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

DEVELOPING THE ROLES OF NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS: A BULLETIN FOR PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS (PDF format)

District Audit

Audit Commission, 2002

This document is designed to help non-executive directors of PCTs to understand and make the most of their role. Covers non-executive directors' role in strategic direction, performance management, risk management, and relations with external partners.

DOCTORS CRISIS WILL GET WORSE, SAY BMA CHIEF

C. Hall

Daily Telegraph, Aug. 21st 2002, p. 9

A GP leader has claimed that the shortage of family doctors is set to worsen due to recruitment problems and an impending retirement bulge.

GP SHORTAGE FORCES PRACTICES TO CLOSE LISTS TO NEW PATIENTS

J. Carvel

Guardian, Aug. 21st 2002, p. 5

Thousands of GPs have closed their lists to new patients because they believe they can no longer safely increase their workloads. In some areas every practice was declaring itself full.

HEAVENLY BODY

C. Sutters and Others

Health Service Journal, vol. 112 Sept. 5th 2002, p. 16-17

Explains how a primary care trust used a protected learning time model for staff training. Evaluation showed that GPs and other staff appreciated the system and that managers valued the provision of locum cover when staff were attending the workshops. If funding can be secured, the multi-disciplinary workshops will be supplemented by protected learning time in practices.

HUNDREDS OF GPS FORCED TO TAKE EXTRA PATIENTS MAY RETIRE EARLY

L. Duckworth

Independent, Sept. 24th 2002, p. 7

The shortage of newly qualified GPs is resulting in hundreds of family doctors being overstretched and left considering early retirement. They are struggling to cope with compulsory allocations and to meet the needs of patients.

MAKE PRACTICE PERFECT

M. Pallett

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 26th 2002, p. 25

Argues that efficiency would be improved if all general practice staff, including doctors, were directly managed and employed by primary care trusts. At present GPs are independent contractors.

OVERWORKED GPS TOLD THEY ARRANGE THEIR WORK BADLY

N. Hawkes

Times, Aug. 21st 2002, p. 4

One Dr John Oldham, a top government adviser, has responded to claims that GPs are being forced to close their lists due to overwork. He argues that GPs could reduce stress by managing their workload better. Measures could include better forward planning, dealing with patients by telephone or email, arranging "follow-up" appointments on a quiet day, and not prioritising patients when they ask for an appointment.

(See also Times, Aug. 21st 2002, p. 16)

STEMMING THE FLOW

M. Gould

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 12th 2002, p. 14

The Department of Health is set to reach its target of 30% of GPs in England working under Personal Medical Service (PMS) contracts by October 2002. Article discusses the impact of the scheme on recruitment and retention of GPs in deprived areas.

TRIPLE VISION

J. Beenstock

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Sept. 19th 2002, p. 26-27

Primary care trust chief executives need to influence many organisations and groups to be effective. They also need to maintain a strategic vision. They must be able to deliver on targets at the same time as delegating power and allowing local flexibility. Their behaviour and values set the tone of the organisation.

WHAT LESSONS HAVE PCOs LEARNT FROM THE PERFORMANCE DATA?

N. Bostock

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, no. 14, Aug. 2002, p. 4-7

The Department of Health published performance data in 2002 that showed how primary care organisations had performed in 21 key areas, comparing their figures with national averages. PCTs are expected to use this data to target areas of poor performance ahead of next year's ratings.

WILL PCOs WIN OR LOSE WITH THE NEW GP CONTRACT?

S. Brown

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, no. 14, Aug. 2002, p. 10-12

The new GP contract is practice-based and divides services into three groups: essential clinical services, additional clinical services and enhanced clinical services. Practices will receive a global sum to pay for the range of services specified in the additional and essential categories, and to cover the practice infrastructure costs. This global sum will be calculated on the basis of population needs, using a new weighted capitation formula. When practices choose to offer enhanced services such as minor surgery, the money will come from the PCT's unified budget. GPs will also receive quality payments linked to the achievement of stated service standards.

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