Sports exercise medicine

30 July 2012

The importance to health of regular exercise, as well as a healthy diet, is well known. However, a new report published by the Department of Health highlights the importance of “sport and exercise medicine” (SEM) as a key medical speciality in its own right — the first new medical specialty for more than 25 years, reports Martin Hodgson.

Clinical Commissioning Groups — the authorisation process

21 May 2012

Since the enforcement of the Health and Social Care Act in March 2012, work has begun in earnest to ensure that the new Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are fit and capable of performing their commissioning responsibilities by 1 April 2013. Thoreya Swage details the authorisation process.

Telemedicine, telehealth and telecare

14 May 2012

Recent years have seen great technological advances, particularly in computer and electronic telecommunication technologies, and the worlds of medicine, health and care have all seen many new tools and devices become available that have the potential to radically improve peoples lives. Telemedicine, telehealth and telecare are all terms used to describe these developments. All three involve the use of new technologies, particularly electronic technologies, and the terms are often used interchangeably. In fact all three refer to distinct applications of technology, albeit with some overlap. What exactly are these various approaches and how can they be employed to improve health and social care outcomes, asks Martin Hodgson.

Preparing for the Health and Social Care Act 2012

4 May 2012

With the passing of the Health and Social Care Act in March of this year the NHS can finally plan the future with reasonable certainty. After much debate lasting nearly two years following the publication of the White Paper Liberating the NHS in July 2010, it is now time to implement the proposed changes on the ground. So what happens now? asks Thoreya Swage.

Commissioning support for clinical commissioning groups

16 April 2012

When Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS was published in 2010, it was envisaged that the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) would be lean organisations with the facility to carry out the commissioning functions individually or collectively, or buy in from other organisations. The types of function included under this umbrella are activities such as negotiating and monitoring contracts, procurement, information and data analysis, human resources and IT. This has been termed as “commissioning support” for CCGs. Thoreya Swage looks at it in detail.

Registering primary care medical services under the Health and Social Care Act 2008

6 April 2012

Under new regulations introduced by the Government in 2010 and implemented by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), all primary care service providers that carry out “regulated” activities under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 must be registered with the CQC from April 2013. To enable this the CQC has introduced transitional registration arrangements that will start to operate later this year. Details of the transitional arrangements have now been announced by the CQC and all primary care providers should read the guidance carefully so they are fully prepared when their turn comes to register. Martin Hodgson looks in depth at providers' obligations.

Revalidation — the current state of play

12 March 2012

The General Medical Council has announced that later this year it will ask all doctors for information about where they work in preparation for the rollout of the new system of revalidation for their licence to practise. Martin Hodgson looks at revalidation, the current status of its implementation and what GPs have to do to comply with the requirements.

How the NHS Commissioning Board will function

20 February 2012

At the meeting of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) on 2 February 2012, a proposal was presented on the design and function of the organisation together with the next steps for implementation. This was discussed against the background of the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill which is still going through Parliament and is currently at the House of Lords, writes Thoreya Swage.

The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2012/13

13 February 2012

The current financial year, 2012/13, is a year of transition to the new commissioning system and marks the second year of productivity savings that the NHS has to make by 2015. This presents a challenging agenda, particularly for NHS staff who are required to deliver the changes whilst facing an uncertain future. Thoreya Swage looks at the Operating Framework.

Fire safety in primary care premises

23 January 2012

As the time approaches in 2013 for general practices to register with the Care Quality Commission, and comply with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010, it is essential that they review their premises safety systems in good time to ensure compliance. This includes the vitally important area of fire safety. Martin Hodgson outlines the key requirements for fire safety in primary care and what primary care managers should do to ensure that they comply with the CQC standards when the time comes to register.