Patient Participation

Thank you to Helen (and Bob!) for an illuminating session on Patient Participation. Hopefully observing the Patient Participation Group (PPG) in action gave you some food for thought.  The discussion afterwards showed that there are varying views as to how PPGs should be formed.  Helen’s presentation can be found here.  The actual NHS England guidance for the 2013/14 DES can be found here  More information can be found at the National Association for Patient Participation website.

CRB or “Disclosure and Barring Service” checks

There have been a number of queries about Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (or what used to be CRB checks).  It does appear that it is the responsibility of individuals to pay for their own DBS checks (See Slide 6 of this presentation from Health Education West Midlands) where as in the past this was paid for by the Employer.  More information about DBS checks for Doctors in training can be found on the NHS Employers website.  It looks as though you may update your DBS check rather than repeat the process of applying for a new check and this can be done via the gov.uk website (thank you Matt).

Update

It has been a busy week with the publication, by NHS England, of the Urgent and Emergency Care Review and also the GP Contract for 2014/15.  The role of GPs in providing prompt same day access was highlighted in both reports, forming part of a plan to ease some of the pressure currently faced by emergency departments and also addressing the desire to reduced unplanned admissions.

 

The GP contract included some significant changes including the removal of a number of QOF points and areas.  The “headline” change would seem to be the enhanced service to reduce unplanned admissions and to provide proactive case management for patients identified by risk profiling.  Specific ways to support this would be direct telephone access to a patient’s GP for Emergency Departments and Paramedics and improving same day access.  In addition, all patients aged 75 years of age or older will have a named accountable GP who will co-ordinate their care and Practice boundaries will be removed.  NHS England will co-ordinate urgent same day care for those patients registered away from their home.  The push to harness the power of the internet continues and patients should have online access to their summary care record and be able to book online appointments and request medication (see the RGCP document Patient Online: The Road Map).

 

It is important to note that money is being recycled to enable these changes rather than new funding being directed to General Practice.  Perhaps with this in mind, the RCGP have started a campaign “Put Patients First: Back General Practice” to campaign for additional resources.  There is a lot interesting information in the campaign brief and you can sign receive updates either through Twitter or Facebook.

 

There will be a lot of changes in General Practice over the coming months, some of which will be very challenging.  I think that as GP trainees it is important you consider how you would approach these challenges and what the pros and cons may be.