Happy 2016!

Now we enter the new year we want to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and let clients and candidates alike know what exciting things we have to look forward to this year.

Primary Care People will be holding our first annual Summer charity ball for our charity partner Sense. This will kick-off with a volunteer day we have booked in with them soon at the Stables, where we get to meet our rescue donkeys, Bonnie and Clyde!

Our sponsorship is also in place with The RCGP so we will be assisting them in working with Practice Manager’s in their workshops on running your own practice. We will also be presenting and sponsoring this years 20th Research Paper; RCGP and Primary Care People Research Paper of the Year Award.

We will be attending a lot more events this year so you shall expect to see us there! We will also be running for more awards, moving into another new office, and growing evermore as a company.

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.”

Medical Students Driven To Suicidal Thoughts

No matter what area of study you decide to learn and commit to, your time and life is absorbed. Students are consistently feeling under pressure, and some even face depression. Medical students are no exception when it comes to their years of learning and training.

A study in Student BMJ had recently published the findings that one in seven medical students have thought about committing suicide whilst studying.

They had 1,122 UK based respondents to the poll, which represents around 2% of all medical students in the UK…more than 80% of those with mental health issues felt they got poor or barely adequate support from their medical schools, and around one in seven (almost 15%;167) said that they had considered committing suicide while studying at medical school. [1]

The study also highlighted other attributes of struggle, such as; drinking, smoking and taking drugs. What seemed interesting is that some of them even took ‘smart drugs’ to help with their revision.

This highlights the struggles that all students face when it comes to the pressures of examination. Looking at medical students in particular is interesting because it could be argued they know what they are doing to their body, but choose to use them because of the pressure. Another argument is, they go into medicine to potentially save lives, and one in seven consider taking their own.

Furthermore, because they are medical students they may feel they cannot report their issues as they may be deemed unfit for practice. Which would in turn also affect their results in a negative way.

It is a combat of emotions for medical students who have numerous exams, and have to get used to the emotional side of dealing with sick patients regularly.

Perhaps this is the best time to open this discussion as the New Year starts for students. To hopefully have lecturers and tutors discuss the approach they have to mental health, and the wellbeing of medical students.

If you have suffered, please let us know your story.

Or please share any thoughts you may have in regards to this study.

[1] Onmedica.com,. ‘Onmedica – News – One In Seven UK Medical Students Has Thought About Committing Suicide’. N.p., 2015.

Charging Patients To See Their GP To Save NHS

I think both patients and healthcare professionals have quite simply had enough when it comes to discussions on how to save the NHS.

GP’s, Nurses and admin staff all work extremely hard, and patients pay their taxes for their healthcare. The government however are not holding up their end of the deal when it comes to managing their finances, listening to the public. In turn they promise false expectations that will double the trouble.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has published a report which contains stark warnings that the NHS is not on track to achieve the efficiency savings that the government is seeking from it – £22billion to plug the £30billion gap in its finances by 2020. [1]

Now they are going so far as to say that the NHS has three options:

  • new charges, such as a charge for patients to use some services such as a flat rate contributory fee to see the doctor (including GP’s) or paying a proportion of treatment costs.
  • reduce services
  • increase funding

Instead they are taking more from those who did not ask for this problem. In each aspect they are suggesting they take away. Because the only option that gives (increase funding) just asks where will the extra money come from? Especially if they are in extreme financial trouble.

The debates and discussions on what would be best for the NHS and GP’s have been endless. We have exhausted ourselves and seen professionals defeated, without having their voice heard.

Realistically we understand the Government needs to listen to those in the environment and start gauging their spend with those who know where it is needed most.

Let us know your thoughts on this.

[1] Onmedica.com,. ‘Onmedica – News – GP Charges Needed For NHS To Achieve Savings’. N.p., 2015. Web. 6 Aug. 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

Will The NHS Ever Recover?

Every day the media still manages to find another hole in the NHS that needs covering, and another party manages to propose an answer to all the problems. But will the NHS ever truly be in a stable state again?

With GP and Nurse shortages running high along the news stories also, the moral panic for the healthcare system is at an all time high.

But there is reason this time to be wary of the NHS’s future. The Kings Fund charity has ran its regular report on how the NHS is performing and noted that the finances have shown an “alarming deterioration”. And furthermore, that there is “considerable scepticism” regarding the achievability of the £22bn target for productivity improvements outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

It would appear that hospitals and NHS providers have overspent by £800 million. And we wonder why there’s financial problems…But like most economic situations, it’s a vicious cycle. Therefore all we really know for certain when it comes to the NHS, is that the struggle is true and will be long.

What we all need to do is find a solution. If patients can have an accessible place to go with their primary care problems, then staff can work in the environment where they are performing the work they signed up to do. Although healthcare environments will never be calm, or easy, there hopefully can be less pressure placed on the staff.

Instead of wanting to retire at the end of the day, GP’s and Nurses will just feel satisfied in their hard work.

However the health charity warned of no such luck to progress in the next 2 years.

This quarter’s survey of NHS provider finance directors and CCG finance leads revealed that:

  • for the third consecutive quarter, staff morale tops trust finance directors’ lists of concerns
  • fewer than half (45%) of trusts feel confident that they will achieve the productivity targets for 2015-16
  • 90% of trust financial directors and 85% of commissioners are concerned about the financial state of their local health economies
  • there is a mismatch in expectations about demand for services between providers and commissioners; for example, 80% of trusts expect emergency admissions to rise this year, while 60% of CCGs expect them to fall
  • about three-quarters (75%) of trusts and two-thirds (68%) of CCGs think there is a high or very high risk of failing to achieve the productivity gains over the next five years outlined by the NHS five year forward view.

Richard Murray, Director of policy at The King’s Fund warned: “The health service enters the new financial year facing some of the biggest financial and performance challenges in its recent history. If last year was the most difficult for some time, this year promises to be much worse, with little confidence that the alarming deterioration in NHS finances can be arrested.”

He added: “Looking further ahead, while there is still significant scope to improve productivity in the NHS, efficiencies are becoming harder to generate and there is considerable scepticism that the £22bn in productivity improvements outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View can be achieved.” [1]

Whilst this doesn’t leave much room for improvement, and certainly a lack in positive attitude, we must prepare ourselves for many more months of panic and unhappy healthcare staff.

If you have any comments or advice for what you would suggest please get in touch!

[1] Onmedica.com,. ‘Onmedica – News – NHS Faces Greatest Challenges In Recent History’. N.p., 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2015.

7 Reasons To Be a GP

With the shortage of General Practitioners still being an issue in the Primary Care sector, we came to think about why there is a shortage? And if it’s the NHS that’s causing you trouble, or the government, why not take a moment to think about the ideal life as a locum GP.

We took the liberty of accumulating the dream life for you…

1. VarietySo much choice!

The_limit_does_not_exist

GP’s have a full range of medical, psychological, social problems. Not to mention enjoying different practices which will allow you opportunities to work with different GPs, and treat different patients. This will help you build more relationships and gain more skills enabling you to have a better career.

 

2. Independence All decisions are up to you!

tumblr_n0y9qoWqU31qlrsi6o1_500

Considerable day-to-day autonomy, you choose when & where. Which also allows for a better work life and personal life balance.


3. Money –
Basically, lots of it.

tumblr_n55qknLmvS1rkcttho1_500

Value with portfolio work too, but you’re also looking at £200K a year!

4. More clinicalin a nutshell less paper work

tumblr_na71xnxA4Q1rcmk8po8_250

5. Time Off – Good opportunity to take time off and recover from registrar year.

relax gif

Not to mention, NO EXAMS!!

6. Helping People – You’re the savior really.

Supermand

The profession can be rewarding and self-fulfilling. You’re responsible for helping and maintaining the health of a large group of people of all ages. You can relieve someone’s pain, deliver a newborn, detect health problems that may otherwise go unnoticed and make referrals to see specialists for further testing and care.

 

7. Power – And lets not forget to be a GP in general is underrated…they know about everything. 

king of the world gif

Since general practitioners don’t specialize in certain areas, they diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses, diseases and other ailments that affect all parts of the body…so they basically hold all the power.

As you can see life of a Locum GP is one not to missed out on. Even a salaried life as a GP seems pretty darn great, are we right?

Get in touch today to see why!

Call: 0203 137 2114

Email: socialmedia@primarycare-jobs.co.uk