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GP practice management news round-up: 13 October 2015

Medeconomics' round-up of recent news that will impact on your practice's business. This week: GP scorecards, CQC closes first practice and the rise of the super practice.

DH review rejects GP scorecard proposal and urges NICE to draw up new quality measures

A DH-commissioned review into GP quality indicators has advised against the development of practice 'scorecards' and composite performance indicators, and called for NICE to develop a new system for measuring practice quality.

Results announced on Monday from the Indicators of quality of care in general practices in England review found that the use of composite ratings to assess GP practices would be ‘misleading’ and recommended that proposals to develop practice ‘scorecards’ should be scrapped.

It instead recommended a ‘leaner process for indicator development’, calling for a ‘credible organisation such as NICE’ to consolidate similar quality indicators already provided by groups such as NHS choices and the CQC into ‘comprehensive’ performance metrics.

GP practice in special measures first to have registration cancelled by CQC

A GP practice in Liverpool will be the first in special measures to be closed down by the CQC, after failing to improve during six months on the programme.

GP Dr Srinivas Dharmana elected to close his practice voluntarily after CQC inspectors rated the practice ‘inadequate’ for a second time following six months in special measures.

Jeremy Hunt gives 'categorical assurance' not to cut junior doctor or GP trainee pay

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has written to the BMA after a meeting with its junior doctors committee chairman, pledging not to slash overall spending on junior doctor pay and calling for renewed talks.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker welcomed the statement, but warned the college would 'continue to push for clarification' on how the government's junior doctor pay proposals would work.

GPs host tea parties for elderly to fight loneliness and reduce consultations

GP practices are hosting tea parties to combat loneliness among elderly patients and reduce unnecessary practice visits.

Two practices in the West Midlands have become the latest to launch tea parties in association with the charity Contact the Elderly. Almost 600 tea party groups run by the charity exist across the country, but last summer a Liverpool practice became the first to host its own group, meeting monthly on Sundays.

The charity is calling for more practices to set up groups to combat isolation, and for practices to refer patients to events in their local area.

Research by Contact the Elderly with 2,000 older patients found that a quarter said the tea parties and other support from the charity reduced the number of times they visited their GP practice.

Interview: Super-practice model will preserve services and help GPs compete with hospitals

 

Forming 'super-practices' can help existing GP services survive in the face of rising demand and falling income, and could set up primary care to compete with the traditionally powerful hospital sector, according to the GP leading England's largest single partnership.

A total of 35 GP practices serving more than 270,000 patients across two Birmingham CCGs this week signed partnership deeds to form a single organisation.

The super-practice, called Our Health Partnership, will hold elections to appoint a seven-strong board of GP partners from the constituent practices.

Practices ranging in size from 1,500 patients to 26,000 have joined, and each will continue to operate under their existing contracts - the vast majority of which are GMS, with a handful of APMS deals.

The new partnership hopes to improve GP recruitment and retention and preserve existing practices while positioning itself to bid for more work and to adapt to emerging new models of care.

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