• Focus on NSAID use could cut deaths and needless admissions

    1 November 2012
    Community pharmacies could help reduce emergency hospital admissions and deaths related to inappropriate use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a project in the south-east has concluded.
     
    Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) worked with 17 community pharmacies over 15 months to test the role medicines use reviews (MURs) could play in reducing the risks associated with the common group of painkillers.
     
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  • CCGs urged to address GP shortage

    1 November 2012
    Despite the influx of new doctors over the last decade, the NHS workforce has been facing its own demographic crunch for years.
     
    At the turn of the century 14% of GPs were aged over 55 – that figure now stands at 22%. Some 10,000 have said they intend to retire over the next five years.
     
    One in five practice nurses are 55 or over, limiting the extent to which the continuing expansion of the role of the practice nurse can fill the gap.
     
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  • In hospital at home: Redditch and Bromsgrove opens virtual ward

    1 November 2012
    A looming financial challenge has prompted one Worcestershire commissioner to pursue the example of a neighbouring clinical commissioning group (CCG) by consolidating some community resources into a virtual ward.
     
    Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG have calculated that identifying and effectively managing patients at high risk of hospital admission using the virtual ward approach should largely wipe out a projected deficit for 2012/13 of £1.4m by reversing a rise in non-elective activity at its main acute provider.
     
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  • Kingsnorth responds to a changing community

    1 November 2012
    Kingsnorth Medical Practice has grown up with its community in Ashford, Kent.
     
    New housing developments began to spring up in the 1990s, as London’s inexorable overspill continued – encouraged in this case by the arrival of the Channel Tunnel and an international rail station in an area designated for growth by central government.
     
    It was, as GP Jim Kelly says, “a section of Ashford that didn’t really exist” in the mid- nineties.
     
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  • Mobile GPs oil the wheels of the ambulance service

    1 November 2012
    Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Worcestershire are working with local GPs to reduce the growing strain on the ambulance service and the county’s acute trust.
     
    South Worcestershire, Wyre Forest and Redditch and Bromsgrove CCGs are funding an expanded pilot programme which from this month (October) places a GP at the Worcester base of the West Midlands Ambulance Service between noon and 8pm each day.
     
    Nearly 30 GPs have signed up to support ambulance crews responding to non-life threatening 999 calls.
     
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