Tag Archives: Healthcare

The cost of diabetes….

You might be shocked to know that around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year. Type 2 diabetes is a major contributor to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke, and there are currently some 5 million people in England at high risk of developing the disease.

Around 22,000 people with diabetes die early every year.

As well as the human cost, Type 2 diabetes treatment currently accounts for just under 9% of the annual NHS budget – that’s a whopping £8.8 billion a year!

Since the disease is largely preventable through lifestyle changes – having a healthy diet, maintaining a proper weight and getting enough exercise – the NHS Diabetes Prevention programme is primed to target these issues as it is rolled out.

If you live in one of the areas below you could be among the first to benefit from a referral that will give you tailored help to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes:

Newham West London Oldham East Midlands
Camden Sefton Leeds Worcestershire
Cheshire/Wirral Cumbria Dudley St Helens
Lincolnshire East and North Herts Bury Berkshire
Norfolk and Norwich Rochdale Southwark Essex
The South East Birmingham Derbyshire Herefordshire
Cambridge Peterborough Co Durham Sheffield

It’s a big programme – serious stuff!

NHS care – know what your choices are

The government is committed to giving you greater choice over how you receive your NHS health care. A new NHS guide sets out some of the options available to you. It explains:

• when you have choices about your health care

• where to get more information to help you choose

• how to complain if you are not offered a choice.

A new NHS guide sets out some of the options available to you.

In some situations you have legal rights to choice: in other circumstances you do not have a legal right, but you should be offered choices about your care, depending on what is available locally.

To find out what the options are, follow the links:

• My NHS care: what choices are available to me?

• Choosing your GP and GP practice

• Choosing where to go for your first appointment as an outpatient

• Asking to change hospital if you have to wait longer than the maximum waiting time

• Choosing who carries out a specialist test

• Choosing maternity services

• Choosing services provided in the community

• Choosing to have a personal health budget

Could pharmacists reduce the pressure on GPs?

Pharmacists to the rescue!

Radical proposals to ease the pressures on family doctors have been proposed by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society which could see a pharmacist in every GP surgery.


GPs and their teams are estimated to make 370 million patient consultations this year. This is 70 million more than five years ago, but as demand has risen the number of GPs in England has remained pretty much the same.

By contrast there is currently an over-supply of pharmacists, who train as clinicians for five years – only one year less than a doctor. The suggestion is that they could step in to treat patients directly at the surgery, particularly those with long term conditions and who are taking a number of different medicines.

Dr Maureen Baker, chair of the RCGP, says: “Waiting times for a GP appointment are now a national talking point. Yet we have a ‘hidden army’ of highly-trained pharmacists who could provide a solution.”

But this isn’t going to happen overnight. Your local community pharmacy will be your port of call to see a pharmacist for a while yet.

Healthcare on hold until after the general election

The nation’s healthcare, like anything else connected with government, is being put on hold in the run up to the general election in May. Even the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), an independent body that provides guidance to improve health and social care in England, is going ‘off air’.

Healthcare on hold

‘As a Non-Departmental Public Body, NICE must make sure that its conduct and procedures during the general election do not call its impartiality into question,’ it announced rather pompously at the end of March. ‘In order to avoid providing a focus for political debate or detracting attention from the general election campaign, NICE will not publish any guidance during the general election campaign.’

Your local community pharmacy, however, will not be putting up the shutters and will continue to provide impartial and focussed health care advice, and the wide range of health related services you have come to expect. Ask your pharmacist if you need any guidance.

What is the Care Quality Commission?

You hear the Care Quality Commission (CQC) mentioned quite often in the news these days, so what is it? Basically it is the body that regulates healthcare in England.

So what is it?

It is responsible, for example, for regulating GP practices, out-of-hours services, NHS 111, and dental practices (it does not inspect pharmacies, which have their own regulator, the General Pharmaceutical Council).

It is relatively new in this job, only starting in 2013. There are around 8,000 GP practices in England and it plans to have inspected each of these at least once by April 2016.

When inspecting a practice the CQC asks asking five key questions: is it safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well led? It will also look at how services are provided to people in specific population groups such as older people and those with long-term conditions or poor mental health.

Practices will be rated as ‘Outstanding’, ‘Good’, ‘Requires Improvement’, or ‘Inadequate’ for each of the five key questions and for each population group.

Find out more at www.cqc.org.uk