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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2002): Natiotional Health Service - Primary and Community Care

AMBULANCE SERVICES ACCUSED OF FIDDLING 999 RESPONSE TIMES

J. Meikle

Guardian, Aug. 8th 2002, p.1

A report by Roger Thayne, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Ambulance Service, alleges that some services are falsifying their performance figures by delaying by up to three minutes the start of clocks measuring response times. Some apparent improvements in response times recorded recently are due to these practices rather than to real operational changes.

BUSY DOCTORS REFUSING NEW PATIENTS

P. Pank

The Times, Aug 20th 2002, p.5

Family doctors around the country are refusing to admit new patients to their practices amid fears that the shortage of trained GPs in placing the safety of patients at risk.

CHD: THE NEW FRONTIER FOR PRIMARY CARE (AND NHS) ACHIEVEMENT?

N Bosanquet

British Journal of Health Care Management, vol. 8, 2002, p. 291-293

The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease set a target of reducing deaths from heart disease by 20% by 2010. This target is likely to be met thanks to local innovations rather than national planning. This has been a success for primary rather than secondary health care.

FROM CHRYSALIS TO BUTTERFLY: THE SCHOOL NURSE ROLE

M. Kiddy and V. Thurtle

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, 2002, p. 295-298

Expectations are developing for school nurses across the UK from the government's nursing and public health strategies and the emerging agenda for children's services. However school nursing has historically been fragmented across the UK and services have developed at varying rates. Barriers to service development are analysed. The strengths of the service are then examined and a brief SWOT analysis is used to suggest a pathway for future service development by outlining the key issues that need to be addressed for all school nursing services to fulfil a true public health function.

GPs ARE MISSING LINK IN LOCAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE GROUPS

N. Bostock

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, July 24th 2002, p.4-7

New primary care organisations called local health and social care groups came into existence in Northern Ireland in April 2002. However GPs are refusing to take their seats on the boards of these organisations, and other professionals are unconvinced of their value.

NHS DIRECT IN ENGLAND

Committee of Public Accounts

London: TSO, 2002 (House of Commons papers, session 2001/02; HC 610)

NHS Direct has established itself as the world's largest provider of telephone healthcare advice, and has proved popular with the public. It has a good safety record, with few adverse events. Current priorities are to complete the programme of integration with GP out-of-hours services and establish closer links with ambulance services and accident and emergency departments. Callers are currently waiting too long to speak to a nurse. NHS Direct expects that its capacity to handle calls will be improved greatly by forthcoming technological improvements in call routing and staff rostering, but it also needs to improve response times overall and review productivity levels at individual sites to cope with increasing demand.

OBSURE CHARM OF THE INNER CITY

R Hattersley

The Guardian, Aug 20th 2002, p 11

In the second of a three part series on GPs the author finds that medically unpopular Liverpool was welcoming to an Asian doctor struggling to find acceptance.

ONE IN 20 MISSES A GP APPOINTMENT

N. Hawkes

The Times, Aug 20th 2002, p. 5

NHS patients missed 15.5 million appointments with their GPs last year - a rate of one in 20. Although an improvement on the previous year, the figures still show that missing patients waste a lot of doctors' time.

POLITICS OF LIFE IN THE SURGERY

R Hattersley

The Guardian, Aug 19th 2002, p. 8

For most British families, the General Practitioner is where the health service begins and ends. But according to the BMA thousands of disenchanted young GPs hope to escape from an understaffed branch of the profession, and in a survey, 6690 of family doctors confessed that their morale was "low or extremely low". In the first of a three day series the author travels to the rural practice of Kirkbymoorside to examine the start of primary care.

RAISING ALARM

C. Meek

Health Which?, Aug 2002, p. 26-30

Article analyses recent figures which purport to show that ambulance response times in England are improving. Argues that these figures are unreliable due to inconsistencies in the recording of response times and underprioritisation of calls by some services. There are also large variations within services in survival rates of heart attach victims, due to slow response times.

WHAT PCTS CAN EXPECT FROM A CHI CLINICAL GOVERNANCE REVIEW

S. Clarke and E. Palmer

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, July 24th 2002, p 21-22

Hillingdon PCT was one of the first primary care trusts to undergo a clinical governance review by the Commission for Health Improvement. Article describes the process.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? HEALTH VISITING IS HEALTH VISITING

S. Cowley

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, 2002, p. 304-307

There is no mention of health visitors at any point in the wording of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001, which nevertheless makes provision for regulation of the profession. Instead the order provides for the establishment of a register of "community specialists in public health" although there is no such occupation or qualification.

WHY PCTs SHOULD BE TAKING BETTER CARE OF THEIR CARERS

P. Banks

Primary Care Report, vol 4, July 24th 2002, p. 28-29

Unpaid carers who assist family members, partners and friends are key players in health and social care services, but they continue to be marginalised and exploited. As PCTs assume responsibility for commissioning, they should ensure that:

  • new services are planned with carers' needs taken into account;
  • carers are supported at all levels by staff who are aware of their needs and can provide information about support services;
  • any services commissioned to support carers are of a standard with which they themselves are happy.
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