GP News

£20bn NHS investment 'might go unspent' due to staff shortages

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 00:01
NHS workforce shortages are so dire that there is a risk some of the £20.5bn extra funding pledged may go unspent, expects have warned.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Pfizer's failed pregabalin patent appeal means NHS could reclaim £502m

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 18:19
The NHS could claim back over half a billion pounds from Pfizer - following a long-running controversy that saw GPs having to switch patients between branded and generic pregabalin - after the Supreme Court ruled that the drug company’s patent for Lyrica (pregabalin) is invalid.
Categories: Business News, GP News

RCGP urges women not to panic, but demands answers over smear blunder

"This error has put patients at risk, and it will undoubtedly cause women more anxiety. It is vital everything is done as a matter of urgency to rectify the situation, and ensure all affected women are informed – particularly those who have not received their test results. "We urge women not to panic and to await further information - we understand that NHS England are already working to contact anyone who has been affected. Our GP members will also be extremely concerned and need to be comprehensively informed as to how to advise patients for the best. "This is the second blunder of its kind this year, and we all need answers about why this has happened and assurance that it will not happen again. "We will be asking NHS England to urgently and seriously review its contract with Capita – this is the latest in a long line of serious errors made by the company, and it is clear to us that they have not properly understood the scope or complexity of the work they have bid to do to support primary care."
Categories: GP News

Raft of new practice closures could see over 40,000 patients losing their GP

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 09:21
Some 40,000 patients could lose their GP as several practices are set to close across the UK, mainly as a result of recruitment issues.
Categories: Business News, GP News

New NHS IT system has 'failed every nine days', warns report

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 11/13/2018 - 16:11
The Welsh Assembly public accounts committee has published a stinging rebuke of efforts to modernise NHS IT systems in the country.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GPs in Wales are concerned about being able to deliver patient care this winter

84% of GPs surveyed expressed concern that increased workload will negatively affect their ability to deliver patient care this winter. This figure is unsurprising given that 96% of GPs said their workload increased in winter months, with 94% reporting that increasing numbers of patients are seeing their GP every winter. RCGP Wales has said the findings demonstrate "a pressing need to boost the GP workforce", re-iterating calls for an increase in the number of GP training places in Wales. Numbers of training places in Wales are significantly behind the rest of the UK. The College has also called for patients to have more information about the variety of options available to them in primary care. The RCGP Wales survey showed that only 51% of GPs felt there is enough information available to patients about what they should do if they feel unwell during the winter. On Tuesday afternoon the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services will be making a statement on 'Winter Delivery Planning' in the Welsh Assembly. Dr Peter Saul, Joint Chair of Royal College of General Practitioners Wales, said: "We already have a stretched GP workforce, having to work incredibly hard to try and meet patient demand through the year, so it is to be expected that GPs are concerned about what the winter months will mean for patient care. "These results are a stark reminder of the pressing need to boost the GP workforce. The number of GP training places per patient is well below the rest of the United Kingdom, meaning there aren't enough GPs coming into the workforce. The Welsh NHS needs to build a strong and resilient NHS workforce, including through the recruitment of GPs and other primary care professionals. "This is not going to happen in time for this winter. It will likely be a trying time, both for those working in the NHS and patients trying to access services. We would strongly encourage patients to consider the variety of options available to them in primary care, making appropriate use of valuable NHS resources. "The recent 'Choose Well' relaunch highlighted the effective role pharmacists can play in primary care. There are a number of other primary care healthcare professionals who can help patients and these all should be considered. NHS Direct Wales can be a valuable source of information, and we also need to see common sense approaches like at-risk groups receiving their flu vaccine."
Categories: GP News

Welsh GPs call for more support for independent contractors

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 16:14
The Welsh Government needs to commit to the independent contractor GP model and invest accordingly, the LMCs conference has said.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP premises loan scheme to kick off with first round of applications

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 15:46
GPs in Scotland are being encouraged to apply for an interest-free secured premises loan as a scheme outlined in the new GP contract is launched.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Some GP practices having to review ‘over 1,000’ records due to Docman error

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 11/12/2018 - 09:46
Some GP practices have been left with ‘extraordinarily high numbers of documents to check’ following errors with the Docman system.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GPs need more time to discuss lifestyle changes with diabetes patients, says College

She said: "Prescribing is a core skill for GPs, and we are highly-trained to make decisions about a patient's care based on their individual needs, in their best interests, and in conversation with them.
"For many patients with diabetes, medication is essential to help them manage their condition and live a good quality of life.
"But we also know that making straightforward lifestyle changes, for example, eating a healthy and balanced diet, losing weight and exercising more can prevent, delay, or sometimes even reverse Type 2 diabetes.
"GPs and our teams will have these often quite sensitive conversations with our patients, but our profession is currently operating under intense resource pressures and there is a limit to what we can realistically do within the constraints of the standard 10-minute consultation – and offering longer appointments means offering fewer appointments at a time when patients are already waiting too long to see their GP.
"Ultimately, we need to see the delivery of NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises an extra £2.4bn for general practice and 5,000 more GPs, as well as our additional ask of £2.5bn extra a year as part of the forthcoming NHS long-term plan, to ensure we can give more time to all of our patients, including those with diabetes."
Categories: GP News

RCGP Wales says the findings of a report on IT in the Welsh NHS demonstrates the need to improve digital technology

Responding to a new report on the state of IT in the Welsh NHS, RCGP Wales has said its publication needs to "kickstart a process that improves digital technology in the Welsh NHS." The College has said data outages "can be extraordinarily disruptive", putting practices and patients in a difficult environment. The National Assembly for Wales' Public Accounts Committee has published a report entitled 'Informatics Systems in NHS Wales'. The report's findings include:
  • 21 NHS Wales data outages in the first 6 months of 2018 – one every 9 days
  • A slow pace of delivery of modern informatics systems across the NHS in Wales
  • Delays in the delivery of electronic patient records, risking making it outdated by the time it is achieved
Dr Peter Saul, RCGP Wales Joint Chair, said:

"Quite clearly this report raises some alarming findings about the weaknesses of IT in the Welsh NHS, findings which may look familiar to those working in it.

"Today, IT systems are as critical to clinicians as stethoscopes and scanners. Data outages can be extraordinarily disruptive for practices and for patients. They affect appointments, prescriptions and the nuts and bolts of a functioning practice and can take hours to recover from. Unfortunately these data outages are becoming all too common, leaving GPs scrambling to find solutions or workarounds while waiting rooms fill up.

"Embracing safe, reliable and innovative technology will be vital for the future of healthcare, but that will be undermined if the Welsh NHS cannot get its IT right. Whether it's the basics like appointment booking, or larger projects such as electronic prescribing or electronic patient records, we need IT that works.
"This report needs to kickstart a process that improves digital technology in the Welsh NHS, supporting and enabling practices to offer improved services for patients."

Dr Saul also highlighted the impact that IT migrations will have for many practices:

"It's also important to remember that many GP practices will soon be having to change the software they use in their practice, following NHS Wales' tendering process earlier in the year. This will add further disruption to the wider issues the report has identified, and the College is re-iterating its call for the Welsh Government to ensure practices get the support they need."
Categories: GP News

Government should review high cost of NHS-managed practices, say GPs

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Wed, 11/07/2018 - 16:57
GP representatives will be asked to vote on whether to urge the Government to undertake a review into the costs of health board-managed practices.
Categories: Business News, GP News

All-year NHS pressures 'no surprise' to hard-working GPs, says RCGP

"GPs and our teams make the vast majority of NHS patient contacts – more than 1million patients across the country, every day. Our service is the lifeblood of the NHS and without it, other sectors would crumble under patient demand. "Our emergency care colleagues are, as this analysis highlights, operating under enormous strains, but it is important to remember that GPs are also on the frontline of patient care and our profession - and our patients - are facing the impact of these pressures on a daily basis. "Health Secretary Matt Hancock, has said that preventing people from getting ill in the first place should be central to how the NHS works, but first of all we need a well-funded and well-equipped primary care system. This will alleviate pressures across the NHS and allow us to deliver care in the community where it is more cost-effective, and where our patients want it most. "That's why we need to see the delivery of NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises an extra 5,000 GPs and an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice, as well as our additional ask of another £2.5bn a year as part of the forthcoming NHS long term plan, to ensure our health service remains sustainable, across all sectors, both now and in the future."
Categories: GP News

LMCs conference to debate ‘wholesale’ new GMS contract

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 14:26
GP representatives from across England will vote on whether the BMA should completely renegotiate the GP contract for the first time since 2004.
Categories: Business News, GP News

GP leaders to vote on new workload limit of 1,500 patients per GP

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 14:25
England LMC leaders are set to vote on whether to instate a new limit of 1,500 registered patients per full-time GP at a conference later this month.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Firework incident causes GP surgery to shut

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 12:53
Thousands of patients have seen GP services disrupted by a fire caused by a firework at a practice in Staffordshire.
Categories: Business News, GP News

Social prescribing key in prevention agenda, says RCGP

"Not everyone will benefit from traditional medical care, and we know that encouraging patients to take up new hobbies or skills instead of more conventional approaches can have a hugely positive impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing. "Social prescribing is not a new phenomenon – it just hasn't had a name until recently – but benefits can include less medication being prescribed, fewer follow-up consultations, and more patients becoming actively involved in their own health. "The College has already welcomed the government's pledge to provide an extra £1.8m for community projects across the country by 2023, so it’s encouraging to see Mr Hancock build on this with his promise of a National Academy for Social Prescribing. It will be very interesting to see how it will work in practice, and we look forward to more details being announced. "Preventing people from becoming ill by emphasising the importance of preventative measures is a step in the right direction, but we need the right resources if we're going to be able to deliver far more of this kind of care. "The College has long been calling for every GP surgery to have access to a dedicated social prescriber to help with this work, for example, but it's imperative that ultimately, general practice is given the investment it needs. "We need to see NHS England's GP Forward View, which promises 5,000 more GPs and an extra £2.4bn a year for general practice, on top of our additional ask of another £2.5bn a year, delivered, in full, as soon as possible, so we can continue to deliver the care our patients need and deserve."
Categories: GP News

GP practices to receive top-up funding from CCG as Government slashes MPIG

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Tue, 11/06/2018 - 09:29
A number of GP practices are set to receive extra funding from their CCG to make up for the loss of their minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG) payments.
Categories: Business News, GP News

New medical school set to offer early exposure to general practice

Practice Business News from Pulse Today - Mon, 11/05/2018 - 16:06
University of Worcester's new medical school will champion general practice with the hope of producing more GPs.
Categories: Business News, GP News

RCGP celebrates GP and patient innovation with annual Bright Ideas Awards

The awards are part of the College's Bright Ideas project – an online platform where clinicians and patients can share ideas for small changes that can have a big impact on general practice. To be considered for an award, participants must demonstrate that their Bright Idea has improved primary care in one of several ways: by increasing patient satisfaction, reducing workload, making the practices more efficient OR improving staff morale There also two categories: The Pioneer Award recognises ideas that push the boundaries of general practice and the High Impact Award celebrates those who have taken a fresh approach to addressing the challenges currently facing primary care. This year, the winners are:
  • England (Pioneer): Dr Muhammed Akunjee created ProActiveGP Virtual Clinic, which makes contacting patients more efficient, automated, and safer. It also reduces face-to-face GP appointments through pre-emptive SMS messaging, freeing them up for patients with more pressing clinical needs
  • England (High Impact): Patient Shirley Bull introduced a low-cost method to reduce missed appointments using behavioural psychology
  • Northern Ireland (High Impact): Dr Rose McCullagh introduced a CBT pain management course in her practice, which has reduced long waiting times for treatment at a pain clinic
  • Scotland (Pioneer): Dr Shawkat Hasan has implemented a Career Start GP Programme - a two-year post designed for First5 GPs. The post lets GPs choose from a combination of studies alongside a traditional practice job, as well as protected time to undertake a specialist diploma if they want to
  • Wales (High Impact): Dr Sue Goodfellow created a more streamlined appointment system by putting senior clinicians on the frontline of triage. This means those with the greatest health need are dealt with first, and face-to face-appointment time is used more appropriately
  • Wales (Pioneer): Dr Arfon Williams, introduced a combination of several small, unassuming practice modifications, which together brought sustainable workload for the team, increased morale and increased patient satisfaction 
The College is organising training workshops across the UK to help GPs continue to improve and deliver high-quality care to their patients and adapt to the changing primary care landscape. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "Our Bright Ideas initiative is a real hub of activity and it's wonderful to see so many people, both GPs and patients alike, come together with the common goal of wanting to improve general practice and share those improvements freely. "The ideas might sometimes seem small and simple, but they have proven to be hugely effective and are already making a big difference to reduce GP workload, relieve wider pressures, and ultimately, improve patient care. "It's so important that new approaches are properly celebrated and shared, and I'm delighted that these, and others like them on our online platform, are being given the recognition they deserve."
Categories: GP News