Posts Tagged “prescribing”

NICE has warned that GPs are issuing 10million unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics each year, experts have called for the most persistent offenders to be referred to the GMC.

A pilot scheme in Wales has saved over 500 GP consultations in a month one region by allowing pharmacists to supply medicines for common ailments for free. Patients can obtain free medication for problems such as constipation, dyspepsia, coughs and sore throats in the trial which has been running since 2013.

The National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) has called for GP and community pharmacy contracts to be ‘aligned’ by NHS England in order to relieve the burden on GPs. Meanwhile, the GPC has advised GPs not to sign the new ‘simple’ GP contract issued by NHS England as the wording prevents practices from taking legal action against their local area team.

GP OOH providers are struggling to fill their rotas as the weekend GP access schemes set up to relieve winter demand have continued. Whilst a survey has found that almost 80% of OOH GPs were limiting their shifts owing to the rising cost of indemnity.

NHS Lothian is considering allocating £1m in emergency funding as it has emerged that 1 in 6 practices have closed their lists. Whilst a survery has found that 15% of practices are planning to close their lists within 6 months, and 21% are considering mergers. In Northern Ireland, the GPC is setting up a ‘rescue’ service to support as many as 1 in 14 practices at risk of closure this year. A practice in Wales with 2,500 patients is set to close in October after no applicants applied to take on the single-handed practice which has been staffed by locums and supported by the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University health board since the previous GP retired.

In the West Midlands, a group of practices are merging to form one of the largest GP partnerships in the NHS with as many as 180 partners. Our Health Partnership will be led by a Chief Executive and financial and operations officers elected by an elected board.

A BBC documentary, The Real Peak Practice, will air in September featuring the Baslow Health Centre in the Peak District. The programme aims to show the problems facing GP practices including recruitment and caring for elderly patients.

Data from the GP Patient Survey has found that just over a quarter of patients in England were unable to see a GP or waited a week or more to see or speak to someone last time they tried. The survery comes amid news that a quarter of 7 day GP access pilots have cut their opening hours owing to lack of demand.

According to a survery carried out by Londonwide LMCs, 1 in ten London practices face closure within the next three years. Various factors were cited as reasons practices were considering closure, including workforce retirement and difficulties recruiting new staff. One GP explained the difficulties her practice faced and the reasons behind the decision she and her colleagues made to quit.  Other GPs at the Limehouse Practice were visited by health minister Alisdair Burt, in a hastily arranged visit after reports that a proposed visit by Jeremy Hunt might not take place until after the practice is forced to close later this year. In Scotland, one area has warned that any unexpected illness or leave amongst GPs could lead to practice closures, as 11 full-time posts have been vacant for between three months and two years and a further 14 GPs plan to retire by December 2016.

The Head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has annouced that the practice-list based model of general practice could be replaced in future. Another GP has suggested practices receive payments based on numbers of consultations in order to relieve the financial pressures they face.

It has transpired that the £7.5m promised by the Government to support community pharmacists will actually be used to give them access to summary care records – a policy originally announced in 2013. As part of the drive to recruit 1000 Physician Associates by 2020, the Government is considering granting them prescribing powers to relieve the pressure on GPs. The NHS is offering £15m to practices who take part in a pilot scheme to bring pharmacists into their surgeries.

In order to save money and reduce medicine wastage, from next year, all medication costing more than £20 will have the price printed on the label. Jeremy Hunt has also said that he supports the idea of charging patients for missed GP appointments and as a first step, patients will be informed how much their missed appointment has cost the NHS.

After two rounds of GP Recruitment earlier this year, official figures show that 20% of GP Training places remain unfilled with a third round to follow later in the year.