Click here to skip to content

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

FIGHTING SHY

M. Mythen and T. Coffey

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Aug. 26th 2004, p.18-19

The article discusses how the patient choice agenda can be made to work at the level of the GP consultation. Exploiting the GP consultation to empower patients requires:

  • GPs to "buy in" to the potential of increased patient power to improve health;
  • steps to engage those who do not want choice;
  • equipping the GPs with information about the relative expertise and experience of consultants;
  • development of personalised consultations;
  • better information for patients.

FINE PATIENTS WHO FAIL TO SHOW UP, URGE GPS

J. Carvel

The Guardian, August 24th 2004, p.4

The government is facing grassroots pressure from GPs for the right to charge NHS patients who miss appointments, after evidence that non-attendance is costing the health service £162 million a year.

GPs ARE LOSING TOUCH WITH PATIENTS

C. Hall

The Daily Telegraph, August 16th 2004, p.1

The Government's handling of changes to the working of family doctors' practices came under attack from the Tories last night. Ministers were accused of mishandling the revolution in surgeries around the country, with a poll for The Daily Telegraph showing that GPs are becoming more remote from their patients, with the Dr Finlay school of medicine almost extinct.

(See also The Daily Telegraph, August 16th 2004, p.11)

GPs CASH IN ON PROVIDING PATIENT CARE OUT OF HOURS

C. Hall

The Daily Telegraph, August 6th 2004, p.1

The cost of providing care for family doctors' patients at night and weekends could spiral out of control, MPs said today. A change in their contract from December 31 means that GPs can opt out of providing out-of-hours care and hand over the responsibility to primary care trusts. But a Commons Health Select Committee report says many trusts are still not prepared for the switch and face "significant funding gaps" in taking over the service traditionally provided by family doctors

MALE CALLERS TO NHS DIRECT: THE ASSERTIVE CARER, THE NEW DAD AND THE RELUCTANT PATIENT

J. Goode and others

Health, vol.8, 2004, p.311-328

Traditionally, men have been more reluctant than women to seek medical help and advice. Article explores the role of NHS Direct in encouraging male health awareness and help seeking. In-depth interviews with male callers to the service, aged between 29 and 59, reveal that they sought help in their roles as fathers, partners and on their own behalf. Having used it once, they anticipated doing so again.

MEET THE NEW POWER IN PRIMARY CARE

R. Lewis and A. Cowper

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Aug.5th 2004, p.20-22

Practices and primary care trusts will need to negotiate a variety of options when implementing practice-led commissioning. Available options include how much power is devolved to practices, what services they will be commissioning and what incentives to offer. Practices must be regulated by their primary care trusts and their decisions should be made in line with the broad strategic aims of their PCT.

NHS PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS 'FAILING'

R. Jaggi

Financial Times, August 10th 2004, p.2

Primary Care Trusts are failing, the Institute of Public Policy Research has warned. PCTs, which have responsibility for about 80 per cent of NHS funds, are charged with meeting local needs. But the study says they cannot do so unless they improve their management and the way they assess local requirements. The IPPR says they should not be scrapped but given more time for the reforms to work through.

OUT OF HOURS RUNS OUT OF TIME

R. Winchester

Community Care, Aug. 5th-11th 2004, p.28-30

By December 2004 most GPs will have opted out of provision of out-of-hours services. Primary Care Trusts are developing alternative models of provision, including the use of NHS Direct as first point of contact. Most are also setting up centralised out-of-hours centres, to which patients will have to travel. These will be staffed by nurses and paramedics, not doctors.

STRUCTURING HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENTS: THE MEDICALISATION OF HEALTH VISITING

S. Cowley, J. Mitcheson and A. M.Houston

Sociology of Health and Illness, vol.26, 2004, p.503-526

The paper describes a study of the use of structured health visitor needs assessment tools in two different parts of England. A conversation analysis of health visitor/client interactions, in which structured instruments were used, provides a base from which to examine the changing discourse and impact of health needs assessment on the health visiting service. It concludes that health needs assessment is a means of rationing access to medical services, so that client needs are met only if they pass a threshold of pre-determined epidemiologically defined risk. The long-standing social purposes of health visiting, which include helping vulnerable people to access supportive services, are marginalised.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web