The pharmacist will see you now: overstretched GPs get help

Millions of patients will be seen by pharmacists, therapists and medical assistants instead of GPs in an effort to save the NHS from collapse, The Times reports.

Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, warns that the health service will fail without a £2.4 billion rescue package for the “fraying” GP system.

Patients will be encouraged to diagnose illnesses online, GPs will be offered bonuses of £20,000 to work in unpopular parts of the country and 500 foreign doctors will be hired in the biggest overhaul of general practice for half a century.

Despite criticism for patients’ groups, which said that they did not want to be treated “on the cheap”, the plans received a rapturous receptions from doctors’ leaders, who have repeatedly warned that GPs are in crisis.

NHS in £2.4bn funding boost for GP services in England

NHS chiefs in England have announced a five-year plan to help GP surgeries "get back on their feet" and to improve access for patients, the BBC reports.

The rescue package will see an extra £2.4bn a year ploughed into services by 2020 - a rise of 14% once inflation is taken into account.

It will pay for 5,000 more GPs and extra staff to boost practices.

It comes after warnings from the profession that the future of general practice was at real risk.

MP opposes pharmacy cuts

A Barnsley MP has launched a campaign against proposed government cuts to community pharmacies, The Star reports.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, has spoken out against plans to slash £170m from the budget, which could force a number of pharmacies in the region to close.

Mr Dugher has now taken this matter up nationally with the government, raising a series of parliamentary questions, asking what impact assessment the Department of Health has made of the number of jobs that will be lost and the level of service reduction that will occur if the cut goes ahead.

Well Pharmacy to use WCN e-recruitment system

Well Pharmacy, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, has signed a three year deal to use WCN online recruitment technology for its branch manager and colleague, head office, warehouse and pharmacy summer placement hires, OnRec reports.

The company, which has over 7,000 employees based in 780 pharmacies across the UK, will begin using the new system from June 2016.

Well will use WCN to help enhance the candidate experience in its nationwide recruitment.

The company is the largest pharmacy chain overall in Wales, and the third largest pharmacy chain overall across the UK, serving 1.3 million customers every week and dispensing 74 million prescriptions each year.

Smoking breaks banned by council

Smoking breaks for thousands of council employees will be banned under new rules, the Independent reports.

Nottinghamshire County Council has said around 9,000 of its employees will be barred from smoking during work time.

E-cigarettes are also banned.

The plans are due to come into force in May, after being approved on Wednesday.