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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2012): National Health Service - primary and community care

Healthcare's coming home

M. Syed

Health Service Journal, Feb. 16th 2012, p. 26-27

Home healthcare is rapidly becoming a more viable option for shifting care out of hospital. As well as delivery of medication to patients' homes, it includes a wide range of therapy areas and home nursing provided by healthcare professionals. It presents a golden opportunity to tackle waiting lists and reduce bed blocking.

Private firm deal sets midwifery precedent

J. Lepper

Children and Young People Now, Jan. 10th-23rd 2012, p. 14-15

NHS Wirral became the first trust in England to award a contract to a private firm to run a midwifery service in December 2011. The deal, involving the company One-on-One, followed a study which showed that many of the most vulnerable families were receiving a poor-quality maternity service. The firm aims to provide mothers with one midwife throughout their pregnancy and post-natal care and to reach out to the most vulnerable mothers. The trade union Unite is sceptical, arguing that private companies motivated by profit will end up taking on only the easiest cases.

'Rushed' NHS helpline could harm patients

S. Adams

Daily Telegraph, Feb. 17th 2012, p. 1

Government plans to introduce a new helpline as a single point of contact for non-emergency care outside of surgery hours in April 2013 were criticised by the British Medical Association GPs Committee. Doctors argued that serious problems had arisen with the pilot schemes, including patients being told to contact their GP despite needing a higher level of care. They called for a proper evaluation of the pilots and a flexible deadline.

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