Government responds to consultation on ensuring continuity of NHS services

11 April 2014

Currently, if a company that provides NHS healthcare goes out of business and can no longer provide services, there are few safeguards in place to ensure that patients can still access those services. The Department of Health (DH) has now responded to a consultation on imposing such safeguards.

Update to Government’s adult autism strategy issued

10 April 2014

The Department of Health (DH) and other government departments have set out a programme of measures to improve the lives of people with autism in England, focusing primarily on supporting local authorities, the NHS, other public services and their partners to implement the work locally.

Low patient take-up for GP choice pilot reported

7 April 2014

A pilot scheme which allows patients to register with out-of-area GP practices has resulted in one in four of the pilot practices failing to recruit any out-of-area or day patients throughout the duration of the trial.

GPs to prepare for health check changes for learning difficulties patients

7 April 2014

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called on GPs to prepare for the expansion of the Directly Enhanced Service (DES) specification offered to people with learning difficulties in April this year, and be ready to offer comprehensive, annual health checks to this group of patients aged 14 to 17.

GP Access to be Extended and Transforming Patient Care Programme Outlined

1 April 2014

Proposals have been outlined by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens for additional access to General Practice services. It is envisaged that extended opening hours and enhanced care for the elderly will be offered by GPs and that over 7.5 million patients in England will have increased ability to contact GP services from 8am–8pm, seven days a week. This signifies fundamental changes of care delivery from hospital to home, in which people will be provided with increased support to better manage conditions in the community rather than being admitted to hospital.

Meningitis B vaccine set to be added to childhood programme

28 March 2014

Experts from the Department of Health (DH) joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) have agreed that the vaccine Bexsero can prevent Meningitis B (MenB) in infants and should be added to the childhood programme subject to being available at a cost-effective price.

BMA provides guidance as named GP for patients over 75 introduced

28 March 2014

Following the change to the General Medical Services (GMS) contract, which requires practices to ensure that patients on their list aged 75 or over are assigned a named and accountable GP from April 2014, the British Medical Association (BMA) has published guidance clarifying the associated responsibilities.

Report looks at threshold of statutory duty of candour

26 March 2014

A report, Building a Culture of Candour: A Review of the Threshold for the Duty of Candour and of the Incentives for Care Organisations to be Candid, has been published considering the thresholds for the statutory duty, and the practicalities of giving the NHS Litigation Authority the discretion to reduce or remove indemnity cover in cases where a trust has not been candid.

NHS England publishes improving general practice plan

21 March 2014

NHS England has published its general practice strategy document, which sets out an ambition for general practice to have a more central role in wider local systems of care and to “operate at greater scale and in greater collaboration” in future.