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