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Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2002): National Health Service - Community and Primary Care Services

ANXIETY ATTACK

M. Dixon

Health Service Journal, vol. 112 Jan. 31st 2002, p. 13-15

Article expresses concern about the problems facing Primary Care Trusts. Although they control 75% of the NHS budget, they are faced with acute trusts which are focused on national, not local, targets and reluctant to change. There is also a lack of "pump priming" money to facilitate change. There are also problems about the balance of power between professionally led executive committees and main PCT boards, and the relationship of PCTs with the Department of Health.

ARE PRIMARY CARE GROUPS AND TRUSTS CONSULTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES?

A. Alborz, D. Wilkin and K. Smith

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 10, 2002, p. 20-27

Primary Care Groups and Trusts (PCG/Ts) are dominated by health professionals, but responsible for representing the interests of the local community. Study used data from the National Tracker Survey of PCG/Ts to assess how they have informed and consulted local communities and the perceived impact of this consultation on decision-making. Public participation is being taken seriously by PCG/Ts but most are struggling to develop ways of involving local communities. Efforts to involve the public may become little more than token gestures. The proposed abolition of Community Health Councils may make it more difficult for PCG/Ts to obtain a lay perspective. Effective consultation requires innovative methods and adequate resources, but a stronger lay voice in the governance structures of PCG/Ts is also needed.

ARE YOU GETTING A FAIR SHARE OF NHS FUNDS?

S. Brown

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan. 2002, p. 7-9

Describes how NHS funds are allocated and explains why actual funding may be under or over target.

THE CHALLENGE TO END FUEL POVERTY HOTS UP WITH COLLECTIVE ACTION

S. Crowe

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan. 2002, p. 39-41

Describes the involvement of primary care organisations in various local initiatives to eradicate fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is associated with excess winter deaths among elderly people. Government has set a target of 2010 for its eradication.

THE CHOICE FOR HEALTH

C. Haskins

Financial Times, Jan. 24th 2002, p. 17

Proposes that the numbers of GPs should be increased so that patients can have a genuine choice of family doctor. A modest consultancy charge for visiting a GP should be introduced. This would stimulate GPs to be patient-friendly, flexible and productive, and would discourage frivolous consultations.

CITIZENS ADVICE IN PRIMARY CARE FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN

R. Reading, S. Steel and S. Reynolds

Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 28, 2002, p. 39-45

An advice worker was placed in three general practices. Eligible families had a child less than one year old. Quantitative analysis of data on benefits obtained by all families using the service was performed. Interviews with five users and five non-users of the service were undertaken. Results suggest that citizens advice offers considerable benefits to families with young children. However, the study was too small to demonstrate any direct health benefits.

THE EARLY DAYS OF PRIMARY CARE GROUPS: GENERAL PRACTITIONERS' PERCEPTIONS

G. Dowswell, S. Harrison and J. Wright

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 10, 2002, p. 46-54

Data were gathered through interviews with a sample of 49 general practitioners (GPs) from two adjacent health districts in the North of England. Most GPs recognised clearly that primary care groups (PCGs) were aimed at tightening control and accountability arrangements for practices. Respondents also saw PCGs in terms of organising and managing primary care, rather than commissioning secondary care. Most displayed little enthusiasm for the new arrangements which they saw as increasing bureaucracy and threatening professional autonomy. However, there was no sign of active GP resistance to the changes.

HOW COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS CAN HELP YOU MEET NSF TARGETS

M. King

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan 2002, p. 36-37

There is substantial scope for savings on local drugs bills through the implementation of medicines management schemes. Article describes a study aimed at evaluating the introduction of medicines management by community pharmacists of coronary heart disease patients.

HOW WE WILL SUPPORT PCTs TO BECOME LEADERS IN THE NHS

B. Hakin

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan. 2002, p. 16 + 20

Outlines how the National Primary Care Trust Development Programme will support PCTs in fulfilling their increased responsibilities for health improvement, public participation in planning, and multiagency working.

POINTS OF ENGAGEMENT! ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY THERAPY IN PRIMARY CARE

M. Pinder

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 8, 2002, p. 61-62

Many primary care groups have cut or stringently reviewed their complementary and alternative medicine services on the grounds of lack of evidence of their effectiveness and low priority. However these services can widen the therapeutic choices available to both patients and their GPs.

PRIMARY CARE MODELS

P. Healy

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, 2002, p. 46-47

Presents an overview of the changes in the organisation of primary care in the UK to be implemented in April 2002. In England, most remaining primary care groups will merge to form primary care trusts and assume responsibility for commissioning of care. In Wales the 22 local health groups will become local health boards, while in Scotland most local health care co-operatives are due to re-elect the chairs that govern their boards. In Northern Ireland, GP Fundholding is due to end and new health and social services groups will be introduced.

QUALITY INDICATORS FOR GENERAL PRACTICE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CLINICAL QUALITY INDICATORS FOR PRIMARY CARE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND MANAGERS

M. Marshall (ed) et al

London: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd, 2002

This book contains practical quality indicators for all major clinical areas. It describes the development and practical application of a set of clinical quality indicators for the most common problems encountered by general practitioners and examines their advantages and disadvantages.

USERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE HEALTH VISITING SERVICES

G. McHugh and K. Laker

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, 2002, p. 57-61

In a small study 30 first time parents were interviewed to examine their perceptions and experiences of the health visiting service. Parents valued the service and felt that health visitors had a role in understanding their child's development and providing support and advice. However the study found a lack of clarity as to what the health visiting service provides and there are a number of areas where improvements could be made. Parents are expecting a higher quality service and are asking for more information based on research and evidence. Regular evaluations of

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW TO GET READY FOR THE DIABETES NSF

R. Walker

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan. 2002, p. 24-27

Summarises the standards laid down in the Diabetes National Service Framework and discusses what primary care organisations need to do to prepare for implementation. The standards cover:

  • the prevention of type 2 diabetes;
  • early identification of people with diabetes;
  • empowerment of people with diabetes;
  • clinical care of adults, children and young people with diabetes;
  • management of diabetic emergencies;
  • diabetes and pregnancy;
  • detection and management of long term complications;
  • care of people with diabetes during hospital admission.

WHAT ARE PCOs DOING TO DEFUSE THE GP RETIREMENT TIMEBOMB

P. Anderson

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Jan. 2002, p. 32-35

Describes various local initiatives to boost the recruitment and retention of general practitioners. Measures include:

  • offering salaried posts;
  • recruitment from abroad;
  • offering training opportunities;
  • improving the physical environment through NHS Lift;
  • offering flexible working.
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