Posts Tagged “general practice”

Pharmacies are still in the news with worries that the closure of small pharmacies, particularly those in isolated communities, will increase pressure on GPs and A&E. Research shows that GPs prescribed 1.1billion items for patients in 2014, including a wide variety of over-the-counter medicines such as Lemsip and Calpol. Presciptions were also issued for unmedicated products such as toothpaste and suncream.

With more than half of GPs expecting to leave General Practice before the age of 60, NHS England is urging British GPs working abroad to return to the UK. Practices are also to be given incentives to take on GP Returners with an annual grant of £8,000. Incentives are also being offered to GPs to delay their retirement in an attempt to bolster GP numbers.

Golden Hellos are being used more frequently to attract GPs to practices finding it hard to fill posts. Groby Road Practice in Leicester filled a post that had been vacant for two years thanks to the scheme. The RAF is also aiming to recruit GPs and offers a signing bonus of £50,000. Hospitals are also after GPs to help them deliver new models of primary care with some offering salaries of up to £100,000.

Applications to GP Training are down by 6% this year and a third of vacancies remain unfilled after the first round of recruitment. The RCGP has released a video aimed at medical students to promote general practice and increase applications, however, GP leaders have said that students are being told by Medical School Deans that GP is a ‘second-class’ career option.

Despite the everyday pressures of General Practice, for many doctors, it still affords the best chance of a good work life balance.  An innovative campaign started by East Cumbria GP Training Programme #GreatBritishConsultations shows the beauty and benefits of rural GP life.

Opening hours and access has been one of the big stories in GP with evidence that growing numbers of patients aged 18-34 are more likely to go to A&E or Walk-In Centres than accessing services via their local surgery. Sunbury Practice in Surrey experienced patients queueing from as early as 6.45am in order to get a same-day appointment. Politicians have made various promises about improving access to GP including seven-day access, however, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that patients would rather have extended hours on weekdays than appointments available at weekends.

There are lots of innovative ideas about improving services for patients. Homeless charity, Porchlight, has set up a new GP Link Service allowing them to liaise with patients’ GPs and other services to help prevent homelessness with the added benefit of improving their overall health and mental health.

The NHS has announced incentives for GP Practices to set up on-site pharmacies as a way to relieve the burden on GPs, provide a better service for patients and cut waste in medicines.

If you are advising a patient to lose weight, it’s worth bearing in mind a recent poll carried out by the Royal Society for Public Health which found patients were much less likely to follow advice regarding losing weight, healthy eating and exercise from health professionals they perceived as being overweight or obese.

And finally, the leaflet produced by a practice in Devon aimed at directing patients to more appropriate services which was initially condemned by NHS England is to be used as a template for other practices in the area.