Posts Tagged “the real peak practice”
Jeremy Hunt has called for all GP Practices to ensure their patients can access a 7 day service by 2020, even if they don’t provide the care directly themselves. Responding to a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in him, the health secretary said that doctors would realise 7 day access was “the right thing to do”. At the debate, which was amended to discuss contracts and conditions in the NHS, GPs were told they need to be ‘more flexible’ with regards 7 day access. Meanwhile, one of the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund 7 day access pilots has been delayed owing to the length of time needed for CCG registration. NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG planned to start the pilot in July but it is now expected that early morning and evening appointments will be phased in with most areas covered by late October.
The CQC has announced a change to the way it operates with aims to work ‘in partnership’ with healthcare providers and a ‘lighter touch’ approach. This follows a practice in Bristol which has successfully challenged the ‘needs improvement’ rating it received after its CQC inspection. The regulator admitted ‘due process’ had not been followed and the practice was rated ‘good’ on re-inspection.
A pilot scheme in London will provide careers advice to long-term unemployed patients in a bid to help them overcome health-related barriers to work. The ‘Working Better’ scheme launched at the beginning of September and is a joint venture between Islington Council, Jobcentre Plus and NHS Islington CCG. NHS England has also announced plans for firefighters to carry out basic health checks when visiting people’s homes to carry out safety checks. Pilot schemes will be run in Manchester, Staffordshire and Gloucestershire to test whether falls, broken hips and hospital admissions can be reduced.
London GPs are struggling to cope with demand and cite cuts to community staff, social services, mental health services and both an aging and increasing population as causes for the crisis. There are also 140 practices at risk of closure over the next three years.
Plans to extend GP training to 4 years are in doubt after comments made by Jeremy Hunt at a recent health committee meeting. The health secretary said that four year training would make it more difficult to meet the target of an extra 5,000 GPs by 2020. Meanwhile, the RCGP has called for training places in Northern Ireland to be nearly doubled from 65 to 111 as part of a range of measures it wants the Northern Ireland Government to examine.
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.