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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2009): National Health Service - primary and community care

NHS dental services in England

J. Steele

Department of Health, 2009

This independent review of NHS dentistry follows complaints that up to three million people cannot find an NHS dentist prepared to register them. It recommends that between 10 and 50 per cent of a dentist's salary should be linked to the number of NHS patients registered, in order to incentivise them to register more people. The report also includes recommendations that dentists should be fined for shoddy work such as fillings which fall out too quickly, and introduces a new emphasis on maintaining oral health.

The future is female - how women are transforming face of the health service

S. Boseley

The Guardian, June 3rd 2009, p. 3

According to a two-year review from the Royal College of Physicians, by 2013 women will make up the majority of GPs and by 2017, hospitals will also be dominated by female doctors. Already 40% of doctors are women and in GP surgeries, 42% are female. But the college warns this raises some major planning issues for the NHS. This is because, unlike in some professions such as accountancy and the law, when female doctors have a family they are able to continue in good jobs while working part-time which means that substantially more doctors will need to be trained and employed to ensure ongoing and adequate care for patients. On the plus side, this means the NHS does not lose its well-trained and very able female medical staff, says the report.

(See also The Independent, June 3rd 2009, p. 13)

Hanging on the telephone

K. Mcintosh

Health Service Journal, June 11th 2009, p. 26-28

A survey has shown that a third of GP practices are understaffed and unable to answer all patient calls at peak times such as Monday mornings, preventing people who need urgent medical attention from getting through. A third of practices also have too few appointment slots available to meet demand. Those which can meet demand do so through complex and chaotic processes. GPs have been incentivised to prioritise preventive work and management of long-term conditions, and in-hours urgent care is being neglected.

Millions unable to get appointment with NHS dentist

K. Devlin

Daily Telegraph, June 16th 2009, p. 7

A survey by Which? Magazine suggests that three million people may have been unable to get an appointment with an NHS dentist in the past two years. The figures also suggest that a further 4.5 million people had not even tried to find one. Dentists' leaders blame a new contract introduced three years ago that prompted more than 1000 dentists to leave the NHS.

PCTs find there are no shortcuts to freedom

H. Crump

Health Service Journal, June 11th 2009, p. 12-13

No primary care trust has achieved anything like the world class standards of commissioning needed to win the freedoms promised by the Department of Health. This article presents case studies showing the different approaches to improvement that they have taken.

(See also, Health Service Journal, June 11th 2009, p. 5 for details of promised freedoms)

Prescription to practise

P. Franklin

Community Practitioner, vol. 82, June 2009, p. 34-35

A community practitioner nurse prescriber is a registered nurse or midwife who has undertaken a course of study with an accredited educational institute, and who has passed the assessment enabling them to obtain the V100 NMC recordable qualification. As such, they are qualified to prescribe within their competence from the Nurse Prescribers' Formulary. This article reports the results of a review of prescribing practice among community practitioners.

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