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Saturday 19 January 2019
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Topic: Patient Access

January 10, 2019

More than one in two patients think there is not enough space at the reception desk to discuss their issues in private, a survey has found.
 
The survey by The Patients Association found that 58% of the 720 respondents feel their practice lacks privacy.
 

January 9, 2019

A GP practice in Chiddingfold, Surrey has been left damaged following a fire at around 3am on 7 January.
 
The fire significantly damaged Chiddingfold surgery, which as a result is now closed, but no fatalities nor injuries to patients or staff were reported.
 
A number of residents from houses nearby the practice were evacuated, according to a statement by Surrey Police.
 

January 3, 2019

Practices will not be given the right to charge for patient information requests as it would ‘weaken the rights of patients’, culture, media and sport minister Margot James has said.
 
Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May, practices can no longer charge a nominal fee for digging out patient information.
 
GPs say that since the data has had to be provided for free, they have seen a large rise in time-consuming requests which is adding to costs and GP workloads
 

December 21, 2018

Dr Farzana Hussain, GP partner at The Project Surgery in Plaistow, east London, suddenly found herself with sole responsibility for over 4,700 patients when her GP partner and friend took his own life in 2013.
 
A difficult time for Dr Hussain and the practice, she was left as the only GP partner, creating a necessity for everyone to work more efficiently together. However, despite concerted efforts to improve processes at the practice, Dr Hussain’s ideas simply weren’t bearing fruits.
 

December 14, 2018

GP practices are dealing with a barrage of subject access requests (SARs) since the new GDPR data protection regulations were introduced earlier this year.
 
A BMA survey of 1,500 GPs showed that SARs have increased by over a third (36%) since the rules – which mean practices can no longer charge a nominal fee for such requests – came into force in May. 
 

December 12, 2018

A GP practice in Nottingham serving 12,000 patients has been forced to hand back its contract to NHS England due to severe financial pressures.

November 23, 2018

Public Health England has urged GP practices to order next winter's flu vaccines, despite the fact NHS England's final guidance on which vaccine to use is still pending.
 
PHE said practices should go ahead and order the same two types of vaccine they are using this flu season.
 
But the Government’s vaccination advisory committee is saying that a new vaccine - quadrivalent influenza cell culture vaccine (QIVc) – could be just as effective and used across all adults.
 

November 22, 2018

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged an extra £3.5bn real terms annual funding for primary and community care by 2023/24, as part of the £20.5bn funding increase for the NHS announced earlier this year.
 
In the announcement, made yesterday, Ms May said the money will be used to ensure that more patients are cared for at home and in the community, rather than in hospitals.
 

November 21, 2018

The Home Office is in discussion with NHS Digital over a new agreement to allow it to access GP patient data, after NHS Digital pulled out of the previous deal.
 
The data-sharing agreement, known as the memorandum of understanding (MoU), was first introduced in January 2017, but put on pause for review back in May, before NHS Digital withdrew completely at the beginning on this month.

November 19, 2018

A shortage of GPs has forced a practice in Dorset to close after it was unable to find replacements for retiring doctors.
 
The Abbotsbury Road Surgery in Weymouth announced last month that it will hand back its contract at the end of March next year.
 
GP partners at the two-site practice said an ageing workforce and national shortage of GPs means that it has been unable to recruit enough new GPs to keep the practice running.
 

November 19, 2018

NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG has lifted its clinical restrictions for which patients Babylon's GP at Hand app should sign up.
 
The service has been criticised by GP leaders for 'cherry-picking' young, fit and healthy patients - as patients with a range of conditions were advised it may not be 'clinically appropriate' for them to use the service.

November 16, 2018

Nearly 70% of GPs have experienced a shortage of the new over-65s flu vaccine, forcing them to turn away vulnerable older patients as a result.
 
In a Pulse survey of 650 GPs, 68.5% said their practice suffered a shortage of adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) that has been recommended for patients aged over 65 this year, with only 20% saying they had no trouble securing the vaccine.
 
Around a quarter of GPs have also suffered a shortage of the quadrivalent vaccine (QIV), recommended for patients in the 18-64 age group.

November 15, 2018

The number of available flu vaccines for this year’s flu season is set to exceed demand, NHS England has said.
 
In a letter sent to GP leads and practice managers last week, NHS England said that the supply of the adjuvanted trivalent inactivated flu vaccine (aTIV) – also known as Fluad – for the over-65s will ‘exceed anticipated requirements’.
 

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.