Two in five GP trainees’ education undermined by heavy workload

As many as two in five GP trainees face excessive workloads that interfere with their training, according to a GMC survey | GP Online


The GMC has warned that trainee doctors are struggling with increasingly heavy workloads, which it says is ‘eroding the time’ they have for training.

Results from the regulator’s annual National Training Survey (NTS) found that many trainees feel they are under significant and growing pressure that is ‘threatening the training they need to become the next generation of GPs and consultants’.

Read the full news story here

Building Capacity: Realising the potential of community pharmacy assets for improving the public’s health

A new report published by RSPH and Public Health England, has identified a number of opportunities and challenges for community pharmacy teams to further support the public’s health

Image source: RSPH

The report identifies a clear appetite among pharmacy teams to support the public’s health further – almost three-quarters (74%) of pharmacy team respondents said that the sector is underutilised – and points to some challenges. Pharmacy team respondents in non-HLPs are more likely to say they are being under-utilised (82%), compared to HLPs (63%).

Read the overview here

Read the full report here

Rights, benefits and support available to carers

Briefing Paper | The House of Commons Library

Image source: HoCL


How many carers?: The 2011 Census found that 6.5 million people in the UK were providing unpaid care. This represents 10.3% of the UK population, roughly the same proportion as reported in the 2001 Census although the absolute number has increased by around 625,000.

Contribution made by carers: Research commissioned by Carers UK and published in November 2015 estimated that 1.4 million people were providing 50 or more carer hours a week for a partner, friend or family member in the UK. As such they made a significant contribution to society and the NHS. The NHS has acknowledged this contribution, saying that it was “critical and underappreciated … not only to loved ones, neighbours and friends, but to the very sustainability of the NHS in England”

Read the full report here

Treatment adherence, thresholds for intervention and disparities in treatment in people with type 2 diabetes

McGovern, A. et al. (2016) BMJ Open. 6:e012801

N0029207 Insulin cartridges for use with an injection pen
Image source: Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Purpose: The University of Surrey-Lilly Real World Evidence (RWE) diabetes cohort has been established to provide insights into the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). There are 3 areas of study due to be conducted to provide insights into T2DM management: exploration of medication adherence, thresholds for changing diabetes therapies, and ethnicity-related or socioeconomic-related disparities in management. This paper describes the identification of a cohort of people with T2DM which will be used for these analyses, through a case finding algorithm, and describes the characteristics of the identified cohort.

Findings to date: A cohort (N=58 717) of adults with T2DM was identified from the RCGP RSC population (N=1 260 761), a crude prevalence of diabetes of 5.8% in the adult population. High data quality within the practice network and an ontological approach to classification resulted in a high level of data completeness in the T2DM cohort; ethnicity identification (82.1%), smoking status (99.3%), alcohol use (93.3%), glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c; 97.9%), body mass index (98.0%), blood pressure (99.4%), cholesterol (87.4%) and renal function (97.8%). Data completeness compares favourably to other, similarly large, observational cohorts. The cohort comprises a distribution of ages, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, diabetes complications, and comorbidities, enabling the planned analyses.

Read the full abstract and article here

Building a Culture of Improvement at East London NHS Foundation Trust

Improvements include reduced incidents of inpatient violence, medication errors, waiting times for treatment in the community, and improved staff satisfaction and engagement.

Image source: IHI

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) in the UK provides mental health and community services to a diverse and largely low-income population. Approximately 65,000 individuals come into contact with ELFT’s services each year at more than 100 community and inpatient sites.

In the past few years, ELFT has significantly reduced incidents of inpatient violence, medication errors, waiting times for treatment in the community, and improved staff satisfaction and engagement, among other improvements.

What made these achievements possible? Leaders and staff made a concerted effort to entrench a culture of continuous improvement in the organization, and they integrated quality improvement methodology and training into every level of work. To support their efforts, ELFT has been working closely with IHI since 2014 and became an IHI Strategic Partner in 2015.

Read the full report here

Mouth cancer rates soar over 20 years

A new Cancer Research UK analysis reveals that rates of mouth (oral) cancer have jumped by 68% in the UK over the last 20 years.
Image source: Anne Weston – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

The figures – released during Mouth Cancer Action Month – reveal the cancer is on the rise for men and women, young and old, climbing from eight to 13 cases per 100,000 people over the last two decades.

For men under 50, the rate has jumped by 67 per cent in the last 20 years – going up from around 340 cases to around 640 cases each year. For men aged 50 and over, rates have increased by 59 per cent climbing from around 2,100 cases to around 4,400 cases annually. Oral cancer is more common in men, but there have been similar increases women.

Read the full press release here

Patient care is at risk from lack of new funds healthcare leaders warn

Gareth Iacobucci. Patient care is at risk from lack of new funds in autumn statement, healthcare leaders warn. BMJ 2016;355:i6356


The government’s failure to commit new funding to the NHS and social care in its autumn statement will put the care of patients at risk, health and social care leaders have warned.

The government was strongly urged ahead of the 23 November statement to revisit its 2015 spending review pledges for health and social care because of the severe pressures across the service.

Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said that the failure to acknowledge the current pressures on the NHS was “alarming.” She said, “Our NHS is underfunded, underdoctored, and overstretched, and today’s lack of additional funding will only exacerbate the grave situation we face.

“The pressures put patient safety and recovery at risk every day of the week. Workforce morale in such circumstances is getting much harder to improve, let alone maintain. Added to this, patients are facing longer waits for treatment, and the number of patients stuck in hospital because of delays in being discharged has increased by 80% in the past five years. This is clearly not sustainable.”

The health think tanks the Health Foundation, the King’s Fund, and the Nuffield Trust, which issued a joint call ahead of the statement calling for social care to be prioritised, said that vulnerable older people would suffer from the decision not to invest extra money into the crisis hit sector.

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