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

CARE UK TO PARTNER AMBULANCE TRUST

R. Jaggi

Financial Times, Nov. 22nd 2004, p.3

An ambulance trust and a health company will today unveil a ground-breaking joint venture in a sign that the government's plans to open primary care to the private sector are succeeding. Care UK, the leading private-sector provider of health and social care services, will announce the partnership with Essex Ambulance Trust - the first such collaboration to provide out-of-hours services - when it reports its annual results. The venture, which has won a two-year contract covering a fifth of Essex, is to provide an integrated emergency and family doctor out-of-hours service.

DEVOLUTION HITS THE SPOT BUT PCTS MUST PROVE THEMSELVES

M.L. Harding and others

Health Service Journal, Nov 25th 2004, p.14-15

The public health white paper stresses the importance of matching solutions to local circumstances and of targeting areas suffering the worst inequalities first. However, primary care trusts will only receive extra funding to tackle local public health problems if the government approves of their plans. The white paper also proposes an expansion of the roles of school nurses, community matrons and health trainers, promotion of joint working by local councils and primary care trusts and assessment of delivery by the Healthcare Commission

EXTENDING THE REMIT…

P. Jackson

Community Practitioner, vol.77, 2004, p.247-248

Community schools, Integrated schools, Full Service and Extended schools are all terms used to describe programmes that put schools at the heart of the community and bring together professionals from different agencies to provide a range of accessible services, often beyond the school day and based on the needs of children and the local community. Article explores the historical context, policy context and emerging benefits of, and barriers to such programmes in addressing some of the root causes of health inequalities.

FILLINGS NEEDED AS PCTS ARE HANDED RESPONSIBILITY FOR STOPPING THE ROT

D. Carlisle

Health Service Journal, vol.114, Nov.11th 2004, p.12-13

Responsibility for commissioning NHS dental services is to be handed over to primary care trusts (PCTs) and a new contract for dentists is being introduced. However, PCTs lack staff capacity to undertake their new role, and dentists are wary of the revised contract.

INFLUENCING PRESCRIBING IN ENGLISH PRIMARY CARE: THE VIEWS OF PRIMARY CARE ORGANISATIONS

A. Mason and others

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol.9, 2004, p.153-158

Study aimed to identify approaches to improving GP prescribing by primary care organisations in the NHS in England using a postal questionnaire. Prescribing advisers typically offered several forms of support: practice visits, prescribing reviews, prescribing newsletters, hands-on support, seminars and local formularies. PCOs are pursuing a wide range of prescribing initiatives, covering, on average, seven different therapeutic areas. National targets are the key driver for prescribing initiatives, but other key influences include inappropriate prescribing and clinical governance. Although cost containment is important, improving the quality of prescribing is perceived as the overriding principle on which PCO prescribing strategy is based.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

E. Forrest and S. Job

Health Service Journal, Vol. 114, Nov. 4th 2004, p.26-27

Improving knowledge and understanding of diabetes among primary care professionals and patients has triggered service improvements in Epping Forest PCT. Diabetes care once given in hospital is now provided in primary care. Referrals to hospital have halved and waiting times have been reduced.

RESCUE PACKAGE FOR NHS DENTISTRY MAY MAKE SHORTAGES EVEN WORSE

N. Hawkes

The Times, Nov. 25th 2004, p.4

The National Audit Office says in a report published today that the new contracts for dentists planned by the Department of Health could be no more effective than the old. Undertreatment by dentists who are paid a salary could replace overtreatment caused by the present piece-work system.

SOFT GOVERNANCE AND ATTITUDES TO CLINICAL QUALITY IN ENGLISH GENERAL PRACTICE.

R. Sheaff and others

Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol.9, 2004, p.132-138

English primary care organisations are responsible for the quality of general practice but lack hierarchical structures and, frequently, contractual relationships through which to influence it. Instead they use management tools such as clinical audit, promotion of evidence-based medicine, prescribing guidance and protocols, and individualised incentives, including financial rewards.

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