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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2008): National Health Service - primary and community care

The 70bn question

A. Cowper

Health Service Journal, Nov. 13th 2008, p.25-27

Report of an online debate on the Department of Health's ambitious World Class Commissioning programme.

The development of a family nurse service for Wales

Welsh Assembly Government

Cardiff, 2008

This consultation document presents options for the development of a family-focused nurse, based on the existing school nursing service. Essentially the need is for nurses who have a desire to work with young people within a social health model, offer an ethical and equitable full-time service, and lead the public health agenda for school-aged children.

'Facing the future': the government's real agenda for health visitors

J. Greenway and others

Community Practitioner, vol. 81, Nov. 2008, p. 29-32

This research used the Foucauldian concepts of discourse, power and knowledge to analyse the construction of the health visitor's role in the government's recent review, 'Facing the Future'. The document constructs a highly negative view of the current role of health visitors, and presents a discursively persuasive case for a transition to a more positive future role. It emphasizes the importance of evidence-based, cost-effective service provision, but reflects unrealistic expectations that all aspects of health visitors' interactions can be measured. It downplays the importance of the development of trusting relationships with clients, and outlines a new role for health visitors as members of multi-skilled teams. Although Facing the Future pretends to be based on broad consultation, in is more akin to a promotional document to implement government proposals for social change.

Fears that more dentists will quit NHS as thousands billed over missed targets

D. Rose

The Times, Nov. 25th 2009, p. 11

Approximately half of dental practices have fallen short of targets for NHS treatment which means that dentists will have to pay back the shortfall to the NHS. The Heath Select Committee has suggested that the targets that were set for dentists under the current scheme were unrealistic and has overall resulted in a loss of revenue for the NHS.

'Fit' notes to keep people in work

K. Devlin

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 26th 2008, p. 12

Fewer people could be signed off work under plans for 'fit' notes from GPs that would tell employers what tasks sick staff could still perform. The government hopes that replacing traditional sick notes will cut the number of people who 'slip' from work onto Incapacity Benefit every year. More than 500 GPs are already using the new system and the government plans to roll it out nationally by 2010.

GPs get 100 for checks on people with learning difficulties

D. Brindle

The Guardian, Nov. 4th 2008, p. 9

The government has instructed the NHS to improve healthcare for people with learning disabilities after an official inquiry revealed many learning disabled people suffer avoidable ill health and potential premature death because their needs are ignored. The British Medical Association has demanded that GPs be paid for carrying out annual health checks on people with learning disabilities, with ministers conceding a 100 payment per annual health check.

GPs to prescribe only 28 days medicine

R. Smith

Daily Telegraph, Nov. 27th 2008, p. 8

GPs are being told not to prescribe more than one month's supply of medicines at a time in an attempt to save money. The policy is being introduced to save money by reducing medicine wastage, but could end up costing more in GPs' time as they deal with extra appointments and sign more repeat prescriptions.

World class commissioning

R. Allmark (editor)

Health Service Journal, Nov. 6th 2008, p. 23-26

World class commissioning is a key to improving the quality of NHS services, as commissioners focus on delivering better health outcomes for patients and more integrated care. This special supplement also covers the roles of primary care trust boards and GP practices in the delivery of the world class commissioning initiative.

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