Welcome to the GP Bulletin. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.


Association Between Calcium or Vitamin D Supplementation and Fracture Incidence in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Question  Is supplementation with calcium, vitamin D, or combined calcium and vitamin D associated with a lower fracture incidence in community-dwelling older adults?

Findings  In this meta-analysis of 33 randomized clinical trials that included 51 145 participants, the use of supplements that included calcium, vitamin D, or both was not associated with a significant difference in the risk of hip fractures compared with placebo or no treatment (risk ratio, 1.53, 1.21, and 1.09, respectively).

Meaning  These findings do not support the routine use of these supplements in community-dwelling older adults.

Reference: JAMA. 2017;318(24):2466-2482.

‘3 before GP’

The Royal College of GPs is asking patients to adopt a new three-step ‘mantra’ to help relieve pressures on GP services3 before GP refers to three questions patients should ask themselves before booking an appointment with their GP: can I self-care; can I use NHS Choices or similar reputable websites/resources; and can I seek advice/treatment via a pharmacist?

Health and social care priorities

Healthwatch has identified the top five health and social care issues people want to see addressed over the next 12 months Using information people have raised with their local Healthwatch, the main priority identified is access to and quality of mental health services, followed by adult social care, services working better together, hospital services and access to GP and dental services.

NHS Health Check: reasons for non-attendance

RAND Europe has published a journal article Reasons why people do not attend NHS Health Checks: a systematic review and qualitative synthesis.  This research looked at primary research studies that reported the views of people who were eligible for but had not attended an NHS Health Check.  The findings highlight the need for improved communication and publicity around the purpose of the NHS Health Check programme and the personal health benefits of risk factor detection.

NIHR Signals

The National Institute for Health Research has published new Signals containing summaries of published research for health and social care decision makers:

Reducing prescriptions for over-the counter medicines

NHS England has today launched a consultation on proposals to reduce prescribing of over-the-counter medicines for 33 minor, short-term health concerns. NHS England has partnered with NHS Clinical Commissioners to carry out the consultation after CCGs asked for a nationally co-ordinated approach to the development of commissioning guidance in this area to ensure consistency and address unwarranted variation.  The intention is to produce a consistent, national framework for CCGs to use. The consultation closes on the 14 March 2018.