Policy Watch

RCGP Policy Watch
Friday 21 November 2014

Formal launch of MyNHS (DoH)

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has launched the new NHS Choices website, which allows people to compare their NHS hospital, care services and local authority with up-to-date information. MyNHS allows people to search a range of performance indicators such as food quality, staffing, patient safety and mental health. From December, the website will include the Care Quality Commission’s individual risk rating for GP practices.

Radical complaint handling drive initiated by leading health and social care organisations (PHSO)

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, the Local Government Ombudsman and Healthwatch England have published new research outlining what the public believes good complaint handling should be. This report contains ‘I statements’, which will help health providers, from GP surgeries to hospitals, to assess and improve their complaint handling process. 

First Outstanding ratings for general practices (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission awarded an outstanding rating to the first two GP surgeries it inspected as part of the in-depth and expert-led inspections. Salford Health Matters in Eccles and Irlam Medical Practice in Salford showed good examples of leadership, determining appointment time by need and outreach in the community.

Behind the headlines: Using information about general practices (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission has responded to criticism following the publication of its first GP ratings. The CQC defended its use of ‘intelligent monitoring’ as a way to identify surgeries in need of inspections, stating that providers are not judged until they have been fully inspected. They noted that they are currently working with health regulators in order to develop and improve the inspection process.

Greater support to help GPs spot the warning signs of cancer (NICE)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has launched a consultation on the updated guidance on suspected cancers, in order to provide GPs with more support to diagnose cancer early. The draft guidance outlines the time frames of referrals for each cancer symptom, and helps link symptoms to cancers. The guidance is due to be published in May 2015, with the consultation running until 9th January.

The Patients Association is calling on the Parliamentary and Heath Service Ombudsman to establish a truly independent, transparent and peoples Ombudsman (Patients Association)

The Patients Association has called on the Public Accounts Committee to tackle the problems within the Parliamentary and Heath Service Ombudsman, in order to create an ombudsman that works for the public. In its report the Association highlights the failings of the PHSO stating that it is inadequate, untimely, secretive and providing an unacceptably flawed and out dated investigation processes.

TTIP: Separating myth from fact (NHS Confederation)

The NHS European Office has produced a briefing on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the USA.

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