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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2000): National Health Service - Community and Primary Care Services

BLOWING HOT AND COLD

L. Greenwood

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, Apr. 27th 2000, p. 12-13

Considers possible future development of the NHS Direct Helpline. Strategic uses for NHS Direct could include its use as a national helpline for a specific problem and links with the ambulance service enabling category C calls to be transferred to a nurse to assess the level of urgency.

BRAKING POINT

E. Reid et al

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, May 18th 2000, p. 28-30

A joint hospital, Health Authority and PCG initiative to improve prescribing has produced significant savings in the PCG involved. The venture included the appointment of a medicines management pharmacist to work with practices, and a survey to ascertain GPs' prescribing needs. GPs considered the most important issues to be developing local disease management guidelines, education and repeat prescribing. Guidelines on dyspepsia management resulted in a 4.9% reduction in the cost of prescribing gastrointestinal drugs. Antibiotic prescribing also fell.

DID TOTAL PURCHASING HELP THE ADVENT OF PCGs?

S. Abbott and A. Killoran

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 6, 2000, p. 202-206

Considers how total purchasing helped prepare primary care organisations for the change to Primary Care Organisations have some distance to travel before GPs are able to embrace a more corporate and accountable form of working which focuses on meeting the health needs of their communities. The experience of Total Purchasing does not seem to have helped GPs to embrace a population-based approach to health or to transcend a traditional medically-focused primary care model.

DOCTORS YOU CAN TALK TO

R. Coward

Guardian, Apr. 11th 2000, p. 17

The government's modernisation of the NHS will make it increasingly difficult for patients to actually consult a doctor. They will be encouraged to use the Internet, phone NHS Direct or use drop in centres instead.

FIGHTING CHANCE

A. Mahon and D. Garrod

Health Service Journals, vol. 110, 20th Apr. 2000, p. 26-27

Interviews with PCG chief executives, six months into their jobs, revealed concern about the personal qualities needed for the role. There were concerns about the dominance of GPs on boards at the expense of nurse members, and some reported that health authorities had difficulty in letting go of control to the new organisations.

HIMP: LEARNING FROM PCG's EARLY EXPERIENCE

D. Hunter, L. Marks and W. Sykes

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 6, 2000, p. 165-167

Article covers the mid-point findings of a research programme on the impact of Health Improvement Programmes (HImps) in a sample of six Primary Care Groups. It considers HImPs' value and likely strategies for further development.

PRIMARY CARE FOR OLDER PEOPLE: LEARNING THE LESSONS OF HISTORY

S. Iliffe and V. Drennan

Community Practitioner, vol. 73 2000, p. 602-604

Article explores the thinking and results of an innovating 'primary care for older people' programme, reflected in new ideas over collaborative working and health promotion at the grassroots.

THE PRIMARY CARE WORKFORCE: AN UPDATE FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Royal College of General Practitioners

London: 2000-06-29

Report shows that the number of GPs retiring is outstripping numbers entering the profession, leading to fears of a growing crisis in primary care. The old model of a largely male workforce staying in one practice and retiring aged 65 to 70 is giving way to a higher proportion of women working part-time for at least some of their career and retiring aged 59-62.

A WALK-IN? NOW YOU'RE TALKIN'

A. Chapple

Health Service Journal, vol. 110, May 4th 2000, p. 28-29

A survey of people in Wakefield to test possible use of a planned walk-in centre revealed considerable support for the initiative. More than 75% of people under 20, 66% of the 21 to 60 age group and almost 50% of over-60ies said they would use it instead of GP services. Half the respondents thought walk-in centres should be an NHS priority.

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