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  • Social enterprise wins Surrey contract retender
  • DH and BMA in GP contract row
  • Service changes plans in Northern Devon
  • Nine out of 10 trusts back reconfiguration
  • Audiology patients hit by efficiencies

3.28pm: The DH has now published critical extra detail about its proposed changes to the GP contract.

2.30pm: We have published a story covering the Department of Health’s announcement on the GP contract. It appears the main proposal is to remove all payments linked to the quality and outcome framework’s organisational domain; and introduce all the new clinical indicators proposed by NICE, while moving some thresholds.

11:30am: High profile social enterprise Central Surrey Health has won a £113m contract to continue providing community services across Mid Surrey. NHS Surrey and Surrey Downs CCG announced today they had named the social enterprise as preferred bidder for a five year contract due to begin on 1 February 2013.

11.27am: The BMA GPC has responded by saying: “The implications of the government’s new proposals for general practice are likely to be huge, and we will be examining the consequences of this threatened imposition so that we can fully inform the profession and public as soon as possible. There are serious question marks over whether some of the intended changes are based on sound clinical evidence or are practical or feasible.”

11.25am: The Department of Health has announced it may impose changes to the GP contract - specifically, new requirements under the quality and outcome framework - on GP practices. It says negotiations have broken down, indicating the BMA GP committee was not willing to accept the changes.

An integrated NHS trust which has twice delayed its foundation trust application has launched a service review that is likely to result in the closure of community hospital beds. Read about Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s plans here.

Most health trusts believe that “major change” is necessary in the way services are delivered to patients, a Foundation Trust Network has found.  Nine in 10 trusts said that major local changes - including hospital mergers, closures or changing the way services are provided - were necessary in the next two years.

The government’s £20bn efficiency drive has led to direct cuts to services offered to patients, according to Action on Hearing Loss. The charity said that as a result of the efficiency savings, 16 per cent of trusts are reducing the number of follow-up appointments for patients with hearing loss.

James Paget University Hospitals Foundation Trust has reported a 30 per cent increase in complaints year on year.

Leading nurses have developed a test to identify whether a workplace is suffering from a culture problem akin to that which contributed to the care failings at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust. The “cultural barometer” can be used in any healthcare setting by individuals, nursing teams or as part of a wider organisational review.