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

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.

Music Can Reduce Pain For Surgery!

Music has always been discussed as being powerful, with the ability to help trigger brain power and personal emotions. Well, now it seems to be able to aid patients who undergo surgery.

A study has been done by Queen Mary University of London who found that patients who listened to music during surgery didn’t need as much pain relief as others, and were less anxious about the procedure.

These patients were put under general anesthetic, but still found it had an impact on reducing stress and pain. Although it did not speed up recovery, the process was less painful. Therefore the scientists propose that the NHS advise patients to bring a music playing device with them when they are due for surgery.

The team reviewed 70 trials, involving about 7,000 patients around the time of surgery, comparing a wide variety of mostly “soothing” music…The researchers are following up this work with a study at the Royal London Hospital in the autumn. About 40 women having either a Cesarean section or a hysteroscopy will be given the chance to have their playlist connected to a pillow with in-built loudspeakers. [1]

This may be an interesting result to monitor, however, there is of course the argument that music during surgery is distracting. However, if the music can be played without bothering the medical team it should not be an issue.

The team also made the point that music is non-evasive, and since patients are the people having the surgery, they should be given the option.

Let us know what your thoughts are.

[1] BBC News,. ‘Music ‘Reduces Pain And Anxiety’ For Surgery Patients – BBC News’. N.p., 2015. Web. 13 Aug. 2015.

What Do You Think of a 7-Day NHS?

After pilots being run of a 7 Day NHS, GP Online have discussed one success and one failure.

The Greater Manchester area had a huge success with their pilot reducing 8% of flow to A&E. The success means that they want to implement a 7-Day NHS by the end of 2015. The scheme will be extended to cover 2.8 million people.

The success rate of Great Manchester trialing the scheme meant that they were equal to a saving of £425,000. Bury’s scheme showed a 38% reduction in GP out-of-hours use and improved patient satisfaction.

Chief officer for Greater Manchester health and social care devolution, Ian Williamson, said: ‘Devolution hasn’t created these new seven-day systems of working – but it can help to propel those results quicker across Greater Manchester, through a cemented regional partnership, increased freedoms and flexibilities to make local decisions – and less bureaucratic impediments.’ [1]

However Yorkshire also attempted the scheme but had to close down early due to lack of patient demand.

The RCGP warned that the decision showed that seven-day GP services would not be valued in all areas across England, calling into question prime minister David Cameron’s pledge to roll out seven-day access to GPs nationwide by 2020.

Dr McCarron-Nash warned; ‘Holes are opening up in other parts of the service,’ she said. ‘Ethically that is extremely dubious. You are destabilising in-hours services for a service that isn’t even having its slots filled. What a waste of taxpayers’ money”.

Clearly the scheme is only needed in the patient demand areas that may truly benefit from it. However with a shortage of GP’s there needs to be a process to ensure they are found and placed in the right area.

However;

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker said: ‘Seven-day access to GP surgeries will be used and valued in some areas, but not everywhere, which is why it is essential that CCGs have the autonomy to tailor services to the needs of their local population.

‘The prime minister’s Challenge Fund is a welcome source of funding for general practice at a time when resources are scare and we have a severe shortage of family doctors. But GPs should be free to use these resources where they are most needed.’ [2]

We want to know what you think; is the scheme worthwhile in particular areas? Or do we need look at why there is higher patient demands?

Let us know your thoughts.

[1] Gponline.com,. ‘Seven-Day GP Service For 2.8M Patients In Manchester Devolution Plan | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 2015.

[2] Gponline.com,. ‘Seven-Day GP Pilots Branded Unethical As Yorkshire Service Closes | Gponline’. N.p., 2015. Web. 12 June 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?

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 

NHS Staff; Are You Afraid To Speak?

Recent reports are starting to ask if the NHS pressures have resulted in intimidating their staff into not speaking out about their problems at work.

This is an interesting topic to discuss, because the staff are always the heart of the healthcare environment.

It has been said that a ‘significant proportion of NHS workers would not raise concerns – either because they were afraid of the potential consequences, or because they felt nothing would be done.’ [1]

We want to know if you feel this is you? Do you feel your voice isn’t heard? Or, do you feel it wouldn’t make a difference if it was?

The same report stated that workers were scared to voice their opinions due to fear of bullying even. The very fact that staff are at conflict with each other shows the real severity that lies within NHS environments. In some cases staff feel so intimidated that there has been a rise in suicide rates.

We still hope that the NHS is finding solutions to it’s problems. But something that needs attention internally is clearly not thought about often, if at all.

So please let us know your concerns.

Do you feel unappreciated or intimidated in your position?

Please leave your comments, or email us at: marketing@primarycare-jobs.co.uk

[1] BBC News, (2015). NHS staff ‘afraid to speak out’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31362196

GP’s How Has The NHS Affected You?

Once more there has been a report on the endless debate of the NHS, the changes that were made, the pro’s and con’s, the excuses and the judgement’s. But haven’t we all just had enough? Isn’t time we stop staring at the evident statement that we need a resolution, and instead actually put one in place.

What we are more interested in is the affects it has had on the GP’s. Labours argument always spoke on how they wanted GP’s to have more input over how the budge was spent. But it seems to us they got forgotten about. GP’s are the ones who deal with the patients, not those in parliament.

Secondly, and most importantly, patient care has been neglected. We are all familiar now to the stress of patient waiting time, overcrowded A&E, and patients struggling to see their GP. Everyone has collectively managed to recognize how the changes completely forgot about the sole purpose of the NHS; caring for patients. Both GP, nurses and patients have all suffered due to the changes made, and those in government have spent the last couple years debating about which one of them is right and wrong.

It’s time the focus returned and remain where it initially needed to be. With elections around the corner the political parties are being loud and clear on their intentions to help the NHS, but not many are making strict promises on how they intend to do so.

Dr Mark Porter, head of the British Medical Association (BMA) said the changes were “opposed by patients, the public and NHS staff, but politicians pushed through the changes regardless…The damage done to the NHS has been profound and intense, but what is needed now is an honest and frank debate over how we can put right what has gone wrong without the need for another unnecessary and costly top-down reorganisation.” [1]

Dr Porter is correct in what needs to be done for the NHS, but we care about what the staff and patients on the working floor want to be achieved from here on out? Quite clearly we can see we need to listen to the voices of GP’s and Nurse’s who work within the environment, who know what would make the process easier. So please, share with us, what is it you believe needs to be done?

Please comment your thoughts, or email our marketing team to discuss how this has impacted you.

marketing@primarycare-jobs.co.uk

[1] BBC News, (2015). Radical NHS changes ‘disastrous’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31145600

Are the NHS Causing Nurses Stress?

We believe it’s safe to say we are all waiting for resolutions to fall in place to fix the issues that the NHS are facing. A&E has been in the headline for months, and the debates have been snowballing as a result. With a sense of unease and uncertainty being up in the air staff have had to continue to do the best they can, and perform their job regardless.

Of course we have also heard from numerous doctors and nurses, who have opened the public’s eyes to what is now an evermore stressful environment to work in.

The number of nurses taking time off due to stress has soared as the NHS has struggled to cope with rising demand for care…health unions that the NHS’s 400,000 nurses are being stretched to breaking point as a result of having to work more demanding and longer shifts at a time when under-staffing and the increasing complexity of illnesses add to pressures. [1]

Statistics continue to be quite surprising when we consider the amount of Nurses who have suffered as a result of the NHS cuts and mistakes. It was also noted that in ‘London, almost 1,500 nurses at 31 NHS trusts took time off because of stress during 2014…that meant that one in every 29 nurses were off ill with stress. The 1,497 nurses took an average of 38 days off for stress’ [2]. Representatives have argued that it is both doctors and nurses who need time off because of the NHS failing to provide their staff with the 24-hour services.

How heartbreaking it must be for doctors and nurses to walk away from their job to care because they are not being cared for, because they cannot care for their patients properly, and the institution they work for has caused this stress for them.

Furthermore because they are NHS employees, they are costing the NHS more money by not being able to provide their services. This loop around is an never-ending chaotic mess. ‘Over 30% of all NHS sick leave is caused by stress, which is believed to cost the service up to £400m a year in lost productivity and the cost of replacing stressed staff.’ [3]

It is quite clear that once the NHS put some proactive amendments in place, further implications will begin to resolve as a result. But the question still remains, when will that be? And, how do they expect to fix this?

If you are a nurse, or doctor, who has suffered from stress lately, please let us know your thoughts.

[1] Kirk, A. (2015). Nurses at breaking point as number off work with stress soars. The Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/17/nurses-nhs-stress-leave-staff-breaking-point

[2] Ibid

[3] Ibid

Cancer really is just bad luck

A new study has shown that some cancers are down to just a bad chance rather than genetic mutations.

Dr. Bert Vogelstein and Cristian Tomasetti, PhD, publish their findings in the journal Science. Researchers claim 65% of cancer cases are a result of random DNA mutations, while the remaining 35% can be explained by a combination of these mutations and environmental and hereditary factors. [1]

However, the researchers are not denying that lifestyle does not affect the chance of some cancers. Smoking, drinking and poor diet can still progress to the disease.

Cancer research still heavily believe in warning against the remaining third chances, such as; sun exposure, being overweight, etc. We must still take care of ourselves to avoid damaging our cells even further, despite the possibilities of still simply receiving some bad luck.

The researchers explained how this ‘bad luck’ can occur:

Old tired cells in the body are constantly being replaced with new ones made by dividing stem cells. But with each division comes the risk of a dangerous mutation that moves the stem cell one step closer to being cancerous…[Researcher’s] concluded that two thirds of cancer types were “due to bad luck” from dividing stem cells picking up mutations that could not be prevented. [2]

This again would really be down to everyone’s individual body clocks. Unfortunately this cannot be measured or controlled. The body works to protect you, but in some unfortunate cases this can backfire on the body.

Due to this problem, researches suggested we should not primarily focus on the prevention of cancer – for only a third would be monitored this way. But we should start a process of how we manage early detection of the disease, in a state that is curable.
We must not diminish, nor forget those new ambitions to stay healthy. Nor should we feel disheartened, but another reminder perhaps, to live sensibly, and on the odd occasion, it really is ok to indulge ourselves.

But what are your thoughts on this new study? We want to know your thoughts.

[1] Whiteman, H. (2015). Two thirds of cancer cases down to ‘bad luck,’ new study claims. Medical News Today. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287542.php

[2] BBC News, (2015). Most cancer types ‘just bad luck’. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30641833