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

GP BUDGETS SET TO TAKE HOLD, BUT DON'T WRITE OFF PCTS YET

M.-L. Harding

Health Service Journal, Vol.114, Oct. 21st 2004, p.12-13

The article discusses the implications of the introduction of practice-led commissioning for primary care trusts.

MOVE TO BRING BACK GP FUNDHOLDING

R. Jaggi

Financial Times, Oct. 6th 2004, p.2

The government announces a return to a form of GP fundholding that Labour scrapped soon after it came to power in 1997. In a move that will further open up the market to private healthcare businesses, family doctors will, from April, be encouraged to commission treatment directly from providers.

web linkNATIONAL QUALITY REQUIREMENTS IN THE DELIVERY OF OUT-OF-HOURS SERVICES (WORD .DOC format)

Department of Health

London: 2004

Sets out standards expected from providers of out-of-hours care from January 2005. Primary Care Trusts will be legally obliged to commission a service which meets the quality requirements. Providers must report to PCTs on compliance with the requirements.

OPEN ALL HOURS

S. Ward

Public Finance, Oct. 22nd-28th 2004, p.20-23

The article discusses the challenges facing primary care trusts, including:

  • provision of out-of-hours primary care services when they assume responsibility from GPs in December 2004;
  • implementation of practice-based commissioning;
  • transfer of services from hospitals to primary care.

PRACTICE BASED COMMISSIONING: ENGAGING PRACTICES IN COMMISSIONING

Department of Health

London: 2004

Practice based commissioning is a key part of improving the NHS. Primary Care Trusts should encourage their practices to take on budgets for commissioning. It is envisaged that the promotion of practice level budgets will lead to benefits for patients including:

  • a greater variety of services;
  • from a greater number of providers;
  • in settings that are closer to home and more convenient for patients.

Practice led commissioning will also encourage GPs to consider the efficient use of NHS resources and give them the ability to secure better services for their patients.

WALK-IN PATIENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF ADVANCED ACCESS

M. Jiwa and others

British Journal of Healthcare Management, Vol.10, 2004, p.270-273

The article reports the results of a survey of patients at two GP practices operating the "advanced access" system. This aims to meet patient demand by improving same-day access with limited pre-booking. The practices also offered telephone triage by a nurse or doctor. The telephone triage system was found to make it difficult for patients to get through to the surgeries because the lines were engaged. Frustrated patients then tended to turn up at the surgery and demand attention or to ask for a home visit.

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