LMC Conference 2016

There was an LMC Conference on Saturday 31st of January, which was a chance for  all the local medical committees to speak up about their concerns and issues with general practice. They spoke, debated and demanded, and came to the conclusion that government was not providing a solution, but we need to find one immediately.

 

One topic of conversation was talking about trying to find a solution to the spending issues around recruitment. And one thing that kept coming up was restrictions on agencies supplying staff.

 

Our Managing Director, Tawhid Juneja, commented on this in saying, “the government is saying they just want to use agencies who are on national frameworks. But the national frameworks are only secondary care, not primary care.

Therefore, we have clients not wanting to use us because we are not on the frameworks, which means us (alongside other agencies) cannot provide skilled Primary Care clinicians. But that will only create further issues when our clients do not have the nurses they need.”

 

Not only that, the government is also saying those nurses should be employed by what band they are on. Which we know by experience that if a nurse has the right skillset they can really benefit in certain healthcare environments that are struggling.

 

He went on to say “we propose that Urgent Care Centres should be treated separately to other practices and centres, and have no pigeon hole of band nurses. Because otherwise the UCC’s job of relieving A&E will not be able to function. And nurses will no skills would be there instead.”

 

We believe this because UCC’s need an affective team to perform its function. We recognise this first-hand from when we told the UCC’s that we could cost them a more effective solution of using Nurse Practitioners and Practice Nurses with minor injury skills.

 

We feel this is just another example of a system gone wrong and not thought through.

 

Please let us know your thoughts on this.

Or any thoughts you may have had from the day.

 

Email: work@primarycarepeople.co.uk

Christmas Time with General Practice

As we are entering the Christmas month, we are filled with festive cheer and busy days and nights running around headless in the cold! Although it is ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, we must be aware it is also the most busiest in every aspect!

To make sure everyone is aware of how their GP Practices will be available, we have put together some important information for patients and Practice managers.

We are all aware of ‘winter pressures’, which put a strain on all Primary Care services. So to ensure patients can get the best services;

Practices should ensure that:

  • patients are aware of any closures in advance by using surgery notices, and including messages on repeat prescriptions
  • arrangements are in place to ensure that repeat prescriptions are ordered and collected in a timely matter to avoid requests over the period of practice closure
  • answer phone messages should be changed at 18:30 on the afternoons of early closure – in particular – for opted out practices where there is a change from the sub-contracted provider to NHS 111

 

Helpful tips to prepare for the holiday period

In addition to the contractual guidance below, the following are suggestions for actions practices might consider to ensure your patients’ reasonable needs and your practices’ contractual obligations are met.

Following these tips will help to promote the smooth running of out of hours services and to ease pressures on your practice on days when the practice is open:

  • Minimise or avoid pre-booking advance appointments, particularly for non-essential services, from 23 December to 6 January
  • Minimise or avoid appointments for routine consultations, i.e. non-essential services from 23 December to 6 January
  • Ensure on any half day closing that a GP from the practice is contactable by the covering out of hours or other service in case of unforeseen queries
  • Advertise practice half day closing arrangements well in advance on prescription counterfoils, posters and other media at the practice, commencing as soon as possible if you have not already done so
  • Extend repeat prescriptions so they do not fall due during the period 23 December to 6 January
  • Ensure pharmacists collect “collection and delivery” prescriptions before the practice closes
  • Ensure patients on opiate substitution prescriptions have enough to cover practice closure periods and collect their prescriptions before closing
  • Ensure urgent lab tests carried out during this period have the clinical condition and phone number of the patient clearly on the form
  • Ensure special notes are sent to the out of hours organisation on vulnerable patients e.g. those without mental capacity, those with complex or terminal conditions and those where special arrangements are in place (e.g. GP to be informed during the out of hours period if patient dies)
  • Ensure residential and nursing home patients have repeat prescriptions, know the opening times and any sick patients have been reviewed before closing the practice [1]

We hope this helps you, and allows patients to know what to expect during this time of year.

Tis’ the season to be jolly after all!

[1] Bma.org.uk, (2015). BMA – GP Services During Holiday Period | British Medical Association. [online] Available at: http://bma.org.uk/support-at-work/gp-practices/service-provision/gp-services-during-holiday-period [Accessed 3 Dec. 2015].

 

RCGP Annual Conference, Glasgow 2015

We had a great couple of days at the RCGP Annual Conference in Glasgow last week!

We wanted to say a big thank you to all those that came by to see us. We met some wonderful people, and we are very excited for Primary Care People’s future.

We are delighted to have joined new GP’s to our team, and to understand what future GP’s desire. All-in-all, it was an extremely great Exhibition, which we enjoyed thoroughly.

We even had the opportunity to sit in on some lectures and speeches which we found most informative. We also got to exhibit on our brand new stand which is a sneak peek of things to come for our brand.

We hope you all enjoyed your trip also. If you did manage to miss us please contact us today so we can introduce ourselves and find out about your conference experience!

Primary Care People

Caring For You, So You Can Care For Others

Patients Need Medically Trained Staff and Not Call Centre Trainees Says Primary Care People

Patients Need Medically Trained Staff and Not Call Centre Trainees Says Primary Care People

An investigation by the Daily Mail has revealed that call centre staff, often with just three weeks of training and not qualified as medically trained practitioners, have been advising people on the NHS Out of Hours Hotline.

The hotline, which replaced NHS Direct, was set up to deal with urgent cases and the newspaper reports on the tragedy of two young children who died owing to mis diagnoses by people who missed serious symptoms and who were following a computer tick box system rather than referring worried parents to a nurse or doctor.

The investigation also discovered a worryingly few number of nurses were on standby for 2.3million people and over half a million sick patients couldn’t reach anyone at all, resulting in 75% of calls going unanswered.

Hertfordshire based medical recruitment company Primary Care People has been recruiting and providing nurses and doctors for the NHS since 2013. Tawhid Juneja the company’s founder and MD says “The investigation is truly shocking and will worry patients throughout the UK who depend on the services of the NHS, especially for their children and the sick and elderly. It’s no secret that there has been a shortfall of nurses and doctors in the NHS for some time and never moreso than for out of hours services.

“We completely understand the enormous pressures that NHS staff have to cope with and the genuine concerns of patients who urgently want to get the services they need.

With this in mind, some time ago we set up a 24/7 out of hours service, which covers weekdays and weekends, so that we can always provide nurses and doctors on call at relatively short notice. We have very strict medical criteria for the doctors and nurses we have on our database and in an emergency we can provide help for practices and centres who may be understaffed and under pressure.

“The only long term solution is for the NHS to ensure that across the board there are enough Out of Hours staff to cope with demand and not just in A&E departments which are already overloaded. It’s neither fair on patients nor for the call centre staff who are not medically trained to take responsibility for sometimes life and death decisions, as we have seen in the papers today.”

250 Clinical Pharmacists to Help GP’s

There has been a three year programme put in place to encourage pharmacists to help out GP practices. Within three years the programme has targeted for there to be 250 clinical Pharmacists.

NHS England will part-fund these staff, with additional funding from practices, to help relieve workload pressure on GPs and provide a wider range of services for patients. They will be employed directly by practices, to help with issues such as; managing long-term conditions, giving advice for those with multiple medications, and better access to health checks.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: ‘Tapping into the skills of clinical pharmacists should help expand care and relieve some of the pressure that GPs are clearly under. This isn’t a silver bullet but it is a practical and constructive contribution to the wider challenge.’ [1]

Dr Maureen Baker also commented on the new plan to reinforce the idea that they will not be replacing GP’s but more dealing with medicinal issues that could go without wasting GP’s time.

Some practices have implemented this already and running pilots to see if the scheme works. The question is; will these help out the pressures GP’s are facing?

It does seem that they are more than qualified to help with more, but perhaps it is the patients that need to be made aware of this.

Let us know your thoughts.

[1] Gponline.com,. ‘NHS England Unveils £15M Fund To Employ Pharmacists In GP Practices | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 July 2015.

Will a 7 Day NHS Work?

Since the recent conservative win in the election David Cameron wasted no time in diving head first into the discussion of creating a seven day a week NHS. However this has caused a stir amongst healthcare professionals, especially GPC Chairman Dr Nagpaul.

However numerous people have the same view. As a medical recruitment company we saw many people upset with the conservative win. However we also saw others excited by the premises of a seven day NHS and GP Surgeries opening up to 8am – 8pm.

The conservatives have promised a recruit of 5,000 extra GP’s which would help drive their new plans. However some GP’s believe this to be impossible.

Dr Nagpaul said;

“I call upon the prime minister to jettison the political pipe dreams of tomorrow and get real about how we resource, resuscitate and rebuild general practice today. It’s absolutely pointless promising 5,000 extra GPs within this parliament if we lose 10,000 GPs retiring in the same period.”

Dr Nagpaul is joining those on the pessimistic side who wants a realistic change and wants it now. He went on further to say;

“Ministers must halt their surreal obsession for practices to open seven days when there aren’t the GPs to even cope with current demands…The newly elected government must wake up to this alarming reality not only because it will fail dismally in its manifesto pledge for 5,000 extra GPs, but crucially because unless it turns this around we won’t have a comprehensive general practice service in parts of the UK.

However fighting the success of the new plans was The Department of Health who said it was an “overly negative, pessimistic view…Thousands of GPs across the country are already offering patients GP access seven days a week – by next March, a third of the country will be covered.”

If that is true than perhaps the seven days a week GP access is something professionals believe to be important and a vital step in progressing past this current healthcare crisis.

They went on further to say;

“We have made it very clear that we will train 5,000 more GPs and have backed the NHS’s own plan for the future by investing the £8bn it needs to transform care closer to home.”

The question we ask is – do we stay focused on this long term goal? Or is the state of Primary Care too dyer to afford waiting any longer for change that could happen now?

Please let us know your thoughts if you think a 7 day NHS is possible, and is it the way forward?

Why Be a Salaried GP?

After the issues that have brewed with the NHS and the shortage of GP’s, general practitioners have realized that there may be a better way to do the job they love to do. We found a solution to the answer by providing salaried positions to General Practitioners. There are numerous benefits as to why this could solve some of the issues surrounding the career, and be of a huge benefit to the said GP!

  1. Stability

heaven gif No more concerns, or worries about what the future may hold, or the stress you may feel within a practice. As a Salaried GP you will have a stable work environment, and find your place in a hardworking team. You will also have financial stability; knowing you have a guaranteed job and income, on fixed terms arranged by yourself. Not to mention having a structured working week, making it easier to plan social engagements, childcare etc.

  1. Fixed Commitment

so good gif While your employer can request that you do an extra shift, you do not have to accept, and they cannot demand that you provide the extra cover. Your main commitment will be to clinical work, and many doctors prefer this – managing other employees, dealing with the upkeep of the building, keeping an eye on the accounts will not be your responsibility.

  1. Extra Benefits

love-this-job MDU fees are paid for you, alongside your highly paid annum salary. Paid annual leave, sickness and maternity benefits.

  1. Less Stress

need to relax gif In a salaried role the GP can focus on the clinical work and won’t have to worry or deal with the responsibilities of a partner.

  1. Continuity

good-challenging-messy-3 Having a perm positions means that relationships can be built with the same patients. Training and development will be accessible also, all with no strings attached should It ever come to the GP wanting to leave the practice. Contact us today to find out more about what Salaried positions we can do for you! Call: 0203 137 2114 Email: applications@primarycare-jobs.co.uk

Has Your Vote Been Swayed Medically?

With the election looming the parties have decided to take on the subject of the NHS and GP shortages to get all our attentions. These have been hot topics for the media and the country the last year. For parties to use this as a bribe is something we must all be skeptical of. But, has it swayed your vote? And, do you believe a certain party could make a difference?

Labour has pledged £2.5bn to pay for 8,000 more GPs, guaranteeing appointments within 48 hours. Mr Burnham said the last Labour government had introduced an extended-hours scheme which, in 2009, funded 77% of surgeries to open on evenings and weekends.

Whereas Labour’s Mr Hunt said figures were wrong, because they did not take into account the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund, which covers 1,100 practices and helps 7.5 million patients see a GP in the evenings and at weekends. “We are extending this scheme to cover over 1,400 additional practices, helping 10 million extra people by this time next year,” he said, adding that a Conservative government would deliver “a truly seven-day NHS”.

Yet, the Lib Dems also pointed to a £50m GP Access Fund, which they say helped 1,147 practices to extend their hours last year. Party election spokesman Lord Scriven said: “The Liberal Democrats are the only party prepared to commit to spending the £8bn extra the NHS says it needs to survive.”

But who is really interested in the NHS and GP’s? Is politics even the answer? What do you think?

Pharmacists Could Improve GP Surgeries

We were skeptical when we heard about the pharmacists to help out GP surgeries; could it be just another rouse to throw over a problem?

However after considering the benefits that could be reaped, and understanding the direction GP surgeries will be taking, this step could have been inevitable. And, quite possibly, maybe the only choice the NHS has right now.

Although, despite all of this, pharmacists could also truly improve GP surgeries with their expertise.

Ravi Sharma spoke about her assistance as a pharmacist within a GP surgery. The article discusses the numerous benefits pharmacists can bring towards helping in these surgeries.

They say that the move will improve patient safety and care and, crucially, reduce waiting times for GP appointments.

GP surgeries will be expanding in the future as A&E needs to have stress taken off of their services. However, since there has now been a shortage in GP’s there needs to be an incentive for studying doctors to pursue primary care. There also needs to be extra help in the surgeries, WIC, and UCC’s. One realistic first step is to have pharmacists help out. Most pharmacists are located next to/near a GP surgery, therefore this seems like an idea that could potentially have a long term success.

It is believed that practice based pharmacists could relieve pressures and make a real difference to patient care.

Currently with an over-stretched GP workforce, this could be a solution that would benefit those who seek medical remedies and monitoring of long term illnesses.

“Pharmacists can also work with GPs to resolve day-to-day medicine issues and with practice teams to provide advice on medicines to care homes, as well as visiting patients in their own homes when needed…It’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned. The NHS simply can’t afford to wait any longer to create capacity in the system. We must be more strategic and change the services on offer to make best use of the NHS workforce.” [1]

A consensus that has been reached seems to be that patients could start receiving high quality care through the help of Pharmacists. Therefore perhaps this really is the correct step to take at this point for the sake of patients.

A lot of patients already use A&E as their go-to, but really most patients could be seen by a GP, and more often-than-not, a Nurse, and now also a Pharmacist.

In regards to the shortages of General Practitioners, The RCGP is calling for an increase in the NHS budget for general practice to be increased to 11% by 2017 – it is currently just over 8% – and for 8,000 more GP’s in England by the end of the next parliament.

Please let us know your thoughts.

[1] Medical News Today, (2015). Pharmacists set to work in GP surgeries in radical move to ease pressures on general practice and improve patient care, UK. [online] Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/290999.php 

Would Nurse Training Be Beneficial?

The Nursing Times discussed something that has been on our mind lately too – Nurse training.

We have asked our candidates about this, and tried to get a feel for what nurses are after and how they feel towards training and their options throughout their career.

What has been established by The Nursing Times is;

Nurses and other health service staff should be offered more leadership training opportunities within their own organisations to help transform models of care in the way outlined in NHS England’s five-year plan, according to a health think-tank. [1]

For those that may not know, the NHS five-year plan aimed to have most healthcare professionals to be open to furthering their skills, responsibilities and careers. What we want to know is – do any workers in the primary care sector feel they have room to branch out should they want?

And do you feel training is the answer to many problems the NHS face?

Finally, we are also interested in what training you think would be valuable to have.

Please let us know your thoughts: socialmedia@primarycare-jobs.co.uk

[1] Merrifield, N. (2015). Better leadership training for nurses needed to change care models. Nursingtimes.net. Available at: http://www.nursingtimes.net/home/specialisms/leadership/better-leadership-training-for-nurses-needed-to-change-care-models/5082475.article