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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2004): National Health Service - Primary and Community Care

ALL AT C

A. Dix

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, July 1st 2004, p.28-29

Hepatitis C is officially recognised as a major public health problem but delays in addressing it on the part of central government mean that it is not a priority for primary care trusts. A public awareness campaign due to be launched by the Department of Health will encourage people to come forward for testing. Services will need to invest in IT for improved surveillance and respond to the patient influx this may create.

CAN COMMUNITY MATRONS TAKE ON THE SIGNPOSTING OR CASE MANAGEMENT BRIEF?

D. Hayes

Community Care, June 17th-23rd 2004, p.18-19

Introduction of "community matrons" is likely to be a key initiative if the Labour Party is elected for a third term in government. However, their role is not clearly defined. They may provide case management for people with long term conditions and/or complex health care needs. An alternative definition of their role would be to act as a guide to the complexities of the health and social care systems.

DETECTION OF AUTISM IN PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN. WHAT'S NEEDED?

H. Sharples

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p.219-223

Children with autism have a significantly better long term outcomes if their condition is identified early in their lives. The article examines the role of primary care professionals in diagnosing the condition, focusing especially on the use of screening as a tool to achieve early identification of autism.

ELITE MATRONS TO GIVE NHS ADVICE

The Guardian, June 9th 2004, p.7

Plans to create an elite squad of 'community matrons' to help patients get the best out of NHS facilities will be included in a five year development plan to be published by Labour later this month. More than 3,000 senior nurses will be appointed to GP surgeries and health centres in England to act as "human search engines" helping people make the choices available to them in the NHS.

IN THE BALANCE

R. Lewis, M. Dixon and P. Smith

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 10th 2004, p.16-17

Government is set to promote new forms of "practice-led" commissioning in the NHS. This would require primary care trusts (PCTs) to:

  • identify practice-led NHS activity;
  • involve practices in the design of services used by patients;
  • offer incentives to practices that are related to their performance against agreed objectives (e.g. actual use of hospital care compared to target levels).

PCTs could act as agents, contracting for services required by practices on their behalf. The article goes on to discuss the advantages of this approach.

(See also: Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 10th 2004, p.12-13)

IS HEALTH VISITING "FULLY ENGAGED" IN ITS OWN FUTURE WELLBEING?

N. Brocklehurst

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p.214-218

Five years ago, the Department of Health set out its intention to develop the public health function of all nurses, midwives and health visitors and put health visitors in the front line of public health practice. Four pilot projects aimed at developing health visitors' public health role were funded by the Department of Health and the article examines what happened in these sites, and what lessons they hold for health visiting today. Four main themes emerge:

  • practitioner resistance to change;
  • the challenge of an ageing workforce,;
  • the importance of partnership;
  • the need to develop the evidence base if health visiting is to realise its full potential.

The article concludes that health visiting must raise its game, decide where it wants to position itself and make a sound business case for funding if it is to survive in the complex world of public health in the 21st century.

NHS 'IN DANGER' FROM FAILING HEALTH OF BRITAIN'S 6M CARERS

S. Womack

The Daily Telegraph, June 14th 2004, p.8

Charities fear the NHS may not be able to cope if more is not done to protect the health of Britain's six million carers. Research for four main charities - Carers UK, Crossroads Caring for Carers, the MS Society and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers - shows that two thirds of carers feel that their health has suffered as a result of their supporting role. Voluntary care saves the Treasury an estimated £57 billion a year but most of those involved are paying a heavy price and the chief executives of the four charities are writing to every Primary Care Trust to urge them to improve the services they provide for carers. They are demanding the introduction of flexible GP appointment systems, records of carers to be kept on medical notes and information to be provided to carers about the support available to them.

THE ODD COUPLE

N. Edwards

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 24th 2004, p.34-36

Relationships between primary care and acute trusts can become strained due to negative stereotyping and emotional baggage from previous bad experiences. Good relations can be promoted by sharing responsibility for hitting targets across the health community, agreeing common datasets for performance management, and using an integrated medical group model in which specialists and GPs work together.

PRIME MOVER

G. Clews

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 17th 2004, p.24-25

A report of an interview with primary care czar Dr. David Colin-Thomé, in which he emphasises the need to integrate primary care, secondary care and social services. The newly established primary care trusts have encouraged strategic thinking. However, there is a hidden danger in the new systems of GPs becoming more remote from their patients.

THREE CHEERS FOR PCTS

B. Hakin

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 3rd 2004, p.16-17

It is now generally agreed that the longer term delivery of the NHS plan will depend on high performing primary care supported by competent, mature PCTs capable of fully assessing their patients' needs and securing appropriate services to meet them. The introduction of payment by results and the new focus on management of chronic disease should provide PCTs with the resources to deliver more and more services in the community.

TREATING HEART DISEASE IN PRIMARY CARE

F. Robinson

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p.211-212

The article examines the progress that has been made in tackling cardiovascular disease since the government's reform of primary care services in 2000. In particular, it focuses on the increasing role of practice nurses in the fight against the disease by encouraging patients to commit to a healthier lifestyle.

TROUBLE DEAD AHEAD AS SHAS PULL THE PCT LEVERS TOO HARD

G. Clews

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, June 24th 2004, p.12-13

The article reports the results of a survey showing that a fifth of primary care trust chief executives have been subjected to bullying and intimidation by their strategic health authority.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? ONE PRACTICE NURSE'S PERSPECTIVE

A. Kelly

Community Practitioner, Vol. 77, 2004, p. 224-226

Government initiatives over the past few years have dramatically changed nurses' roles. The article examines new and existing nursing roles, their changing titles and the educational requirements necessary to fulfil them.

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