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Friday 16 November 2018
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Topic: Patient Access

November 14, 2018

Some 40,000 patients could lose their GP as several practices are set to close across the UK, mainly as a result of recruitment issues.
 
Two practices in south west Wales and one in south London are due to close by early 2019 as GPs retire without replacement. A further four practices are under review in County Durham and one in East London due to the same issue.
 

November 13, 2018

GP practices had 'more than enough time' to place their orders for the new over-65s flu vaccine, NHS England has said.
 
As practices and pharmacies are still having to turn away patients due to problems securing stocks of the adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV), NHS England has suggested GPs are to blame for the mess, according to the Daily Mail.
 

November 7, 2018

Private provider Babylon’s chatbot – an AI software that triages patients based on their symptoms, without a doctor’s intervention – could offer patients a less effective service than a GP, a letter published in medical journal The Lancet has suggested.
 
In a study published in June, Babylon, which provides the GP at Hand service to NHS patients, analysed the efficacy of its AI chatbot in primary care triage and diagnosis.

November 2, 2018

A Scottish GP practice in Wick has trialled video appointments this week in a bid to meet patients’ needs, NHS Highland has said.
 
From 29 November, a nurse and a GP based at Riverview Practice in Wick offered video appointments to patients who did not need to be seen face-to-face.
 
The service, called GP Near Me, is an extension of an existing NHS Highland’s NHS Near Me video consulting service, which is used for hospital outpatient appointments.
 

November 1, 2018

Tower Hamlets GP practices have written to EMIS Health, asking why the company is surveying patients about their willingness to pay for GP services and private healthcare and urging them to stop. Read the letter in full.
 

October 31, 2018

The Welsh Government has announced an extra £20m of funding to see the NHS through the busy winter period, including for extra GP appointments.
 
Health secretary Vaughan Gething said £16m would be going direct to health boards to put in place their winter deliver plans.
 
Mr Gething also said £4m would be for national pressure-relieving strategies – including extending GP access into evenings and weekends in some areas.
 

October 31, 2018

GP practices and patients should not be concerned over the supply of flu vaccines, which in some cases will be delivered later next month, GP leaders have said.
 
The BMA and the RCGP said that although there have been reports of patients being turned away from their practices because of limited stock, this has to do with the way the delivery of the adjuvanted trivalent influenza vaccine (a-TIV) had been arranged.
 

October 29, 2018

Smaller practices will get easier and more direct access to clinical pharmacists in general practice scheme funding following an NHS England criteria change. 
 
NHS England said it decided to change ‘the criteria for the programme to make it easier for sites to operate across a smaller population size, and allowing clinical pharmacists to work part-time’.

October 26, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of patients are breathing in toxic air when they visit hospitals and GP practices across the UK, according to a new study.
 
In total, one in three (2,164) GP practices in England and 54 GP practices in Wales are in areas that ‘exceed safe pollution limits’ set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
 

October 22, 2018

The number of GP practices closing their lists to new patients has started to taper off, an investigation by our sister publication Pulse has revealed.
 
A freedom of information request to NHS England showed 106 GP practices closed lists to new patients in 2017/18 - compared with 145 in 2016/17 and 175 in 2015/16.
 
The number of requests went down too.
 
The BMA’s GP Committee said the data could be an indication that schemes negotiated with NHS England to reduce pressure on GP practices have begun to have an effect.

October 16, 2018

A GP practice has been asked to temporarily suspend its services to patients following a CQC inspection earlier this month.
 
NHS Knowsley CCG announced on 9 October that the Aston Healthcare GP practice site at Gresford Medical Centre closed with ‘immediate effect’ following a CQC inspection on 3 October.
 
According to the CCG, the CQC sent a letter to Aston Healthcare requiring them to temporarily close the Gresford Medical Centre site, which closed on 8 October.
 

October 15, 2018

All GPs in England will be able to refer patients experiencing loneliness to community activities and voluntary services by 2023, Prime Minister Theresa May has announced.
 
The Government will also partner with Royal Mail on a new scheme in Liverpool, New Malden and Whitby, where postal workers will check on lonely people as part of their rounds, and then link them to support if necessary.
 

October 12, 2018

A flagship programme to relieve pressured GP practices has released over 192,000 hours of administrative time, NHS England has claimed.
 
It said the 'Time for Care' scheme, launched with the 2016 GP Forward View rescue plan, had also freed up 121,000 hours of clinical time.
 

October 11, 2018

A practice caring for patients under a Special Allocation Scheme (SAS) will close next year as it only has a limited number of patients.
 
The Birchtree practice in Stockton-on-Tees currently provides GP services to 460 patients. Of these, 42 are on the SAS scheme – which was introduced in 2004 to ensure individuals removed from other practices’ lists due to violent behaviour are still able to access GP care.
 

October 9, 2018

Six GP practices in Bury have successfully merged into one. 
                          
The practices, which officially merged on 1 July, have since then taken the name of Tower Family Healthcare and started providing care to around 50,000 patients, with their details stored in a single database.
 

October 5, 2018

The RCGP wants the Government to spend part of its £20bn NHS funding boost on GP e-consultation software and high-speed broadband.
 
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard called on the Government to roll out e-consultation facilities in all GP practices by 2022.
 
She noted that without funding, it was ‘simply unfeasible’ to expect practices to implement new technology themselves.
 

October 4, 2018

A GP practice in Coulsdon, South London will close permanently on 26 October as the practice’ sole owner is retiring, NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has said.
 
The practice’s 3,700 patients have been informed of Dr Jamil Khan’s decision to retire after providing services from the practice for more than 34 years.
 
NHS Croydon CCG said that ‘different options to support the continued delivery of primary care services from the Coulsdon Medical Practice site’ had been discussed with Dr Khan.

October 3, 2018

Babylon's GP at Hand adverts have been banned by the advertising watchdog for not making it clear to patients they would be giving up their existing GP practice registration.
 

October 1, 2018

A GP practice is taking the initial steps to launch a legal challenge to open outside their contracted NHS hours.
 
New Forest Medical Group – a rural practice in Brockenhurst, Hampshire – is raising money to pay for solicitors’ work and has collected more than half of the total amount set as a target on its crowdfunding page in just over 24 hours.
 

October 1, 2018

The RCGP chair has called on the health secretary to clarify his position on GP at Hand after he endorsed the app for a national roll out earlier this month. 
 

September 24, 2018

A GP practice in Southend-on-Sea is closing one of its two branches as the building it’s housed in has been deemed no longer fit for purpose.
 
Pall Mall surgery decided to close its branch based in Southbourne Grove following a primary care committee meeting on 19 September during which it emerged that the practice would have needed considerable refurbishment to meet the health and safety, fire and Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements.
 
The site will close on 30 November.
 

September 18, 2018

GP practices should promote online GP services to university students, according to guidance issued by NHS England.
 
The document, published this month, outlines how online GP services can support students and what practices can do to advertise that they offer these features.
 

September 13, 2018

The new adjuvanted flu vaccine could save 30,000 GP consultations per year, Public Health England has said.
 
The vaccine - available for the first time this winter - could also cut hospitalisations by 2,000 and prevent over 700 flu-related deaths in England.
 

September 4, 2018

The UK's largest superpractice could reach 400,000 patients by the end of October, according to its GP chair.
 
Our Health Partnership (OHP), which currently has 370,000 patients, is in discussion with a further four GP practices about joining the super-partnership.
 
Although it declined to name the practices during the merger talks, OHP said they were based in Birmingham and Shropshire, where it already operates 34 and six practices respectively.