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Showing posts from December, 2013

Opening hours of general practices in England

A letter published in the BMJ discusses the question: should general practices open for longer?’  The recent proposal for GPs in England to see patients from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week [2] tells us little about how much longer the hours in which GPs provide consultations would become. We therefore analysed data, obtained from NHS Choices [3] on 1st October 2013, on the ‘surgery’ (as opposed to ‘reception’) opening hours for 8,973 general practices in England.

Surgery opening hours currently total 341,857 hours per week; the median value is 40 hours per week. The median for opening hours outside of core hours (8 am to 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday) is 1.25 per week.

If the Government’s proposal was implemented nationally in each general practice, surgery opening hours would total 753,732 hours per week (a 120% increase). Each practice would provide consultations during 84 opening hours (a 110% increase over the current median), and 31.5 hours outside of core times (as defined above; …

Multidisciplinary integration in the context of integrated care

In the context of integrated care, Multidisciplinary Group meetings involve participants from diverse professional groups and organisations and are potential vehicles to advance efficiency improvements within the local health economy. We developed a novel method to characterise the communication within Multidisciplinary Group meetings measuring the extent to which participants integrate and whether this integration leads to improved working. The findings of the study were published in the International Journal of Integrated Care.

We purposively selected four Multidisciplinary Group meetings and conducted a content analysis of audio-recorded and transcribed Case Discussions. Two coders independently coded utterances according to their ‘integrative intensity’ which was defined against three a-priori independent domains - the Level (i.e. Individual, Collective and Systems); the Valence (Problem, Information and Solution); the Focus (Concrete and Abstract). Inter- and intra-rater reliabi…

No need for GPs to be over-awed by the members of the Shelford Group

The 10 NHS Trusts that are members of the Shelford Group see themselves as members of an elite group. But the members of this elite can be dealt with by general practitioners (GPs) and clinical commissioning groups. Here are my tips on how GPs and CCGs can do this.

1. Form your own consortia. General practices can work in federations and networks to share resources and expertise. CCGs can come together in joint commissioning activities. Working in larger groupings - whether it is of general practices or CCGs - will give you more bargaining power and greater consolidation of expertise to challenge the members of the Shelford Group.

2. Become skilled in using the language of evidence-based medicine, healthcare evaluation and data-driven healthcare in your dealings with the managers of the Shelford Group NHS Trusts. You will soon discover that many NHS managers are poorly trained in these essential components of modern healthcare delivery and in using NHS data to evaluate the performanc…

Diabetes in the Middle-East and North Africa: An update for 2013 for the IDF Diabetes Atlas

An article in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice looks at the current state and future predictions of diabetes in the Middle-East and North Africa. In recent decades, the prevalence of diabetes has risen dramatically in many countries of the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Region. This increase has been driven by a range of factors that include rapid economic development and urbanisation; changes in lifestyle that have led to reduced levels of physical activity, increased intake of refined carbohydrates, and a rise in obesity. These changes have resulted in the countries of MENA Region now having among the highest rates of diabetes prevalence in the world. The current prevalence of diabetes in adults in the Region is estimated to be around 9.2%. Of the 34 million people affected by diabetes, nearly 17 million were undiagnosed and therefore at considerable risk of diabetes complications and poor health outcomes. Enhanc…