The Health Foundation | July 2018 | Expression of interest: Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice
The Health Foundation have launched a new initiative- a funding programme to help improve patient care and outcomes by exploring ways to increase continuity of care within general practice.
The launch comes after research conducted by the Health Foundation found that for patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions, appointments with the same GP a greater proportion of the time have fewer unplanned hospital admissions (Source: The Health Foundation).
The British Medical Association has published The general practice forward view: two years on. This report evaluates how the implementation and delivery of the GPFV has progressed so far, and seeks to assess whether it is on track to deliver on its commitments.
Royal College of General Practitioners | May 2018 | Practice closures can have ‘serious ramifications’ for patients and NHS, says RCGP
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, highlights the impact of GP practices closing, as it can have “serious ramifications for the patient population it served, neighbouring surgeries, the health and wellbeing of the GPs involved.”
Stokes- Lampard explains, “GP surgeries will only hand back their contract to the NHS as an absolute last resort – but we are hearing that this is becoming increasingly common up and down the country, but particularly in rural and other ‘under-doctored’ areas where practices are finding it more difficult to recruit new GPs.
“For those living in isolated areas, this can mean having to travel long distances to get to their nearest surgery, and is a particular worry for those who might not drive and have to rely on public transport.
“The College, for several years, has consistently highlighted the pressures facing general practice, and the impact they are having on patient care, and the wellbeing of GPs and our teams, and we are frustrated at the slow pace of change (RCGP).
A further £3 million will be made available to establish seven intensive support sites in areas that have struggled most to retain GPs. Details on these sites and plans for retention efforts there will be announced next month.
The fund will support local health services focussing on supporting newly qualified GPs or those within their first five years of practice, who are seriously considering leaving general practice or who are no longer clinically practising in the NHS in England but remain on the National Performers List (Medical).
Ensuring patient safety through control of workload and demand management in general practice | The British Medical Association (BMA)
General practice in England has seen consultation rates soar by nearly 14 per cent between 2007 and 2014, while the 12 months between 2016-17 saw the total number of full-time equivalent GPs fall by 3.4 per cent.
The BMA suggest that this increase in workload is because of growing patient need (complex multi-morbidity) as well as a result of the widespread recruitment and retention crisis and a lack of long-term investment in general practice. It is argued that the issue of GP workload must be addressed urgently.
This document seeks to address the current challenges in primary care. It sets out a strategy aimed at improving safety and quality of patient care by recommending the development of agreed workload limits at a local level supported by national guidance.
Volunteering in general practice: Opportunities and insights | The Kings Fund
The King’s Fund has published ‘Volunteering in general practice: opportunities and insights‘. This paper explores how volunteers can provide support for the role of general practice, and the opportunities for organisations that currently support volunteering to work more closely with general practice.
Interest is growing in the contribution that volunteering can make in health and social care. This paper builds on our previous work, which examined volunteering in hospitals, to explore ways in which volunteers are involved with, and are contributing to, general practice.
The authors identify four approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice: use of volunteers to enable general practice to carry out its activities; organisations using volunteer support that were located within general practice premises; social prescribing; and community-centred general practices.
10 case studies are explored, which demonstrate that approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice provide an opportunity for practices to engage beyond their traditional boundaries, creating an interface with voluntary and community sector organisations and with the wider community.
The practice examples highlight the importance of partnership work to support and sustain volunteering, the different design and resource considerations in choosing an appropriate approach, the support and management requirements for volunteers and strategic factors that influence success and sustainability.