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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2003): National Health Service - Community and Primary Care Services

ABOUT THE SIZE OF IT

N. Goodwin and J. Smith

Health Service Journal, vol.112, Nov 14th 2002, p.22-25

Primary Care Trust (PCT) commissioning is not advanced and there is little evidence of PCTs influencing hospital services. Any further NHS reorganisation would hamper the development of commissioning. There is a need to engage more GPs in commissioning at practice level. PCTs' ability to move work round on a cost per case basis should strengthen their hand in commissioning from hospitals.

THE GUESSING GAME: PCTs AND PATIENT CHOICE

N. Bostock

Primary Care Report, vol 4, Oct. 30th 2002, p.22-25

Section 11 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 comes into force in January 2003. It lays on primary care trusts a duty to involve patients in decision-making on service planning, development and delivery. However guidance on implementation of Section 11 and PCT patient forums has not yet been issued by the Department of Health. Primary Care Trusts have to choose between doing nothing or investing in engagement mechanisms which may not fit in with the guidance when it appears.

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE WAIT HAS GONE

C. Kerr and S. Kavanagh

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Oct. 31st 2002, p.28-29

A fast track cataract service funded by Croydon PCT has reduced waiting times and cut the number of hospital visits required from seven to four. Patients are given a date for surgery during their first hospital appointment, and the average waiting time is now just under seven months. Patients are very satisfied with the service.

LEAVE IT OUT

P. Stephenson

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Nov. 21st 2002, p.12

There are concerns that the newly formed Clinical Networks which aim to provide joined up services to health communities have been set up without the full involvement of primary care.

MIX AND MATCH

A.Cole

Health Service Journal, vol 112, Oct 24th. 2002, p.26-29

Recruitment of primary care trust non-executive directors has been reformed following allegations of cronyism. Interview panels now consist of two NHS chairs plus an accredited independent member. Successful candidates have their names forwarded to the regional commissioner who passes them on to the NHS Appointment Commission for confirmation. However there are still concerns about political bias and the Appointments Commission is considering another review.

NHS DIRECT AND HEALTH ADVICE

S.Darby

Community Practitioner, vol. 75, Nov 2002, p.417

Launched in 1998, NHS Direct operates a 24-hour nurse advice and information service. Article describes in detail what the service can offer.

PCTs ARE ON TRACK, BUT IT'S NOT ALL ROSY

M. Pownall

Primary Care Report, vol 4. no 16, Nov 13th 2002, p.8+12

Summarises results of the 2002 tracker survey of primary care trusts. Identifies lack of staff resources and IT infrastructure as the main barriers to progress. On the other hand, budgets are under control, partnership working has been implemented, there has been good progress on introduction of clinical governance, and specialist services for vulnerable groups have been developed.

RAISING THE GAME IN PRIMARY CARE

Health Service Journal, vol. 112, Nov 14th 2002, Supplement. 11p

Reports on the progress of the work of the National Primary Care Collaborative in spreading best practice. Goes on to present case studies of local initiatives to reduce waiting times for GP appointments, reduce incidence of cononory heart disease, and improve the patients pathway through the NHS by cutting out delays. These have been developed under the aegis of the Collaborative.

RICH PICKINGS IN STORE FOR LPS PILOTS

S. Crowe

Primary Care Report, vol. 4, Nov. 13th 2002, p.28-29

Reports encouraging progress of the first wave of Local Pharmaceutical Services pilots. Primary Care Trusts are hoping to use this initiative to boost access to primary care, reduce medicines waste, work on issues such as compliance with medication, and reduce GPs' workloads.

WARNING BY BMA ON GROWING SHORTAGE OF FAMILY DOCTORS

J. Carvell

The Guardian, November 20th 2002, p.8

Doctors' leaders warned yesterday of a growing shortage of GPs as the government disclosed that many practices are taking more than a year to fill vacancies for replacement staff.

WHY GPs NEED TO BE PLUGGED INTO COMMISSIONING

S. Vevers

Primary Care Reports, vol. 4, Nov. 13th 2002, p.24-27

Explores reasons for GPs' reluctance to become involved in the commissioning work of their primary care trusts, and innovative structures being put in place by the trusts to encourage participation.

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