Financial Times, Mar 20th 2001, p.3
In a speech to the Royal College of General Practitioners, Tony Blair promised to devolve more power to local GPs, hospitals and schools. He set out a scheme where the average GP practice would receive £10,000, half up-front, to fund service improvements of their choice. The second £5,000 tranche would be paid if they hit local incentive targets.
(See also Times, Mar 20th 2001, p.12; Independent, Mar 19th 2001, p.11).
Health Service Journal, vol.111, Apr 12th 2001, p.30-31
Appointing a team of pharmacists to advise PCGs on prescribing has reduced prescribing growth and increased the use of generic drugs in East Kent Health Authority. The pharmacists had to overcome initial hostility from some GPs.
A Chapple et al
Health Expectations, vol.4, 2001, p.38-47
Reports on the findings of a survey to assess local people's expectations and potential use of a walk-in health centre planned for their area. Results show that although the proposed centre would probably meet some expressed needs, it would also disappoint many members of the public if it appeared in the form originally envisaged.
L Wye, R Rosen and S Dewar
Journal of Clinical Excellence, vol.2, 2001, p.239-242.
There is a tension in government policy between the need to create open learning cultures for clinical governance and the requirement for PCGs to monitor the specifics of implementation. PCGs need to find a way through this problem to create both more open and more accountable cultures.
Guardian, Apr 6th 2001, p.10
GPs are being told to boycott the form filling needed to comply with national strategies in order to spend more time with patients. The British Medical Association has agreed to the work to rule by family doctors in protest against an 'unsustainable burden of administrative work'. GPs will concentrate on the clinical aspects of the government's plan but will stop taking time away from patient care in order to gather information.
B Leese and S Gillam
Health Service Journal, vol.111, Mar 15th 2001, p.32-33
An analysis of primary care groups' investment plans revealed their main concerns were premises, IT and workforce issues. About a quarter of plans did not address out-of-hours care or community nursing. The plans lacked detail of the process guiding resource allocation and showed little indication of services being organised around the priorities of the local Health Improvement Programme.
Guardian, Mar 23rd 2001, p.5
Reports results of a survey showing that morale among GPs is at an all time low, with four out of five saying they would leave the NHS if they could. Respondents blamed stress and the impact of constant organisational change for the collapse.
Health Service Journal, vol.111, Mar 22nd 2001, p.18.
GPs at the NHS Alliance Spring Conference have indicated that the incentives offered by the government will not be enough to tempt them to stay on until 65 or to move to deprived areas.
Times, Apr 4th 2001, p.4
A recent survey has found that many young doctors are not entering general practice. Only one third of doctors who graduated in 1995 have entered general practice or intend to do so. Two thirds of those are women and three quarters are saying they plan to work part-time in the future. The shortfall seriously threatens the government's recent pledge to increase the numbers of GPs. Article goes on to discuss the consequences of these findings.
(See also Independent, Apr 4th 2001, p.5; Daily Telegraph, Apr 4th 2001; p.5).