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Over to you


Blog headlines

  • Structuring a PCN Social Prescribing Service for the post COVID world
    25 February 2021

    This week we have a blog by Nick Sharples.

  • Community-Oriented Integrated Care
    18 February 2021

    The blog this week is a short extract from a paper considering an approach primary care networks could use to move towards community-oriented integrated care.

  • Strategy Unit releases opensource model for planning vaccine centre capacity
    11 February 2021

    This week's blog is from The Strategy Unit who are sharing an opensource model to help with vaccine centre capacity planning.

  • Time to talk day
    4 February 2021

    A small conversation about mental health has the power to make a big difference.

  • Supporting Staff: the emergence of ‘long-covid’
    28 January 2021

    As we are now well into a second, or is it now the third, wave of Covid-19 it is becoming apparent that Covid is something we have not experienced before and it has unique implications for staff management. It is not just the possibility that staff may become acutely ill with the virus, but that for some they may go on to develop persistent debilitating symptoms that will affect their ability to go back to work. This article looks at the implications of long-covid for HR and service managers when looking to support health care professionals (HCPs) return to work.

  • Link of the week: Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR)
    21 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a link to the Clinically-Led workforce and Activity Redesign (CLEAR) site that is funded by Health Education England.

  • So much more than an extra pair of hands
    14 January 2021

    The introduction of the additional roles reimbursement scheme for primary care networks has started to grow capacity in general practice to address the unsustainably high workload that has put so much pressure on GPs.

  • Primary Care Networks – how did we get here?
    7 January 2021

    This week we are sharing a blog by PCC’s chairman David Colin-Thomé.

  • A year like no other
    17 December 2020

    On 5 July 1948 the NHS was born, over the last 72 years challenges and changes have been remarkable but the service has probably never been tested as much as in the last nine months. There have previously been numerous re-organisations, multiple changes to hospitals, mental health services and a shift from the family doctor towards more integrated primary care services delivered by a range of professionals. However, rapid transformation of services to embrace digital technologies, and a shift change to work differently has been forced upon all areas of the health service this year.

  • Guest blog: David Hotchin
    11 December 2020

    This week we have a guest blog that was submitted to us by David Hotchin, written by a retired friend....obviously, he's used a little poetic licence.

  • What now for commissioning?
    3 December 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What White people don’t see
    26 November 2020

    This year’s Black History Month (BHM) has, unfortunately, in its shadow another example of why campaigns like this exist.

  • Primary Care: Why don’t we talk about Racism?
    20 November 2020

    Rita Symons is an ex NHS leader who is now a leadership consultant, coach and facilitator. Her work is mainly in the NHS and she is an associate for PCC offering facilitation, coaching, strategy development and team development activities. She is a concerned but hopeful world citizen and combines work in the NHS with a board role in a non for profit organisation and an interest in writing.

  • Primary Care and the Health of the Public
    12 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • What now for primary care
    4 November 2020

    By Professor David Colin-Thomé, OBE, chair of PCC and formerly a GP for 36 years, the National Clinical Director of Primary, Dept of Health England 2001- 10 and visiting Professor Manchester and Durham Universities.

  • Boosting your resilience
    30 October 2020

    The last year has been a difficult one, who would have imagined last Christmas that we would have been in lockdown, with the NHS seriously tested by a global pandemic. So much change has happened and the resilience of people working in and with health and care services has been seriously tested. Resilience is our ability to deal with, find strengths in and/or recover from difficult situations. Its sometimes referred to as “bounceabiliy” – but bouncing in what way?

  • Link of the week: National Cholesterol Month
    23 October 2020

    Every month or week of the year seems to be an awareness week, October has more than its fair share.

  • New redeployment service offers talent pool of motivated, work-ready individuals
    15 October 2020

    People 1st International have shared some of the work they are doing to support people displaced from industries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There is an opportunity for health and care services to benefit from this workforce.

  • Link of the week
    9 October 2020

    Article published in the BMJ looking at the ability of the health service to quickly bounce back to pre-Covid levels of activity and considers if it is desirable.

  • Virtual Consultations– the patient perspective
    2 October 2020

    This week Jessie Cunnett, director of health and social care at Transverse has shared this article.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Over to you

Next week the Department of Health will write to patients reminding them that the new NHS is more patient centred, outcomes focused and transformational than ever before and that patients and the public are, in a very real sense, at the heart of things. NHS Networks has obtained a copy of the letter, which is reproduced here in full.

Dear Citizen-patient

As you know, you are now in charge of the NHS. This is partly because the people who used to run it weren’t up to the job but, more importantly, because we think the NHS is too important to be left to politicians, civil servants or managers. 

You may feel you lack the clinical and managerial expertise to take on a public service with a budget in excess of £100bn a year. Don’t worry, we’ve thought of that. You will be working in partnership with your GP, someone who knows all about medical matters and running their own business, admittedly on a slightly smaller scale. 

The new arrangements, which took effect earlier this month, mean that you will be making all the important decisions that affect your care. You and your GP will be able to decide exactly how the NHS budget is spent and where. You will have the power to close underperforming hospitals, commission new services, redesign care pathways and hold local providers to account – all of which you’ve told us you can’t wait to do.

You can find everything you need to run the NHS by following the links at the end of this letter. They give you access to lots of regulations, guidance, directions, policies, procedures, contractual frameworks, procurement rules, commissioning guides, toolkits, clinical guidelines, spend and outcomes data and more. Don’t worry if it all seems a bit daunting at first – if you follow the instructions carefully, you’ll soon get the hang of it. 

Of course not everyone will have the time to get involved on a day to day basis. If your GP is in the driving seat, think of yourself as in the passenger seat telling him where to go or in the back of the car quietly watching a DVD or listening to music on your iPod. It’s up to you.

But whatever your level of participation in running the NHS, we know you will want to be involved in your own care. “No decision about me without me” is our way of saying that nobody knows more about heart disease, diabetes or rare tropical diseases than you. So if you think that the digoxin is interfering with your renal functions or the amlodipine is giving you headaches and causing your ankles to swell up, make sure you let your doctor know. Because she will be busy getting to grips with funding flows or renegotiating the contract for outpatient dermatology services with the local hospital, she may not have noticed. 

The best thing you can do to help the NHS is not get ill or injured in the first place. Looking after yourself, eating the right food, cutting out alcohol and cigarettes, giving up dangerous sports and taking lots of long walks are just some of the ways you can save yourself and the NHS money.

If you must use the NHS, please do so in moderation and remember that by making just one less trip to A&E or thinking twice before asking for expensive cancer drugs you will be saving resources that may be put to better use somewhere else. Reorganising the NHS for your benefit has already cost upwards of £1.5bn. Inevitably that has meant cutting back in less essential frontline areas, but you can do your bit too.

You kept saying it was your NHS. Well now it is. Over to you.

rob.thornburn@nhs.net says:
Apr 12, 2013 07:52 AM
At last a clear statement of the reality of health care delivery. It will only get worse and the best service will be destroyed by this silliness.
ruhi.siddiqui@hpa.org.uk says:
Apr 12, 2013 09:18 AM
Thank you for these regular updates - always brings a smile to my face. Keep up the good work.
sharon.levack@nhs.net says:
Apr 12, 2013 09:36 AM
How sweet. Sending a letter to the Citizen/patient. If only it worked in the real world like that. It's all still run by politicians, civil servants and managers. When GPs are giving placebos to patients, won't refer you to Consultants for ailments they themselves cannot resolve to "Save NHS Money". Where in all of this does the Citizen/patient have a choice? They may insist on seeking further consultation, but they still have to get past their GP for referal. Reorganising the NHS for their benefit has already cost upwards of £1.5bn.With so may different NHS bodies now created there won't be the continuity of working and planning together for the future as before when all divisions were under one "roof". Let's see what the future holds for the sick citizen/patient who just wants someone to help him/her get better and receive outstanding care during this process.
dwdeborahwainwright@gmail.com says:
Apr 12, 2013 11:04 AM
It should be noted, not to telephone DH or senior NHS managers for advice and guidance since they are all busy moving furniture, changing email addresses and moving into each others jobs. An NHS where everybody is equal ... Right up until some become more equal than others ...
sarah.j.lea@uhl-tr.nhs.uk says:
Apr 12, 2013 12:37 PM
After 34 years in the HNS I have yet to meet any patient who is an expert in tropical diseases and as for thinking twice before asking for an expensive cancer drug it's obvious the people responsible for this letter have never been seriously ill themselves.
GP should concentrate on being first line clinicans and looking after their patients, like fund-holding they will employ others to do this work .
stevie.pattison-dick@nclondon.nhs.uk says:
Apr 12, 2013 02:19 PM
Post 5. Oh dear.
les@wilki023.fsnet.co.uk says:
Apr 12, 2013 05:03 PM
Regret this reads like a trial for a board room ad campaign, its patronizing and negative about the NHS management generally lumping the poor in with the good. Patients are not in charge of the NHS, although there is now some involvement and input from patients in some areas here and there. This might help to influence the way forward in places but it does not make the patients the ultimate decision or policy makers. Trained, qualified and experienced individuals are being paid, highly paid in places, to do this on our behalf. Between us we must be sure the job is being done well. Masses of documentation, such as those shown as related sites are written too often as papers in flowery NHS speak and do not help. Papers must be shorter, clearer, written in simpler terms and to the point. This information is to be passed on to and understood by the public, many of whom are very busy people and will just not have the time or inclination to read such long convoluted documents.
kate.robinson@srft.nhs.uk says:
Apr 15, 2013 08:42 AM
I was really shocked by this statement, it seems to imply that people should chose to suffer rather than cost the NHS any money, surely its just very badly written though?
jpatterson says:
Apr 15, 2013 10:24 AM
Following publication of this letter, the DH has announced that extra supplies of irony enhancing medicines are to be made available on the NHS. A spokesman said: "We are concerned but not terribly surprised that some people are unable to tell the difference between broad satire and genuine DH communications. Emergency supplies of irony supplements will be delivered with next week's NHS Networks editor's blog."
The DH confirmed that supplies of cancer drugs would be unaffected.
robin.cameron@nhs.net says:
Apr 16, 2013 10:53 AM
Wholeheartedly agree with the earlier comment. Please keep up the good work. These perceptive blogs have the added benefit of helping us to retain something of a sense of humour through all of it.
Tghis time, I am especially pleased to see someone picking up on the nonsense of some of the soubndbites introduced to underscore recent NHS reforms "no decision about me without me" or the even more ridiculous "Patient knows best". Did nobody question how a person with absolutely no medical training or qualifications whatsoever - or even a person with no trainiong or qualifications in anything at all - could possibly "know best" when it comes to medical diagnosis and treatment decisions. Very much more of that nonsense and I fear we could risk seeing lengthy queues of parents in South Wales anxious to get their teenage children inolculated for MMR, only since those parents aboslutely "knew best" in the late '90s and equated that the MMR vaccination was the social equivalent of breaking wind in a crowed lift.
Healthcare policy by soundbite is probably the least effective a country can devise.
sketch.chris01@googlemail.com says:
Apr 16, 2013 01:29 PM
And when it fails they will blame the system and say its better put in Private sector hands - USA insurance Co.s are i'm sure are waiting in the wings

(PS: The public don't understand GP's are businesses they see them as part of the NHS/public sector the same as the hospitals)

What happens when a GP / Practice is lobbied to change funded treatment policy by a influential patient that has connections to offer(give) treatment - e.g. free botox if depressed with looks! Free IVF for the 6th time - Can they as a small fish resits such direct and possibly personal demands which were previously controlled by PCTs/SHA Policies and GP's could say I would love too but the PCT won't allow me too fund this Tx! [the examples may not be right but I hope you get the drift]