Latest updates from your local medical community
Public Health England has just published a review on prescribed medicines this week. The findings show that over 5M people in Britain have been prescribed opioids every year - or one in eight of the adult population. Commenting, Andrew Green, BMA Council Member and previous GPC prescribing lead, said: "To reduce prescription levels, we need significant investment in support services. This will enable patients and GPs to manage dependencies in the community. GPs will often be the sole clinicians who are often managing a patient's withdrawal, and there is a real need for better clinical guidance in this respect. We are glad that NICE is in the process of developing these. Whilst there remains a place for prescribing these drugs, we need many more alternative to medication, such as pain clinics, improved access to mental health services, and physiotherapy - the universal provision of which are all lacking."
You will be aware that most of the nearly 7000 GP practices iin England have taken up the PCN DES. This would not have been possible without the LMC's supporting practices locally to forge relationships and to facilitiate some difficult conversations between practices. Acknowledging that this is the first step in the process, and that PCNs will continue to develop over time with Clinical Directors' leadership, the BMA has been developing a package of support for Clinical Directors and PCNs. Prior to launch at the end of September, we wanted to provide you with some information on what it will include, to support PCNs in choosing their support for their own development.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) are aware of the ongoing manufacturing issues that have affected the supply of some Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) products throughout 2019. Prescribing information regarding HRT equivalence to support local decision making is available through various sources such as the British National Formulary, Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC), The Monthly Index of Medical Specialities (MIMS), and other sources including local Medicines Information Centres.
The BMA has signed a joint statement with 10 other health organisations and unions, warning of the danger that no-deal poses to the NHS, and urging the Government to take it off the table. The statement warns that a no-deal could lead to vital medicine shortages and intensify the NHS staffing crisis, whilst the economic shock would hit the health service particularly hard. The Chair of the BMA Council, Chaand Nagpaul, told The Independent: "From our valuable EU workforce to the supply of vital medicines, and collaboration on medical research to Irish cross-boarder health arrangements, there is practically no area of health that will be unaffected if we crash out without a deal."
NHS England and NHS Improvement has published the final version of the PCN development guidance and prospectus, including a refreshed maturity matrix with a simple diagnostic Excel tool to help PCNs understand their local support needs. Full details can be read here: https://www.pcc-cic.org.uk/sites/default/files/articles/attachments/pcn_development_support_prospectus_final_2_002.pdf
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