Access has not cut opioid overdoses in US

US states that allow access to medical marijuana did not, on average, see fewer deaths from opioid poisoning than the rest of the country, in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The new study replicated findings from a 2014 JAMA Internal Medicine study, which found …

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