RCGP strategic plan

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has published Great doctors, great care: RCGP strategic plan 2017-2020.

The plan sets out the College’s four main objectives for the next three years which are:

  1. Shape the future of General Practice
  2. Ensure GP education meets the changing needs of UK primary care
  3. Grow and support a strong, engaged membership
  4. Be the voice of the GP (influence)

    great drs
    Image source: http://www.rcgp.org.uk

The College has also identified 12 values, which can be summarised in four ‘core’ values:

  1. Excellence
  2. Teamwork
  3. Leadership
  4. Care

Full report: Great doctors, great care: RCGP strategic plan 2017-2020.

An Evidence Resource For Planning And Designing Healthier Places

This review provides public health planners and local communities with evidence informed principles for designing healthy places | PHE

PHE places
Image source: PHE

This report provides the findings from an evidence review examining the links between health, and the built and natural environment to help inform policy and support local action.

The review concentrated on 5 built environment topics:

  • neighbourhood design
  • housing
  • access to healthier food
  • natural and sustainable environment
  • transport

You can download the diagrams developed for each one of the built environment topics separately.

The full report is available here

Survey Of Medical Clinical Academic Staffing Levels 2017

This report raises concerns over the falling number of clinical academic staff in UK medical schools | Medical Schools Council 

Image source: Medical Schools Council

The new survey shows that the total number of medical clinical academics has seen a 2.1% decline since 2015 and a 4.2% decline since 2010. In a health service of increasing demands, any stagnancy can have real consequences. The survey also shows that the reduction occurs disproportionately at the Senior Lecturer (also known as Reader) level, a 32.9% fall since 2000. This is part of an overall decline in medical clinical academic numbers of 14.3% over the same period.

As part of the survey, medical schools have highlighted problems in recruiting to posts at the Senior Lecturer level. There is concern as to whether there are sufficient numbers at Researcher grade to fill the gap in the future.

The survey also covers areas such as the funding, geographical spread, gender and ethnicity of the clinical academic team. When broken down by specialties, the survey data revealed drops in clinical academic numbers in Psychiatry and Pathology, and increases in Medical Education and Emergency Medicine.

The survey shows a steady increase of clinical academics in General Practice, although it highlights that numbers remain very small in comparison to the wider population of GPs. There is a need for rapid expansion if this important team is to help primary care meet the growing needs of the population.

The State Of The NHS Provider Sector

NHS Providers has warned that the prime minister’s welcome commitment to tackling long-standing injustices faced by people with mental health problems is being undermined | NHS Providers

Image source: NHS Providers

The report concludes that the impact of rapidly rising demand, workforce shortages and the failure of funding to get through to the frontline means core mental health services are being overwhelmed.

The findings are based – in part – on the largest regular survey of NHS trust chairs and chief executives, which drew responses from nearly two thirds of trusts that provide mental health services and more than half of all NHS trusts in England.

The report sets out how the provider sector is performing, the challenges trusts are facing, and the support they need as we face another five years of constrained funding and rapidly rising demand. Alongside the survey it presents other published data, together with extensive analysis and commentary.

The centrepiece of the report is mental health – a critical area of care for the NHS and other public services, as well as being a growing concern for wider society. The report acknowledges the strong and welcome commitment from the top of government to address long-standing inequalities in care for people with mental health needs. This is starting to enable better service provision in the targeted areas. However trust leaders say the position of core mental health services is deteriorating.

New report by @Localis ‏| Rebooting Health And Social Care Integration

This report finds that the health and social care integration agenda has a future but it is dependent on moving away from notions of structural integration and reliance on central policy direction | Localis

Image source: Localis

It concludes that the issue of funding and financial sustainability is critical but can only be influenced locally. The authors also believe that health and social care integration can create new value locally, but it must build on its most important point of consensus; greater person centred care. The report makes four strategic recommendations and six policy recommendations to support integration.

Nine ways to save the NHS – by healthcare professionals

Charge for missed appointments, divert funds to social care and fine drunk people – readers weigh in on how to solve problems facing the health service | The Guardian

Image source: duncan c – Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Ideas include:

  1. Charge drunk people for using services
  2. Fine people for appointments they miss or cancel at short notice
  3. Give money to public health and social care instead of the NHS
  4. Create a competitive market for GPs and community services
  5. Centralise key services and improve IT
  6. Introduce an all-party parliamentary committee working with all NHS staff groups
  7. Bring back training bursaries for nurses and give them a pay rise
  8. Introduce a nominal charge to access services
  9. Make doctors surgeries open longer so people avoid A&E


Read the full news story here

8 out of 10 patients are positive about GPs

As the NHS treats more patients than ever before, a new nationwide survey shows the majority of people are positive about their GP care – with almost 85 per cent rating their overall experience of their GP surgery as good | NHS England


The GP Patient Survey 2017 compiled responses from more than 800,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services provided by GP surgeries, including access to GPs, making appointments, the quality of care received from GPs and practice nurses, satisfaction with opening hours and out-of-hours NHS services.

The majority of patients (84.3%) say they were able to get an appointment the last time they tried and around seven in ten patients (68%) say it is very or fairly easy to get through to someone at their GP surgery on the phone.

The survey found that confidence and trust in GPs remains extremely high at 91.9%, while almost three in four patients (77.4%) would recommend their GP surgery to someone who has just moved to the local area and 72.7% of patients rated their overall experience of making an appointment as good.

There has also been a marked improvement in the awareness of online GP services, with more patients saying they are aware of how to book appointments (up 3.8% on last year to 36.1%), ordering repeat prescriptions (up 2.6% to 34.1%) and access to medical records (up to 8.9%).

However, it also suggests areas for improvement, with one in ten patients (11.3%) saying they weren’t able to get an appointment – an increase of 0.5% on the 10.7% in 2016. And the number of patients reporting they can usually see their preferred GP dropping to 46.2% – down by 2.4% on last year.

Dementia numbers set to rise to 1.2 million by 2040 in England & Wales

Experts are predicting that there will be 1.2 million people in England and Wales living with dementia by 2040 – a rise of 57% from 2016 – due to increased life expectancy.


A study  published in The BMJ  says that although the number of newly diagnosed cases of dementia is falling, the overall prevalence will increase substantially as people live longer and deaths from other causes, such as heart disease, continue to decline.

The team of researchers  based at University College London (UCL) and the University of Liverpool, set out to predict the future burden of dementia with more certainty by developing a mathematical model that takes account of disease trends and death rates alongside the effects of increasing life expectancy.  They calculated that there were currently 767,000 people living with dementia in England and Wales and the number would increase to more than 1.2 million by 2040.

Full story at OnMedica

Full reference: Ahmadi-Abhari, S et al.  Temporal trend in dementia incidence since 2002 and projections for prevalence in England and Wales to 2040: modelling study BMJ Published 05 July 2017



Financial challenges facing the NHS

The Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) has published NHS financial temperature check: finance directors’ views on financial challenges facing the NHS in England. 


This briefing draws on the responses of finance directors of trusts and foundation trusts and chief finance officers of CCGs.  It finds the financial performance of the NHS remains under significant financial pressure.

Trusts reported a combined deficit of £791m in 2016/17, after receiving additional funds of £1.8bn from the sustainability and transformation fund (STF).

The performance of CCGs, based on month 11 forecasts, looks better than that of trusts with a forecast in-year underspend of £250m, but this is after the release of the £800m risk reserve to CCGs’ bottom line.

Full document: NHS financial temperature check – briefing July 2017

Additional link: NHS Providers

The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017

The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017 presents findings from the Care Quality Commission’s comprehensive programme of adult social care inspections.

The CQC has published its The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017 report, which is the first time that such focused analysis on a national scale has been possible following the formal introduction of the CQC’s new regulatory regime for adult social care in 2014.

state of care
Image source: http://www.cqc.org.uk

The report found that more than three-quarters of adult social care services were currently rated as ‘good’ (77%) and 2% were currently rated as ‘outstanding’.

However, there was considerable variation with nearly a fifth (19%) of services being rated as ‘requires improvement’ and 2% as ‘inadequate’ on ensuring residents are safe.

Age UK says these figures reveal a ‘Russian roulette’ for care and has urged the Government to make a much greater investment into care services.

The full report can be downloaded here