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

2015 Medical Successes

Once again the New Year is ahead of us, so here at Primary Care People, we wanted to evaluate all the great medical revelations that has happened this year. To end a successful year for our company, and the healthcare industry, we look back at how much progression has been made.

A lot of medical journals and papers this time of year will reflect on the achievements and progress that has been made. We have picked the highlights we believe might lift your day and remind us of how much we can celebrate in the healthcare industry this year.
Our Top Medical Revelations This Year:

  • Gene Editing – A ‘miracle’ event happened this year, when baby Layla Richards, was told that all treatments for her leukaemia had failed and she was going to die. The Doctors decided to give her an experimental drug that consist of a vial filled with genetically made immune cells to kill the cancer. Which, ended up saving her life. This leaves exciting discussions on the prospect of similar methods being used to treat a whole range of cancer cells.

  • A 27 year old woman in Belgium was the first in the world to give birth to a baby using ovarian tissue frozen when she was a child due to concerns of her infertility.
  • The first face transplant took place on a fire fighter who suffered from third degree burns. As well as the first skull and scalp transplant took place this year, and the first penis transplant (of which the patient now has a child on the way!)
  • A man with dry age-related macular degeneration receives bionic eye and can see his wife again after 10 years.
  • results are close to knowing what substances may help prevent alzheimer’s, including a drug that will slow it down by a third.

Due to just these few cases of huge progression, medicine is growing stronger as the years go by. There has been numerous progressions for the testing and results of cells, multiplying, protecting and growing anew.

Although there has been a huge progression in 2015, and the NHS issues are still in the limelight, we can recognise the wonderful news about medicine and where it is heading. We take this opportunity to look on the brighter side, and recognize the excitement of what has been happening in the medical industry.
Should you wish to open your New Year looking for new work, Primary Care People are here to help and provide you with whatever you desire. Please get in touch if this is the case.
Call: 0203 137 2114
Email: work@primarycarepeople.co.uk

We’d also like to thank all our clients, GP’s and Nurses for committing to your job, all for worthwhile causes. We appreciate your hard work, and wish you all a Happy New Year!

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].

 

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.”

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.

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.

Our Agencies Focus

In regards to recent news about agencies ‘ripping off’ the NHS, Primary Care People are under the impression that with Salaried and Permanent jobs seeming unappealing to Nurses and GP’s they decide to go overseas, which affects all of us, including being detrimental to the NHS.

But this does mean that in turn expectations levels of locums is higher which increases the cost to agencies. We have to supply healthcare professionals because they are needed.

But fundamentally we worry that this will then take away from patient care which is the ultimate focus.

As an agency we offer a 24 hour service which allows us to support the NHS in emergencies. For instance we have had occasions where someone needed a Dr on Christmas Day, which in cases like these prices will be high due to the Dr’s demand to do the shift.

Here at Primary Care People we maintain a patient care focus and ensuring our candidates enjoy the work they are doing, which includes being able to care of their patients professionally and properly.

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?

Happy International Nurses Day!

Happy Nurses Day!

To celebrate all our Nurses and the wonderful job you all do – we wanted to advertise our new sponsorship of Nurse Academy!

Recently we have become sponsors to help hold Nurse Training so Nurses can learn the skills to work in an Urgent Care Centre.

The first course starts the 26th May, so please get in touch to find out more details!

http://nurseacademy.wix.com/nurseacademy

And Nurses – Please enjoy your day, we appreciate all of you!

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.