This article was first published on the BMJ website. General practices have been working together in primary care networks (PCNs) for more than a year, but now growing numbers of GPs are threatening to pull out of PCNs and the associated contract. Richard Murray explains how this situation has unfolded and suggests some potential solutions.
GPs will be required to visit care homes at least every fortnight from September under new requirements revealed by NHS England.
- GP members have rejected proposals for six-way merger of clinical commissioning groups in Staffordshire
- LMC had warned benefits of merger were “speculative” and claimed NHSE had driven proposals
GPs have voted against proposals to merge six clinical commissioning groups in Staffordshire, after being told the plans were “driven by NHS England”, HSJ has learned.
The CCGs’ shared management team outlined the intention to merge last year, but various concerns have been raised among the GP members.
The outcome of the vote is due to be formally announced after an extraordinary meeting this evening, but HSJ understands members in a clear majority of the CCGs have voted against the proposals.
The CCGs, which share an accountable officer and several other senior posts, declined to comment on the vote ahead of the meeting, and it is not clear whether they will now pursue the plans.
As reported in the Healthcare Leader, prior to the vote Paul Scott, chair of the North Staffordshire Local Medical Committee, advised his members to reject the merger.
He wrote in an email, seen by HSJ: “Much has been made of the potential benefits of having a single CCG in Staffordshire, yet few if any of these arguments hold true or are at best speculative.
If the DWP was a competent Government department none of these problems would be occurring, but competence is the main word in all this.
For this department has shown over many years how incompetent they are.
Where an appeal is in process or there is the probability of an appeal this letter to GPs should not be sent and a competent and responsible organisation would comply with this.
But we have to look at the agenda and this appears to be to cause as many problems as they can do to people claiming benefits.
Any reasonable, competent and responsible organisation should not have to have it pointed out to them that these letters should not be issued and that GPs still need to send the ‘fit note’.
But that is the point the DWP are not a reasonable, competent and responsible organisation. and wish to cause as much harm as they can to benefit claimants, even to the point of the death of the claimant.
Jobcentre chiefs have issued around 150,000 copies of a controversial ‘fit for work’ letter that doctors warn could endanger patients’ health. The huge total ramps up pressure on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) just a day after the letters were blasted by GPs.
The row revolves around the DWP’s treatment of people who are denied sickness benefit Employment Support Allowance (ESA) after being found ‘fit for work’. Each time someone is found fit for work, the DWP sends their GP a standard letter informing them of the decision.
But the wording of this letter changed in 2017 to say GPs “do not need to provide any…
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Yesterday on Twitter, I posted one of my previous posts – Jobcentre tells GP to stop issuing sick notes to patient assessed as ‘fit for work’ and he died –in which I discuss a letter addressed to a GP regarding a seriously ill patient. It said:
“We have decided your patient is capable of work from and including January 10, 2016.
“This means you do not have to give your patient more medical certificates for employment and support allowance purposes unless they appeal against this decision.”
The patient, James Harrison, had been declared “fit for work” and the letter stated that he should not get further medical certificates.
However, 10 months after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) contacted his doctor without telling him, he died, aged 55. James clearly wasn’t fit for work.
Source: DWP tells GPs not to support benefit claimants with sick notes : Welfare Weekly
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday it will vote in November to allow U.S. devices to access the European global navigation satellite system known as Galileo, a move that could improve the services Americans use.
Galileo is a 10-billion-euro ($11.40-billion) satellite program being developed by the European Union as a rival to the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) that launched initial services in late 2016.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a Wednesday statement that “enabling the Galileo system to work in concert with the U.S. GPS constellation should make GPS more precise, reliable and resilient for American consumers and businesses alike .”
The FCC is proposing to waive its licensing requirements for non-federal operations with Galileo signals known as E1 and E5, subject to certain technical constraints, officials said.
The FCC includes conditions to ensure users of satellite-based positioning, navigation and timing services in the United States will benefit from Galileo signals. The systems are interoperable under a 2004 agreement.
Pai noted that GPS “is integral to numerous everyday applications – ranging from driving directions to precision farming.”
The EU has had to rely on Russian or U.S. GPS signals.
Source: FCC to vote to allow U.S. devices to use European navigation system : Reuters
As the health service marks its 70th anniversary, experts offer their prescriptions for keeping it going
The DWP are saying that their DWP Assessors know better than GPs on whether a person is fit to work, on what basis, surely the evidence is says otherwise.
The DWP letter to GPs is showing the contempt is has for GPs. GPs are highly trained professional, what training have the DWP assessors had?
We know the way adult mental health services are currently provided does not always offer quick or fair access. We want to make sure that people can get the help they need, when they need it.
We’ve been listening to what you’ve told us about your experiences and speaking to GPs about what hey think needs to change. We’ve also had conversations other organisations in the city, e.g. Healthwatch Sheffield.
We are making changes so that:
- it is easier for people to access services
- everyone accessing a service has the same waiting time, regardless of where they live
- it is clear what you can expect from our services
- our services are able to respond flexibly as your needs change.
We also need to make sure that we balance our books and spend our money wisely so that our staff can focus on supporting you.
For most of us, everyday life is as easy as it gets. We often take for granted the fact that we easily have access to almost everywhere we go and do our daily