Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2010): National Health Service - primary and community care

Increasing staff numbers

K. Ly

Community Practitioner, vol. 83, Sept. 2010, p. 12-13

This article looks at the strategies that NHS London and a range of other NHS organisations are pursuing to increase health visitor and school nurse numbers in England in the light of serious staff shortages reported in 2009. However, some areas are still not proactively addressing the issues of staff recruitment and retention.

Managing people with long term conditions

N. Goodwin and others

King's Fund, 2010

Claims that GPs are good at dealing with single disease issues but not at organising multidisciplinary packages of care for those with multiple conditions or dementia. In particular, the research shows that GPs are unable or unwilling to recognise dementia symptoms and to refer patients to appropriate specialist services. The report recommends that multidisciplinary care management is better incentivised to improve performance.

More power for family doctors

H. Devlin

The Times, Sept. 17th 2010, p. 19

David Willets has said that the role of the health advisory body, NICE, is about to be revised to allow doctors more freedom about the medicines they prescribe. While the NICE guidelines are not binding at present, doctors are expected to consider them as best practice.

PCTs make a good shot at prioritisation

D. West

Health Service Journal, Sept. 9th 2010, p. 12-13

Analysis of primary care trusts' commissioning priorities by consultancy Health Mandate suggests that the organisations are improving population health based on addressing local needs. The report identifies variation in improvement between PCTs and problems with PCTs applying their priorities consistently, for example in their pay by performance contracts with providers. However, overall PCTs have been able to identify and prioritise the issues which matter most to their local community. Health Mandate recommends that the GP consortia which will be taking over responsibility for commissioning from PCTs should be required to identify priorities and account for their performance against them.

Primary care

D. Carlisle (editor)

Health Service Journal, Sept. 23rd 2010, p. 26-32

The government is planning to set up GP commissioning consortia in shadow form in 2010/11, with primary care trusts (PCTs) initially providing support functions. The first article in this special report presents three case studies demonstrating PCT good practice in developing clinically-led commissioning. The second article looks at how patients can be engaged and empowered in primary care to take more responsibility for their own health.

Put antenatal clinics in schools, say NHS advisers

R. Smith

Daily Telegraph, Sept. 22nd 2010, p. 1

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has suggested that antenatal clinics for young women under 20 should be offered in schools and colleges to encourage attendance. Young women are less likely to attend traditional clinics used by older mothers out of embarrassment or fear of being judged but are more likely to have complications with pregnancies. Antenatal services in schools should be focused in areas with particularly high rates of teenage pregnancy.

Warning over scale of task of replacing PCTs

C. Santry and D. West

Health Service Journal, Sept. 9th 2010, p. 4-5

Work by the consultancy Tribal has revealed that primary care trusts (PCTs) often carry out more than 300 functions. It warns that the associated costs have not been fully recognised in government proposals for the abolition of PCTs and the transfer of commissioning responsibilities to GP consortia. This research has raised questions about who has the capacity and expertise to take on the full range of roles performed by PCTs.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web