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News Roundup - First Practice Management

News Roundup

A digest of news reports and press comment specifically selected for practice managers

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News Headlines

Headlines w/c 1st July 2013
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GPs to become the new health Border Agency
GPs will be forced to police access to healthcare and impose charges on foreign nationals under plans to be announced this week by the government

Prescribing Data
GP practice data has been published for March 2013

Consultant contracts offer poor value
A new contract for hospital consultants provided “poor value for money” because it did not require them to work in the evenings and at weekends, a public spending watchdog claims

Care home closure in Northern Ireland creates protests
Elderly residents from Northern Ireland's care homes have gathered at Stormont to call for an end to the closure of NHS residential homes

Cigarette package with a voice
Cigarette packets that play recorded messages urging smokers to quit have been created by researchers in Scotland

Mystery tablet causes 8 deaths in Northern Ireland
Forensic tests are expected to reveal whether the deaths of eight people in Northern Ireland are linked to a green tablet marked with a crown or castle

Extra vaccine to be offered to babies
An extra vaccination is to be offered to babies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect them against a vomiting and diarrhoea bug

Potential centralisation of hospital services in Wales creates 5000 responses
NHS bosses believe only four or five hospitals should have consultant-led services such as accident and emergency and premature baby care

GP access to come under a new review
GP access will be probed as a part of a review of general practice in England, launched by health regulator Monitor

Surgeon data published
The first wave of new performance data for individual surgeons in England is being published in what is being hailed as a “historic moment” for the NHS

Premises funds on the horizon
NHS Property Services Ltd has revealed that £125m has been earmarked for its capital investment programme, to ‘build new projects’ and carry out ‘major refurbishments’ in 2013/14

The CQC have produced a guide for PPGs
The guide for patient participation groups covers what they do, how the CQC will work with them, and what to expect when CQC inspect their GP practices

Redundancies common in GP practices as funding squeeze bites
One in seven practices has made staff redundancies since April to offset the funding squeeze caused by the Government’s imposed contract

Over 100 practices now CQC inspected
More than 100 GP practices have been inspected by the CQC since it started regulating primary care in April

Headlines w/c 25th June 2013
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Proposed review of PMS contracts
A review of the value obtained from PMS contracts and identification of ways of improving value for money for the future, whilst ensuring that there is a consistent set of principles that underpin these reviews

Work in the NHS until you drop
More should be done to halt early retirements in the NHS to prevent staff shortages, a report on pensions has found. People are likely to be capable of continuing to work in their existing roles until they reach the new retirement age, but may not be motivated to do so

A new contact list for health and social care
A guide to help organisations make contact with people in the new health and care structures in each region, including CCGs, health and wellbeing boards, local health organisations, and commissioning support units

NICE may press for U turn on QOF
Ministers are set to face pressure from NICE to reverse controversial QOF changes, after the institute vowed to look at restoring an 'important' target lost in the 2013/14 GMS contract overhaul

CQC deny report deletion
The former deputy chief executive of the CQC denies she was not involved in any decision to delete a critical internal review

Urgent action needed in Wales to tackle Diabetes
Urgent action is needed to tackle a diabetes "epidemic", with Welsh government targets to deal with it likely to be missed

New contract proposal for trainee doctors
It follows exploratory talks between the BMA and employers, after concerns that the 13-year-old contract is no longer working as well as it could for NHS employers, doctors and dentists in training

Jeremy Hunt comes down hard on cover-ups
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said there should be "very, very serious consequences" for anyone found guilty of a cover-up at the Care Quality Commission

BMA resist CQC overhaul
Ministers should resist the temptation to overhaul England's healthcare regulator, according to the leader of the BMA

GP fit note guidance
DWP have published revised guidance for GPs use of the fit note. The revised guidance clarifies that a GP’s advice in the fit note should focus on someone’s general fitness for work and not necessarily be tied to their current or most recent job

Speculation on yet more NHS restructuring
The NHS will face another major restructuring within a few years unless commissioning groups use health and wellbeing boards to deliver integrated services, a panel of healthcare leaders has warned

RCGP wants more practice investment
Major investment is needed in general practice in order to keep the NHS sustainable and to ensure it provides value for money, while ensuring safe patient care

GPC say urgent care proposals not deliverable
Many of NHS England’s proposals for the future shape of urgent care are ‘not deliverable’ and lack detail, says GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman in a robust response to plans that included GPs providing 24/7 ‘decision support’ for their patients

GP practices reject new targets
Practices are rejecting new QOF targets and enhanced service work due to mounting pressure on workload even though income will suffer

GP practice patient access may come under CQC remit
Plans to widen CQC inspections to cover GP practice opening hours are 'unreasonable' at a time when the profession is struggling to cope with soaring workload, the GPC has warned

Headlines w/c 17th June 2013
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GP and CCG advice on information governance
NHS England has published advice on how to conduct risk stratification within the legal framework created by the Health and Social Care Act 2012

NICE asks what you think
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is seeking feedback from users in a range of disciplines to help shape the development and growth of their work

CQC to ask patients about standards of care
Patients are being asked for their views on a radical overhaul of care standards for NHS hospitals in England

Urgent Care Review highlights GP strain
Major review into urgent care services has warned that GPs are under considerable strain and that the workforce has insufficient capacity to meet current and expected needs

Scotland needs to re-introduce white coats
The Scottish government dropped the white coat and banned ties in 2008, in a bid to cut infection rates. A consultant has criticised Scotland's "scruffy doctors" and called for a return to ties and white coats

Flu campaign 2013 to include younger children
GPs will be expected to immunise children aged two and three years old against flu from September after the DH extended the vaccination campaign

Steep rise in patient waits reported in Wales
The number of patients waiting more than 36 weeks to start NHS treatment in Wales has seen a sharp rise. 7,600 patients waited that long in April; a rise of more than 2,000 but the Welsh government target is zero

New CQC consultation launched
The consultation asks for views on CQC inspections; the proposed development of clear standards of care; the use of information and evidence; the introduction of chief inspectors; the care ratings system; and the accountability of leaders of organisations. The consultation runs until 12th August

Call for a more simple urgent care system
The NHS in England needs to provide a much simpler and co-ordinated system of round-the-clock urgent and emergency care, a review of its services says

New consultation on the national tariff for 2014 / 2015
Monitor and NHS England have published three documents on proposals for the 2014/15 National Tariff. The consultation runs until 9th July

A&E pressures solution is more patient time in GP practices
Practices should be prepared never to turn patients away during core hours, to help solve the urgent care crisis, a GP commissioning leader has said

Green Book update
The latest version of Immunisation against infectious disease (the Green Book) with all the updated chapters in one document.

Primary care access and A&E visits study
A new study examines the association between access to primary care and emergency department visits in England. The number of visits to A&E has increased by 20% since 2007-08, placing unsustainable pressure on the NHS

Next year’s QOF to have tougher BP targets
Patients aged under 80 should be treated to reach a BP of 140/90 or less if they have a history of CHD, stroke or TIA, or peripheral artery disease, NICE's QOF advisory committee ruled

Headlines w/c 10th June 2013
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Jeremy Hunt denies health service in jeopardy
The A&E crisis and findings of the Francis report do not spell a "system on the brink", said health secretary Jeremy Hunt at the NHS Confederation annual conference.

DoH provide details of the Flu Immunisation programme for this year
DoH look towards a 75% uptake across the at risk groups.

Wales plans political battle over hospital closures
Opposition parties in the Welsh assembly will pull together to fight against plans to change hospital services, says the Welsh Tory leader.

GPs voice opposition to out of hours
Four out of five GPs oppose any move to make the profession take back 24-hour responsibility, early results from a GP magazine poll show.

GP orders boost MMR
More than 200,000 extra doses of the MMR vaccine have been ordered by GPs in England as the government aims to vaccinate one million children at risk of measles.

Young peoples’ services in general practice
How well general practice is delivering services for children and young people, including the challenges they face in accessing them. Some challenges are related to major flaws in the framework in which GP services are commissioned and delivered.

Hunt calls for the return of “family doctors”
Hunt said that he would like to see a return to "family doctoring" where GPs in the community are kept fully informed about their most vulnerable patients.

Move to change the organ donation law in Northern Ireland
The change would require people to opt out of donation rather than opt in. The legislation aims to increase the number of people who make their organs available for transplant.

Claim that GP trainees have insufficient general practice time
Some GP trainees may fail to qualify because UK deaneries are using them to plug staff shortages in hospitals rather than allowing them to spend enough time in general practice, GP leaders have warned.

Health minister’s gaff on women GPs
There are "unintended consequences" for the NHS of training and employing women as GPs, Health Minister Anna Soubry has said in Parliament.

Hospital services v Community services
The NHS in England must show more courage by facing up to the need to close hospital services. A report by the NHS Confederation makes the case for investing in community services to help people manage their health.

Radon tests to be offered in parts of Scotland
Edinburgh, Mid, East and West Lothian, Falkirk, East Renfrewshire and South Lanarkshire are now classified as "Radon Affected Areas". Thousands of residents will be offered testing later this month.

GPs call for discharge letter changes
Improvements to hospital discharge letters could save every GP in the UK an hour a day.

Headlines w/c 3rd June 2013
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Care.data extracts start this month
The first GP data extractions for the care.data programme start this month.  Guidance for GPs on release one of the programmes to extract and link large amounts of primary and secondary data has been published by NHS England.

Trusts share info with Rio2Rio
Community and mental health trusts in London and the South can share patient information using a new feature from BT.

Exemption to share SUS data granted
NHS England has been granted a six-month exemption to allow patient-identifiable data to flow to commissioners.

New calls for action on 'unfair' locum pensions
The BMA has renewed calls on the government to take urgent action to address the unfairness of GP locum pension payments.

Quality of clinical placements varies, according to GMC report
Junior doctors and medical students in London are well-educated and trained, but the quality of clinical placements varies across the capital, a report finds.

Closure of NHS walk-in centres review announced
Doctor’s leaders have backed the launch of a review into the closure of NHS walk-in centres.

Doctors must be engaged with integration of care, says BMA
Doctors must be engaged in local service planning if health and social care integration is to work, BMA Scotland has advised ministers.

GPs facing £17,000 service charge increase
Practices are being hit with an average £17,000 increased service charge for their premises that could threaten their viability, LMC leaders have warned.

Tax on some GP profits 'set to triple'
Hundreds of GPs face a major hike in the tax rate they pay on profits from next year, after the Government launched a consultation on closing a loophole in the current rules surrounding ‘corporate’ partners.

Jeremy Hunt rejects Tory proposal to limit GP appointments
The health secretary has vowed to ‘never’ to limit the number of appointments patients can make with their GP, after Conservative Party members were asked their opinion on the controversial idea to make savings.

GPs cut work commitments to cope with rising workload and stress
GPs are taking drastic action to reduce their stress levels, with many cutting the numbers of sessions they are doing, changing practices or quitting general practice altogether.

BMA to debate industrial action on GP contract
GPs should be balloted over industrial action on GMS contract changes and a boycott of CCGs, the BMA's London Regional Council will argue this month.

Most UK negotiators to contend GPC leadership
Three out of five GPC negotiators will stand in an election to appoint a successor to GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman, whose five-year term ends in July.

Financial cuts hitting waiting times, NHS leaders warn
Waiting times, treatment access and patient experience will worsen in the coming year as NHS financial pressures bite, according to a poll of NHS leaders.

GPs demand standard model for appraisal
GPs have warned that appraisal in England is a 'mess' and called for an end to variation in the evidence required from doctors and in pay for appraisers.

Practices face £60,000 penalty over 0844 phone lines
GPs have warned that cancelling contracts for 0844 phone numbers could cost practices up to £60,000, as NHS England suggested it would crack down on those still using them.

Government announces new vaccination programmes
Three vaccination programmes to protect against flu, shingles and diarrhoea have been announced by the Government.

Headlines w/c 27th May 2013
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E-referrals to be open source
Two suppliers have been shortlisted to develop an open source ‘NHS e-referrals service’ that will be officially launched next month.

Hunt highlights data sharing
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt highlighted problems around sharing patient information as he announced that GPs would take back responsibility for out-of-hours care.

GP contract changes focus on IT
Four new enhanced services for GP practices include investment in risk stratification, telehealth and online patient access.  NHS England has developed four new enhanced services as part of the 2013/14 General Medical Services contract changes, with funding of £120m from retirement of some Quality and Outcome Framework indicators.

GPs and pharmacists connect
GPs and pharmacists are communicating directly with each other in a London pilot using Emis and Rx Systems software.

GPs reject return to out-of-hours responsibility
GPs overwhelmingly rejected suggestions that they should take back responsibility for out-of-hours provision.  They urged BMA GPs committee chair Laurence Buckman to take a strong, clear message to the government that GPs will not take back the responsibility they relinquished in 2004.

Call for clampdown on access to online records
GPs want to ensure patient confidentiality is protected as records become increasingly accessible online.

GPs divided on value of fit notes
GPs at the recent BMA local medical committee’s conference narrowly decided that the fit note was a waste of clinical time.

Funding changes threaten practice viability
GP practices could be badly destabilised by forthcoming funding changes, doctors have warned.

Concern new death certificates could cause more grief
GPs warned that bereaved relatives could suffer unnecessary distress unless more time was given to implementing the new death certification process.

Open plan offices 'cause more sick leave and lower productivity
Employees who work in open plan offices are less productive – and more likely to be ill – than those who work in an enclosed space, according to new research.

NHS chief: Patients should email GPs to ease pressure on surgeries
Patients should be encouraged to email or phone their GP to outline their medical complaints rather than coming into surgeries for face-to-face assessments, the head of the NHS Confederation has told a committee of MPs.

Six in ten GPs 'could resign' over out-of-hours proposals
Six out of ten GPs would consider resigning if the Government forces GPs to take back out-of-hours responsibility, a survey of hundreds of grassroots GPs reveals - and an overwhelming majority believe the GPC should make it clear such proposals are ‘unacceptable’ without waiting for further detail to emerge.

Headlines w/c 20th May 2013

Out of hours adds to GP pressures
CCGs are at risk from GP workload pressure and out-of-hours scare-mongering, a commissioning leader has warned.

Call for GPs to take on 30% of A&E
A&E doctors have called for more GPs at emergency departments to ease pressure on services, but a senior GP warned it could have the opposite effect.

Scottish NHS alert line takes uk-wide calls
More than a third of calls to a confidential phone line which allows health workers in Scotland to raise concerns about NHS practices have come from other parts of the UK.

Blue Badge scheme consultation in Northern Ireland
A public consultation has begun on a number of proposals on changes to the Blue Badge scheme in Northern Ireland. The consultation runs to 30th July.

Welsh Rubella alert follows measles
Health officials have warned that action is needed to prevent a rubella outbreak. 38,000 young people in Wales have not had the MMR jab. They welcomed the efforts to increase vaccinations in light of the measles epidemic centred on Swansea but say more people need to have the recommended two doses.

Health Secretary says that GPs should be responsible for their patients OOH service
The Health Secretary has said that GPs should be responsible for ensuring that there is a good out of hours service for people on their lists.

NW London Integrated Care Pilot
Report outlines an evaluation of the Inner North West London Integrated Care Pilot, which aimed to develop new forms of care for older people and those with diabetes.

IVF in Scotland
Couples in Scotland who need help conceiving will be guaranteed two free infertility treatments from 1 July. The treatment will only be available to those under 40, and it will not be offered to women who are obese.

GPs to face Ofsted-style inspections
England's family doctors will face Ofsted-style inspections overseen by a new chief inspector of general practice to secure "safe and responsive care", the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is to announce.

Barriers to GP involvement in medical research
Interview with 392 GPs, nurses and hospital doctors show universal agreement that the NHS should support research. 91% of those surveyed identified barriers to taking part.

Patients urged to ask their GP about clinical trials
Patients in England will be encouraged to ask their GP about taking part in clinical trials as part of a campaign to boost the numbers benefiting from medical research

Latest CCG bulletin
NHS England has published its latest update

Heart surgery in Leeds row sees Chief Executive go
Chief Executive to leave post months after operations at LGI children's heart unit were suspended over high death rate claims

Monitor looks for views on NHS care funding
This discussion paper sets out possible approaches to designing a comprehensive payment system for NHS services. The consultation closes on 19th July 2013.

Can NHS England manage practices effectively?
The quality of UK primary care is at risk because NHS England's teams lack the capacity to develop relationships with practices and manage their performance

Headlines w/c 13th May 2013

GP commissioning of private services
Some people are receiving health services in England paid for by the NHS but provided by private companies, as GPs begin to buy services for their patients

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination of pregnant women
Continuation of the temporary programme for whooping cough vaccination for pregnant women. The programme will be continued to 2014

Care Bill factsheets

These factsheets have been produced to accompany the Care Bill which was introduced into Parliament on the 9th May 2013, and published on 10th May 2013

RCGP and the 111 service
The roll-out of the troubled NHS 111 service has led to a 'patchwork quilt' of services and the system is 'seriously flawed' in some areas, the RCGP has said

GPs launch federation
GPs based in locations across the UK have launched a national federation to help practices compete for contracts and cope with falling resources

QOF target for drug reviews?
GPs should be handed QOF targets to refer more patients for medicines use reviews at pharmacies to tackle non-adherence to treatments, researchers say

Further call for better nurse ratios
Senior nurses have issued what they say is an unprecedented warning about staffing levels on hospital wards in England

Carer depression screening
Carers should be routinely screened for signs of depression by their GP to ensure their health needs are not neglected, doctors' leaders say

Culture change needed in NHS Scotland
The NHS in Scotland must adopt a "radically different approach" to how it deals with medical mistakes, an expert warns

Implications for mental health
What the NHS Mandate means for mental health services and the people who use them. It also outlines key actions for NHS England and CCGs, addressing access and waiting times for mental health care and commissioning integrated support

GP Premises bills go up
Practices in England could be forced to close sites or lay off staff because of increases of up to £40,000 in annual service charges and rent hikes, GP leaders have warned.

MMR Flyer
The flyer for GPs to use describes the disease measles and gives advice on the MMR vaccination

Online medical records and the doctor/patient relationship
Surveys commissioned by MPS which asked patients and doctors' views on online medical records. Disparity between the services that patients expect they will receive through online access to their records and what doctors think is realistic in the immediate term is an issue.

Expand GP urgent care role
GPs could be handed an expanded role in urgent care under an NHS England support plan to tackle A&E waiting times.

Issued by First Practice Management

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