News| Health

Mortality rate THE mortality rate in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals is causing concerns, and care plan- ning and capacity issues are being investigated. However, the GP-led NHS West

Kent CCG heard there had been a month-by-month improvement in the summer. The introduction of seven-day working had improved the situation forweekend deaths. A new mortality review system introduces “a duty of candour to relatives”. Investigation into deaths is now mandated for the hospital trust.

Care home GPs ALL GP practices in Maidstone and West Kent will be eligible to deliver wider services for residents in care homes and the CCG has approved enhanced payments to cover costs. The services will include: a geri-

atric assessment on admission; a weekly GP “home round”; and en- hanced reviews after hospital at- tendance or admission.

CCG now good THE annual NHS assessment per- formance now rates the GP-led NHS West Kent Clinical Commis- sioning Group as good. Previously it was assessed as “needs improv- ing”. GP cluster planwarning

AWARNING has been given that patients of localGPpractices which do not join the newGPcluster sys- temmaynot receive the same range of services as those who do. It comes fromDr BobBowes, long- standing chairman of the budget- holding GP-led NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). So far 75% of about 60 practices in Maidstone and West Kent are in- volved in cluster discussions. The plan is for seven clusters covering central Maidstone (7 practices), East Maidstone (11),Weald (15), Malling

GPS are unlikely to prescribe medicines which can be bought from pharmacies, supermarkets and other retailers. Savings will be redirected to other NHS serv- ices.The GP-led budget-holding West Kent CCG has approved the principle of creating a restricted list of over-the-counter medicines that should not be routinely prescribed. The cost of these medicines is esti- mated at more than £2m per year. Patients will also be encouraged to self care for minor ailments and common conditions and seek ad- vice from pharmacists, saving

(6) plus Tonbridge, TunbridgeWells and Sevenoaks. The CCG plans to support prac-

tices to ‘co-operate, collaborate and combine’ to integrate out-of- hospital care and deliver services at scale. Practice mergers could also be supported. The aim is that practices will maintain their identities and re- lationships with their patients. Clusters, with more GPs available,

will offer extended hours (including some weekend work), wider serv- ices, teams of nurses and allied health professionals, co-ordinated care and back office and estate effi-

about 20% of GP time. These ail- ments include diarrhoea, constipa- tion, athlete’s foot, fever, cold sores, teething, nappy rash, mouth ulcers, haemorrhoids, oral and vaginal thrush, head lice, insect bites and stings, conjunctivitis, contact der- matitis, sore throat, , indigestion and heartburn, ear wax, warts and verrucaes, soft tissue injury, sca- bies, ring worm, mild acne, minor burns and scalds. In a survey 85% of people receiving such free pre- scriptions said they would buy them from a pharmacy if their GP asked them to.

ciencies. The CCG will also prioritise and consider investment in new prem- ises where there is a need. The CCG says nothing has been defined yet on seven-day 8am-8pm working for practices and there is plenty of scope for collaboration in delivering extended hours. The focus is on consistency for patients and the key area is Saturday morn- ing access. Seven-day service is seen as a ‘natural direction of travel’ but the bestway to deliver for local peo- ple and professionals has still to be decided.

Prescriptions under review Birth concerns WEST Kent CCG says it has iden- tified an increase in the number of serious incidents reported by Maid- stone and Tunbridge Wells hospi- tals’ maternity department. The department is now being in-

vestigated in depth. In June, the hospital trust re- ported an increase in Caesarean section births and 3rd/4th degree tear rates. TheCCGsays “further assurance

is required in a number of areas, in- cluding safety and information governance”. The Care Quality Commission is also investigating.


Malling September 2017

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