Health white paper

The papers report on what was announced yesterday in the government’s health white paper. Andrew Lansley, Health Secretary outlined plans which will see the NHS in England undergo a major restructuring in one of the biggest shake-ups in its history. £80 billion of NHS funding will be handed to GPs to buy care for patients in their area, with primary care trusts and strategic health authorities to be abolished by 2013.  An independent NHS commissioning board will oversee the new regime and give funds to the GP consortia, while councils will take over the PCT’s public health role. Andrew Lansley says it will hand over power and choice over treatments to patients as well as cutting bureaucracy. A comment piece by George Monbiot in The Guardian criticises the White Paper claiming it removes all meaningful government regulation from the health sector. A comment piece by Nick Seddon in The Daily Telegraph says setting up an insurance system would provide better and fairer care than giving control of budgets to GPs.

Stem cell hope for arthritis patients

Scientists at University of Keele have claimed that millions of patients suffering the agony of arthritis could soon benefit from pioneering stem cell treatment. They say the therapy could be used to help repair worn-out joints, which cause crippling pain and stiffness. Scientists have come up with a technique of using stem cells to treat osteoarthritis - a disease which gradually wears down the cartilage in between bones.

Weight-loss schemes help patients more than the NHS

A leading nutritionist says GPs should send obese patients to weight-loss schemes rather than offer NHS help because they will see better results. Dr Susan Jebb of the Medical Research Council found in a study that people in a WeightWatchers programme lost twice as much weight as those with GP care. WeightWatchers part-funded the study, but Dr Jebb stressed similar schemes would be as effective.

Over 60’s get second-class care

 A feature in The Daily Mail examines why women over 60, despite awareness campaigns and government initiatives, gets short-changed when it comes to diagnosing serious illness. The article highlights the case of Rosemary Hobbs, 69 a former nurse spent at least two years suffering from undiagnosed ovarian cancer. When it was finally picked up, she had a tumor the size of a cricket ball in her right side.

House of Commons

Finance Bill: proceedings day 2
Westminster Hall debate: minor injuries services in Devizes constituency (Claire Perry MP)

House of Lords
PQ: Improving the dietary health of the population

Other Business
No 10 eventually published the Department of Health draft Structural Reform Plan last night
Written Statements expected today:
Government response to the Health Select Committee report on commissioning (DH)
Informal Health Council: 5-6 July 2010 (DH)
Health Minister Anne Milton presents UNICEF baby Friendly Award to Bristol PCT this morning and later makes a speech to ACCA/Smith Institute post-election policy debate Health – What are the Priorities?
Care Quality Commission published review of Mid Essex Services NHS Trust, lifting the condition it had imposed on the trust’s registration in April
International Congress on Obesity publish report outlining state of efforts to curb the marketing of unhealthy food and drink to children
The Information Centre for Health and Social Care publish general ophthalmic service statistics.