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Friday 20 July 2018
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Topic: Patient Access

July 16, 2018

More than 550,000 patients in Devon are now able to benefit from 24-hour online access to their GP practice.
The service, jointly provided by Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, allows patients to seek experts’ assistance for minor conditions.

July 13, 2018

Commissioners have objected to GP at Hand's expansion with a physical presence in Birmingham on the grounds of patient safety.
The digital-first NHS service, provided by private company Babylon via a host GMS practice in southwest London, said earlier this year that they were looking to expand to other cities in the UK.

July 9, 2018

A Scottish GP surgery is considering closing one of it surgeries after it was unable to attract new GPs.
On a statement on their website, the Mill Practice in Dundee wrote that despite ‘actively trying to recruit replacement GPs since October 2017’ they have not been successful.

July 9, 2018

GP vacancy rates are at the highest level ever recorded, with one in six positions currently unfilled, a major Pulse survey has revealed.
Our sister publication Pulse's annual vacancy survey of 658 GPs found that 15.3% of GP positions are currently empty, up from 12.2% last year, and 11.7% in 2016.
It also showed that the recruitment issues were concentrated on certain practices, with two-thirds of the vacancies reported at practices where there were more than one position unfilled.

July 2, 2018

Patients will be able to book GP appointments using a new NHS app from the end of this year, the health secretary has said.
Jeremy Hunt said the app, which was first announced at NHS Expo last year, will ‘mark the death-knell of the 8am scramble for GP appointments’.
The app will also allow patients to order repeat prescriptions, access NHS 111 online, and set their organ donation preferences and data-sharing preferences.

June 29, 2018

Deputy editor Angela Sharda speaks to Aneira Thomas about her remarkable life ‘as the first baby born on the NHS’ and what the health service means to her

June 22, 2018

A GP practice in Greater Manchester has agreed to become ‘homeless-friendly’ to ensure all patients receive great care regardless of whether or not they have a permanent address.
The Hopwood Medical Centre in Heywood, Manchester took the decision as part of a programme encouraging surgeries to help rough sleepers access services such as housing, training and addiction treatment. 

June 21, 2018

General practices across the UK are being encouraged to apply to become ‘Parkrun practices’ as part of a joint initiative by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Parkrun UK.
The initiative could see thousands of patients being ‘prescribed’ physical activity instead of medication and improve the quality of life for practice staff, patients and carers, the RCGP said.
Parkruns are free, volunteer-led 5k events that take place every Saturday morning across the UK.

June 15, 2018

The UK's largest trade union is calling on health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt to axe the model of care provided by NHS GP at hand.
In a letter to Mr Hunt signed by more than 130 health professionals, many of them currently working in general practice, Doctors in Unite (DiU) said the service ‘threatens the very survival of NHS general practice as we know it’.

June 13, 2018

Richmond Road Medical Centre, recognised for its achievements at last year’s GP Awards, has transformed the services it offers to patients in Hackney
In 2016, the team at Richmond Road Medical Centre in Hackney, East London, knew that without 'drastic change', their practice risked going under.
A small practice of 3,500 patients, the surgery had seen an influx of young adults with new health care needs and access demands. At the time, there was already a one to two week wait for an appointment with the GP.

June 12, 2018

Anwar Hussain, a practice manager at St Pauls Way Medical Centre in East London leads a very young practice, where employees are constantly keen to find new technologies to introduce at practice level.
When he heard of AccuRx Chain SMS, a text system that allows staff to communicate with patients in less than 30 seconds, he decided to try it out at his practice.

June 8, 2018

One in five patients who signed up with the GP at Hand app in southeast London has re-registered with their original GP practice, CCG board papers have revealed.
Since November, private company Babylon has made use of the out-of-area registration scheme, and a host GP practice in Fulham, to sign up over 20,000 NHS patients across London.

June 8, 2018

More than 600 GP practices will close in England if the Government fails to increase funding for general practice, the BMA has said.
In its analysis of NHS England’s GP Forward View, the BMA’s GP Committee said that current funding for general practice is £3.7bn short of its target of 11% of the NHS budget.

June 6, 2018

Forty per cent of all GP appointments now see patients raise a mental health problem, a survey has revealed.
More than 1,000 GPs took part in the study, which also found that two in three GPs had seen an increase in the number of patients needing help with their mental health over the past 12 months.
The survey conducted by Mind adds weight to a growing body of evidence that suggests mental health is becoming an increasingly large part of a GP’s workload.

June 4, 2018

A new service will allow GP practices in Solihull to cut diagnosis times at the click of a button if a pilot is extended.
PhotoSAF Sharing, powered by the Consultant Connect app, allows GPs to take clinical photos with the patients’ consent and share it with other clinicians, helping them to make quicker decisions on patients’ health.

May 30, 2018

A London-based practice manager will vie with three other regional winners for a national NHS award, it has been announced.
Brian Dickens, a practice manager at Parchmore Medical Centre in Croydon, Surrey was chosen among hundreds of applicants as a regional champion in the Excellence in Primary Care category.

May 25, 2018

A non-Muslim practice manager is fasting during the holy month of Ramadan in solidarity with her Muslim patients.
Vicky Pickering, practice manager at Hollins Grove Surgery in Darwen, Lancashire took the decision to fast with her patients last Thursday.
Ms Pickering said: ‘At work, I am used to having some snacks throughout the day.

May 21, 2018

Some 40% of patients could make routine GP appointments in evenings and weekends in March, the latest NHS England data have shown.
An NHS England survey of 6,892 GP practices found that 805 practices, with a combined 5.4m patients, did not offer any extended hours provision when the latest data was collected in March.
This was down from 826 practices at the latest count, in September 2017. 

May 18, 2018

As part of the General Practice Forward View, £45m has been invested to help practices purchase online consultation systems.
Practice manager Mark Thomas was looking for a better way to manage Chelston Hall Surgery in Torquay, South West England when he came across e-consultation.

May 17, 2018

Nearly half (46%) of Cornish patients find it hard to speak to practice staff to book an appointment, a health watchdog has revealed.
A survey, which collected answers from more than 2,100 patients, launched by Healthwatch Cornwall in collaboration with health service commissioners NHS Kernow, also found that the overall experience of booking an appointment was 'poor' for 38% of people.

May 17, 2018

Practices are set to pilot a pre-release registration scheme for prisoners, in an effort to maintain continuity of care.
The pilot scheme, which will launch over the summer, will see prisoners in Sheffield registered with a GP near the prison up to one month ahead of their release.
GP leaders have welcomed the pilot, saying it will ensure GPs are ‘fully equipped’ when ex-offenders visit the practice.

May 16, 2018

A team of CQC inspectors has made an unannounced visit to a GP practice in Soho, central London, after complaints that non-English speaking patients were receiving sub-standard care.
Chinese patients, who make up a third of the 5,200 patients registered at the Soho Square General Practice, have been turned away following the departure of both Chinese-speaking practice partners, as well as 'all other experienced staff, at all levels'.

May 15, 2018

The GP workforce in England is continuing to decline, as official statistics reveal that 316 full-time equivalent GPs have left the profession in the last three months.

April 30, 2018

The general practice workforce in Wales must expand ‘urgently’, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in Wales has warned.  
The organisation, which represents GPs in Wales, said it had been warning ‘for several years' that the GP workforce is at 'tipping point’.
RCGP Wales chair Dr Rebecca Payne said: ‘It is imperative that the Welsh Government takes urgent action to boost the GP workforce and expand the number of other healthcare professionals working in general practice.’