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4.31pm: The BMA has responded to the contract proposals, which are due to be imposed on practices if the medical union does not reach agreement with the government. BMA GPC chair Laurence Buckman said: “The government’s proposals may sound attractive on the face of it, and some of their suggestions are good. However, they have not fully considered the overall impact on practices of all these changes being implemented together. This could make it difficult for some practices to maintain the level of care they currently offer, let alone increase their capacity to meet the demands of these proposals.”

4.24pm Further details of the contract proposals have been published, in the form of the government’s letter to the British Medical Association GP committee.

12.04pm The government has unveiled changes to the GP contract which it says will see GPs “rewarded for steps which directly support and benefit patients”. Examples of this could be them offering blood pressure control services and assessments of patients at risk from dementia.

The proposed changes will see £164m “taken away from rewarding GPs for bureaucratic tick box exercises and re-directed into actions which will directly benefit patients”.  The changes could benefit 3.5 million patients by 2014-15, the DH says. Full details here.

7.30am A six-month pilot commissioned by South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust has demonstrated how the health economy can work collaboratively to address winter pressures.

Chris Oliver, urgent care lead for South Staffordshire primary care trust at the time of the pilot, says: “We aimed to identify those patients whose needs could be met in the community and to provide bespoke packages of care to allow early supported discharge.”

7.05am Good morning, today on HSJ Dr Rachel Reeves, principal research fellow at the School of Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, argues that the methodology of the friends and family test is flawed and NHS trusts need support to improve patients’ experience.

She claims that the lack of rigour in survey methods provides many opportunities for questioning and manipulating results and those temptations will increase if financial rewards are attached to them.