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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2005): National Health Service - Primary and Community Care

Are GPs beginning to feel programmes pulling power?

D. Carlisle

Health Service Journal, vol.115, July 21st 2005, p.14-15

Reports that rapid progress is being made in implementing the government's flagship "choose and book" policy. Over half of GPs are now registered to use choose and book and more than 80% of providers have uploaded their information to the national directory of services.

Authorities happy to be given a health check

A. P. Nacif Public Servant, issue 30, July 1st 2005, p. 9

From 2005, councils will be assessed on their progress in producing healthier communities. The 12 pathfinder authorities in the vanguard of this work report that their experience has been positive, promoting collaboration between their own departments as well as with local NHS bodies.

Evaluating family partnership training in health visitor practice

C. Bidmead and S. Cowley

Community Practitioner, vol.78, 2005, p.239-245

Research used qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the effects of family partnership training. This training aims to equip health visitors to act as parent advisers, working in partnership with families. The study design facilitated an in-depth analysis of the health visitors' perspective on their interaction with clients pre- and post-training.

Inside out

A. Dix

Health Service Journal, vol.115, July 14th 2005, p.30-32

An increasing number of primary care trusts are appointing medical directors to take charge of the performance management and training of GPs. There are concerns that the roles of medical director and Professional Executive Committee Chair may become blurred.

Long term ventilation: National Service Framework for Children, People and Maternity Services

Department for Education and Skills [and] Department of Health 2005

This exemplar describes a care pathway for the discharge and ongoing support needs of children using long-term ventilation in the community. It describes three stages:

  • the discharge process;
  • living at home;
  • growing up and transition.

NHS continuing care

Health Committee

London: TSO, 2005 (House of Commons papers, session 2004-05; HC399)

Report makes a number of recommendations for the Government's forthcoming national framework for NHS continuing care. The framework should include:

  • the establishment of a single set of national criteria for continuing care
  • the integration of two parallel systems for funding continuing care and nursing care, as overlap is currently causing confusion
  • the establishment of a national standard assessment methodology to ensure assessments against national criteria are carried out uniformly
  • the redesigning of the system for funding continuing care and nursing care, so that it rewards high quality care and promotes rehabilitation and independence, rather than rewarding dependency
  • the introduction of greater flexibility in funding for NHS continuing care.

NHS fails to get clean bill of health

S. Lister

The Times, July 19th 2005, p.6

A quarter of people are not able to see their GP within two days, contrary to government claims that the target is met in almost all cases, according to the annual review of the NHS. "'The State of Healthcare 2005" reveals that though many improvements have been made in health provision, a group of "Cinderalla services" is being badly neglected, including dentistry, sexual health and parts of primary care. The review, carried out by the Healthcare Commission, concludes that the NHS still has a long way to go to achieve a "patient-led" service, a key ambition of the Government.

(See also The Guardian, July 19th 2005, p.6)

Otherwise engaged

M. Gould

Health Service Journal, vol.115, July 14th 2005, p.26-28

Professional Executive Committees (PECs) in primary care trusts were intended to foster clinical innovation and engagement, but frontline staff complain that many have sold out to management. Policies like practice-based commissioning are seen as catalysts for reforming the committees. New-style PECs are abandoning more general work to focus on service modernisation.

Taking healthcare to the patient: transforming NHS ambulance services

Department of Health

London: 2005

Review sets new rules on how response times are recorded after some ambulance trusts were accused of fiddling the figures. Recommends that, over time, the number of traditional ambulances should be reduced and replaced by people carriers staffed by paramedics who will treat people in their own homes. Calls for the number of ambulance trusts to be reduced from 31 to around 15, in the hope that larger organisations will attract higher calibre managers. Recommends changes in the way that primary care trusts (PCTs) commission emergency care. There should be a lead PCT for each ambulance service which acts on behalf of all PCTs in the area.

The times they are a-changing for the shape of primary care

M.-L. Harding

Health Service Journal, vol.115, July 7th 2005, p.14-15

Discusses the upcoming review of the role of primary care trusts, which will cover commissioning structures, and the trusts' role (if any) in the direct provision of services.

Weak leadership blamed for poor maternity care

A. Grice

The Independent, July 18th 2005, p.14

Poor standards of care in maternity units may be causing long-term health problems for mothers and babies, the NHS inspectorate warns in its annual report today. The Healthcare Commission says "weak managerial or clinical leadership" is often the root cause of poor performance because problems are left unidentified or unresolved.

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