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

BACK TO THE FUTURE

J Higgins

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 21st 2001, p.26-27.

Article describes the experiences of primary care trusts which went live in 2000. They have had some success in attracting extra funding for new initiatives and tackling long-standing problems. However they lack management capacity and many feel they do not have the staff to carry out basic administration. Major issues of development, roles and resources need to be addressed.

THE CHANGING FACE OF DRUG ABUSE SERVICES IN PRIMARY CARE

M Pownall

Primary Care Report, vol.3, May 2001, p.26-30.

Primary care based services for drug abusers are expanding with extra government funding for specialist training for GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists. There is concern about the impact on GP's workloads of moving specialised drug and alcohol services into primary care.

COMING TO TERMS WITH PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS: VIEWS OF PCG BOARD MEMBERS

F Starkey, P Taylor, R Means

Managing Community Care, vol.9, Apr. 2001, p.22-29.

Article presents the views of board members from two primary care groups in South West England on benefits and concerns relating to the imminent development of primary care trusts and perceived implications for service delivery and management arrangements.

DIAL M FOR MEDICAL ADVICE

S Ward

Health Service Journal, vol.111, May 24th 2001, p.24-26.

Discusses the impact of NHS Direct on the demand for Accident and Emergency and GP out-of-hours services. Evaluation of NHS Direct's impact has been complicated by the introduction of new clinical decision support software from November 2000. Surveys show overwhelming user satisfaction and nurses are very supportive of the service.

DOES SIZE MATTER WHEN IT COMES TO PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS?

S Crowe

Primary Care Report, vol.3, May 2001, p.18-22.

Primary Care Groups are evolving into large, complex, primary care trusts which will assume many of the functions at present carried out by Health Authorities. Discusses whether or not this trend towards larger primary care organisations will produce economies of scale. Article goes on to investigate the implications of devolved budgets and whether or not large primary care organisations will lose their sensitivity to local needs.

FAST FORWARD

T Patten and M Brandreth

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 21st 2001, p.28-29.

A walk-in centre opened in Liverpool in April 2000 is now seeing more than 3,000 patients a month. Many patients use the service for emergencies and more than half of those attending do not need referral elsewhere. Initial wariness on the part of local GPs to the project seems to have been largely overcome.

GPS ARE AT BREAKING POINT, SAYS BMA CHIEF

C Hall

Daily Telegraph, June 21st 2001, p.4.

The Annual Meeting of the British Medical Association's GPs Committee has agreed that the NHS Plan raised patient expectations without the money to achieve the promised improvements. NHS reforms have led to an unplanned and unresourced shift in workload from secondary to primary care, raised patient expectations and increased bureaucracy. This is putting an unsustainable pressure on GPs.

(See also Financial Times, June 21st 2001, p.8).

GPs THREATEN MASS WALKOUT

J Carvel

Guardian, June 1st 2001, p.15.

GPs have voted in favour of a mass walkout from the NHS in protest against excessive workloads if the government does not agree a new contract by April 2002

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH THE NSF FOR OLDER PEOPLE

P Anderson

Primary Care Report, vol.3, May 2001, p.32-34.

Considers actions primary care organisations need to take to implement the National Service Framework for older people in the fields of intermediate care, stroke services, mental health services and prevention of falls.

IN THE MORALE MAZE

A Spooner

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 7th 2001, p.25.

GPs need to retain a certain level of autonomy and clinical freedom in order to provide a personalised service to patients in the face of the protocol based care advocated by the NHS Plan.

LEFT TO CHANCE

C Shipman et al

Health Service Journal, vol.111, June 14th 2001, p.24-25.

Primary care groups and trusts have a key role in addressing the inequitable distribution of cancer services, but results of a survey show that commissioning these is being given low priority. Cancer is not a high priority in primary care groups compared to other national service frameworks and the transition to PCT status. Primary care groups and trusts want help and information about developing cancer services but not all want this immediately. Most have some involvement in cancer networks but information needs exist about their role and potential.

ORGANIZATIONAL VALUES IN GENERAL PRACTICE AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: CASE STUDIES IN AN URBAN DISTRICT

I Brown

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.9, 2001, p.159-167.

Study focused on activities through which general practice organisations could play a role in local processes of public involvement and explored empirically how organisational values shaped those activities. Paper presents findings from four case studies of general practice organisations selected for market differences in their record of developing public involvement.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN PRIMARY CARE

J Beenstock, S Tayler and M Evans

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol.7, 2001, p.185-187.

There remains a significant gap between primary care organisations' commitment in principle to public involvement, and activities which genuinely promote participation in strategy and planning. It is helpful to visualise public involvement as a continuum of activities and approaches ranging from information provision through to mature partnerships. Moving along the continuum is a process of building relationships to a point at which users and professionals recognise each other as equals. Using the continuum approach allows primary care organisations to build on existing initiatives and past successes and develop confidence and capacity in engaging with the public in an incremental fashion. Primary Care Groups and Trusts need to integrate public involvement into the totality of their work, using it to add value to their Primary Care Investment Plans; it is not an optional extra.