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

CLINICIANS AND THEIR PCTs: DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

A. O'Neill

Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Apr. 9th 2003, p. 12-15

Reports results of a survey exploring the level of clinical engagement with Primary Care Trusts (PCTs). Respondents cited workload, bureaucracy, a meetings culture, and initiative overload as disincentives for becoming involved in PCT business. They emphasized that PCTs could encourage clinician involvement by ensuring that they have locum cover for time spent on Trust work.

DEVELOPING NHS DIRECT: A STRATEGY DOCUMENT FOR THE NEXT THREE YEARS

Department of Health

London: 2003

Future plans include expanding NHS Direct to provide a single access point for out-of-hours services and to handle all low priority 999 ambulance calls. Major organisational changes will also be introduced. From April 2004 a dedicated NHS Direct provider will be established with responsibility for service delivery. At the same time funding for NHS Direct will be devolved to primary care trusts. There will be a National Commissioning Board, a national tariff for services and performance standards.

DOWN THE LINE

S. Perryman and D Robinson

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Apr. 17th 2003, p. 26-28

A survey of 34,400 staff in 59 London Trusts found general dissatisfaction with pay but satisfaction with immediate managers, equal opportunities and communications. A good working relationship with an immediate manager emerged as key to feeling valued. The better the communications in a trust the more the staff felt valued. However, 42% of respondents did not have a personal development plan and had not had an appraisal, leaving them outside major career development systems. This left them dissatisfied.

IN A CLASS OF THEIR OWN

N. Small and L. Stinson

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Apr. 17th 2003, p. 30-31

Reports on the progress shown by the new teaching primary care trusts in improving staff recruitment and retention and developing a learning environment within their organisations. Points out that the costs of continuing their work will in future have to be met out of existing resources with no new government money.

IS THE GP CONTRACT SET TO COME UP TRUMPS?

S. Brown

Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Apr. 9th 2003, p.18

Article outlines recent revisions to the proposed new GP contract such as the Minimum Practice Income Guarantee. This should make the contract more acceptable to GPs, as should the opportunity it offers for them to opt out of providing out-of-hours services.

JOINT EFFORT

N. Hancock and others

Health Services Journal, Apr. 3rd 2003, p. 28-29

Hip replacement surgery is becoming increasingly specialised and evidence shows that, particularly in revision, surgery is best performed by specialists. An audit of GPs reveals great variation in referral practice with one third prepared to refer to a "generalist" orthopaedic surgeon. GPs need better communication with hospitals and knowledge of where specialists are available.

MARCHING TO A NEW BEAT: HOW DO PCT STAFF DEAL WITH CONSTANT CHANGE

P. Cortvriend

Primary Care Report, vol. 5, Apr. 9th 2003, p.30-32

Presents results of an exploratory study of the impact of organisational change on staff morale at a primary care trust. Found that perceived autocratic leadership and breaches of the psychological contract between the organisation and the workforce resulted in staff disaffection. For organisational change to succeed in human terms, staff must perceive the management to be fair.

PIECE OFFERING

C. Betts

Health Service Journal, Apr. 3rd 2003, p. 12-13

Discusses problems encountered in replacing health authorities with local health boards in Wales, including costs and concerns about the quality of the new chief executives.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON INDIVIDUAL HEALTH OF SERVICES IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SETTINGS WHICH OFFER WELFARE BENEFITS ADVICE?

S. Abbott and L. Hobby

Liverpool: Health and Community Care Research Unit, University of Liverpool, 2003.

Although the impact of increased income on individual health measured in this study is modest, the benefits of such small improvements to deprived people with chronic conditions should not be underestimated. Study lends support to the provision of welfare benefits advice in primary care as part of a holistic approach to the care of such patients.

A YEAR IN PROVIDENCE

A. Moore

Health Service Journal, vol. 113, Apr. 24th 2003, p. 10-11

Reports on progress made by four fledgling primary care trusts one year after their establishment.

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