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NEWS IN BRIEF: Automatic referrals; NHS contempt; Obesity; Hips


11 Dec 2015

Automatic referral to community pharmacists from hospitals

An innovative new electronic tool which sees patients receiving a bespoke appointment with their community pharmacist on discharge from hospital has been launched by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, the Lancashire Telegraph has reported.

‘Refer-to-pharmacy’ is the first of its kind in England and sees patients who are being treated in its hospital visited by a hospital pharmacists and an electronic referral appointment set up with the community pharmacist with all their medication information for they return home.

NHS shows a ‘deep, continuing and historical contempt for primary care’

Addressing leaders from across the NHS, Dr Michael Dixon, the outgoing chair of NHS Alliance, attacked the secondary care focus that dominates the NHS, stating it is ‘utterly unbelievable’ that the NHS is still dominated by secondary care, whether it is national leadership roles or the accelerating number of specialists compared to GPs.

Dr Dixon claimed that NHS England’s primary care budget was underspent yet again this year, in spite of primary care’s desperate plea for people and resources at a time when it has lost 25% of its share of the NHS budget.

Dr Dixon asserted that the underspend has been used to cover financial deficits in hospitals – deficits that cannot exist in primary care.

Obesity ‘biggest threat to women’s health’ Obesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations, the BBC has reported. England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies has issued the warning in her annual report, which focuses on women this year. She said tackling obesity should be a national priority to avert a “growing health catastrophe” and added the food industry needed to do more or it should face a sugar tax.

Quality of care for hip fractures must be improved

Many hip fracture patients are not receiving an acceptable level of care warns the National Hip Fracture Database (NHFD) in their “2015 Commissioner’s Report”.

The report published today found that in some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), less than 70% of hip fracture patients were receiving prompt surgical treatment.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: “Cuts to social care budgets have left many hip fracture patients particularly vulnerable.

“A lack of available intermediate care is leaving these elderly patients at risk. We are on the brink of a winter crisis. Services are stretched and this is putting patient’s safety in danger.”


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