We now have a section aimed directly at GPs on the library website, currently containing information about resources available, news and useful contact details. We always welcome feedback on content, layout and anything else – if you’d like something added, just let us know using the feedback page!
The NHS plans to launch a new national occupational health service from next April to support general practitioners experiencing burnout and stress.
A national service specification based on successful local programmes will form part of a wider, major new drive from NHS England to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS staff. The scheme will include serving healthier food, offering health checks in the workplace, and promoting physical activity among staff.
It’s target audience includes practice managers, district nurse teams, clinic nurses, GPs – anyone involved in governance and setting protocols.Extract from the site
“Primary Care Protocols is a website which aids collaborative development of protocols to aid managers and clinicians working within the NHS. By using an innovative approach we are able to allow our users to collaborate in an online environment to work together to develop gold standard protocols.”
Some recent protocols include:
- Depo Provera
- HRT check for nurses
- Contraceptive pill issuing for nurses
- Cervical cytology sampling
- Resuscitation drugs
- Suspected poisoning
- Anaphylaxis treatment
- Notification of deaths and dying patients
For more information please visit Primary Care Protocols
GP practices are being asked to report huge reams of data to NHS England so that their performance can be monitored and any ‘unwarranted variation’ can be investigated, it has emerged.
Practices are being asked to log onto an NHS England website to complete details on their surgery’s practice staff, suitability, premises and equipment, access to and availability of practice services, information about the practice and its procedures and its governance.
The ‘assurance management’ website, www.primarycare.nhs.uk, replaces the annual reports that were historically collected by PCTs, will allow for NHS England to spot any outliers and hold GPs to account in a ‘robust and fair’ way.
21 May – BBC Bews “A chief inspector of GPs is to be appointed as part of a push to improve services outside of hospitals, ministers are set to announce.” See BBC News for the full story
New guidance has been published to help doctors and health professionals navigate the world of social media. The Royal College of GPs had produced the Social Media Highway Code, with advice to help and encourage health professionals to communicate effectively using social media.
The support is built around ten guidelines, which include recognising that the personal and the professional can’t always be separated, the need to engage with the public and show your human side, but maintain professional boundaries and respect the privacy of patients.
The guide was published in draft form last October, in collaboration with Doctors.net.uk and Lime Green Media. It has since been updated to include suggestions and information from a range of health expertise around the world.
Dr Ben Riley, lead-author of the Code and Curriculum Director for the RCGP said: “The interest and feedback we have received from healthcare professionals across the globe has been fantastic. There are many opportunities for GPs and other healthcare professionals to take the lead in developing how social media can be used to improve healthcare.
“At the same time healthcare professionals need to protect their patients and support each other with using these new ways of communicating. The Code has a practical focus and addresses a number of the challenging areas that GPs and other healthcare professionals have been asking about for some time.”
Hospital consultants and GPs face having their hours reorganised to give patients the same level of service at weekends as they receive during the week, to bring the health service in line with other sectors.
The proposals, included in the board’s first planning guidance for 2013-14,1 will initially focus on improving access to diagnostics and urgent and emergency care but could extend to surgery in the future. General practices will be expected to extend their opening hours to weekends as part of the drive.
Extract from the website of Primary Care Commissioning (PCC) … “provides trusted, practical support to commissioners and providers of health and care services including training, development and expert advice.
Our events, elearning and information services enable better value for the NHS, better business processes, better informed healthcare strategies and better outcomes.
We are a community interest company, a form of not-for-profit social enterprise.”
Stories this week on the network include:
- A look at the super-merger proposals for three London trusts, which would see the creation of the biggest hospital trust in the country
- Our columnist Dick Vinegar’s warning that US healthcare reforms could lead to an exodus of GPs from the UK
- A piece by Dr Frank Casey, consultant paediatric cardiologist at Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast hospital for sick children, on the benefits of video conferencing
- Guy Smallman writes about mobile and tablet apps have potential for training and professional development in healthcare
Meanwhile, Denis Campbell reported for the Guardian on research by the King’s Fund, which reveals the stark social class divide in health is widening. It found better-off people are increasingly shunning damaging habits such as smoking and eating badly but poorer people are not. The story says:
The findings have cast doubt on the prospect of the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, fulfilling his pledge to “improve the health of the poorest fastest” in order to reduce glaring health inequalities.
Here’s some other headlines from around the web this week:
- FT [registration]: Hospitals face funding cuts as NHS feels pressure
- Pulse: Nice appraisals process to become more ‘political’ after industry pressure
- Independent: Private firm may take over South London Healthcare Trust
- And on his blog, SA Mathieson looked at how many NHS bosses are using Twitter. He writes:
… of the chief executives of the 10 largest NHS acute trusts in England (measured by staff numbers collected by the NHS Information Centre) nine are men, four have knighthoods, but – based on some searching, and happily subject to correction – only one appears to be active on Twitter. The exception that proves the rule is Dr Mark Newbold, chief executive of Birmingham’s Heart of England foundation trust, who has more than 1,300 followers. He also blogs: a post on 10 reasons why his peers should join him on Twitter cites openness, accessibility, learning from others and engagement with communities. On Twitter itself, Dr Newbold often uses his account to answer questions and engage in debate.
The ACA training programme to improve communication between general practitioners and their palliative care patients: development and applicability
Source: BMC Palliative Care June 2012
Publication type: Web article
In a nutshell: This article describes the development of a new training programme on GP-patient communication in palliative care, and the applicability to GPs and GP Trainees. This ‘ACA training programme’ focuses on Availability of the GP for the patient, Current issues that should be raised by the GP, and Anticipating various scenarios. Evaluation results indicate the ACA training programme to be applicable to GPs and GP Trainees. The ACA checklist was appreciated by GPs as useful both in practice and as a learning tool, whereas GP Trainees mainly appreciated the list for use in practice.
Length of publication: 16 pages
65 per cent of GPs say people with dementia don’t get diagnosed because they don’t visit their doctor
Published 3 May 2012
“Two thirds of GPs say many people with dementia are not being diagnosed because they are not making an appointment to see their doctor, an Alzheimer’s Society survey has revealed.
The survey of 382 GPs provides new insight into why diagnosis rates for dementia continue to be so low. Currently, just 43 per cent of people with the condition in the UK are diagnosed.” Extract from Alzheimer’s Society – click for full article
If you visit our Community page, you will see the latest newsfeed to be added, entitled Journal Watch, put together by Richard Leman. Thirty years ago Richard became a general practitioner in Banbury. “For the last ten years he has written down personal comments on the main general medical journals, first of all for his immediate colleagues, soon after for the Oxford University Department of Primary Care, and over subsequent years for an ever-growing readership throughout the world.”
Under the CEBM banner, Richard continues to regularly look at individual journals like The Lancet and BMJ, then summarises some of the most interesting articles. This should be of particular interest to GPs.Extract from CEBM at http://www.cebm.net/index.aspx?o=2339
A one stop shop for everything commissioning managers and teams might require can be found at www.QualityMK.nhs.uk
The latest information alerting readers to hot topics like GP consortia development, public health intelligence, outcomes based contracts and all relevant papers will shortly be included on our Health Management page.