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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2001): National Health Service - Community and Primary Care Services

CATCH A FALLING STAR

M. Roland et al

Health Service Journal, vol.111, Mar 8th 2001, p.30-31

A panel set up to identify and support poorly performing GPs in Manchester relies on patients and health professionals raising concerns. Doctors from small and single-handed practices account for many of those investigated. The average length in practice of those investigated was 28 years. The system appears to be working well but does not provide quick solutions to problems of poor performance.

GPs PUSHED TO "POINT OF MUTINY" OVER NHS REFORM PLAN

J. Carvel

Guardian, Feb 21st 2001, p.3

Reports anger among GPs about the government's diversion of resources away from primary care into more glamorous hospital services.

TIME TO TAKE THE MEDICINE

S. Ward

Public Finance, Feb 9th-15th 2001, p.18-20

Government believes that only a fundamental overhaul of the GP contract will encourage young doctors to go into general practice. The way forward may lie in the core contract developed for third wave Personal Medical Services (PMS) pilots. Under this contract GP's pay would be based on meeting quality standards set both locally and nationally.

WHAT HAS LABOUR DONE FOR PRIMARY CARE?

S. Gillam (ed)

London: King's Fund, 2001

Argues that, while Labour has made primary care more accessible through initiatives such as NHS Direct, it has not redressed the fundamental imbalance in resource allocation between primary care and the acute sector. There has been no major shift of power or resources from hospitals to primary care groups. The report is particularly critical of the reforms of dental services, arguing that they neither increase NHS dental capacity nor offer sufficient incentives to encourage dentists to do NHS work. Paradoxically, forcing dentists to be more performance-managed could simply drive them into the private sector. Reforms aimed at making primary care more user orientated have been largely cosmetic. Doctors are still firmly in control, opportunities for public involvement in decision-making are scarce, accountability to local people is negligible and poor service remains difficult to challenge.