The Royal College for GPs has said that the government's ambition to deliver more care to patients closer to home is not matched by resources allotted to general practice.
- Funding per patient has fallen 7% in England since 2010
- 80% of GPs say they have insufficient resources to provide high-quality care
- 47% say they have already cut back on the range of services provided
- Investment in general practice dropped from £8,865 million in 2009/10 to £8,459 million in 2012/3
Dr Clare Gerada, the chair of the Royal College of GPs, has warned that family doctors routinely see up to 60 patients in a single day due to a "chronic shortfall" of GPs and funding:
Our figures should send out a warning to Government and the rest of the NHS that we will soon have a catastrophe on our hands if urgent action is not taken to reverse the decline in funding for general practice and provide GPs with an appropriate amount to spend on each patient every year ...
GPs are keen to do more for their patients but we are heaving under the pressure of ever increasing workloads and diminishing resources, including a chronic shortfall of GPs.
Some of us are routinely working 11-hour days with up to 60 patient contacts in a single day and this is not safe or sustainable, for patients or GPs. We simply cannot do more without the funding and resources to back it up.
The Royal College of GPs (RCGP) is calling for "emergency" measures to close a £400 million financial "black hole" in services.
The family doctors body said funding cuts over the past three years are already having a "disastrous effect on patient care".
They said there has been a seven percent drop in funding per person in England from 2010 to 2013, due to the £400 million fall in investment and population growth.
Dr Clare Gerada, chair of RCGP, said that while more than 90 percent of patient contact within the NHS is with a GP, only nine percent of the entire budget is currently awarded to general practices.
The Department of Health said it is aware there are issues surrounding complaints in the NHS, which is why it has commissioned reports on the systems.
It is in the interests of everyone who cares about the NHS - from patients, to doctors and nurses - that patients can trust that, when they make a complaint, it is dealt with correctly and thoroughly.
We know that there are issues with how hospitals handle complaints and that's why we asked Ann Clwyd and Tricia Hart to carry out a review into the system.
We look forward to their recommendations.
The Department of Health is set to publish data that reveals a link between breastfeeding rates in different areas and hospital admissions for children.
A source said: "Breastfeeding provides all the nutrition a baby needs and also helps protect babies from infections. It has huge health benefits, and helps promote a strong bond between mum and baby.
"The variation in breastfeeding rates means children are more likely to end up in hospital for a wide variety of conditions, from eczema to gastroenteritis and asthma, and we want local authorities to use the data released today to identify where they can work with the local NHS to take action."
The department said councils could support women to breastfeed at local children's centres by making sure staff are knowledgeable and have the right information.
Commenting on figures that show accident and emergency waiting times have hit a nine-year high, a Department of Health spokesman said: "Overall the NHS is performing well and for the fourth week in a row 95 percent of A&E patients have been seen within four hours.
"Clearly the NHS had a difficult winter and A&E departments were under pressure. This is partly due to the fact that there are over one million more people visiting A&E compared to three years ago.
"We've been absolutely clear that the NHS needs to transform the way health services are delivered to meet the needs of an ageing population focusing more on joined up services and prevention.
"We are working with the NHS to address the long-term problems facing A&E. Sir Bruce Keogh's urgent care review is looking at the range of pressures on emergency services.
"In addition NHS England is ensuring that money is freed up and available to improve A&E services so that they are better able to cope next winter."
A committee set up by the Department of Health in the wake of the PIP breast implant scandal has called for tighter regulation of the UK cosmetic interventions industry.
Recommendations announced today by the committee, headed by Sir Bruce Keogh, has recommended tighter controls on advertising, that those administering treatments should have proper qualifications, and that all dermal fillers should be prescription only.
The review board, set up following the PIP breast implant scandal, said it was "surprised" to learn that non-surgical treatments are almost entirely unregulated.
The cosmetic surgery industry is worth £2.3 billion a year, with people spending money on a range of procedures from Botox to breast implants.
A report on the financial future of two hospitals in Peterborough and Huntingdon has estimated that the Department of Health is paying £1 million a week to keep the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust afloat.
Criticising the decision to build a new hospital, whilst hiring a private firm to run another one 24 miles away, the report found:
- Management consultants had been used at "great expense to little effect", with Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust spending £9 million in the last two financial years
- The Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust had accumulated the highest deficit in the highest in the NHS for 2011/12, of £45.8 million
Unison warned from the start that selling Hinchingbrooke off to a private company was the wrong cure for its problems. In just one year some of our worst fears are coming true, and the much-hyped savings that many claimed would be delivered are not materialising.
She added that other trusts around the country were "struggling from bad PFI deals", and that patients may have to pay the price.
This report will make worrying reading for local people and for health workers. It reveals the high price paid by local people when bad decisions are made about NHS services. The lessons must be learnt to avoid these issues happening again.
An independent committee has accused the Department of Health of making "catastrophic" decisions over the decision allow a new hospital in a city, while a private firm was being hired to run another one 24 miles away.
According to the Commons Public Accounts Committee, the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust had accumulated a deficit of more than £45 million by the end of 2011/12.
The trust's financial position is now so serious that, even if it achieves challenging annual savings, it will still require significant financial support of up to £26 million a year for the next 30 years to remain viable.