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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): National Health Service - primary and community care

Commissioning

H. Mooney (editor)

Health Service Journal, vol.117, Nov. 1st 2007, supplement, 17p

The Framework for procuring External Support for Commissioners (FESC) was launched by the Department of Health in October 2007. Fourteen private sector companies appear on the framework list. The government hopes these will be used by primary care trusts to help them in their commissioning role. This supplement gauges commissioners' and performance managers' views of FESC. It analyses the government's reasons for introducing such a framework and asks how it might work, explains how FESC forms part of the wider push towards World Class Commissioning, and looks at how the seven organisations selected to pilot FESC intend to use it.

A funding model for health visiting: baseline requirements. Part 1

S. Cowley

Community Practitioner, vol. 80, Nov. 2007, p. 18-24

The government's approach to family support is to offer some help to all families where there is a new baby, with more for those in greater need. While the Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Taskforce has plans to commission guidance, this article offers a funding model that could be used until the promised government directives appear. It outlines the health visiting resource, including team skill mix, required to deliver the recommended approach of 'progressive universalism', taking account of health inequalities, best evidence, and the impact on outcomes that might be anticipated.

The grand plan for the NHS to lead the world

M. Britnell

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, Nov. 8th 2007, p. 18-19

The world class commissioning programme sets primary care trusts the task of improving the quality and personalisation of healthcare while increasing life expectancy and reducing inequalities. This article summarises the key organisational competencies that primary care trusts will need to demonstrate to deliver this.

Parents' use and views of the national standard Personal Child Health Record: a survey in two primary care trusts

S. Walton and H. Bedford

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol.33, 2007, p. 744-748

The Personal Child Health Record (PCHR) is a booklet given to parents in the UK following the birth of a child, to be used as the main record of their growth, development and uptake of preventative health services. The national standard PCHR has been available since April 2004. The aim of this survey was to explore parental views of the 'new' PCHR, their experiences in receiving it, and its subsequent use, focusing on specific issues of current debate among health professionals. Results showed that parents used, appreciated and liked the design of the national standard PCHR. Health visitors and primary care staff used it more than secondary care staff.

A research evaluation of health support workers in a Sure Start project

C. Smith, M. Prosser and L. Joomun

Community Practitioner, vol. 80, Nov. 2007, p. 32-35

This study was commissioned by a service provider in a deprived urban area in South Wales and looked at three separate projects within its Sure Start service. This paper focuses on one of the three, the use of health support workers to supplement the health visiting service by providing support to families in Sure Start areas through home visiting and group work. Data were gathered through focus groups with service providers and semi-structured interviews with service users. Results show that health visitors and service users valued the input of health support workers but there were important issues regarding training and supervision that needed to be addressed.

A view to a cull: has the PCT shake-up delivered?

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, Nov. 1st 2007, p. 16-17

In the Autumn of 2006, the Department of Health halved the number of primary care trusts in England. The larger organisations were supposed to improve public and clinician engagement, mange their finances better, reduce management costs, and improve co-ordination with local government. This article gives an overview of progress.

The world is not enough

D. Carlisle

Health Service Journal, vol. 117, Nov. 29th 2007, p. 24-26

The government's world class commissioning initiative is designed to deliver an NHS that responds to local needs, is more focused on prevention and promoting well-being, and provides better care. Primary Care Trusts will need to act as local leaders of the NHS, developing expertise in areas such as targeting investment, driving innovation and partnering with patients and communities. However the vision statements say little about practice-based commissioning, and there is uncertainty over whether primary care trusts can be both world class commissioners and providers.

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