GP News

Daffodils set the standard for end of life care

The mark, synonymous with the charity, is based on a new set of criteria called the Daffodil Standards – a set of eight quality improvement statements designed to support primary care teams in delivering care to patients living with an advanced, serious illness or at the end of their lives, and their loved ones. By adopting the Standards, GP practices commit to making improvements in at least three of eight core aspects of care each year, with the aim of having reviewed all of them after three years. The eight Daffodil Standards are:
  1. Professional and competent staff
  2. Early identification of patients and carers
  3. Carer support - before and after death
  4. Seamless, planned, co-ordinated care
  5. Assessment of unique needs of the patient
  6. Quality care during the last days of life
  7. Care after death
  8. General practices being hubs within compassionate communities 
To coincide with the launch, a new ComRes survey1 showed that 92% of GPs agree it is important for them to spend time caring for terminally ill or dying patients, and another 87% say that caring for terminally ill or dying patients is a rewarding part of their job. However, it also revealed that more than four in five (85%) GPs say that they do not have as much time as they would like to care for terminally ill or dying patients because of their workload. Three in five (62%) disagree that there are enough community resources to give families and carers of terminally ill or dying patients the emotional support that they need. The Standards fall back on the fundamental values of general practice being hubs within 'compassionate communities', which includes considering staff emotional support needs after their patients die. According to the survey, seven in ten (71%) GPs agree that there should be more resources available to help GPs and practice staff with the grief of losing patients, with just 2% saying their practice holds formal support sessions on dealing with grief and loss. And three in five (59%) say that their practice does not organise ways for the staff to share stories or get support for dealing with grief and loss. The Standards, which have already been recognised by the new Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF)2 on end of life care and the CQC3, have been piloted by a number of surgeries across the UK, and each Standard comes with its own evidence-based tools, exercises and quality improvement steps. Dr Catherine Millington-Sanders, End of Life Care Lead at RCGP and Marie Curie, said: "GPs are central to providing excellent end of life care, and we know how much patients and their families value being able to have an open conversation with their doctor about what lies ahead. "Our colleagues are already working hard to provide this level of care, but pressures on our system and a lack of resources in the community can sometimes make going the extra mile that bit harder, which can be incredibly frustrating for us and our teams. "That's why the RCGP and Marie Curie have developed these Standards. Most importantly, they are there to ensure that when patients see the 'daffodil mark' in our window or on the wall in our waiting rooms, they know we are committed to providing the care and support they need and deserve." Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, added: "Making sure that patients and their families feel supported at the end of life is an essential part of what we do, and in many ways, one of the most privileged aspects of our role. "The demand on GPs and their teams to provide high-quality palliative care is only set to rise as our population continues to age and we begin to see more patients present with more complex, long-term conditions. "We're delighted to be able to launch these Standards with Marie Curie and hope they go a long way in supporting GPs, their teams, and, of course, our patients, but current pressures on our service and the effects they are having on our ability to consistently provide high-quality palliative care cannot be ignored. "That's why it's essential that the pledges for more investment for general practice and for more GPs and practice staff, made in NHS England's GP Forward View and the NHS long-term plan are delivered urgently and in full." Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of Marie Curie, said: "From talking to families we know that GPs and practice staff make such a difference to how patients and families experience end of life care.  Having someone they can go to who they know well, trust, and help them prepare for the future, is vitally important at such a difficult time. It is also clear from the survey findings that GPs recognise how important their role is and how rewarding they find this part of their work. "The new Standards will play a key role in excellent end of life care and ensure that busy GPs and practice staff have the support they need to improve the quality of care provided.  It has been a real privilege working with the RCGP on the development of the Daffodil Standards."
Categories: GP News

Babylon GP at Hand given green light to expand NHS services to Birmingham

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:47
Babylon GP at Hand has been given the green light to expand to the UK's second-largest city, the digital company has confirmed.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP practices yet to claim millions in CQC reimbursement fees

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/13/2019 - 09:17
GP practices have yet to claim millions of pounds in CQC fees from the past year, Pulse understands.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Paramedic fraudulently signed hundreds of prescriptions to free up GP time

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 16:57
A respected former paramedic forged hundreds of prescriptions while working at a GP practice.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Better access to alternative mental health treatments for all patients urgently needed, says College

She said: "Regardless of a patient's age, depression can be incredibly distressing and debilitating, and research has shown that for many adult patients, antidepressants can be effective drugs at alleviating its symptoms. "GPs are highly-trained to prescribe and will only ever recommend antidepressants after a full and frank discussion with the patient sitting in front of us, based on their individual circumstances, and if we genuinely believe they will help them. "Whilst antidepressants can be effective drugs, we know that in general patients don't want to be on long-term medication – and GPs don't want that, either. We will always try to explore alternative therapies, such as CBT and talking therapies, but access to these therapies in the community is patchy across the country – and there is also a lack of variety, to allow us to match these services to the specific needs of our patients. "We do know that for many older patients, the underlying reasons for them visiting their GP might not be medical – they might be feeling lonely or be socially isolated. In these cases, it's important that we have access to 'social prescribing' schemes to link these patients with an appropriate class or group in the community, that can have a positive effect on their health and wellbeing, and we welcome the focus on this in the NHS long term plan. "It can take a lot of courage to seek help for depression and other mental health problems, no matter what age someone is, and patients who do so should be able to get the care they need and deserve, close to home, where they need it most. "NHS England has promised that every GP practice in England will have access to one of 3,000 new mental health therapists by 2021 – we need this, and the other pledges of more investment in general practice and more GPs made in the GP Forward View and NHS long term plan delivered as a matter of urgency."
Categories: GP News

Efforts to boost general practice workforce will be 'imperative' in forthcoming strategy, says RCGP

"It is really positive to see that strides are being made to increase the numbers of other members of the practice team, some more than others, and it remains concerning to see a continued decline in practice nurse numbers. Nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, physiotherapists and so on play an integral role in supporting GPs to make more than a million patient consultations a day across the country, and most practices would not be able to function without the hard work and dedication of our wider team. "What's important is that patients are clear about the role of each member of the practice team – including what care and services each can and can't deliver – and that there is no doubt that allied healthcare professionals will support GPs, not replace them. It takes at least ten years to train a GP and the level of skill it takes to deliver truly holistic care to patients, and manage immense amounts of risk, cannot be substituted. "We want to see efforts to continue to increase numbers of all members of the practice team. But we also need to see efforts re-doubled to recruit and retain more GPs, who will lead these teams. "The NHS long-term plan has some truly commendable aspirations that will benefit patients, and it also recognises the importance of a robust general practice service in keeping the NHS sustainable, but we need the workforce to be able to deliver it. It is imperative that the forthcoming NHS workforce strategy includes comprehensive plans to boost GP recruitment – and great work is already ongoing – but also to keep existing GPs in the profession longer, so that we can deliver the care our patients need and deserve."
Categories: GP News

Almost all patients reject registering with digital-first GP services, finds survey

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 13:18
The vast majority of patients do not want to register with a digital-first GP service, according to a survey by independent consumer body Which?.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GPs forced to stop non-core services due to growing workload pressures

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:19
Eight GP practices in Buckinghamshire have been forced to stop providing underfunded non-core services, due to growing workload.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Scottish workforce plan delayed as GPs warn shortages are getting worse

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:50
GPs have expressed their dismay at yet another delay to a key Scottish Government workforce plan, amidst fears there will not be enough staff to fill new primary care teams.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP at Hand costs could ‘jeopardise’ other health services if not mitigated

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 15:35
The costs associated with the Babylon GP at Hand practice could ‘jeopardise’ other health services if not mitigated, according to the CCG which hosts the online GP service.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Babylon GP at Hand costs could ‘jeopardise’ other health services if not mitigated

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 15:35
The costs associated with the Babylon GP at Hand practice could ‘jeopardise’ other health services if not mitigated, according to the CCG which hosts the online GP service.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Merging practices into larger centres could increase A&E visits, finds study

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:54
Patients living closer to an A&E department are more likely to choose it over their local GP practice, according to a survey of the social influences driving people in deprived areas to A&E.
Categories: Business News, GP News

RCGP welcomes CMO advice for parents on screen time for children

"These digital advancements can be of great benefit, connecting youngsters to new learning tool, for example, but they can also have a profoundly negative impact and GPs are regularly seeing the adverse effects these devices can have on our patients' health and wellbeing. "Most often this includes sleep deprivation and fatigue from using phones and tablets before going to bed, but being able to access social media, constantly, can also lead to more serious problems, such as creating anxiety and magnifying feelings of loneliness and poor self-esteem. "This is a society-wide issue, which we must all take responsibility for if we're to see a real change in how people interact with their phones and similar devices. "We hope the Chief Medical Officer's guide for parents is useful, and helps them to support their children in redressing the balance between screen time and time with each other."
Categories: GP News

Andover office affected by fire

Urgent notice There has been a fire at the Walworth business estate where the College has its Andover office serving Wessex Faculty. No-one has been hurt but we are advising staff not to travel in today and our members may have difficulty contacting the office in the short term. We are monitoring the situation and will give further updates as more information becomes available. We thank you for your patience.
Categories: GP News

GP health centres given £1.8m in Government funding to refurbish facilities

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:22
Two GP health centres have been given £1.8m by the Welsh Government, to help renovate the facilities.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP networks will create 100,000 extra appointments in Gloucestershire

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 15:47
GP practices in Gloucestershire will be able to provide 100,000 more appointments by working together as part of primary care networks, NHS England has claimed.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP networks will create an extra 100,000 appointments in Gloucestershire

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 15:47
GP practices in Gloucestershire will be able to provide 100,000 more appointments by working together as part of primary care networks, NHS England has claimed.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Welsh GPs will be covered by same state indemnity scheme as hospital doctors

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 14:31
GPs in Wales will be offered cover by the same NHS clinical indemnity provider that currently covers out of hours and secondary care, the Welsh government has confirmed.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Recruitment crisis forces GP collaborative to hand back contracts on six practices

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 09:28
A not-for-profit company set up by GPs has been forced to end its contracts with six practices, due to problems recruiting permanent GPs.
Categories: Business News, GP News

NHS campaign invites Australian GPs to work in the ‘land of’ Harry Potter

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 18:23
NHS England is hoping to lure Australian GPs to work in ‘land of’ Harry Potter, as part of a new social media campaign.
Categories: Business News, GP News

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