GP leaders say Thérèse Coffey’s NHS plan will make ‘no tangible difference’ – UK politics live | Politics

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Here is a summary of the main things Thérèse Coffey said on health policy on her interview round this morning.

“,”elementId”:”f5760112-75ee-45b6-b511-af3baf063c34″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey, the health secretary and deputy prime minister, said the target for patients being able to see a GP within two weeks was “an expectation”, rather than a firm guarantee. Asked on the Today programme whether this was a guarantee or a target or just an ambition, Coffey said it was “an expectation” that she was setting out on behalf of patients. Alastair McLellan, editor of the Health Service Journal, says the government appears to have over-briefed what was actually being announced.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”b773b97a-e6ed-4756-acd7-d963b62bbb0e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Once again the Gov’s NHS plans are revealed to be less robust than the press briefings.

Gov press release yday said ‘GPs WILL see people in 48 hrs’

Pree reports that – with steer – as ‘MUST’

now @theresecoffey says it is an ‘expectation’

— Alastair McLellan (@HSJEditor) September 22, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/HSJEditor/status/1572847303777722368″,”id”:”1572847303777722368″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9e41f929-c767-4fdc-bdb6-8c0a7be277e0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Coffey’s clarification may come as a disappointment to readers of the Daily Express.

“,”elementId”:”d10c2a58-2da7-415f-a64a-8b50ebe25e95″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Thursday’s Express: Your Doctor MUST See You In Two Weeks #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyExpress #Express pic.twitter.com/gNcFFZAsoX

— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) September 21, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/TmorrowsPapers/status/1572696827341725697″,”id”:”1572696827341725697″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d6fe2cef-4512-43c9-bce0-1acf929c8229″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey said GPs could meet the two week deadline by offering a telephone consultation. Asked if the pledge meant patients would see a doctor face to face withing two weeks, she told LBC:

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”de9a4240-7549-4e48-afd1-b69a31cdc672″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

That’s open to the relationship between the GP and the patient I’m not going to be overly prescriptive. I know that some people enjoy just having a phone call, but may need to go in and see the doctor, I know that other patients are very keen in that regard.

\n

“,”elementId”:”ee6b8c12-0440-4f9c-aa55-ee28606c6228″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She said that forcing GPs to publish their appointment times data “may give some patients the opportunity to choose to use a different GP”.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”a558f957-309f-42c0-8073-9faddf5b255e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She accepted that the NHS needed more doctors, but said the government had already set out a long-term plan to address this.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”97ef1723-d523-44d3-af32-028415518dd0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She sidestepped questions about whether the government is reviewing its anti-obesity strategy. (As Guardian readers will know, the strategy is being reviewed, on the orders of the Treasury; my colleague Denis Campbell revealed this last week.)

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”b233e546-9378-4983-afd1-64d71521ffa0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey refused to say whether she thought the sugar tax – introduced to discourage people consuming soft drinks with a high sugar content – was working. There is evidence showing it has been successful, but Liz Truss is sceptical about government interfering with consumer choice, the cost of living crisis has made it harder to defend, and there has been speculation that her administration could axe the sugar tax too. When it was put to Coffey on the Today programme that most of her predecessors supported the measure, she said she had just been in the job for two weeks and was focusing on her plan for patients.

  • \n

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Good morning. The House of Commons will be sitting properly again today and Thérèse Coffey, the new health secretary and deputy prime minister, will make a statement on plans to improve the NHS. Liz Truss has said that, at the start of her premiership, she wants to focus on three priorities: health, cutting taxes, and energy. During the Tory leadership contest Truss talked a lot about the second two topics, but she said almost nothing about her thinking on health policy. Her campaign sent out almost 50 press releases, but only one of them mentioned the NHS, and only three mentioned health.

“,”elementId”:”5a111738-dba7-4177-877e-281304b26aa1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Some aspects of the announcement have been briefed overnight, and Coffey will be setting out “her expectation that everyone who needs one should get an appointment at a GP practice within two weeks”. Older readers may remember that around 20 years ago the Labour government has a target for everyone being able to see a GP within two days, not two weeks – although it led to GPs refusing to book appointments more than two days in advance, and was later scrapped by the Tories.

“,”elementId”:”74bd6222-0013-47c9-b914-ee75c711d501″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

My colleague Denis Campbell has a preview of the announcement here.

“,”elementId”:”5f840c9e-8ed6-4745-a6f7-1e75abddf3db”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.RichLinkBlockElement”,”url”:”https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/21/no-one-should-wait-more-than-two-weeks-to-see-gp-coffey-to-say”,”text”:”No one should wait more than two weeks to see GP, Coffey to say”,”prefix”:”Related: “,”role”:”thumbnail”,”elementId”:”36156546-8195-41df-a05f-c0d487d0af40″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

So far doctors’ leaders have been unimpressed – primarily because they say Coffey is not addressing the main problem, which is a shortage of staff for the workload they are facing.

“,”elementId”:”3f9e339e-8590-49a4-a18b-0dcbf0102c94″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“,”elementId”:”920dd263-f420-4a46-84e7-7d4f5641a0d3″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

Lumbering a struggling service with more expectations, without a plan as to how to deliver them, will only serve to add to the intense workload and workforce pressures GPs and our teams are facing, whilst also having minimal impact on the care patients receive.

\n

“,”elementId”:”2e48c811-030e-49de-a275-85bc6f6c3f00″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

And Dr Farah Jameel, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee for England, said in a statement:

“,”elementId”:”d0166b31-6186-4a75-9b37-2a28a33a66bb”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

The target of GPs now offering appointments within two weeks is simply another addition to a tick-box culture highlighting a tone-deaf government approach when it comes to those delivering the service on the ground.

GPs need to be freed up to deliver the care that we know patients so desperately need – that means we need a genuine strategy to address the workforce crisis. There simply aren’t enough GPs and staff to deliver the care our patients need and deserve.

Today’s GP workforce data shows that between August 2021 and August 2022 we lost the equivalent of 314 full-time GPs. We now have the equivalent of 1,850 fewer fully qualified full time GPs than we did in 2015, with 16% more patients per GP. We are losing more GPs than we can recruit and this combined with cost of living pressures is starting to spell the end of GP practices as we know them …

\n

If the new health secretary had met with us before this announcement we could have suggested a workable strategy to address the unfolding crisis before us for this winter and beyond – instead we have in reality minor tweaks that will make no tangible difference to patients struggling to access care.

\n

“,”elementId”:”f90c75b0-34c3-40d9-944f-635850839335″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Coffey has been giving interviews this morning. I will summarise what she has been saying shortly.

“,”elementId”:”392453e1-d399-4b7a-84bd-101ae32f1e0f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here is the agenda for the day.

“,”elementId”:”f895d666-e0e9-469e-b8de-834e03bb4103″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

9am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies holds a briefing on what is expected in Kwasi Kwarteng’s “emergency budget” tomorrow.

“,”elementId”:”924432de-a249-42cc-a46c-37e498ac9db1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

9.30am: Census data for Northern Ireland, including figures on religious affiliation, is published.

“,”elementId”:”c954eec0-07f6-4b32-8bef-d860b81bb079″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

After 10am: Thérèse Coffey, the new health secretary, makes a statement to MPs about plans to improve patient access to the NHS.

“,”elementId”:”e019c822-feab-42fb-9da1-ad9a7fb027a0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

“,”elementId”:”948e55f2-7e59-462d-8a16-a10cfa3c2429″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

12pm: The Bank of England announces its decision on changing interest rates.

“,”elementId”:”375d57c6-91a4-4adf-8368-978addb58408″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

2.15pm: The CBI, the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the cost of living.

“,”elementId”:”60405f63-0ab4-4cd1-848f-69190db7f0fa”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

“,”elementId”:”d804f019-cb66-479f-b07f-6674d6851338″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

“,”elementId”:”959379a8-f904-4bf3-a504-15a7fc98989c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected]

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main events

Here is a summary of the main things Thérèse Coffey said on health policy on her interview round this morning.

“,”elementId”:”f5760112-75ee-45b6-b511-af3baf063c34″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey, the health secretary and deputy prime minister, said the target for patients being able to see a GP within two weeks was “an expectation”, rather than a firm guarantee. Asked on the Today programme whether this was a guarantee or a target or just an ambition, Coffey said it was “an expectation” that she was setting out on behalf of patients. Alastair McLellan, editor of the Health Service Journal, says the government appears to have over-briefed what was actually being announced.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”b773b97a-e6ed-4756-acd7-d963b62bbb0e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Once again the Gov’s NHS plans are revealed to be less robust than the press briefings.

Gov press release yday said ‘GPs WILL see people in 48 hrs’

Pree reports that – with steer – as ‘MUST’

now @theresecoffey says it is an ‘expectation’

— Alastair McLellan (@HSJEditor) September 22, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/HSJEditor/status/1572847303777722368″,”id”:”1572847303777722368″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”9e41f929-c767-4fdc-bdb6-8c0a7be277e0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Coffey’s clarification may come as a disappointment to readers of the Daily Express.

“,”elementId”:”d10c2a58-2da7-415f-a64a-8b50ebe25e95″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

Thursday’s Express: Your Doctor MUST See You In Two Weeks #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyExpress #Express pic.twitter.com/gNcFFZAsoX

— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) September 21, 2022

\n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/TmorrowsPapers/status/1572696827341725697″,”id”:”1572696827341725697″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d6fe2cef-4512-43c9-bce0-1acf929c8229″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey said GPs could meet the two week deadline by offering a telephone consultation. Asked if the pledge meant patients would see a doctor face to face withing two weeks, she told LBC:

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”de9a4240-7549-4e48-afd1-b69a31cdc672″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

That’s open to the relationship between the GP and the patient I’m not going to be overly prescriptive. I know that some people enjoy just having a phone call, but may need to go in and see the doctor, I know that other patients are very keen in that regard.

\n

“,”elementId”:”ee6b8c12-0440-4f9c-aa55-ee28606c6228″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She said that forcing GPs to publish their appointment times data “may give some patients the opportunity to choose to use a different GP”.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”a558f957-309f-42c0-8073-9faddf5b255e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She accepted that the NHS needed more doctors, but said the government had already set out a long-term plan to address this.

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”97ef1723-d523-44d3-af32-028415518dd0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • She sidestepped questions about whether the government is reviewing its anti-obesity strategy. (As Guardian readers will know, the strategy is being reviewed, on the orders of the Treasury; my colleague Denis Campbell revealed this last week.)

  • \n

“,”elementId”:”b233e546-9378-4983-afd1-64d71521ffa0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    \n

  • Coffey refused to say whether she thought the sugar tax – introduced to discourage people consuming soft drinks with a high sugar content – was working. There is evidence showing it has been successful, but Liz Truss is sceptical about government interfering with consumer choice, the cost of living crisis has made it harder to defend, and there has been speculation that her administration could axe the sugar tax too. When it was put to Coffey on the Today programme that most of her predecessors supported the measure, she said she had just been in the job for two weeks and was focusing on her plan for patients.

  • \n

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Good morning. The House of Commons will be sitting properly again today and Thérèse Coffey, the new health secretary and deputy prime minister, will make a statement on plans to improve the NHS. Liz Truss has said that, at the start of her premiership, she wants to focus on three priorities: health, cutting taxes, and energy. During the Tory leadership contest Truss talked a lot about the second two topics, but she said almost nothing about her thinking on health policy. Her campaign sent out almost 50 press releases, but only one of them mentioned the NHS, and only three mentioned health.

“,”elementId”:”5a111738-dba7-4177-877e-281304b26aa1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Some aspects of the announcement have been briefed overnight, and Coffey will be setting out “her expectation that everyone who needs one should get an appointment at a GP practice within two weeks”. Older readers may remember that around 20 years ago the Labour government has a target for everyone being able to see a GP within two days, not two weeks – although it led to GPs refusing to book appointments more than two days in advance, and was later scrapped by the Tories.

“,”elementId”:”74bd6222-0013-47c9-b914-ee75c711d501″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

My colleague Denis Campbell has a preview of the announcement here.

“,”elementId”:”5f840c9e-8ed6-4745-a6f7-1e75abddf3db”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.RichLinkBlockElement”,”url”:”https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/sep/21/no-one-should-wait-more-than-two-weeks-to-see-gp-coffey-to-say”,”text”:”No one should wait more than two weeks to see GP, Coffey to say”,”prefix”:”Related: “,”role”:”thumbnail”,”elementId”:”36156546-8195-41df-a05f-c0d487d0af40″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

So far doctors’ leaders have been unimpressed – primarily because they say Coffey is not addressing the main problem, which is a shortage of staff for the workload they are facing.

“,”elementId”:”3f9e339e-8590-49a4-a18b-0dcbf0102c94″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“,”elementId”:”920dd263-f420-4a46-84e7-7d4f5641a0d3″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

Lumbering a struggling service with more expectations, without a plan as to how to deliver them, will only serve to add to the intense workload and workforce pressures GPs and our teams are facing, whilst also having minimal impact on the care patients receive.

\n

“,”elementId”:”2e48c811-030e-49de-a275-85bc6f6c3f00″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

And Dr Farah Jameel, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP committee for England, said in a statement:

“,”elementId”:”d0166b31-6186-4a75-9b37-2a28a33a66bb”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement”,”html”:”

\n

The target of GPs now offering appointments within two weeks is simply another addition to a tick-box culture highlighting a tone-deaf government approach when it comes to those delivering the service on the ground.

GPs need to be freed up to deliver the care that we know patients so desperately need – that means we need a genuine strategy to address the workforce crisis. There simply aren’t enough GPs and staff to deliver the care our patients need and deserve.

Today’s GP workforce data shows that between August 2021 and August 2022 we lost the equivalent of 314 full-time GPs. We now have the equivalent of 1,850 fewer fully qualified full time GPs than we did in 2015, with 16% more patients per GP. We are losing more GPs than we can recruit and this combined with cost of living pressures is starting to spell the end of GP practices as we know them …

\n

If the new health secretary had met with us before this announcement we could have suggested a workable strategy to address the unfolding crisis before us for this winter and beyond – instead we have in reality minor tweaks that will make no tangible difference to patients struggling to access care.

\n

“,”elementId”:”f90c75b0-34c3-40d9-944f-635850839335″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Coffey has been giving interviews this morning. I will summarise what she has been saying shortly.

“,”elementId”:”392453e1-d399-4b7a-84bd-101ae32f1e0f”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here is the agenda for the day.

“,”elementId”:”f895d666-e0e9-469e-b8de-834e03bb4103″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

9am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies holds a briefing on what is expected in Kwasi Kwarteng’s “emergency budget” tomorrow.

“,”elementId”:”924432de-a249-42cc-a46c-37e498ac9db1″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

9.30am: Census data for Northern Ireland, including figures on religious affiliation, is published.

“,”elementId”:”c954eec0-07f6-4b32-8bef-d860b81bb079″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

After 10am: Thérèse Coffey, the new health secretary, makes a statement to MPs about plans to improve patient access to the NHS.

“,”elementId”:”e019c822-feab-42fb-9da1-ad9a7fb027a0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

“,”elementId”:”948e55f2-7e59-462d-8a16-a10cfa3c2429″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

12pm: The Bank of England announces its decision on changing interest rates.

“,”elementId”:”375d57c6-91a4-4adf-8368-978addb58408″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

2.15pm: The CBI, the Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee about the cost of living.

“,”elementId”:”60405f63-0ab4-4cd1-848f-69190db7f0fa”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

“,”elementId”:”d804f019-cb66-479f-b07f-6674d6851338″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

“,”elementId”:”959379a8-f904-4bf3-a504-15a7fc98989c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected]

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in general Jacob Rees-MoggThe Minister of Business has just started answering an urgent question about the energy support package for non-domestic users that he announced yesterday.

before it starts Sir Lindsey HoyleThe Speaker of the House said he was very disappointed that such an important statement was made to the media yesterday, not in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament were in the House of Commons yesterday to take an oath of allegiance to the new king. Hoyle said he would have allowed a statement to be issued.

race wave He says he doesn’t think it is possible to get a statement on the day MPs swear allegiance. He said this had never happened before, and it hadn’t happened in 1952, the last time there was a change of king.

Howell Reese interrupted Mogg to indicate that he could have asked. If they had had a conversation, says Reese-Mogg, he would have found that the statement was possible.

There are two urgent questions in the House of Commons this morning, before the business questions and then the health statement from Therese Coffey.

🚨 2 Urgent Questions granted today – both to Business Secretary @Jacob_Rees_Mogg

1. @jreynoldsMP on support for businesses on energy price rises

2. @Ed_Miliband on lifting the ban on fracking

Starting around 10:00

— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) September 22, 2022

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Also in the Chamber today:

– Business Questions to Leader of the House @PennyMordaunt / @ThangamMP

– Heath and Social Care Update from Heath Secretary @theresecoffey / @wesstreeting

— Labour Whips (@labourwhips) September 22, 2022

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Kofi refuses to say if she thinks the sugar tax was a success

Here is a summary of the main things Therese Coffee He said about health policy in her interview this morning.

  • Kofi, the health minister and deputy prime minister, said the goal for patients to be able to see a GP within two weeks was an “expectation”, not a firm guarantee. When asked on the Today show if this was a guarantee, a goal, or just an aspiration, Covey said it was an “expectation” she was making on behalf of patients. Alistair McClellanThe editor-in-chief of the Health Service Journal, it appears the government has over-briefed what has already been announced.

Once again the Gov’s NHS plans are revealed to be less robust than the press briefings.

Gov press release yday said ‘GPs WILL see people in 48 hrs’

Pree reports that – with steer – as ‘MUST’

now @theresecoffey says it is an ‘expectation’

— Alastair McLellan (@HSJEditor) September 22, 2022

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Once again, the government’s NHS plans have been revealed to be less robust than press briefings.

Yesterday’s government press release said ‘general practitioners will see people within 48 hours’.

Pree reports that – with guidance – as “MUST”

Currently Tweet embed He says he “expected”

– Alistair McClellan (HSJEditor) September 22 2022

Kofi’s explanation may come as a disappointment to Daily Express readers.

Thursday’s Express: Your Doctor MUST See You In Two Weeks #TomorrowsPapersToday #DailyExpress #Express pic.twitter.com/gNcFFZAsoX

— Tomorrows Papers Today (@TmorrowsPapers) September 21, 2022

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  • Coffey said GPs can meet the two-week deadline by offering a telephone consultation. When asked if the pledge meant patients would see a doctor face-to-face within two weeks, she told LBC:

This is open to the GP-patient relationship I will not be over-advising. I know some people enjoy just making a phone call, but may need to go see a doctor, and I know other patients are very careful about that.

  • She accepted that the NHS needed more doctors, but said the government had already put in place a long-term plan to address this.

  • She has sidestepped questions about whether the government is reviewing its anti-obesity strategy. (As Guardian readers know, the strategy is being revised on orders from the Treasury; my colleague Dennis Campbell revealed this past week.)

  • Covey declined to say if she thought the sugar tax — which was introduced to discourage people consuming high-sugar soft drinks — was working.. There is evidence that it works, but Liz Truss is skeptical of government interference in consumer choice, the cost-of-living crisis has made it hard to defend, and there has been speculation that her administration could abolish the sugar tax as well. When Kofi was shown on the Today show that most of her predecessors supported the procedure, she said she had been on the job for two weeks and was focusing on her plan for patients.

Grand Prix leaders say Therese Coffey NHS plan won’t make a tangible difference

good morning. The House of Commons will appropriately convene again today and Therese Coffey, the new Health Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, will make a statement on plans to improve the NHS. Liz Truss said that, at the start of her premiership, she wants to focus on three priorities: health, tax cuts and energy. During the Conservative leadership contest, Truss talked a lot about the second two topics, but said almost nothing about her health policy thinking. Her campaign sent out nearly 50 press releases, but only one mentioned the NHS, and only three mentioned health.

She was briefed on some aspects of the announcement overnight, and Covey will specify her “expectation that everyone who needs one should get an appointment at the GP clinic within two weeks.” Older readers may remember that about 20 years ago, the Labor government had a goal of getting everyone to see a GP in two days, not two weeks – even though it resulted in GPs refusing to book appointments more than two days in advance, and it was it then. Abolished by the conservatives.

my colleague Dennis Campbell Preview the ad here.

So far, physician leaders have not been affected — primarily because they say Coffey is not addressing the main problem, which is the shortage of staff to handle the workload they face.

Professor Martin Marshall, Chair Royal College of PhysiciansHe said:

Intimidating a faltering service with more expectations, without a plan for how it will be delivered, will only add to the intense workload and workforce pressures that GPs and our teams face, while also having little impact on the care patients receive.

And Dr. Farah Jamil chair British Medical AssociationEngland’s GP said in a statement:

The goal of GPs now providing appointments within two weeks is just another addition to the checkbox culture that highlights the government’s deaf approach when it comes to those who provide service on the ground.

GPs must be liberated to provide the care that we know patients need most – and that means we need a real strategy to tackle the workforce crisis. There are simply not enough GPs and staff to provide the care our patients need and deserve.

Today’s GP workforce data shows that between August 2021 and August 2022 we lost the equivalent of 314 full-time general practitioners. We now have 1,850 fewer fully qualified GPs than we had in 2015, with a 16% increase in patients per GP. We are losing more GPs than we can recruit and this combined with cost-of-living pressures is beginning to spell the end of GP practices as we know them…

If the new health minister had met with us prior to this announcement, we could have proposed a practical strategy to address the crisis unfolding ahead of us for this winter and beyond — instead, we actually have minor tweaks that won’t make a tangible difference for patients struggling to access care.

Kofi was giving interviews this morning. I’ll summarize what she was saying shortly.

Here is today’s agenda.

9am: The Institute for Fiscal Studies is holding a briefing on what is expected in the Quasi Quarting “contingency budget” tomorrow.

9:30 am: Publication of census data for Northern Ireland, including figures regarding religious affiliation.

After ten in the morning: Therese Coffey, the new health minister, makes a statement to MPs on plans to improve patient access to the NHS.

11:30 am: Downing Street holds a briefing in the lobby.

12 m: The Bank of England announces its decision on changing interest rates.

2.15 pm: The CBI, Resolution Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation provide evidence to the House of Commons Treasury Committee on the cost of living.

I’m trying to monitor the BTL comments but it’s impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, include “Andrew” somewhere and I’ll likely find it. I try to answer the questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and answer it above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise that for everyone.

If you want to get my attention quickly, it is better to use Twitter. I’m on Tweet embed.

Alternatively, you can email me at [email protected]

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