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

APPRAISING GRACE

D Lyon

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, July 4th 2002, p. 26-27

A system of assessing cancer care in general practice developed as a clinical governance tool by the North West Regional Office has been well received by practice teams. The system has highlighted the need for better cancer registers, more effective communication with hospitals and more written information for patients. Greatest progress has been made when the primary care organisation has produced a development plan.

ARE SALARIED GPs THE SAME AS GP PRINCIPALS

D Reeves and A Roalfe

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 8, 2002, p. 246-260

In the UK, there are increasing numbers of fixed term salaried GP schemes designed to improve recruitment to general practice. This represents a move away from the traditional model of GP principals, providing care from the same practice for many years. Analysis of consultation variables suggests that salaried GPs may not be the clinical equivalents of GP principals. Patients surveyed want continuity and value easy access and clinical consultation skills in their doctor, but have differing views about the influence of short term salaried doctors on these features of the consultation. Concludes that the proposed new GP contract could result in a workforce of short term salaried GPs and reduced continuity of care.

AS GOOD AS NEW

C Singleton and B Aird

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, June 27th 2002, p. 28-31

Current government policy promotes the setting up of public health networks to provide specialist expertise to underpin local action. Under the latest NHS reorganisation, primary care trusts have been given responsibility for delivering a complex public health agenda. However the smaller PCTs will not have the resources for more than one specialist public post, and there is a lack of appropriately qualified experts to provide a full range of input to the 300 PCTs created out of 95 health authorities. Networks are thus essential, but will need clear structures and accountability to be effective.

GP RECRUITMENT TARGETS WILL NOT BE MET, AUDIT REPORT WARNS

J Carvel

The Guardian, July 9th 2002, p. 2

One in 10 GP practices in England lack basic standards, such as sinks in treatment rooms, according to a report today from the Audit Commission, the NHS spending watchdog. In some inner city areas one in five family doctor posts is vacant, and there is an impending retirement bulge, with one in three GP's aged over 50. The government will not be able to keep its promise to increase staffing and reduce waiting times as a result of these pressures, the Commission said.

IN FOR THE SKILL

C Wright

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, July 18th 2002, p. 26-27

Faced with the retirement of 40% of its practice nurses within five years, Croydon Primary Care Trust has decided to employ lower grade health care assistants to cover some of their work. Health care assistants are trained over 12 months to undertake tasks previously performed by practice nurses. More than 25% of practices in the PCT are interested in taking part in the scheme.

MALE GPs "UNDER THREAT" AS FEMALE TRAINEES TAKE OVER

N Hawkes

Times, July 4th 2002, p. 6

Women now make up 60% of medical school intake in the UK. This has implications for workforce planning since many will take time off to have children and may work part-time while their families are young.

(See also Daily Telegraph, July 4th 2002, p. 10, Guardian, July 4th 2002, p. 11)

PCT STAR RATINGS SHOULD BE THE NEIGHBOURHOOD BOBBY, NOT BIG BROTHER

N Bostock

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, no. 11, June 2002, p. 6-9

There are concerns about the structure and role of the star rating system for primary care trusts. These revolve around the instability of the system, lack of consultation, and the fear that they may be used punitively.

PCTs SHOULD WORK IN TANDEM WITH PERSONAL MEDICAL SERVICES

N Walsh

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, no. 11, June 2002, p. 35-37

The new GP contract gives practices greater freedom to choose which services they will provide. One possible approach for PCTs seeking to cope with the resultant diversity is to introduce a single Personal Medical Services contract for all of its practices. The standard contract would, however, need to have individualised financial schedules and clinical targets.

PROMOTING PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE. PART I, LITERATURE REVIEW

S Tee

MCC: Building Integrated Knowledge for Integrated Care, vol. 10, June 2002, p. 39-45

Primary care groups are required to demonstrate that patients and the public are involved in the planning, delivery and evaluation of the services they provide. A review of the literature suggests that managers' ability will be greatly tested if they are to achieve meaningful progress in this area.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF OUTREACH CLINICS IN PRIMARY CARE IN THE UK

J Powell

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol. 17, 2002, p. 177-183

Paper examines the benefits of holding specialist outreach clinics in primary care settings through a systematic literature review of UK studies.

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