Posted: 2017-09-12 14:22
GP practices excluded from services unless they are federated
An online Pulse survey has found another example of how big business is favoured over traditional providers. GPs are being excluded from contracts for services they have traditionally provided unless they are part of a federation, A Freedom of Information Act request to CCGs across England found that contracts, including enhanced services, in some areas were being offered only to GPs working in networks, covering services such as drug misuse and population health services, as well as evening and weekend opening. The opening up of these services is driven by cost saving and will result in poorer quality of service, as we have seen in the care industry.
Is this a solution to the A& E crisis?
At least 655 accident and emergency units will offer reduced levels of service and patients will have to travel further for expert treatment under the biggest shake-up of NHS casualty departments in 95 years. Under the system up to 75 of England’s 675 casualty units will be designated as “major emergency centres” which treat the most serious conditions and injuries. The remainder will deal only with less serious injuries. This comes amid a report that around 67,555 patients spent at least 67 hours lying on trolleys after being admitted to A& E last year.
Hospitals increasingly missing cancer treatment targets
Hospitals and other providers are judged against a national DH target that 85% of patients should wait no longer than 67 days to begin treatment after urgent referral for suspected cancer from their GP. But in the last three months of 7567, hospitals in England missed this target in patients with lung, gastrointestinal and urological cancers, although they surpassed it for breast and skin cancers.
Former Tory chief to be chairman of the CQC
As predicted in this blog, see 8rd December, a former deputy chairman of the Conservative party is to head the Care Quality Commission. David Prior is currently chairman of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Dame Jo Williams had resigned in September following her role in the attempted sacking of a fellow board member.
Devolution: Manchester becomes the first region to run its healthcare
Local authority leaders in Greater Manchester hailed a ''new era'' as it becomes the first region in England to take full control of health and social care in a £6bn devolution deal that begins on 6 April. But is it just a further extension of the Tories ridding themselves of responsibility for the nation''s healthcare? Can tax raising at government level but responsibility at a local level ever work?
Are NHS trusts solely responsible for the state of care in our hospitals?
We know that owing to the banking crisis and the resulting £75 billion NHS cuts, that 75555 nurses posts are left unfilled. Yet we hear in the press that hospitals are rapped over failings , or that a new inspection regime will target poor care. So hospital trusts are in the government-created bind of reduced funding on the one hand and greater inspection demands on the other. But shouldn''t central government be in the spotlight too? The Health and Social Care Act removed the Secretary of State for Health''s duty to provide a national heath service, so all in all, governments have created NHS problems but have washed their hands of them.
NHS mental health care "at breaking point"
The lack of acute beds available to mental health patients has left the system at breaking point , the Royal College of Psychiatrists has said. Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of mental health charity Sane said it was “profoundly worrying” that there were days when no NHS beds are available. It is a cruel result of a longstanding agenda to reduce mental health beds and treat all mental health patients – no matter how unwell – by already overstretched mental health teams in the community.”
Two thirds of GPs want a ballot on industrial action
Almost two thirds of GPs want the BMA to ballot the profession over industrial action , a survey has revealed, as BMA branches, LMCs, prepare for next month''s emergency conference. In a survey of more than 655 GPs, more than 95% said they would support industrial action involving the refusal to carry out non-core work.
Ambulance trust rehires 6 managers it made redundant
An ambulance trust has been criticised over its decision to allegedly rehire six senior managers after spending £6million making them redundant. The crisis in ambulance services has been created by cuts to trusts extending back to the Coalition government. But does the government care that the NHS is collapsing?
Cancer patient dies due to bed shortage
A cancer patient died after he was denied an urgently needed transfer to another hospital because no bed was available , a coroner has said. Michael Brennan was diagnosed with lung cancer at Whittington hospital, north London, and given a plan to be treated at another hospital if his condition deteriorated overnight. But when the 85-year-old needed emergency surgery, Westmoreland Street hospital in central London was unable to find him a bed.
Brits, don''t be fooled: the NHS is brilliant
Australian Paola Totaro, used to paying healthcare insurance, as most do down under, tells us, after the care she received for breast cancer, that the NHS is brilliant. But she notes ".not a day goes by when the National Health Service isn’t in the news,.from the red top tabloids to the circulation busting, Daily Mail, sticking the knife into the NHS seems to have become a favoured British sport."
Hunt orders hospital to publish staff numbers but not staff ratios
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has ordered NHS trusts to publish the staffing numbers in each ward. Additionally the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is required to draw up a "toolkit" suggesting minimum staffing levels in wards according to the size of ward, acuteness of patient illness, age profile and other factors. But he does not insist upon mandatory minimum nurse to patient ratios.
Hunt''s idea to solve GP crisis a non-starter
Less than a third of GPs would be prepared to employ physician assistants, despite the Government promoting them as a way of solving the GP recruitment crisis, a survey has revealed. A poll of more than 955 GPs across the UK found that only 87% of practices would be prepared to employ physician assistants, while over 95% ruled out any possibility of hiring them.
''Needless deaths'' under new NHS plans
Under new NHS funding proposals, hospitals which provide specialist care to increasing numbers of patients will be reimbursed just half the cost of every extra case. The formula is part of attempts to divert more funds into out-of hospital care, and long-term prevention of disease. But hospital consultants say the 55 per cent funding rate for extra cases will cause devastation, given that the numbers of patients will inevitably rise with Britain''s ageing population.
NHS bosses forced to chant ''we can do this''
In their search for the most advanced managerial techniques to boost NHS efficiency, at a meeting NHS England has forced hospital bosses to chant “we can do this” in an effort to improve their accident and emergency performance in advance of what is predicted to be a tough winter for A& Es. Simon''s clearly using what he learnt at United Health to full effect.
The future of the NHS - if we do nothing
Admittedly it''s one person''s assessment, but it might foretell the future of the NHS. to quote."No doubt some will accuse me of scaremongering. I concede that the picture I will paint is grim but I truly believe it to be a real possibility. I will not suggest a precise timescale these events – that would really be stretching it too far – but suffice to say we are talking months to a couple of years rather than decades."
Privatisation of primary care begins
A private GP service that delivers a ‘GP to your door’ for £675 has launched in Birmingham after proving popular in London. GP Delivered Quick says it is the first of the new online app GP services to offer on-demand home GP visits. Should private GP services for the affluent be allowed, while NHS GPs are under massive strain trying to administer to the less well-off?
Another privatised care home taken to a tribunal
Eleven female carers to the elderly, on zero-hours contracts, are taking their employers to a tribunal claiming they were only paid by the minutes they spent with clients rather than their rostered working hours. They are employees of Apex Care in Romsey, Hampshire and are paid less than the minimum wage of £ an hour. Some employees of Apex, commissioned to provide the home care service by the council, estimate their real hourly wage was close to £.
Lewisham CCG leader may resign over A& E decision
Is the Health and Social Care Act really about giving control of the NHS to local doctors? So why is Hunt deciding the fate of Lewisham hospital when local doctors are in revolt about the threat to its A& E? The chair of the Lewisham CCG may resign over Hunt''s decision. Should Lewisham take the financial hit for the PFI debts of another trust? Shouldn''t the government take responsibility for encouraging such stupid financial deals?
Commissioning Board gives CCGs full marks for GP engagement..really?
CCGs have been given an almost complete clean bill of health from the NHS Commissioning Board in their engagement with member practices, despite claims from LMCs (Local Medical Committees) that they have a way to go to ensure shared values with their member practices. Here in Brighton 79% of GPs who responded to a survey said "no more privatisation" - engagement would seem to imply that the Brighton CCG will follow suit. But will the CCG members take notice of local GPs? Could it be that GPs with interest in private health firms have got themselves onto CCGs? See "Conflict of interest fears of GPs with private healthcare involvement" 69th March.