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Delayed specialised commissioning report must be published urges NRAS

To coincide with the development of a new service for people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, I blogged for PoliticsHome about a delayed specialised commissioning report.

Laura Wetherly's insight:

The vision included important statements such as a commitment to ensure optimal age-appropriate care and transition into adult services and the provision of suitable multi-disciplinary expertise to support patients.

 

However, fast forward to the present and there appears to be a genuine possibility that this good, early work could be derailed...

 

Of all these announcements, the one to pique our interest is the issue of specialised service derogations. Understandably, we want to know which providers are struggling to meet the service specifications. However, this is not just so we can scrutinise the plans being put forward to enable them to eventually meet the service specifications, but also to identify which ones we can be offering support to.

 

In May this year, Health Minister Jane Ellison MP, let slip in an answer to a parliamentary question that NHS England had not yet determined a publication date for its report on specialised service derogations, although it was expected to be “after the pre-election period for the forthcoming local authority and European Parliamentary elections is completed on 22 May 2014”.

 

Well, it is now July and there is still no sign of the report. We hope politicians will take note and continue to press the Government and NHS England for its swift publication. Only then will we really know how far specialised services have come for people with JIA and the extent of the challenges ahead.

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Hundreds of practices rated risky after CQC botched up patient experience data

Hundreds of practices rated risky after CQC botched up patient experience data | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Practices that scored well on the GP patient survey were penalised by the CQC’s risk ratings scheme because it got answers ‘the wrong way round’, despite the error having been previously flagged up, its chief executive has revealed.GPs in shock over CQC ‘risk’ ratings
Laura Wetherly's insight:

During the regulator’s annual accountability hearing in front of the health select committee yesterday, David Behan, the CQC’s chief executive made the admission that the regulator had changed the wording of the question on the patient survey around ease of access, but had failed to change the answers accordingly, an error affecting 400 practices.

 

This resulted in practices that received good comments from patients being marked as high risk for that particular indicator, while practices receiving negative comments from patients were given positive ratings for the indicator.

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CCGs criticise NHS England co-commissioning 'confusion'

CCGs criticise NHS England co-commissioning 'confusion' | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The leaders of six clinical commissioning groups have written to NHS England criticising “apparent confusion and lack of clarity” in its proposals for primary care co-commissioning, HSJ can reveal.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

The letter from six of the seven CCGs in Sussex says the situation means none of them will apply to share responsibility for primary care from April next year, as NHS England has encouraged.

 

The groups say they are “unable to recommend to the members of our organisations any change to the current commissioning model”.

 

In their letter, sent late last week, the groups say there is a “strong undercurrent” for becoming co-commissioners in their areas, but that they cannot “because there is an absence of vital information to give appropriate assurances to our memberships in these very short timescales”.


The letter, addressed to NHS England’s Surrey and Sussex area team and seen by HSJ, is signed by 11 chairs and accountable officers of the CCGs.

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GPs to link with job centres under £1bn infrastructure plan

GPs to link with job centres under £1bn infrastructure plan | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
GPs will be encouraged to join up with job centres and social services under £1bn primary care infrastructure plans set out by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

In a statement in response to NHS England’s Five Year Forward View blueprint for the health service, Mr Hunt told the House of Commons yesterday how new NHS funding for primary care improvements will be spent.

 

Around £2bn of funding to be identified by the chancellor in Wednesday's autumn statement will be spent on frontline NHS services across the UK.

 

Around £1bn over four years will be invested in primary and community care infrastructure, said Mr Hunt. The money, taken in fines from banks, will pay for ‘new surgeries and community care facilities in the places where people most want them: near their own homes and families’, Mr Hunt told MPs.

‘These new primary care facilities will also be encouraged to join up closely with local job centres, social services and other community services.’

In addition, £200m will be spent on piloting new models of care set out in the NHS in England’s Forward View. The Forward View set out new models to reconfigure GP services alongside community or secondary care.

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Deficit for NHS providers swells to £630m

Deficit for NHS providers swells to £630m | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The NHS provider sector has plunged further into the red, the latest figures from Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority show
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Increased demand and the financial pressure on trusts are taking a toll, with accident and emergency, routine surgery and cancer targets all missed between July and September.

 

Foundation trust finances have seen a particularly steep deterioration with a deficit of £254m six months into 2014-15, more than four times the planned deficit of £59m.

 

The trust sector has a combined deficit of £376.2m, against a planned deficit to the same point in the financial year of £317.2m.


For the full financial year 2014-15, the provider sector overall is forecasting a deficit of £553.3m, nearly £109m worse than planned.

 

However, underlying financial performance is even worse than these numbers suggest, as figures for the non-FT sector have been improved by the inclusion of “provider deficit funding” bailouts distributed to 15 trusts, TDA board papers show.


While the overall value of these bailouts is undisclosed, it is clear that its inclusion has significantly improved the in-year and forecast financial performance of those trusts in receipt of funding.


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CCGs to be given green light to agree local QOF deals

CCGs to be given green light to agree local QOF deals | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
NHS England open the door to ‘Somerset-style’ deals
Laura Wetherly's insight:

CCGs will be allowed to replace the national QOF agreement with their own locally agreed deals without NHS England approval, under new proposals announced by NHS England today.


In its board papers, NHS England opened the door for regions across the country to develop their own deals, similar to that announced in Somerset last year, as part of its plans to allow CCGs to ‘co-commission’ primary care.

 

Under the proposals, which will be finalised at the board meeting on Thursday 6 November, GPs will still have the right to continue with the nationally agreed QOF deal, regardless of whether their CCG has introduced a local deal.

 

The 'Proposed next steps towards primary care co-commissioning' doument sets out the parameters around what areas of primary care CCGs will be able to commission, after NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens outlined plans earlier this year to give commissioning groups greater responsibility.

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Ministers keen to extend joint commissioning with councils

Ministers keen to extend joint commissioning with councils | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Ministers want to extend NHS joint commissioning with councils to public health and children’s services, after being convinced by the better care fund planning process that the model will reap service improvements and financial benefits
Laura Wetherly's insight:

It comes as the government announces today that health and wellbeing boards across England believe they will save more than £500m in 2015-16 because of the fund. Half of this is planned to come from a 3 per cent year on year reduction in the number of emergency admissions.


The better care fund plans have been produced during the past year and been rigorously assessed by a cross-departmental “taskforce” incorporating senior health and local government figures over the summer.

 

The plans are for 2015-16, the first full year of the fund, so are as yet untested. However the government is understood to be satisfied the approach has now proved itself as a concept, and should be adopted more widely.


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Labour could make NICE guidance mandatory

Labour could make NICE guidance mandatory | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
A Labour government could reduce variation in access to drugs and procedures by making it mandatory for commissioners to follow NICE guidelines, Andy Burnham has revealed
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Mr Burnham added: “We can’t just have national entitlements broken up… We need to look at how you strengthen NICE. Where they have said something is effective and affordable, on what basis does a local commissioner withhold that from somebody? I’m not comfortable with that. I don’t support that.

 

“Strengthening NICE is important because what I am seeing at the moment is CCGs beginning to take quite drastic decisions with respect to rationing. Some of this is veering into the judgmental.” He gave the example of decisions not to give access to treatments based on whether someone is a smoker or their body mass index.

 

The former health secretary said Labour had found evidence of “CCGs increasingly opting out” of NICE guidelines.

 

“People hate the idea of postcode lottery. They can’t understand it when they can see someone else in the next place get something, like IVF, when they can’t,” he added.

 

Mr Burnham acknowledged making all NICE guidance “nationally binding” would be a major step with significant implications, and said he had not taken a final decision on the policy.

 

At present NICE produces clinical guidelines for commissioners, which are advisory, and technology appraisals, which are mandatory.

 

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Integrate GP contracts with social care, NHS Alliance report suggests

Integrate GP contracts with social care, NHS Alliance report suggests | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
GP contracts could be integrated with other primary, community and social care services as part of a transformation of out-of-hospital care set out by the NHS Alliance.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Integrated primary care contracts could remove divisions between general practice, pharmacy, optometry and dentistry, according to a report from the Alliance, which represents primary care providers.

 

Such funding models, it said, could eventually be extended to cover community health and social care to provide a mechanism to transform the current ‘fee for service’ approach of some providers into ‘patient-centred, relationship-based care’.

 

The report said: 'A more radical approach might be to trial pathfinder projects such as integrated primary care contracts that would remove the divisions between general practice, pharmacy, optometry and dentistry. Such funding models could eventually be extended to cover community healthcare and even social care and provide a mechanism to transform the ‘fee for service’ approach of many healthcare practitioners, to a system which recognises the importance of patient-centred, relationship-based care.' 

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Open letter: 'NHS and social care services are at breaking point. It cannot go on'

Open letter: 'NHS and social care services are at breaking point. It cannot go on' | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it

Open letter about the NHS published in The Independent

Laura Wetherly's insight:

Signs of a system buckling under the twin crises of rising demand and flatlining budgets are everywhere. A shortage of GPs means that  patients are struggling to get an appointment to see their doctor. Pressures on maternity services mean that many women are not getting the high quality care they deserve. Major accident and emergency departments in England have failed to meet their waiting times targets for an entire year.


Thousands of patients are facing longer and even unacceptable waits to find out whether or not they have cancer, because services are under extreme pressure and referral targets are being missed. In mental health, patients in need of emergency support are being moved to hospitals hundreds of miles away because there simply are not enough beds in their area.

 

In social care meanwhile, families continue to be crippled by the cost of care, and thousands of elderly and vulnerable people are not getting the help they need and deserve just to live their daily lives safely and with dignity. People with long-term progressive conditions such as dementia have been cut adrift, reliant on unpaid and unsupported carers to live from day to day. There is also a pressing need to invest in children and young people’s physical and mental health, not just as a moral imperative, but also to help prevent problems later in life that may need more intensive and expensive support.

 
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We’re heading for a crisis in 2015 General Election, says Ian Birrell

We’re heading for a crisis in 2015 General Election, says Ian Birrell | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it

Few ponder the potential implications of multi-party politics crashing against a creaking two-party system

Laura Wetherly's insight:

It remains entirely possible for one of the two main parties to win outright majority – but it is likely to be a slender victory that leaves a leader held hostage by his ideologues and militants. This would not lead to good government at a time of intense domestic and global challenges; even right-wing Tory ministers have told me they dread such a result given the self-serving silliness of some on their fringe.

But it looks increasingly likely there will be another hung parliament. Put aside the reality that both main party leaders might face challenges in the immediate election aftermath, given existing hostility within their own ranks that would be fuelled by failure to achieve a majority. The biggest party might be able to form a simple coalition with the Lib Dems – but they may have too few survivors to make this feasible, forcing attempts to cobble together a government with the ragtag of other minority parties.

This possibility was highlighted last week by Peter Kellner, the perceptive president of YouGov, who concluded “the basic arithmetic is simple and devastating”. The number of Lib Dems must exceed the total of other minority party MPs to be certain of viable two-party coalition - yet such is their collapse, combined with the rise of nationalists in Scotland, England and Wales, that Clegg’s party could easily end up with barely half the 60-odd seats won by other smaller parties.

This would leave David Cameron and Ed Miliband scrabbling around trying to make post-election pacts with several partners. The Tories could offer an alliance on devolution with the SNP, who might surge to another 20 MPs following Labour’s lamentable performance in the recent referendum, or a deal on Europe to pacify Ukip, who seem set to win several seats. Labour might turn to the Greens if they keep their solitary seat, and Plaid Cymru, on course to pick up a couple more constituencies. Both parties would seek support from the 18 Northern Irish MPs.

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Cameron: We will protect the NHS budget

Cameron: We will protect the NHS budget | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The prime minister has announced at the Conservative Party conference that he would “protect the NHS budget and continue to invest more” in the next parliament
Laura Wetherly's insight:

In his speech in Birmingham, David Cameron said his party “came in [to government in 2010] and we protected the NHS budget”.

 

“The next Conservative government will protect the NHS budget and continue to invest more,” he announced.

 

The statement means a Conservative government would maintain growth of at least the pace of inflation, delivering at least flat funding in real terms, but is not currently committing to greater increases, according to several newspaper reports citing senior Conservative sources.

 

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt, speaking on Monday and Tuesday at the conference, indicated the government could not afford greater than inflation spending increases for the NHS. HSJ understands debate is still ongoing among senior Tory figures about whether a small amount of additional funding could be found.

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Conservatives will only meet Labour's NHS pledge halfway, says Incisive's Bill Morgan

Conservatives will only meet Labour's NHS pledge halfway, says Incisive's Bill Morgan | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it

The Conservatives will be under pressure next week to respond to Labour’s conference announcements. Speculating on the content of their speeches next week is a mug’s game, but they could well focus on ‘Labour waste’

Laura Wetherly's insight:

Multiple polls show that the NHS continues to be important to voters, as it always has, and Incisive Health and HSJ’s recent polls both show that, though Labour may have a lead on the health service, Ed Miliband enjoys no such lead over David Cameron. There is, particularly among party leaders, plenty to fight for.

 

Without much money to play with, though, we can be sure that the impact of an NHS conference announcement will be limited.

 

Further pledges on health tourism or hospital inspections may be designed to please lobby journalists, if not floating voters. An announcement on access, given the NHS’s performance over the summer, would be brave.

 

Promises of procurement reviews, a “bonfire of the quangos” and further cuts in administration costs are all things that could be (re)announced at conference at little cost and perhaps littler impact, but which would help to define the parameters of the battle over the NHS over the coming months.

  
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NHS England earmarks £1bn for underfunded CCGs

NHS England earmarks £1bn for underfunded CCGs | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
NHS England this afternoon approved plans to use more than half of the extra £2bn that has been freed up for health service spending in 2015-16 to bring underfunded clinical commissioning groups closer to their “fair share” of allocations.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

In total £1.1bn of the new money will go to CCG allocations next year. At a board meeting today, NHS England agreed to direct £1.058bn of that sum to underfunded CCGs, bringing them closer to their “target” shares of the NHS budget.

 

The national body also increased its own budget for specialised commissioning by £304m above the amount originally planned for the coming financial year. This gives specialised commissioning a recurrent budget of £14.6bn in 2015-16, a cash terms increase of 8.4 per cent on its baseline budget for the current year.

 

The extra £2bn is in fact comprised of:

 

- a £1bn increase in the baseline health budget;
- £550m reallocated to commissioners from centrally held Department of Health funds;
- £150m reallocated from NHS England central funds; and
- £250m from fines paid by banks that will be invested in improving out of hospital services.

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Better use of pharmacy could ease GP workload crisis

Better use of pharmacy could ease GP workload crisis | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
A roundtable discussion between GPs, pharmacists and patient representatives held by NHS Alliance and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), concluded that the skills and value pharmacists working in general practice could offer, in medicines and analytics, were often poorly understood and little-publicised.

It called for more shared education for GPs and pharmacists to develop the role of pharmacy in primary care.

Medicines, pharmacy and medicines optimisation lead at the NHS Alliance Mark Robinson said: ‘Primary care is facing an immediate crisis with up to 500 GP practices at risk of closure due to an ageing workforce, as well as recruitment and retention issues.

‘The roundtable clearly showed that pharmacists can help offer a practical and timely solution, filling the workforce gap and reducing pressures on general practice. And, in the cases where pharmacists have already been integrated into general practice, they have helped to drive significant improvements in care provision and working patterns.’
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Autumn statement confirms increase in NHS spending

Autumn statement confirms increase in NHS spending | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Experts estimate that the additional NHS funding outlined in the autumn statement amounts to a 1.5 per cent real terms increase in 2015-16
Laura Wetherly's insight:

George Osborne this afternoon confirmed plans to increase NHS spending by around £2bn in 2015-16, funded largely on the assumption that other government departments will continue to underspend their budgets.


The chancellor’s autumn statement, published today, said the government would provide “£2bn of additional funding for the frontline NHS in England in 2015-16”, in support of the vision set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

 

The money is comprised of:

 

a £250m investment in improving out of hospital services, funded from fines paid by banks for exchange rate manipulation;£700m of centrally held Department of Health and NHS England budgets that will be reallocated to NHS commissioners; anda £1bn increase in the baseline NHS budget.


The latter chunk of money is expected to be funded by future underspends by other government departments.

 


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Miliband in 'serious trouble' and must sack members of shadow cabinet, according to Telegraph

Miliband in 'serious trouble' and must sack members of shadow cabinet, according to Telegraph | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Ed Miliband, the labour leader, must issue his shadow cabinet with an ultimatum to 'back me or get out' amid concerns they are failing to support him
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Ed Miliband is in "serious trouble" and needs sack several members of his shadow cabinet to ensure the loyalty of front-bench team, a damning analysis has found.

 

A study by Aston University, based on interviews with 30 senior political figures including aides of Ed Miliband, found that Mr Miliband needs to issue an "ultimatum" to his shadow cabinet to "back me or get out".

 

It said that the Labour leader has failed to "inspire" his front-benchers who do little more than "mumble their support" whenever rumours about plots to overthrow Mr Miliband surface.

 

The report also said that Mr Miliband's One Nation slogan is failing to resonate with the public, who do not understand what it means.

 

It comes after several Labour MPs openly called for Mr Miliband to stand down ahead of the General Election amid concerns that he has become a "liability" on the doorstep.

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Daily Mail says MPs lining up to replace Miliband but the rules mean that it's impossible

Daily Mail says MPs lining up to replace Miliband but the rules mean that it's impossible | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it

It seems the succession would come down to a face-off between Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper - the bookies' favourite.

Laura Wetherly's insight:

Many MPs want Alan Johnson, the popular former postman, to throw his hat into the ring – saying he has much greater appeal with voters than the awkward Mr Miliband.


It seems the succession would come down to a face-off between shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary.

 

The bookies are increasingly throwing their weight behind Mr Burnham, who made a well-received speech on the NHS at September’s Labour conference – in marked contrast to Mr Miliband’s famously poor effort.

 

Party rules say that to force out the leader, a vote of no-confidence has to be called – and the only way for that to happen is a card vote at the party’s annual conference.

 

No such move was made at the last Labour conference six weeks ago in Manchester and none is scheduled before May’s election.

 

To become a candidate, an MP needs the support of 15 per cent of the parliamentary party – or 39 of Labour’s current 257 MPs.

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Labour 'still plans Health Act repeal'

Labour 'still plans Health Act repeal' | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Labour still intends to repeal the Health Act 2012 despite the shift in focus away from competition in the NHS Five Year Forward View, a shadow health minister has told HSJ.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

The document - published today by NHS England, Monitor and the other national NHS bodies - made no reference to competition or private providers. It is understood that competition is not an important focus of the senior national leaders’ vision for service development.

 

However, Labour peer and former health minister Lord Hunt today told HSJ there “absolutely” needed to be a legal change to change the effect of competition rules, regardless of the shift in policy emphasis.

 

It was “very important to get rid of part three of the act” which gives sector regulator Monitor its powers, because “you will find that [clinical commissioning groups], for instance, will say that [they] have to tender out services”.

 

Lord Hunt said: “We think that the kind of enforced competition that the 2012 act introduced is a complete waste of time and money, and we want to remove it.”

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CCGs to support health and wellbeing boards under Burnham vision

CCGs to support health and wellbeing boards under Burnham vision | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
CCGs could be morphed into the operational arms of HWBs, which will take on the role of ‘signing off’ health plans, Andy Burnham has suggested
Laura Wetherly's insight:

The shadow health secretary said CCGs could function “more as an executive to the health and wellbeing board’s non-executive” role in an interview, giving the greatest detail to date about how commissioners could operate under his ambitious plans to integrate health with social care services.

  
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Liberal Democrat manifesto leaked

Liberal Democrat manifesto leaked | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Liberal Democrat manifesto, including benefit crackdown on foreign workers, is leaked after party's strategy chief photographed carrying it from meeting
Laura Wetherly's insight:

There is a pledge to "balance the Budget by 2018" – two years earlier than the deadline Labour has set for eradicating the deficit.

 

On mental health, there will be waiting time targets similar to those for physical health conditions. And there is a pledge to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 by 2020 by increasing taxes on the rich.

 
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Lib Dems lobby for more money for 2015-16 amid cash crisis fears

Lib Dems lobby for more money for 2015-16 amid cash crisis fears | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The Liberal Democrats are calling for the 2015-16 funding settlement for the NHS to be “in effect reopened” amid fears that an imminent cash crisis could lead to declining access to services and redundancies
Laura Wetherly's insight:

The announcement came as the party leadership called for a £1bn real terms funding increase for the service for 2016-17 and 2017-18, and suggested greater rises should come in the final years of the next parliament.

 

HSJ understands conversations are ongoing at the highest levels of government about the possibility of some providers running out of cash, and how this can be avoided.

 

Care minister Norman Lamb told HSJ that extra funding for the NHS in 2015-16 will be the Liberal Democrats’ “top priority” in coalition negotiations in the run up to this year’s autumn statement, scheduled for 3 December.

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Labour admits extra £2.5billion for NHS would not arrive until 2017

Labour admits extra £2.5billion for NHS would not arrive until 2017 | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The £2.5billion Time to Care Fund would be paid for by a mansion tax, a levy on tobacco firms and a tax avoidance crackdown – all of which would need legislation before the money could be spent.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Sources close to shadow chancellor Ed Balls told the Guardian that none of the money would be available in the first year and only an unspecified amount would be available in the second year, because the party would need to steer a budget through Parliament before the taxes could be spent on the NHS.


Last night, Conservative and Lib Dem MPs accused Labour of deceit and ‘hypocritical posturing’ over an issue Ed Miliband hopes will help win the General Election in May.

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QOF largely unchanged next year, GPC confirms

QOF largely unchanged next year, GPC confirms | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it

The overall value of QOF points available to practices will not change significantly in next year’s contract, the GPC has confirmed.

 
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Detailed negotiations on the QOF part of the 2015/16 GP contract are still ongoing, but the GPC told Pulse that clinical indicators will remain largely unchanged.

 

Negotiators also confirmed they have blocked the introduction of any of NICE’s proposed new menu of indicators - including a controversial ‘all-in-one’ bundled diabetes indicator. There will also be no change in achievement thresholds for any of the clinical indicators.

 

Last year’s negotiations saw a massive cutback in the value of QOF, reducing it by more than a third through the removal of several unpopular indicators that had been imposed the previous year, as well as the entire Quality and Productivity domain, in order to help reduce bureaucracy and ‘box ticking’.

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Most NICE guidance for GPs not based on relevant research | GPonline

Most NICE guidance for GPs not based on relevant research | GPonline | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
Only a third of the evidence used to decide NICE guidelines for primary care is relevant to patients in that setting, researchers have found, raising the risk of widespread overtreatment. 
Laura Wetherly's insight:

A study of 22 primary care guidelines from NICE found just 38% of research papers cited to support its advice were based on patients typical of primary care.

 

The researchers called on guideline developers to label clearly those recommendations aimed at primary care, and where there are uncertainties over the relevance of evidence.

 

They reviewed all 45 NICE guidelines published in 2010 and 2011, of which 22 were relevant to primary care. These contained 495 recommendations for primary care, which cited 1,573 pieces of research. But only 590 (38%) of these were based on patients typical of primary care.

 

The authors said guideline writers typically extrapolate results from secondary care when there is a lack of suitable research that is relevant to primary care. But these studies are often conducted in higher-risk populations, and this may overstate the need for treatment when applied to lower-risk patients in primary care.

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Contract talks may halve value of QOF

Contract talks may halve value of QOF | NRAS Public Affairs News | Scoop.it
The proportion of GP income linked to quality targets could be slashed to 10% under plans mooted by health secretary Jeremy Hunt at a private meeting with senior GPs, GP magazine can reveal.
Laura Wetherly's insight:

Mr Hunt raised the prospect of QOF cuts at a meeting last month, as negotiators prepared to begin this year’s GP contract talks, a source revealed. 

 

GP leaders have backed the move to go ahead as early as 2015/16, with a consensus building for further reductions to the QOF after the value of the framework was slashed by a third in 2014/15.


Cutting the QOF to 10% of GP income would roughly halve the proportion of pay derived from quality targets from its current level.

 

Annual contract talks between the GPC and negotiators representing NHS England are now under way.

 

The GPC and a source close to the health secretary refused to confirm that QOF reductions were on the table in this year’s contract talks.

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