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Sunday 21 July 2019
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Topic: Patient Access

July 11, 2019

Almost all patients continue to trust their GP and other practice staff, NHS England's latest annual survey of primary care patients has revealed.
 
This year's NHS England GP Survey, completed by 770,512 patients in England, showed 96% of patients had trust and confidence in the healthcare professional they talked to or saw during their last GP appointment - the same proportion as in 2018.
 

July 1, 2019

Primary care networks (PCNs), which come into being today, should 'allow GP practices to pool clinical and administrative resources', helping to free up GPs' time and improve access to other integrated services, the RCGP has said. 
 
But the college also warned that there is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution to address the issues general practice currently faces, pointing out that some practices will need more resources than others to grow further. 
 

June 28, 2019

Babylon will be forced to open new premises across England, and existing primary care networks will be obliged to take them on under new proposals launched today by NHS England.
 
Under the new plans, which are being consulted on by NHS England, once a practice has more than a certain number of out-of-area patients in a particular CCG – either 1,000 or 2,000 – they will be forced to hold a new contract in that CCG.
 
This will be an APMS contract, and the practice will be required to open a premises in that CCG.
 

April 9, 2019

Valeria Fiore speaks to Dr Minesh Patel, chair of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) about how primary care homes and networks will drive the delivery of the long-term plan.
 
All patients are expected to be covered by an integrated care system (ICS) by April 2021, NHS England stated in the long-term plan.
 
However, when it comes to providing integrated primary care services to a local population, the task will fall to primary care networks (PCNs), which are expected to be up and running by July this year.

February 22, 2019

Stratford Village Surgery in East London, which cares for around 10,000 patients, used to struggle to meet demand and its patients were sometimes waiting for over two weeks to be seen.
 
However, after introducing a new online triage system, the surgery managed to reduce average waiting times for appointments from two weeks to two days.
 
GP and medical director at Stratford Village Surgery Dr Bhupinder Kohli tells Management in Practice how they achieved this.
 
The problem
 

February 8, 2019

GP practices must make at least 25% of their appointments available for online booking by July, as part of the new GP contract.
 
The contract, negotiated by the BMA and NHS England, said digital access to GP services should increase for all patients, with the hope that this will help practices manage workload.
 
This comes after the NHS long-term plan pledged digital appointments to all patients, and said digital GP models will help grow GP numbers.
 

February 1, 2019

Practices will receive funding through the global sum to enable direct booking of GP appointments through NHS 111, NHS England has announced.
 
NHS England will allocate an annual £30m pot of funding to practices to help them introduce the service and cover costs arising from changes made to the extended hours access requirements
 

January 25, 2019

The CCG hosting Babylon GP at Hand might not be able to ‘pay its bills’, due to finanicial pressures caused by tens of thousands of patients signing up to the digital-first NHS GP service.
 
NHS Hammersmith and Fulham CCG reported a £2.5m cash deficit, citing Babylon GP at Hand as the ‘key driver’ of cashflow issues, and said the situation is ‘expected to worsen in the near future’.
 
Currently, Babylon GP at Hand has around 34,000 patients, according to the CCG papers.
 

January 23, 2019

All practices in England will offer the NHS App to patients by 1 July 2019, NHS England said today.
 
The App, which was trialled with over 3,000 patients across 30 GP practices in England, is now being rolled out in England and is already available for patients to download from Apple App or Google Play stores.
 
A web-based version of it will be launched in the following months, NHS England said.
 

January 21, 2019

GP practices have dealt with a growing number of homeless patients over the last five years, a BMA survey has found.
 
Over a quarter of the 178 GPs who responded to a BMA survey said a larger number of homeless patients visited their practice in the last five years.
 
Some of the respondents (18%) said their practice now dedicate greater time and resources to homeless patients, compared to five years ago.
 

January 17, 2019

GP patients in Gosport have been banned from switching surgeries after a dramatic exodus of patients from a hospital-managed GP practice left others overwhelmed.
 
The Hampshire town has seen 2,100 patients transfer to different practices after problems at the four-practice Willow Group, managed by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
 
NHS Fareham and Gosport CCG, which took the decision, said the three-month restriction will remain in place until 31 March.
 

January 10, 2019

More than half of 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’.