GP career support pack

BMA, Royal College of General Practitioners & NHS England | August 2018 |GP career support pack

A new document from BMA, Royal College of General Practitioners & NHS England- GP career support pack- sets out the various types of support available to general practitioner’s at all stages of their career, whether in their first five years, mid-career, nearing retirement or after taking a career break (Source: NHS England).


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The support pack is available from NHS England 

Helping to support and transform the lives of people affected by drug and alcohol problems

Local Government Agency | August 2018| Helping to support and transform the lives of people affected by drug and alcohol problems

Research suggests that those most susceptible to developing problematic substance misuse problems are from ‘vulnerable groups’ such as children in care, persistent absentees or excludees from school, young offenders, the homeless and children affected by parental substance misuse. So providing well-funded, targeted and effective substance misuse services is vital.working together.PNG


It is the responsibility of local government to commission these and in the process, help prevent abuse in the first place and enable people to beat addiction and sustain their recovery.

The causes of substance misuse and the solutions for tackling it are multi-factorial.
It requires close working with partners,  imagination and hard work. However, when we  get it right it can have a tremendous impact.
As the case studies in this report show, lives are being turned around (Source: Local Government Agency).

Local Government Agency news item 

Read the full report here 

UCL research indicates that arteries of youths who smoke and drink are already starting to stiffen

UCL | August 218 |UCL research indicates that arteries youths who smoke and drink are already starting to harden 

New research from University College London (UCL) shows that smoking and drinking even infrequently and at lower levels (than in adult studies) as a youth , is linked to loss of arterial elasticity (arterial stiffening) (via UCL).

The study used analysed data from  more than 1,200 adolescents from Children of the 90s, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), during a five-year period between 2004 and 2008.


“We found that in this large contemporary British cohort, drinking and smoking in adolescence, even at lower levels compared to those reported in adult studies, is associated with arterial stiffening and atherosclerosis progression,” said senior author, Professor John Deanfield (UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science).

Interestingly the research team also discovered “that if teenagers stopped smoking and drinking during adolescence, their arteries returned to normal suggesting that there are opportunities to preserve arterial health from a young age.”

Dr Mariettta  Charakida who was part of the team involved in the research said: “The age at which participants started drinking alcohol was not associated with arterial health, suggesting that duration of exposure might not be that important at this young age,” added Dr Charakida. “In addition, no beneficial effect of low alcohol consumption was found with regards to arterial health.”

Read the full press release at UCL

The research article is published in the European Heart Journal 



To determine the impact of smoking and alcohol exposure during adolescence on arterial stiffness at 17 years.

Methods and results

Smoking and alcohol use were assessed by questionnaires at 13, 15, and 17 years in 1266 participants (425 males and 841 females) from the ALSPAC study. Smoking status (smokers and non-smoker) and intensity (‘high’ more than or equal to 100, ‘moderate’ 20–99, and ‘low or never’ less than 20 cigarettes in lifetime) were ascertained. Participants were classified by frequency (low or high) and intensity of drinking [light (LI less than 2), medium (MI 3–9), and heavy (HI more than 10 drinks on a typical drinking day)]. Carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) was assessed at 17 years [mean ± standard deviation and/or mean difference (95% confidence intervals)]. Current smokers had higher PWV compared with non-smokers (P = 0.003). Higher smoking exposure was associated with higher PWV compared with non-smokers. Participants who stopped smoking had similar PWV to never smokers (P = 0.160). High-intensity drinkers had increased PWV. There was an additive effect of smoking intensity and alcohol intensity, so that ‘high’ smokers who were also HI drinkers had higher PWV compared with never-smokers and LI drinkers [mean adjusted increase 0.603.


Smoking exposure even at low levels and intensity of alcohol use were associated individually and together with increased arterial stiffness. Public health strategies need to prevent adoption of these habits in adolescence to preserve or restore arterial health.

Full reference: Charakida, M. et al.| 2018|Early vascular damage from smoking and alcohol in teenage years: the ALSPAC study|European Heart Journal|  ehy524 |

This article can be requested by Rotherham NHS staff here 


In the news:

BBC News Teenagers who smoke and drink suffer ill effects by age of 17

Mental health therapists in GP practices could be the norm

NHS England | August 2018 | Mental health therapists in GP practices could be the norm

New guidance to support GPs, practice managers and commissioners integrate mental health therapists into primary care pathways has been created by NHS England. 

The guidance will enable therapists to become  integrated into primary care teams and focus on common mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, particularly where this occurs in patients with a long term physical health condition such as diabetes, respiratory or heart problems.


Evidence suggests 90 per cent of  adults with mental health problems are supported in primary care and broadening the range of services for patients, means local health services are better equipped to deal with patients’ physical and mental health needs (Source: NHS England).

See NHS England  Guidance on co-locating mental health therapists in primary care

NHS England news release Mental health therapists in GP practices could be the norm

In the media:

Pulse NHS England asks GPs to house mental health therapists within practices

GP Online GPs urged to bring mental health therapy services into practices

The Daily Mail Every GP surgery in England should hire a mental health expert to tackle depression that makes physical illnesses worse, experts say

One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm, reports Children’s Society

The Children’s Society | August 2018 | The Good Childhood Report 2018

Every year The Children’s Society produces a wellbeing report, a comprehensive report into children’s wellbeing to hear what children have to say about their lives, what makes them happy and what needs to be improved for this generation. 

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Key findings from the report:

  • Pressure to fit in with society’s expectations is making children unhappy
  • Alarming numbers of children are self-harming
  • Non-stop comments about appearance are harmful to girls’ well-being
  • Outdated gender stereotypes are damaging to boys’ and girls’ happiness
  • Family relationships are particularly important for girls

Children’s Society press release One in four 14-year-old girls self-harm

Read the full report at The Children’s Society

The Good Child Summary report  available here 


In the media:

BBC News Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm 

The Telegraph Quarter of 14 year old girls self-harm, study finds, amid warning of ‘crisis in children’s mental health’ 

The Guardian Quarter of 14-year-old girls in UK have self-harmed, report finds

CBT could be beneficial for adults with ADHD

NIHR | August 2018 | Cognitive behavioural therapy could benefit adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

NIHR have published a new signal which looks at Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and its impact to improve the core symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults, compared with a range of other treatments. 

The review included trials that compared cognitive behavioural therapy to other specific interventions or to a range of control conditions, including waiting list and no treatment. It also looked at cognitive behavioural therapy plus drug treatment, versus drug treatment alone.

The included trials were rated very low to moderate quality. They also used a variety of outcome measures, which made it difficult to compare the interventions.

Despite these limitations, the review provides evidence that reinforces current guidance and practice (Source: NIHR).
Read the full signal at NIHR 

Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing

NHS England | August 2018 | Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing

NHS England have produced a series of documents to support CCGs to implement recommendations and support discussions between patients and their healthcare professionals.

Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals: Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care

The Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals is a quick reference tools summarising the CCG guidance on Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.

Interactive Quick Reference Guide for Healthcare Professionals: Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care

This an interactive, quick reference tool summarising the CCG guidance on Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.


There are also a series of patient information leaflets, including easy read leaflets

Patient information leaflet ‘Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing’

A patient information leaflet to support discussions between patients and healthcare professionals

See NHS England for full details