Archive for July, 2009

Complaints over Norwich health centre

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, News stories |

Norwich Evening News | By Sarah Hall | 28 July 2009


Confusion mounts after the old Norwich NHS Walk In Centre in Thorpe St Andrew closed earlier than anticipated

Confusion mounts after the old Norwich NHS Walk In Centre in Thorpe St Andrew closed earlier than anticipated

A week ago a new GP-led centre opened in the city and people were promised a total revamp of health services.

But the transition of services has not appeared to run as smoothly as expected and criticism has been heaped on health professionals for the way they have handled the transition.

As reported, the Timber Hill Centre, in The Mall Norwich, offers patients the chance to walk in as well as make an appointment – the first time this has happened in the city centre.

The new £2m centre, which is set to benefit more than 75,000 patients in its first year alone, will also offer blood tests, x-rays, sexual health advice and physiotherapy.

Bosses from NHS Norfolk promised that the walk-in centre in Pound Lane, Dussindale would only close when the new centre opened and that it would be a “smooth transition”,

However it appears patients have been left confused with the move because there is no sign on the door of the Pound Lane centre to say it has closed, post is still arriving there and it closed down the night before the new centre opened – leaving patients nowhere to get treatment.

Just hours into opening its doors last Tuesday the public were apparently complaining they had been “misled” over the new centre. 

Stephen Edwards, managing partner of Thorpewood Medical Group, which is based next door to the old walk in centre, said: “I want to apologise to patients for the absolute shambles that has ensued with the closure of Norwich NHS Walk-in Centre.

“I find it embarrassing to be a manager in this local health economy at the present time. Perhaps I can assure our own patients and those from other practices locally that Thorpewood has worked extremely hard to try and ensure that the transfer of services from Dussindale to Timber Hill took place in a professional and seamless way.

“Patients and doctors have been let down very badly at a time when the health system is under huge pressure to deal with the swine flu epidemic. For our part in this awful mess we apologise, let’s hope NHS Norfolk can do the same.

“On a very personal level I was also let down by the new centre at Timber Hill so I do know how cross patients are feeling. I arrived for a blood test yesterday morning, as per the public information, only to be told “no sorry that is a mistake, we are only doing blood tests for registered patients”.

Mr Edwards said for the first few days of the WIC closing there was still an “open as usual” answerphone message, although this has now been redirected to the new centre.

He added that many members of the public were angry because “they never wanted the WIC to close”.

Ian Mackie, councillor for Thorpe St Andrew town council and Broadland, was one of the many people who opposed the new centre and the closure of the WIC.

He said: “I am very concerned about how the transition process was undertaken. We were always against the WIC closing and this just proves we were right.”

Gary Scott, NHS Norfolk’s interim director of primary care, said: “The Dussindale centre closed on July 20 as normal and the Timber Hill Health Centre opened the following day on July 21. However, we accept that there was a short period in which the walk-in service was unavailable while staff from Dussindale were transferring to Timber Hill, making operating from both sites at the same time unfeasible.

“To promote the change in location of the walk in service, NHS Norfolk has put laminated posters up at the Dussindale centre to explain that this has now closed and the service is available at the Timber Hill Health Centre. We have also updated our website to reflect the change and briefed the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team.

“With regards to the issue of post not being redirected, we have already pursued this matter to ensure that all post is being forwarded to the new Timber Hill Health Centre.”

It is estimated that during its first year there will be, on average, 14 patients per hour using the walk-in service which will rise to more than 18 an hour in the next few years.

The centre will be managed by Norwich Practices Ltd (NPL) – a consortium of 15 Norwich GP practices, commissioned by NHS Norfolk.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )


Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Federations, GP-led health centres, News stories |

Southwark News | 27 July 2009

By Anthony Phillips (

The results of consultation on whether to create four ‘super’ health care centres in the borough are set to be revealed in a public meeting tonight.

If given the go ahead, the new centres could radically change the way GPs operate in the borough, with longer opening hours and increased services, as smaller surgeries compete to survive.

The ‘News’ exclusively revealed in January this year that Southwark PCT, [now NHS Southwark],  had put together a 28 page draft proposal, called Transforming Southwark’s NHS, for the centres.

The Health and  Social Care (HSC)  centres, which would be based in Canada Water/Surrey Quays, Peckham, Elephant and Castle and Dulwich, offer out-of-hospital services from 8am-8pm, seven days a week, to both registered and un-registered patients.

The HSCs would house new GP surgeries, intended as additional practices to ones already operating. There would be a minor injuries clinic, a walk-in service, consultant led clinics and a variety of testing facilities. Some of the centres would provide X-ray machines, while all would handle blood tests, ECGs (heart activity monitoring), 
spirometry (which indicates lung disease), ultrasound and MRI and breast screening.

There will be additional maternity clinics offering specialist provision in both ante and post natal care, with plans to include a midwifery group to support teenage mothers and women with mental health problems.

When the ‘News’ revealed the existence of the proposals, fears were raised that the new centres would threaten existing GP surgeries. But Jane Fryer, NHS Southwark’s medical director, told the ‘News’ in January:  “It’s not about closing down practices at all.”

But Dr Fryer, also the Chair of Southwark’s Health Partnership Board, admitted that the smaller practices might go under unless they modernised and competed with the new super health centre model.

Dr Fryer added: “We think that the very small practices will not be sustainable in the future. We will be working with them in a new federated way.” NHS Southwark Chief Executive Susanna White added at the time: “The market forces will mean that the surgeries will have to come up with ways of keeping patients – opening hours, providing services, etc.”

NHS Southwark will be feeding back the results of the consultation at a public meeting at  Millwall Football Club’s ground The Den, Zampa Road, from 12pm to 4pm, today, Thursday, July 23.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Your Guide to NHS Services in Leeds 2009

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases |

Leeds PCT | accessed on 28 July 2009

NHS Leeds has recently opened a new GP practice in Burmantofts Health Centre, Cromwell Mount, LS9 7TA. The new facility, called Shakespeare Medical Centre, is open from 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year.

It provides traditional GP services for registered patients and people not registered with the GP practice can also make an appointment to get access to health advice and treatment for a range of conditions such as sprains, coughs, headaches, burns, bites and rashes.

Better access to GP services in Leeds NHS Leeds has recently opened a new GP practice in Burmantofts Health Centre, Cromwell Mount, LS9 7TA. The new facility, called Shakespeare Medical Centre, is open from 8am to 8pm, 365 days a year.

It provides traditional GP services for registered patients and people not registered with the GP practice can also make an appointment to get access to health advice and treatment for a range of conditions such as sprains, coughs, headaches, burns, bites and rashes.

Shakespeare Medical Centre also houses the third Walk-in Centre in Leeds, where no appointment is necessary. Please turn to page 6 for further details.

For further information contact the practice on 0113 844 0102.

Extended opening hours

GP practices across Leeds are now opening their doors earlier in the morning or later at night to offer more flexible appointment times. Some practices may also offer appointments on Saturday mornings.

For details about opening times please contact your practice, visit NHS Choices at or call our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 0525 270.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

King Street Health Centre, Wakefield

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases |

NHS Wakefield District | Overview | accessed 28 July 2009

In June 2009 we opened a new health centre in the heart of Wakefield.

Any time between eight in the morning and eight in the evening, seven days a week, you can now see a GP or nurse. If you’re happy with your existing GP practice, but you work in the city and want to see a doctor at a time that fits in with your work – you can use the centre. Or perhaps you have just moved into the area and don’t already have a GP? You can register with the new surgery.

Maybe you don’t need to see a doctor, but you need to have a blood test or maybe there is some other routine treatment you need. There is a range of services available in the centre – and all open to both registered and non-registered patients.

To help us in our planning for the health centre we consulted local people about the services they wanted to see there.

The new GP services at King Street Health Centre are provided by Local Care Direct.


Why are you opening this new centre?

Health Minister, Professor Lord Darzi, is leading a full review of everything that the NHS does. In October 2007 he reported on his findings so far. His report was called Our NHS, Our Future. As a result of this report the Government announced that it wanted to see 150 new GP-led health centres set up across the country – one in every local NHS area.

The health centre can be set up in a new building, or a building that we already use. It must offer new services and longer opening hours so that people can visit outside normal working hours.

It must be set up in an area which will benefit from extra primary care services. (That’s health services that you receive in the community rather than in hospital.)

What have local people already told us?

We have been listening to local people and what they have told us matches what people have been saying across the country. Although most people are very happy with their existing GP service, they also told us that:

  • they would like longer opening hours, so that people at work can see the doctor at a time that suits them;
  • they think that other health staff, such as nurses or chemists, could be trained to provide some extra treatments, which would take some of the pressure off GPs; and
  • we should let more people know about health services that are available to them.

What is a GP-led health centre?

A GP-led health centre is one where there is always a doctor available. Nurses and other health professionals will also see patients.

Who will be able to use it?

Anyone who lives within the area covered by the health centre boundary will be able to register with the practice in the usual way. Patients who are not registered will also be able to use the services, such as people who work in Wakefield but who don’t live here, or people who don’t already have a GP.

Where will it be?

It will be in the centre of Wakefield.

Why will it be in Wakefield and not in one of the other towns in the district?

Wakefield is the biggest urban centre in the district. This means that:

  • there are more people who work there, and who might find it difficult to get back to their own local GP;
  • it is predicted that more people will be moving into the area which means that there will be more people needing to find a GP; and
  • it is also an area where some of our most vulnerable patients live, including people who are not already registered with a GP.

What services will it provide?

Registered patients

The health centre will register local patients just the same as any other GP practice. Also, anyone else should be able to get an appointment or use the walk-in service even if they are not registered.

It will be open from eight in the morning until eight in the evening, seven days a week.

As well as the services that you would usually find at your doctor’s, we will also be offering more services.

Non-registered patients

The health centre will provide a range of services to non-registered patients who have either asked for an appointment, or who want to be seen on a drop-in basis. This could be because they can’t get to their own GP, or maybe they live in the area but don’t already have a GP. There are also some patients who because of their home circumstances or life styles have not already registered with a GP practice, and they would be able to use this centre.

Walk-in services

Patients who are not registered at the centre will be able to get advice and treatment for a range of conditions, such as sprains, coughs, colds, headaches, bites, burns and rashes.

Who will run the health centre?

Following a tender process, which involved months of rigorous assessment to ensure the highest quality of bidders, NHS Wakefield District announced Local Care Direct (LCD) as the preferred bidder to run the centre. LCD is one of the country’s largest community-owned health organisations.

The contract that will be agreed with the new GP practice is known as an Alternative Provider of Medical Services (APMS) contract. This means that the NHS services could be provided by another local GP, another NHS organisation, a social enterprise or a commercial organisation. Whoever provides the service, it will still be an NHS health centre. Nobody will have to pay for the care they receive. And you can be sure that the new GPs will have to meet all the NHS standards for quality of care and safety.

Does it mean other GP practices will have to close?

We want this health centre to be an extra service for patients. The PCT is not planning to close any other GP practices.

If you’re paying for this new centre, does it mean you’ve got to cut back on spending on something else?

No. We are already planning to spend more on other community health services across the whole of the Wakefield district. This includes:

  • putting extra money into GP services so that more of them can offer blood tests as well as other diagnostic tests;
  • working with our other GPs to extend their opening hours;
  • increasing community sexual health services; and
  • we will soon be opening a new unit for patients who have been back in hospital and who are almost, but not quite, fit enough to go back home.

Is it a good idea to go to a surgery where you’re not registered?

We believe that the best place for patients to receive care is with their own practice, because the doctors and nurses there know them best. We know, though, that for some people, this isn’t always convenient. If you see a doctor or nurse at the walk-in centre, notes of our visit will be sent to your own GP so that they can be added to your records.

And for patients who haven’t got a doctor of their own, they will be able to register at this new health centre.

Our plan in opening this new centre is to make it easier for people to see a health professional, and to give people more choice.

Will patients still be able to go to A&E (casualty)?

Yes. For patients with serious illnesses or injuries, or in an emergency they should still go to their local A&E department.

Have patient and public views been listened to?

Three public meetings have taken place, called Wakefield Speaks, and the GP led health centre was one of the topics for discussion. Also, our staff have been out and about locally, with a stand in the Ridings shopping centre.

If you are a member of a patient group and you would like somebody to visit your meeting to talk about the plans, we will be happy to arrange that.

How will you use the information?

We have gathered all the feedback from local people, and are using it to help us finalise our plans for the services we offer. This will be included in what we expect the chosen organisation to provide.

We will write a report of the feedback we receive and this will be available shortly. We will publish the report here, on our website.

How can you contact us?

  • You can ring our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0845 602 4832, or by email.

Wakefield’s new GP led health centre gets official opening

NHS Wakefield District | 7 July 2009 

Wakefield’s new 8am to 8pm, GP-led healthcare service gets its official opening on Friday 10th July. Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh, will be unveiling a plaque to mark the occasion at the new health centre on King Street, just behind the Town Hall.

The centre, which actually opened its doors on the 1 June,is already seeing on average 120 patients a day. It’s one of 152 new GP health centres opening across England aimed at making it even easier for people to see a GP and other healthcare professionals.

Patient, Maurice Cooke found the new King Street facility very efficient, he said: “I had an ear infection and thought I’d try it out. I was very impressed I came here at lunchtime and I was only waiting five minutes before I saw a GP. The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and the waiting area is very pleasant.”

An eye infection brought patient David Gordon into the centre on a Sunday evening, he said: “Not only did I get seen quickly the nurse prescriber also told me which pharmacy was open late, so I got my prescription within an hour of waiting in the centre.”

Both registered and non-registered patients can use the centre, which provides three aspects of care:

  • a ‘traditional’ GP practice for up to 6,000 registered patients;
  • booked appointments for patients even if they are not registered with the new centre; and
  • a walk-in service for anyone who simply wants to turn up for advice and treatment for a range of conditions.

The Walk-in Centre, previously based in the grounds of Clayton Hospital also now operates from King Street. Both walk-in centre staff and patients are benefiting from the new, modern facilities and employeesare also providing a wider range of services from their new home.

NHS Wakefield District Chief Executive, Alan Wittrick said: “Patients already using King Street health centre are finding it provides a flexible, professional and convenient service meeting the busy lifestyle needs of our community. We feel it really complements the district’s existing GP services and allows both registered and non-registered patients to see a healthcare professional at a time that’s convenient to them, whether that is in the evenings, at weekends or when they are away from home.”

MP for Wakefield, Mary Creagh said: “The Labour Government is committed to making sure GPs stay open for longer and at times that suit patients. Wakefield now has a permanent home for its out of hours service, as well as a lovely new GP surgery in the city centre thanks to government investment in the NHS. My thanks go to the great team at Local Care Direct who are helping to deliver these services to Wakefield. I know from personal experience that people really rely on them.”

Emma Wilson, Chief Executive of Local Care Direct, added: “The King Street Medical Centre has welcomed over 3,000 patients from the local community since it opened on 1st June and this number continues to grow on a daily basis. We have already received positive feedback from patients who have been extremely happy with the service provided. Our flexible walk-in service is open from 8am to 8pm and can be used by anyone. Local Care Direct have provided out of hours health services in Wakefield for the last five years and our commitment is always to putthepatients first.”

Photocall Opportunity for the Media:

Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield will officially open the King Street Health Centre on Friday 10 July. There will be an opportunity for the media to take photographs at 11.45am (please arrive no later than 11.30). If you are interested in attending please contact the Communications Team, NHS Wakefield District on 01924 317660/317651.

New GP-led health centre set to open in Wakefield

NHS Wakefield District | 28 May 2009

A new 8am to 8pm, all-year-round GP-led healthcare centre is set open its doors in Wakefield, on 1 June 2009.

The new service in Wakefield will be located at 47 King Street, just behind the Town Hall. It will make it even easier for people to see a GP and other healthcare professionals. Both registered and non-registered patients will be able to use the centre, which will provide three aspects of care:

  • a ‘traditional’ GP practice for up to 6,000 registered patients;
  • booked appointments for patients even if they are not registered with the new centre; and
  • a walk-in service for anyone who simply wants to turn up for advice and treatment for a range of conditions.

The Walk-in Centre, previously based in the grounds of Clayton Hospital will also be moving to the new centre.

There will be a range of services on offer including flu jabs, minor surgery, blood tests and help to stop smoking. There are also plans to provide further services later in the year, including some diagnostic services such as tests and scans. For unregistered patients, it will give fast access to health advice and treatment and can be used by anyone on a drop-in basis.

NHS Wakefield District Chief Executive, Alan Wittrick, said: “This development will enable people to have greater flexibility to access appointments for both registered and non-registered patients alike in a location that is convenient for them. This is consistent with our priorities for making sure that people are given a greater choice in both services and appointment times.”

Following a tender process, NHS Wakefield District awarded the contact to run the centre to Local Care Direct (LCD). LCD was established in July 2004 and formed by the merger of seven GP out-of-hours co-operatives, some of which had been providing out-of-hours primary care for over 20 years. It is now one of the country’s largest community-owned health organisations, providing out of hospital care to 2.5 million patients in Yorkshire and Humber

Emma Wilson, Chief Executive of Local Care Direct, said: “We look forward to welcoming patients from the local community into our King Street centre from 1stJune and we see this as an opportunity to extend GP access for registered patients, while also providing a flexible walk-in service from 08:00 – 20:00 that can be used by anyone; with or without an appointment. Local Care Direct have provided out of hours health services in Wakefield for the last five years so we know the area well. As a community-owned organisation, our commitment is to put patients first and our dedicated team is really looking forward to developing this new service.”

This new service will work closely with other local health services and partner organisations including primary care teams, voluntary organisations and social services. It’s located close to the city centre, with sufficient car parks for patients to use, including a small pay and display car park immediately behind the new centre. It’s also just a few minutes walk from both the bus station and Westgate train station, with the free city centre bus stops at the end of the road

Preferred bidder announced for new GP-led healthcare centre in Wakefield

NHS Wakefield District | 24 December 2008

A new 8am to 8pm, all-year-round GP-led healthcare centre which opens next spring in the centre of Wakefield looks set to be run by Local Care Direct (LCD), one of the country’s largest community-owned health organisations.

Following a tender process, which involved months of rigorous assessment to ensure the highest quality of bidders, NHS Wakefield District, the Primary Care Trust (PCT), has announced LCD as the preferred bidder to run the centre. It’s expected that contracts will be signed early in the New Year.

The new service, which will be located on King Street, will give local people increased access to GPs and other healthcare professionals. Both registered and non-registered patients will be able to use the centre, which will provide three aspects of care:

  • a ‘traditional’ GP practice for up to 6,000 registered patients;
  • booked appointments for patients who are not registered with the new centre but who are registered with any another Wakefield District practice; and
  • a walk-in service for anyone who simply wants to turn up for advice and treatment for a range of conditions.

The NHS Walk-in Centre, currently operating from a unit at Clayton Hospital, will transfer to the new centre along with its existing staff.

NHS Wakefield District Chief Executive, Alan Wittrick, said the Board had faced a tough decision as all those short-listed for the tender were of a high calibre. He said: “The selection process has been thorough and tough but we’ve carefully followed national guidance and we are confident Local Care Direct can provide a first class service for the people of Wakefield.

“This is an important service, one that’s being designed to take account of local needs and conditions and that will complement existing GP and GP out-of-hours services in the area. The extended opening hours will mean that local people will have a greater choice of appointment times than ever before, which is what they have been telling us they want.

“We believe the best place for someone to receive care is from their own GP, who knows them best and who has their medical record to hand. However, in some cases, people may find it hard to get to their own GP, so the additional service for unregistered patients will offer them the opportunity to receive care when they might otherwise have struggled to do so.”

The PCT will be developing a range of on-site services and the centre will also offer healthcare to homeless people.

For those patients not registered, the centre will give fast access to health advice and treatment to anyone on a drop-in basis. This service will work closely with local health services, including local primary care teams, as well as voluntary organisations and social services.

Since July, the PCT has been informing Wakefield residents and commuters about plans to develop the new GP-led health centre, gathering their views and feedback. Of those questioned, almost a third said they would consider registering with the new centre. Of those who were already registered with a GP in Wakefield, the majority said they would consider using the health centre sometimes. The main reason given for using the centre rather than their own practice was for out-of-hours appointments to fit around work commitments (45%).

Local Care Direct has provided out-of-hours and other healthcare services in the Wakefield District for the last four years through a multi-skilled team of local GPs, nurses, and operational support staff.

Emma Wilson, Chief Executive of Local Care Direct, said: “This is a great opportunity for us to provide healthcare in Wakefield. We already work closely with NHS Wakefield District and are committed to providing high quality services to patients in the area.

“As a community owned organisation, our job is to put patients first and we have a dedicated team which is really looking forward to the challenge of providing a wide range of additional health services at the new centre.”

Issued by Jo Thorne on 01924 317660

Notes for editors:

NHS Wakefield District

1. Since September 2008, Wakefield District Primary Care Trust (PCT) has been known as NHS Wakefield District.

2. NHS Wakefield District is responsible for providing health services across Wakefield, the five towns, and their surrounding communities. This includes community-based health services such as district nursing, health visiting and podiatry. NHS Wakefield District also oversees the work of GPs, dentists, opticians and pharmacists, and is responsible for commissioning hospital services on behalf of local people.

3. In addition NHS Wakefield District carries out a wide-range of health promotion aimed at helping to improve the health and well-being of local people.

Local Care Direct

1. Established in July 2004, Local Care Direct was formed by the amalgamation of seven GP out-of-hours co-operatives, some of which had been providing out-of-hours primary care for over 20 years. It is now one of the country’s largest community-owned health organisations, providing out of hospital care to 2.5 million patients in Yorkshire and Humber.

2. LCD has a dedicated team of more than 1,000 clinical and non-clinical staff. This includes around 350 regular GPs, recruited from local practices throughout the areas served.

3. As a social enterprise, LCD was set up to provide healthcare for the communities it serves – reinvesting any surpluses in services rather than paying dividends to shareholders.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Out-of-Hours in Manchester

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: , |

Go to Doc | accessed on 28 July 2009

From the 1st April 2009, GO To DOC have been commissioned by NHS Manchester to provide out of hours urgent primary care services for North, South and Central Manchester. patient

The Manchester service will be provided in partnership with Harmoni, a national out of hours organisation based in Hertfordshire that delivers care across the South East, South West and the Midlands. Across NHS Manchester the operational and clinical services will be provided by GO To DOC, with Harmoni providing substantial expertise in ensuring resilience and offering innovation from elsewhere in the country.

The service will be delivered by local staff based at a call centre in Denton, at three primary care treatment centres (North Manchester General Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Forum) and by visiting doctors for patients who are unable to travel.

If you need immediate and necessary medical advice or attention and cannot wait until your GP surgery is open, you can ring your own GP’s surgery telephone number and you will then be directed to GO To DOC. Alternatively you can contact GO To DOC directly on 0161 336 3252.

If you are advised that you need to see a doctor during the Out of Hours period then you will normally be asked to attend one of the following centres:

North Manchester General Hospital (Outpatient Department)
Delaunays Road
M8 5RB

Forum Health Centre
M22 5RX
Primary Care Emergency Centre (PCEC)
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Oxford Road
M13 9WL

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )


Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

NHS Choices | accessed on 28 July 2009

Since 2004, GPs have been able to choose whether or not to provide 24-hour care for their patients.

The out-of-hours (OOH) period is from 6.30pm to 8.00am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays.

Currently, some GP surgeries deal with OOH services themselves as well as having normal surgery hours. Some surgeries work together so that the GPs from more than one surgery can take turns to provide care. Other surgeries pay private companies to give care on their behalf at certain times. This may be for OOH treatment or when surgeries are closed for another reason.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) are local healthcare organisations that are responsible for making sure that all patients get OOH care. Some PCTs may decide to provide the care themselves, while others might hire other organisations to do it. This means that each area may have a slightly different service.

You can contact your local PCT to find out how you can access OOH care in your area.

Since January 2005, all providers of OOH care have had to comply with national OOH quality requirements. These state that details of all OOH care must be sent to the surgery where the patient is registered by 8.00am on the next working day. OOH providers must have a complaints procedure consistent with the NHS complaints procedure.

Types of out-of-hours care

OOH cover may include some or all of the options below:

  • GPs working in A&E departments, NHS walk-in centres or minor injury units (MIUs),
  • teams of healthcare professionals working in places such as primary care centres, A&E, MIUs or NHS walk-in centres,
  • healthcare professionals (other than doctors) giving home visits after a detailed clinical assessment, and
  • ambulance services moving patients to places where they can be seen by a doctor or a nurse in order to reduce the need for home visits.

Telephone consultations and triage (assessment of how urgent your medical problem is) are an important part of all OOH care. NHS Direct is the national 24-hour phone service, on 0845 4647, giving health information and professional healthcare advice.

For the Department of Health’s Comprehensive information on a range of out-of-hours topics including categorised policy documents, non-clinical guidance, links, and other resources click here

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Oldham PCT’s Walk-In Centre

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases | Tags: |

Oldham PCT | accessed on 28 July 2009

Oldham PCT’s Walk-In Centre opened on September 1, 2004 and is on John Street in the town centre, opposite the entrance to the Pennine Way Hotel.

It’s open seven days a week from 7am to 10.30pm, and is lead by nurses.

It offers fast and convenient access to local NHS advice, information and treatment, and people can walk in off the street for health care advice and treatment, without having to make an appointment, take time off work or rearrange their day.

People can also use the walk-in centre instead of Accident and Emergency if they have minor injuries or illnesses

The aim of the walk-in centre is to help anyone whose modern, busy lifestyle, or practical circumstances and particular needs, make flexible and accessible services vital

The Walk-In Centre is available for problems such as:

  • Strains and sprains
  • Superficial cuts and bruises
  • Stomach upsets
  • Minor rashes and infections
  • Coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms
  • Advice on how to stay healthy
  • Information about local services, including out of hours GP, dental and pharmacy services
  • Emergency Contraception

Contact the Walk-In Centre on 0161 785 7500

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

GP Services in NHS Heywood, Rochdale & Middleton

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases |

NHS Heywood, Rochdale & Middleton | accessed on 28 July 2009

As part of the Darzi Next Stage Review of the NHS, every PCT in the country was awarded funding to develop a new GP-led health centre within their area.  Due to the low numbers of doctors for our population, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale was one of 38 PCT’s to receive further funding to develop additional GP Practices also.

We began the Equitable Access in Primary Medical Care (EAPMC) project in January 2008 to procure the new health centre and four new GP practices.  After thorough research and evaluation, we decided that the new services would be based in the wards with the greatest health need.  These areas are as follows:

  • Middleton- Health Centre
  • Rochdale- GP Practice
  • Balderstone- GP Practice
  • Smallbridge and Wardleworth- GP Practice
  • Heywood- GP Practice

The new services will be open for longer and will provide additional services as well as traditional GP services, depending on the health need of each ward.  In order to determine what these services are, NHS HMR conducted a borough-wide public consultation in April 2008.  This included a consultation pack being distributed to every household in the borough, seven consultation events in the community and five focus groups with key individuals including the Youth Council, as well as a stakeholder workshop.

What are the new services?

Each new practice is required to develop a cardiovascular at risk register, find and treat for hypertension and diabetes, stop smoking service, weight management service and a Choose and Book service. 

The health centre will provide all these services but will also have a focus on children and family, with the relocation of services from Booth Hall Children’s Hospital leaving a gap in the North Manchester market.  The additional services the health centre will provide are a child health promotion programme, advice and support to young, vulnerable and single parents, breast feeding awareness and Chlamydia screening.

Up to four GP’s will be located at the health centre which will be open from 08:00-20:00 every day.  It will have a registered patient list of 3,000 and also an unregistered service so people will be able to walk in and be seen without an appointment.

All of the practices and the health centre will be open before December 2009; exact dates have still yet to be confirmed. 

Who are the providers and where are the practices?

  • Rochdale

The Rochdale GP Practice will be located at the Morrisons Supermarket, Kingsway in a purpose built unit on the car park.  This is an ideal location for the large housing estates surrounding, with excellent transport links and parking.  It is a convenient solution, as patients will be able to tie in appointments with their grocery shopping and visit the on-site pharmacy if they so wish. 
The provider is Rochdale-based GP Care Services.  The company is committed to developing modern primary care services without losing the fundamental core values that are central to quality general practice.  Its central business philosophy is one of high quality provision with an emphasis on integrated clinical governance, staff feedback and development, and a real commitment to improving healthcare for the people of Rochdale.

  • Balderstone

The Balderstone Practice will be located on Queens Drive, Kirkholt; a site which currently houses three blocks of flats.  These flats will be demolished, with one site being the GP practice, another a pharmacy and the remaining site being reserved for a community development project which has still yet to be agreed.  

The provider is Go to Doc Primary Care.  Go to Doc Primary Care is a subsidiary of GO To DOC, a not-for-profit primary care organisation which has been providing out of hours and GP practice services in Oldham, Tameside and Glossop for 11 years. 

Go to Doc aims to provide high quality, patient-centred care by putting patients and their families at the centre of all we do, working in partnership with the local community.  They deliver evidence-based care to agreed standards of excellence focus on delivering a seamless patient journey and develop innovative solutions to improve services.

  • Heywood

The Heywood GP Practice will be located on George Street on the site which was formerly Birtle View School.   

Like Balderstone, the provider of the Heywood practice is Go to Doc Primary Care. 

  • Smallbridge and Wardleworth

The Smallbridge and Wardleworth Practice is located at St Stevens Square, which was formally the Ralph Williams Clinic.  The practice opened on 1st August; the first in the programme.  Click here for full details

The provider is IntraHealth Limited, which was founded in 1999 by a team of NHS staff including doctors, pharmacist and healthcare managers. The company, based in County Durham, has been operating GP practices for more than five years and provides primary medical services to more than 35,000 patients from 17 locations across the country. The company also provides chronic disease services such as anticoagulant monitoring to other GP practices and Primary Care Trusts nationally.

  • Middleton

The health centre will be located in the Middleton Arndale Shopping Centre, on the 1st floor.  It may eventually be located at the Middleton Joint Service Centre once that has been developed.  

The provider is Hope Citadel Healthcare.  Led by local GP Dr Fred Thomason from the Junction Surgery, Hope Citadel is a community interest company.  It is a unique model, working in partnership with The Salvation Army, Inspire Middleton and The Lighthouse Project.  This supports the company’s vision to establish a first class, seamless healthcare that cares for the whole person.  Good health is not achieved in isolation but is affected by money, family, community and lifestyle choices. Hope Citadel will aim to tackle all of these areas to fully improve the health of the local population.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Private patients ‘have full NHS rights’

Posted on July 28, 2009. Filed under: ISTC, Journals |

Health Service Journal | 28 July 2009

Private patients have full rights to NHS critical care treatment if required, according to a newly ratified protocol.

The agreement was signed by the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, Department of Health, Intensive Care Society and National Critical Care Stakeholder Forum.

It reiterates the underlying right to free NHS treatment contained in the 1977 NHS Act, which covers patients who are initially treated privately.

The document says that where a patient is transferred from a private provider to an NHS trust, a charge will be made to the hospital or treatment centre for the transfer by the NHS trust.

“It will be the responsibility of the hospital or treatment centre to make provision for payment. A separate charge may be made by the consultant intensivist or consultant responsible for stabilisation and transfer.”

Each independent hospital or independent sector treatment centre must have a written transfer agreement in place with a specific NHS trust for both adult and paediatric transfers.

After NHS treatment, patients can be transferred back to the independent sector with their approval, as long as the appropriate level of care can be provided.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

BMA warns of ‘backdoor privatisation’ of Hull’s GP services

Posted on July 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Healthcare Republic | 24 July 2009

Primary care services in Hull are being ‘privatised through the back door’, the BMA has warned. A863D298-FADD-92C3-B8E1A849E705D51D

NHS Hull is converting its provider arm into a commercial company, provisionally known as the City Health Care Partnership Community Interest Company (CIC).

The company will be owned by its staff, and will ‘re-invest’ any profits in health services or in the wider community. It will run services including several local GP practices and the local out-of-hours service.

But, despite the fact that staff will be shareholders, a trade union survey found that 90% of staff had no idea that the move was happening.

A BMA spokesman said the PCT had been ‘very unclear’ about what would happen to the company’s profits. ‘Its intention is to put that profit back into the community, but it’s not given us any detail on how that’ll work.’

He added that the trust had ‘misled its staff into thinking it’s just another NHS merger, when what’s happening is the services are moving out of the NHS’.

The PCT says that all staff that transfer over to the new company will retain their NHS pension.

But current rules mean that new staff will not be eligible for it, raising the spectre of a two-tier workforce. 

A PCT spokeswoman said: ‘City Health Care Partnership will be an independent organisation that is underpinned by strong social purpose and organisational values.’

She added that the trade union that conducted the survey had only asked its own members. ‘This is not 90% of the total staff,’ she added.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Bracknell HealthSpace launch

Posted on July 24, 2009. Filed under: LIFT, Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

Berkshire East PCT | Press Releases | 24 July 2009

NHS Berkshire East has identified the company it wants to work with to develop detailed plans for the Bracknell ‘HealthSpace’.

Demands for a new health facility in the centre of Bracknell offering an extended range of health services was one of the key themes to emerge from the local public consultation process known as Right Care, Right Place which finished last year.

The HealthSpace is planned for Market Street and will form a key part of the town centre regeneration.

The Ashley House / G4S Integrated Services consortium was selected by the Board of NHS Berkshire East at its meeting in public on 23 April. Ashley House will take on the status of ‘preferred partner’ with facilities and services to be developed by G4S Integrated Services. Work will now focus on developing detailed plans for the building.

The decision follows extensive evaluation by a panel which included a local GP, councillor and patient representative. They looked in detail at four shortlisted proposals after 30 expressions of interest were received.

The HealthSpace will bring a wide range of services closer to home for many people. These will include urgent care, GP services, physiotherapy, specialist appointments with visiting hospital consultants and a whole range of scans and other diagnostic tests.

NHS Berkshire East Chairman Sally Kemp said: “This is a real milestone in our plans to offer an extended range of health services from 21st century facilities in the heart of Bracknell.”

Councillor Dale Birch, Executive Member for Adult Services, Health and Housing for Bracknell Forest Council, who took part in the evaluation process, said: “This is a very positive step forward for the residents of Bracknell Forest and I welcome the Board’s decision. I think they have listened very carefully to residents and key stakeholders.

“The Council and residents have long been vocal in their support for our own healthspace in the town centre with a range of locally relevant services including urgent care and GP services so that people won’t have to travel long distances for care.”

– ENDS –

Further information: 
Martin Leaver, Communications, NHS Berkshire East   Tel. 01235 553091 / 07966 174 183 

Peter Juster, Ashley House   Tel. 01628 600354 

Notes to editors: 

Ashley House plc developed its first primary care project in 1991 and is now a national organisation and a recognised innovator in development and premises solutions with over 200 completed projects. Ashley House has created, in close consultation with its clients, a comprehensive range of funding, design and construction services relevant to today’s ever changing healthcare environment. 

As well as being the development arm for 7 NHS Local Improvement Fund Trust (LIFT) companies, Ashley House plc (as part of Odyssey Healthcare) is also on the framework for the new Express LIFT procurement process. This has been achieved by incorporating modern building techniques with innovative and flexible designs and producing facilities that are purpose built to meet today’s needs whilst retaining flexibility for adaptation in the future. 

William Wells (Chairman) said: 
‘This is a very important and exciting project both for NHS Berkshire East in delivering their Right Care, Right Place agenda and as a catalyst for the regeneration programme of Bracknell town centre. 

‘We are grateful and delighted to have been selected and look forward to working with NHS Berkshire East and various user groups in achieving a flagship building and a beacon for health and social care provision.’ 

G4S Integrated Services is a division of G4S, UK and Ireland and is an international leader in providing critical primary and support services for both the public sector and corporate organisations on three continents.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

DoH to review private firm NHS involvement

Posted on July 23, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Healthcare Republic | 23 July 2009

The DoH is to review the role of the competition panel set up to maximise opportunities for the private sector to break into the healthcare market, according to Unison. Andy Burnham

Representatives of the NHS Together unions, which include the BMA and RCN, discussed NHS privatisation plans with the DoH’s new ministerial team led by health secretary Andy Burnham.

Unison says that Mr Burnham agreed to review previous DoH guidelines which favoured the private sector’s involvement in the NHS.

These include the new competition panel, the new commercial operating model for the NHS which will see an extra £20 million spent on maximising the involvement of private firms and the Transforming Community Services programme designed to maximise the roles of social enterprises and firms.

A DoH spokesperson said: ‘This was a  productive meeting and we look forward to continuing to work with the NHS  Together unions.’

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Out of Hours

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

BMJ Careers | Authors: Kathy Oxtoby | freelance journalist London | Publication date:  22 Jul 2009

There are increasing mutterings that the experiment of taking out of hours work away from GPs may have failed. Kathy Oxtoby investigates 

For some general practitioners, out of hours work was the bane of their lives. Often it meant getting up in the middle of the night to see a patient and then having to face a busy surgery the following day. Being expected to visit patients any time of day or night meant general practitioners often felt exhausted, not to mention worried that they might make mistakes. Working regular weekends also made it hard to have a family life.

In 2004 all that changed. The new general practitioner contract allowed practices to hand over responsibility for providing out of hours (OOH) coverage to their local primary care organisation in return for giving up an average of £6000 (€7000; $9700) per year. And many were only too happy to do so.

But some patients were less than pleased. Research carried out among more than 3000 patients on behalf of Pulse magazine by the online market research company Opinion Health in 2007 showed that patients were increasingly unhappy with the quality of OOH coverage and many feared for their safety.

Poor provision

That same year a public accounts committee report found preparations to introduce the new system of OOH coverage were “shambolic” and that only general practitioners had benefited from the arrangements.

In April this year, the standard of OOH provision was again called into question after an analysis of more than 70 primary care trusts in England by the Primary Care Foundation found the proportion of OOH cases classified as in need of urgent attention varies by as much as 30-fold across primary care trusts.

Then there are the individual stories, such as that of David Gray, a Cambridgeshire man and father of a general practitioner who died last year after a diamorphine prescribing error by German locum Daniel Ubani. In response to the case, the Care Quality Commission is conducting an inquiry into the OOH provider involved, Take Care Now, and is also looking at the way in which the services were commissioned by local primary care trusts.

So once again OOH coverage is under scrutiny, with some ministers calling for a review of the way the system works. The case of David Gray has also caused many to question whether private providers should be using foreign doctors to treat patients.

“Problems can occur when these providers use doctors who don’t have the same qualifications as general practitioners in this country and who aren’t well acquainted with our systems,” says Mike Dixon, chairman of the NHS Alliance. Critics of OOH coverage post-2004 are concerned about how much the cost and quality of services vary in different parts of the country.

“It is clear that provision is extremely patchy in terms of quality of service,” says shadow health minister Mark Simmonds. “People also tell me there are enormous disparities in terms of cost per person.”

Accident and emergency

Since the change to OOH provision, accident and emergency services have been under extra pressure. Don MacKechnie, vice president of the College of Emergency Medicine, says there has been a “steady increase” in the number of patients attending accident and emergency departments.

General practitioners made a “big mistake” when they voted to give away the responsibility for OOH coverage, believes Roger Chapman, a general practitioner in Bedfordshire. “I thought it was wrong to stop being responsible for OOH, but I respected that was where majority opinion lay. It was not in our interest because it undermined our claim to offer continuity of care. It was bad for patients, and it undermined our negotiating position.”

Although the current system has its problems, Chaand Nagpaul, General Practitioners Committee negotiator with responsibility for OOH coverage, stresses these are “more to do with the failings in PCT [primary care trust] commissioning and PCT behaviour—not the contract.

“PCTs in many areas have developed OOH policies without adequate input of clinicians, who are best placed to understand patients’ needs.

“The funding of OOH care varies considerably between PCTs, and we are concerned that decisions may be influenced by financial drivers, rather than ensuring the best quality OOH provision,” Dr Nagpaul says.

Relieving general practitioners of the responsibility of providing OOH coverage has been “a successful move” he believes. “It has transformed the professional lives of many general practitioners, allowing them to control their work load and maintain a work-life balance.”

Dr Dixon believes that on the whole, current OOH services are probably “clinically safer” because they are manned by clinicians employed to give their time and attention specifically to providing such care.

Career choice

Many general practitioners are choosing to make OOH provision a career choice, combining it with part time care. For Lancashire general practitioner Zahir Mohammed, who does a session a week for Bury and Rochdale Doctors on Call, a not for profit organisation, OOH work “is a way to keep up with developments and there is also the monetary reward.”

Current OOH services are in keeping with a society where people will search the internet or pick up a phone for health information or advice. Where once patients wouldn’t dream of calling their general practitioner outside surgery hours unless they had a serious illness, now they phone private providers, such as Harmoni, to get advice on all manner of ailments.

“Roughly 45 per cent of calls to Harmoni are completed over the phone,” says the organisation’s marketing director Mike Barradell-Smith. Such services can increase access to health advice and ease pressure on day time surgeries.

As these services are well established and general practitioners are now used to working without the responsibility of providing OOH services, it is hard to imagine a return to the old days of being on call, or indeed that the profession would even consider it.

That said, many feel there is room for improvement. The David Gray tragedy has prompted calls for primary care trusts to be more vigorous in the way they vet potential providers of OOH services and for those providers to be more rigorous in their recruitment methods. And some believe that OOH services should only employ local general practitioners.

Others question the use of private providers, suggesting their focus is profit not quality. But Mr Barradell-Smith, who stresses that Harmoni recruits its clinicians using a “rigorous assessment process,” believes the issue is “not about whether you’re an NHS provider or a private provider. It’s about being a quality provider.”

Monitoring quality

In the future, monitoring the quality of all OOH providers will be the task of the Care Quality Commission. Later this year, general practitioner practices and other primary care services, including OOH services, will be under the direct scope of independent regulation for the first time. These services will need to register with the organisation and must meet a set of essential standards of quality and safety in order to maintain registration.

One way of raising the quality of services would be for general practitioners to be involved in commissioning, says Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

“OOH should be led by those who really understand the system, so we should be putting the emphasis back on the general practitioners to commission OOH care,” he says.

General practitioners could well be back in the driving seat for OOH care come a change of government. “GPs should be responsible for commissioning—though not necessarily providing—OOH care,” says Mark Simmonds. “They are the best people to do this because they are much closer to patients’ requirements and needs. GPs should also be given control of hard budgets so they can commission on behalf of patients,” he says.

A new government

The likelihood of a change of government prompted general practitioners at this year’s local medical committee conference to pass the motion that in the event that the profession takes back responsibility for the commissioning of OOH cover, the General Practitioners Committee would agree and publish a minimum set of criteria. Attendees at the conference also passed the motion that primary care organisations would allocate reasonable funding levels to OOH providers to enable them to provide good quality care.

Dr Nagpaul says that although the BMA welcomes general practitioners being more closely involved in commissioning OOH services, “We don’t want to go back to general practitioners being responsible for its provision.”

Making general practitioners responsible for real commissioning budgets is another concern he says. “If these services are underfunded and budgets are inadequate, and general practitioners are responsible for providing them, this could open up a whole can of worms,” he says. “We must keep OOH budgets separate from GMS [general medical services] budgets.”

For Dr Dixon, the future of OOH coverage lies with practice based commissioning, with more primary care trusts handing groups of general practitioners “the reins” to drive services. Dr Chapman urges general practitioners to “grab” any chance to get back in the driving seat and take back responsibility for OOH coverage to safeguard the future of OOH care.

“That doesn’t mean going back to doing on call. It means taking control over what is happening with OOH. It’s in the interest of patients and the NHS. And it’s in the interest of the profession, for without that responsibility we’re undermining our ability to offer patients continuity of care, which is selling ourselves short.”

Competing interests: None declared.

Case study

Tony Davies is a general practitioner at the Lodge Surgery, St Albans and clinical director of Herts Urgent Care, a general practitioner led out of hours provider. He says: “When PCTs [primary care trusts] in Hertfordshire decided they wanted one OOH provider for the area, local general practitioners felt strongly that they didn’t want it to be a private one. They were keen to control the quality of services and for money for OOH to go to ensuring quality of patient care, not to shareholders’ pockets. It was also important to have local general practitioners who know the area and understand how services work.

“Herts Urgent Care was awarded the contract. The company was set up on social enterprise principles and is an amalgamation of some of the organisations that were part of St Albans and Region Doctors On-call (STARDOC), a general practitioner coop that had previously provided OOH to the community.

“The service went live in September 2008 and covers around 1.2 million patients across the county. Since then we’ve had positive feedback about the standard of care we offer. We tend to use only local GPs and there are more than 250 on our books.

“Many do shifts not just for the money, but so they can make sure the quality of care they provide continues through the night as well as the day time.

“I believe those GPs who don’t do OOH miss out on something very special to general practice.”

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

SSP Health Awarded Longsight, Manchester

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Press/News Releases, Providers | Tags: |

SSP Health | News Release | NHS Manchester | 22 July 2009

A new GP surgery in Longsight is a step closer after NHS Manchester signed a contract for a service that could register up to 6,000 patients in the next five years.
SSP Health, a small organisation that runs a number of other NHS practices across the North West, has been awarded the contract following a tender process.  It is the latest landmark in NHS Manchester’s multi-million pound programme to offer patients more choice and flexibility in where and when they see a GP. 
Laura Roberts, Chief Executive of NHS Manchester, said: “This is good news as it means preparations can get underway for the new practice to open in Longsight early next year. “It is one of four brand new GP services we’re opening across the city to make it easier for people to access the NHS where and when they need it. “With most of the existing practices in Manchester having recently extended their opening hours, it should add up to a big improvement for patients.” 
SSP Health was established by husband and wife team Shikha and Sanjay Pitalia, both of whom are GPs, and runs several NHS surgeries across the North West.  SSP’s Chief Executive Stephanie Byrom said: “We’re delighted to be working with NHS Manchester to provide convenient, patient-centred care to people in and around Longsight. 
“The practice will put an emphasis on detecting health problems as early as possible so that our staff can treat them quickly and achieve the best result for patients.”   The Longsight practice is being set up as part of a national programme to improve the availaiblity of GP appointments in areas where it has been identified that better access to a doctor can help to improve public health. 
Details of the premises for the new Longsight practice have yet to be confirmed but an announcement will be made as soon as a site is agreed.
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Bruce Keogh tells doctors to ‘seize control of NHS’

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Journals | Tags: |

Health Service Journal | BY CHARLOTTE SANTRY | 2 July 2009

NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh has told clinicians to “stop whinging” and “seize control” of the NHS. 1203878_keogh_bruce1

Speaking to HSJ after last week’s British Association of Medical Managers conference, he also said doctors taking up management roles had to accept they may need to stop practising as clinicians.

He said: “Since Ara Darzi’s review and the beginning of the focus on quality, everybody’s starting to come together, both managers and clinicians.

“Instead of clinicians whingeing about the health service, [they should] take over, become part of it, not be commentators on the side.

“We’ve never had a better opportunity to be really involved in the running of the health service.”

Many leaders would need to devote themselves fully to their management roles instead of continuing to hold clinics, he said. Referring to his own decision to stop working as a surgeon when he took up his current post, he said: “The thought that one can just do a couple of operations a week… is just crazy. You can keep it up for a while but nobody would regard you as a hard-hitting frontline surgeon if you did that.”

Clinicians had a duty to feed into decisions about procedures no longer seen as effective, he said. He has held discussions with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on treatments that are “becoming defunct”.

At last Wednesday’s conference, he said he would be “asking NICE to look at treatments we should be getting rid of”.

He also told delegates that the increased focus on clinical quality gave doctors the opportunity to “seize control of the NHS and determine the agenda of the NHS over the next few years”.

He called for NHS trusts to allocate responsibility for quality within specialist departments to one board member.

This would help new practices to spread more quickly and ensure clinical quality was on boards’ agendas in addition to other priorities.

“What would be helpful is if there was one member on the trust board whose job was to question whether organisations were focusing on quality across the gamut of specialisms.”

The British Association of Medical Managers

Who are we? 

Created in 1991 we are an independent registered charity that provides support and development for medical managers. Having grown substantially over the last 16 years, and currently providing management and leadership support throughout the UK, we are a leader in the provision of leadership and management training for clinical managers.   

What do we do? 

Primarily a membership organisation with over 1200 members, we specialise in delivering leadership and management training for clinicians in, or looking to take up, management roles. Providing both individual and organisational development programmes our aim is to provide clinicians with the resources and opportunities to improve their ability to lead change in the NHS, both at a local and national level. We also act as a voice for medical managers on the national political stage, communicating the views and opinions of our members on key issues. 

What is ‘Fit to Lead’? 

Fit to Lead is BAMM’s groundbreaking individualised leadership and management development programme. Developed initially for medical managers, Fit to Lead utilises a one-on-one tutoring process to identify and tackle development needs. A certificated process, Fit to Lead, along with our Skills Factory programme, helps to tackle areas where personal improvement is needed, while acting as a recognised stamp of approval for good leadership in the NHS. For more information, or to join Fit to Lead, click here

What happens at a ‘Skills Factory’? 

Our Skills Factories are designed, as part of our wider Fit to Lead programme, to provide clinical managers with the ability and confidence to lead change in the NHS. A three day residential course, the Skills Factory focuses on three key areas: Understanding your role, understanding how you relate to others, and understanding the wider context in which you operate. For more information and upcoming dates for our Skills Factory programme click here.

What is the ‘Seminar Series’? 

At BAMM we are constantly striving to provide medical managers with opportunities to expand their range of knowledge and improve upon the skills they possess. As such we have created the BAMM Seminar Series, which brings together a variety of topics relevant to clinicians in management, and covers them in convenient one-day interactive seminars. The Seminar Series has been designed to complement our Fit to Lead development program, but also serves to work effectively as a series of stand-alone CPD accredited educational events. For more detail and a full list of our upcoming events in this series click here. 

How do I join? 

If you are looking to become a BAMM member then click here.

 How is BAMM funded? 

We are funded entirely from the contributions of our members, and income generated from our development programmes. We do not receive funding from any Governmental or non-governmental organisations. 

Is BAMM affiliated to any outside organisations, such as the BMA? 

No, we are an entirely independent organisation run by medical managers, for medical managers. As such we are dedicated to one thing only – your improvement as a medical manager, and ultimately improved patient care within the NHS.  

Do you have to be on the Fit to Lead programme to attend the BAMM Seminar Series?

No, our Seminar Series programme of events is open to all BAMM members. However, those on the Fit to Lead programme will be eligible for reduced rates at these events. 

What is BAMM’s ‘Summer School’? 

Every year we bring together the biggest and best speakers in medical management. This years event is ‘Beyond the Box: Innovation in Health Care’ which takes place on the 27-29th June 2007. Next years event will be even bigger and better so keep checking our Summer School page for more details as and when they become available.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Patients to benefit from new health and well-being facility

Posted on July 20, 2009. Filed under: GP-led health centres, Press/News Releases | Tags: |

Oldham PCT | 20 July 2009

Patients in Hathershaw and Fitton Hill will benefit from a long-awaited boost to health services in the area, thanks to a new health facility which has opened this month.

The new facility is a result of work with local people, NHS Oldham, the local primary care trust responsible for healthcare in the borough, Oldham Council and New Deal for Communities.

It is part of plans for four new GP practices in Oldham which were announced in April to increase access to health services.

The facility on Deanshut Road (opposite Medlock Valley community school) will house the Hill Top GP practice, the Ravat & Ray dental practice and other support staff.

There are plans for the facility to also have support services such as lifestyle, money management and debt advice, youth activities, counsellors and a social worker.

The opening hours of the GP practice will be Monday, Thursday and Friday, 8am to 7pm and Tuesday and Wednesday, 8am to 8pm. Patients should contact the centre on 0161 622 2760 or drop in to make an appointment to register.

Ravat & Ray Dental Care are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm with late nights on Tuesday and Wednesday until 7.30pm and Saturdays, 10am to 2pm. They can be contacted on 0161 627 7060.

Alan Higgins, director of public health for Oldham, said: “I am delighted that the new facility is open and that it brings new doctors and new dentists to Oldham. This practice and our plans for three more are the result of a lot of work with local people to provide the access to health care that they need. The practices are part of our long-term plans to meet the needs of our communities by setting up a network of community healthcare provision.

“Our aim is to provide extra GP services in parts of Oldham where there are currently not as many, making it easier for people to see a doctor at a time which is convenient for them.”

Hope Citadel Healthcare,a local not-for-profit community interest company, will be running the Hill Top surgery in Fitton Hill and another of the four new practices planned for Hollinwood.

Hope Citadel Healthcare chair Laura Neilson said:”We understand that health is much more than simply not being sick and so we will work with, link in and support other programmes to try to keep patients well. The company has been set up by local people who live here and know the area well, so it is even more important to us to ensure this new practice can care for the whole person and the whole family.”

Three of the four new doctors’ surgeries are being paid for with extra funding from the government.

One practice in the town centre and one at Coldhurst will be run by Go To Doc, which currently provides daytime and out of hours GP and out of hours dental services in Oldham and other parts of Greater Manchester.

The three GP practices in Fitton Hill, Coldhurst and Hollinwood will offer traditional GP services. They will all be based in temporary places while permanent bases are built or permanent locations identified. The priority was to get them up and running and providing much needed services for local people as soon as possible.

The Hill Top practice in Fitton Hill will eventually move in to a new building as part of the New Deal for Communities neighbourhood centre in the area. The Coldhurst one will be based on the Westhulme site near the Royal Oldham Hospital then moving into a permanent facility in the Coldhurst area. The Hollinwood practice will be on Cardiff Close near to the Hollinwood Business Centre.

The new town centre practice, will be open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week, 365 days a year and people will be able to register there, or remain registered with their own GP but ‘drop-in’ for an appointment. It will also specialise in services for young people.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Integrated care pilot for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in North Tyneside

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: Integrated care, Press/News Releases |

NHS North of Tyne | News | 17 July 2009

Doctors in North Tyneside are preparing to test a new way of working with patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as part of a national project.

The 15 GP practices in North Tyneside are trialling a new approach which is developing ways of joining up the care patients receive in hospitals and the community to improve their experience and enable them to stay as well as possible.

Social and health care services in North Tyneside have chosen to support developments in COPD as this is a very common problem with high numbers of local people with the condition, many of whose lives are greatly affected.

The project is a joint venture between local practices in North Tyneside, the British Lung Foundation, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust (PCT), NHS Newcastle and North Tyneside Community Health, commissioners at NHS North of Tyne, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, North Tyneside Local Authority and out-of-hours GP care providers Northern Doctors Urgent Care.

Local GP Dr Caroline Sprake, lead for the project, said: “I am very excited about what this new pilot can deliver. We think this approach can ensure much more joined-up services for patients living with COPD, who as a result will be able to feel much more in control of their own health.”

Participating practices will be inviting individual patients with moderately severe COPD to take part. Each patient will be given a named ‘key worker’, a practice or district nurse, who will work with them to develop a personal care plan. This will include information and support to help them understand how COPD affects their own and their families’ lives, what can be done to help, and in particular how to best manage their own health care, including any flare-ups.

Patients will carry copies of their COPD records so that they can share them with other health professionals across a range of services who may need to know their history. It is different from the care that patients currently receive as each patient will have a named key worker who will be able to support each patient planning a programme which is individually tailored to their needs. The key worker will also contact patients regularly to see how their plan is working.

The pilot will continue for approximately two years and information gathered will be used both locally and by the Department of Health to compare patients’ experiences. We will also be interested in whether the project has streamlined the patient pathway and reduced the number of times patients use services including A&E, GP out-of-hours and hospitals to see if the approach is a better way of providing local health services.


Photo caption: Dr Caroline Sprake

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Think tank calls for £20 fee for GP appointments

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: |

Healthcare Republic | 17 July 2009

Patients should be charged £20 for a GP appointment to encourage healthier, wealthier people to avoid using the NHS, according to independent think tank the Social Market Foundation. 8404F7B3-9CFB-69A4-6C6AE70281FB1A41

It says that anyone receiving tax credits should be totally exempt from these charges and from prescription fees, covering the poorest 30% of society.

It calls for a reform of the NHS charging system to reflect income not categories such as pregnancy or retirement.

It suggests that NHS charges for GP appointments and prescriptions should be capped at around £100 a year.

The Social Market Foundation also backs local contracts for GPs and consultants with a move away from national targets.

Co-author David Furness said: ‘The core principle of the NHS should be that it is fair. But fair is not the same as free at the point of use. Free care for all will end up making the NHS less fair. The alternative to getting people to ration themselves is a return to rationing by stealth – waiting lists, crumbling hospitals and poor quality services – which hits hardest the poor and sick.

‘The charging system should be completely overhauled to make sure that the poorest people get completely free care. Sir Fred Goodwin should not get free prescriptions, when he picks up his pension, while working people pay for drugs.’

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

GPs could hand commissioning to private firms under Tories

Posted on July 17, 2009. Filed under: Journals | Tags: , |

Health Service Journal | By Helen Crump | 16 July 2009

GPs could be given the opportunity to bypass primary care trusts and hand commissioning to private sector organisations under Conservative plans. 1204591_blood_pressure_GP

Shadow health minister Mark Simmonds told HSJ that using companies such as Humana would be an option where GPs did not want to become commissioners.

The Conservatives have pledged to give GPs real commissioning budgets – the practice based commissioning system does not allow this.

Mr Simmonds acknowledged some GPs would not want to take on commissioning work.

Primary care trusts’ expertise might be called on in these situations. “There may also be circumstances where if there’s a continuing reluctance [from GPs] we may have to bring in others to commission on their behalf.”

“Federated” groups of GPs would be allowed to select whether another GP consortium, the PCT or a private firm did the commissioning, he said.

“We need to emancipate and empower GPs, and practice based commissioning doesn’t deliver.”

Mr Simmonds said commissioners would be paid to hit targets under an expanded quality and outcomes framework encompassing preventive measures.

But he would not say whether PCTs would be downsized as a result of moving some commissioning work into primary care. “That’s part of the discussion and decisions we need to make about where resources are allocated.”

Mr Simmonds called for a “greater aligning of incentives” between GPs, pharmacists, nurses and primary care trusts – including using the quality and outcomes framework.

He said: “We need much more effective commissioning and that means we have to have commissioning that is ultimately focused around driving improved patient outcomes.”

In order to avoid conflicts of interest he said GPs would be expected to use a “tendering process” to appoint providers.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

NHS privatisation worries older more than younger people

Posted on July 16, 2009. Filed under: News stories | Tags: , |

Healthcare Republic | 16 July 2009

The public’s view on NHS privatisation differs depending on their age, according to a poll of over 1,000 people commissioned by the independent Social Market Foundation think tank. 7F1EC00D-AA11-768D-B81F9F95685BE4AD

It found that younger people viewed privatisation as a possibility but not necessarily as a negative.

Older people were concerned by NHS privatisation and feared ‘losing’ the NHS.

The research also found that while people say they want a nationally based NHS, when asked how resources should be allocated in their area the public supports locally tailored services.

David Furness, health project leader at the Social Market Foundation, said: ‘Our research shows that people will accept local variation in the NHS if they feel their views are taken into account – fears about postcode lotteries are largely misplaced.’

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...