Thursday, 19 July 2012

Ambulance delay due to lunchbreak

Ambulance delay due to lunchbreak:
A coroner has criticised East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) after an inquest heard how paramedics left an elderly man who had fallen over and sustained brain damage untreated for 45 minutes because they were on a lunch break.
West Lincolnshire Coroner Stuart Fisher said the service had let down Harold Tinsley, 78, who died in hospital on September 27 last year, four days after falling on his driveway outside ... Healthcare Today

Shared decision making: a common understanding

Shared decision making: a common understanding: There is an emerging consensus amongst professionals, patients and politicians that patients have a central role in the decision making process about their health. But scratch the surface of that consensus and the waters get a little more murky, says Adrian Sieff. Health Foundation

Lansley pledges to investigate PCT rationing

Lansley pledges to investigate PCT rationing: Health secretary Andrew Lansley has pledged to investigate evidence of PCTs rationing services after the issue was raised again in parliamentary questions. GP Online

NHS share of government spending to rise to 10%

NHS share of government spending to rise to 10%: Health costs will account for almost 10% of all government spending within 50 years, the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted. GP Online

N3 GP refresh to roll out this year

N3 GP refresh to roll out this year: The GP Next Generation Access project will increase bandwidth on N3 for 70% of English GP practices by March next year. E-Health Insider

Follow the bear

Follow the bear: The government may have axed the National Programme for IT in the NHS twice, but it has left behind some big pieces of unfinished business. E-Health Insider

GMC National Training Survey 2012

GMC National Training Survey 2012: The General Medical Council (GMC) has published the results of its National Training Survey 2012 which provides a snapshot of the quality of postgraduate medical education and training. NHS Employers

The full report is available on the GMC web site.

GPs outnumbered on commissioning group boards

GPs outnumbered on commissioning group boards:
NHS reorganisation was designed to have GPs making financial decisions, but there are only two or three GPs on some boards
GPs are outnumbered in nearly half the new clinical commissioning group boards, with some clinical commissioning groups having just two or three GPs, according to research carried out by Pulse.
In some parts of the country, GPs made up only a fifth of the boards and were in the minority in 44% of them.
Despite the Department of Health's requirement that each board should include a consultant, the research found very few included. Only 36% of groups had a reserved position for a secondary care doctor – and just seven positions have been filled.
The analysis was based on Freedom of Information requests from 100 groups, which covered more than 1,300 board positions. Researchers said that the figures suggest that groups are failing to engage grassroots GPs, and that practices risk being forced out of the commissioning process.
"In some areas, financial restraints have forced CCGs to actively cut the number of GPs on their boards, despite health secretary Andrew Lansley's insistence that it is GPs who are 'best placed' to improve NHS commissioning," said Pulse, the magazine for health professionals.
Dr George Rae, secretary of Newcastle and North Tyneside local medical committee, said the balance of management staff to GPs had swung too far. "If it is GP-led commissioning, the correct balance isn't GPs in the minority. There are other people who have to have input, but we must not sell ourselves short," he said.
But others have said that the struggle to keep down costs was having an impact on the balance of the boards. For example, Dr Guy Mansford, clinical lead and deputy chair of Nottingham West commissioning group, said practices in his area had decided to cut the number of GP board members from five to two to reduce costs and to counter accusations of a conflict of interest.
"With a large board there is a massive workload for governance, and innovation was just going out of the window," he said. "For small CCGs trying to live within the £25 per head budget, it is very hard to do everything."
Bob Senior, head of medical services at RSM Tenon, an accountancy advisory firm, and chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants, said the £25 management allowance was a factor in the composition of many boards: "The economies of scale don't work so smaller [groups] are having to use that money judiciously, which means you can't have quite as big an involvement from GPs."
The findings are likely to lead to criticism of health secretary Andrew Lansley's plans to put GPs at the helm of NHS commissioning. Commissioning groups will be responsible for some £60bn of NHS budget from April 2013.

The findings

• GPs held 645 out of 1,325 board positions (49%). Managers and finance officers accounted for 267 positions, alongside 140 lay members, 65 nurses, 50 public health representatives, 46 from local authorities, 42 practice managers and 70 others.
• On 44% of commissioning group boards, fewer than half of members were GPs. Groups with the lowest proportion of GPs included Nottingham West, which had two GPs (20%), Bury, with three GPs (21%), and Newcastle, also with three GPs (21%).
• While women do feature on boards, they make up just 21% of board members. Guardian Professional. 

Doctors suspended strikes over pensions... for now

Doctors suspended strikes over pensions... for now:
Doctors have suspended plans for more strikes over pension reforms but have said they will not rule out further industrial action in future. The Independent