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Friday five: a round-up of the five top health stories this week

This week junior doctors, mental health figures and GPs golden handshakes have dominated the news.

A campaign to scrap the title of junior doctor has been backed by the Chief Medical Officer

Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer is backing a campaign which calls the ‘unjust’ title of junior doctor to be scrapped. Supporters of the campaign believe the title is damaging as junior doctors can have years of experience but are often mistaken for students by patients. Campaigners also believe the title does nothing for self-esteem and morale of junior doctors. Health Education England is undertaking a review of the title, however only Ministers are able to make the final decision over its future. Read more on The Telegraph.

Health Secretary forced to recant mental health figures

In a statement to the House of Commons, Jeremy Hunt has admitted to using false figures when describing the number of those working in NHS mental health services. The claim was initially made in the Commons on World Mental Health Day, when the Health Secretary claimed that ‘30,000 more people were working in mental health services’ than when the Conservatives came into power. Channel 4’s Factcheck challenged the Department of Health on the figures, who later admitted there had been an ‘error’.  Read more on The Independent.

Newly qualified GPs to be offered £20,000 to work in certain areas

Newly qualified GPs are being offered a one-off £20,000 payment if they start their career in an area which struggles to attract GPs such as rural or coastal areas of England. The Health Secretary announced the £4 million plan with backing of the Royal College of GPs, which will begin payments to 200 GPs 2018. Read more on the BBC.

Government collates all ethnicity data in Race Disparity Audit

The Government has launched a new website collating all public data on race and ethnicity in the Race Disparity Audit. The Prime Minister championed the project which will form the basis of new policies. The data covers key issues including health, housing, community and crime. Read the full data set here.

More than 25 million die without morphine across the world

A report undertaken by a commission set up by the Lancet has discovered that more than 25 million including 2.5 million children are dying in agony across the world. Many people are denied morphine because they are either over looked or their governments are too worried about possible opioid addiction and the consequences. The commission’s three-year inquiry has found that half of all global deaths are without pain relief, and a further 35.5 million live in chronic pain. Read more on The Guardian.

Quote of the week – Dr Rachel Clarke on being called a junior doctor

“I suppose it serves a convenient purpose to have junior doctors bickering among themselves about what they would like to be known as. But the fact is, my NHS colleagues and I are pretty united in what we most desire. Fully staffed jobs in which we feel supported, safe and able to provide high-quality care to patients. Working conditions that don’t reduce us to tears. And – please, just once, just maybe – a government that comes clean about the desperate overstretch the NHS faces currently, and its punitive consequences for staff and patients alike.” Read more on The Guardian.


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