GP surgeries hazardous to your health

Stephen Hayward writing in the Sunday Mirror – Going to see your GP could be bad for your health, according to research.

One in 10 surgeries is so rundown it poses a risk to patients. Problems include leaky roofs, asbestos, unsuitable disabled access and breaches of fire regulations.

Researchers Cogora also found that more than half don’t have enough room to house badly needed staff.

doctors surgeryIn all, 10 per cent of 270 practices which responded said they were “aware of problems that could be hazardous to health”.

Dr Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said: “It’s a real concern that the lack of investment has left so many GPs worried that their practice premises could pose a safety risk.”

The Department of Health says it has set aside £1billion to modernise GP buildings.

“It’s a shame a ‘modernisation’ of our health service didn’t start years ago, to avoid the state it’s in now”

Price tag on medicines – Jeremy Hunt ‘Gimmick’

Jeremy Hunt’s plans to include the price tag on medicines issued by the NHS is a “headline-grabbing ‘gimmick’ with no evidence to suggest it will reduce waste, a leading pharmaceuticals journal has said.

The Government wants all medicines costing more than £20 to carry a price tag alongside the words “funded by the UK taxpayer” to encourage people not to let their drugs expire, and to adhere to treatment regimes.

However, an editorial in the Drug and Therapeutic Bulletin, published yesterday, said that experts are “unaware” of any evidence to suggest the plan would work, and warns that it could lead to vulnerable and elderly patients viewing the cost of their medicine as a “burden on society”.

Medicine Bottle“Adherence can be a problem even for people who make a financial committment by paying for their prescriptions,” the journal’s editors write, “We are concerned that labelling medicines with their cost may result in some unintended consequences and worry patients.”

There was also a risk patients could misinterpret the price tags and consider them an indicator of the medicine’s value, they said. There is no link between the price the NHS pays for a medicine and its clinical efficacy.

Estimates suggest around £150m of medicine are avoidably wasted every year: A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “We make no apology for taking action to reduce waste, and remind people about the value of the NHS services they get.”

“Its difficult enough for some disabled, elderly and vulnerable people not to feel like a ‘taxpayers burden'”

Prescription charging in the UK