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Latest Blog Posts

How the new pension duties affect general practice

GP practices have more laws, rules and regulations than most employers in the UK. Many of these are specific to general practice, though others are common across all employers. The pension regulations and obligatory auto-enrolment into a qualifying workplace pension scheme (QWPS) are examples of the latter. An employer that doesn't put their employees into a [...]

How to get your GP practice working smarter, not harder

How to get your GP practice working smarter, not harderAs healthcare policies continue to push for safer and higher quality care, GP practices have found themselves under increasing pressure. They're being forced to work harder, producing more with the same resource. Your practice has been asked to provide care for more patients, spend more time [...]

Eye on the approaching storm of GP visits to care homes

As the hurricane season gets into full swing in the Caribbean and the Southeastern United States – our thoughts are with all those affected – a storm is brewing here between NHS England and the GPC. "Nothing new there," I hear you say. Maybe not, except this one started in 2013 when the government announced plans [...]

Yes, you can challenge the findings of a CQC inspection

Whenever you take pretty much any exam or test and don't agree with the result, you can challenge it. So it is with a CQC Inspection. There are time limits on when the challenge can be made, and also certain criteria for the challenge to be valid (though it won't necessarily be upheld). In this [...]

Online antibiotics: time to level the playing field?

Last week, news broke of an investigation by BBC Radio 5 live that exposed a number of websites freely prescribing antibiotics to reporters. The backdraft from the investigation has already drawn comment from the GMC (which has launched an investigation into online pharmacies) and the Department of Health. As at the time of writing, I [...]

Being open about mistakes is the first step in learning from them in the NHS

There are numerous examples in all walks of life that prove being open and honest is the best course of action to take when a mistake is made. The results of mistakes can be disastrous for those involved, and even more so for those who were unaware of the mistakes made. Immediately springing to mind [...]

Are you doing the Right Thing when Prescribing Unlicensed Medicines?

In an ideal world, you would always prescribe medicines in line with their license. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world. There may be times when an unlicensed medicine is necessary, for example when no suitable licensed medicine is available or a licensed medicine is temporarily unavailable. Commonly, unlicensed medicines are used in paediatrics, psychiatry, and palliative care.In such [...]

Tackling the Hardest Conversation a GP will have with a Patient – End of Life Care

I can’t think of a more difficult conversation to have than discussing a patient’s end of life care with them. I’m fortunate that I won’t have to have this conversation until my own time comes. I can only imagine how hard it must be, and I’m not surprised that so many doctors shy away from the end of life [...]

The RCGP Push for Doctor Recruitment maybe Missing the Point

If the government and the NHS don’t take drastic action very quickly, the NHS could be short of almost 10,000 GPs within four years. That’s the conclusion of a study by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). This shortfall is the number it predicts based on a number of factors, including: - The number of GPs aged over 55 today- [...]

Is Amalgamation of Hospitals and GP Practices the way Forward for Primary Health in the UK?

The National Health Service is at breaking point, financially and on a supply and demand basis, too. Paraphrasing a certain great Briton:“Never before have so many patients been served by so few staff with so little money.”In this article, I want to examine the potential of a new model of primary care provision.A GP practice model for the future?In [...]

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