The GP Stories you almost missed – 10million unnecessary prescriptions, GP contract, GP recruitment, Practice Closures The Real Peak Practice
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.
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