• BMA summarises 2019 contract reforms

    14 March 2019

    The BMA has been on a national tour setting out the reforms to the 2019/20 GP contract. The roadshow continues until early next month, but for those practices that have been unable to attend, the main points are set out in the BMA’s presentation. Further information, including news of remaining dates and venues, can be found at the BMA’s website.

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  • NICE updates guideline on blood pressure treatment

    13 March 2019

    NICE has published its draft updated guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) for public consultation.

    In the biggest change to NICE’s previous guidance published in 2011, the level of a person’s cardiovascular disease risk at which treatment for high blood pressure can be started has been reduced.

    The draft guideline recommends that blood pressure lowering drugs should be offered to people aged under 80 with a diagnosis of stage 1 hypertension who have a 10% or greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease within the next 10 years.

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  • Care home performance in England

    12 March 2019

    A briefing from an older people’s charity assesses the state of care home performance across England and looks at what is being done to tackle poor performance. The report uses publicly available inspection data from the Care Quality Commission to work out a total figure for the percentage of care homes in each local authority that are rated either “inadequate” or “requires improvement”. It sets out how Independent Age wants to see care home quality develop and the factors likely to prove most important.

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  • Reminder that QOF year-end payments are coming

    12 March 2019

    NHS Digital will be collecting year-end quality and outcomes framework (QOF) achievement information from Monday 1 April to Wednesday 3 April. The information is used to calculate GP payments for the current financial year and to estimate payments for the following year. Preparation and actions for 2018/19 year-end QOF collection must be completed by the end of March.

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  • Public Health England publishes air pollution evidence review

    12 March 2019

    Public Health England (PHE) has published a review of evidence on how to improve air quality in the United Kingdom.

    The review informs local and national government on actions to improve outdoor air quality and health.

    Air pollution is the biggest environmental threat to health in the UK, with between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure. There is strong evidence that air pollution causes the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer, and exacerbates asthma.

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