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National Association of Primary Care
NAPC – “The Home of Primary Care"
What is different about the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC)?
NAPC is a non-politically affiliated membership organisation for those working in or with primary care, including general practitioners, nurses, practice staff pharmacist, opticians and dentists.
Members are also drawn from the not for profit and commercial sectors, where they have an interest in working with and advancing primary care.
NAPC seeks to unlock the full potential of primary care. Its role is to support practices, in partnership with nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists, to improve the quality of their services and patient experience through increased productivity and reduced unwarranted variation in clinical practice, evidenced based outcomes, greater emphasis on prevention and health, with more care delivered closer to home.
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NAPC News 31 July 2012
National Clinical Networks To Cover Four Condition Areas
New national clinical networks are to be created covering four condition areas, the NHS Commissioning Board has revealed.
The new strategic clinical networks aim to build on the existing local and regional networks such as the ones currently focusing on cancer.
According to the NHS CB, the four area to be covered by the new networks are cardiovascular disease; cancer; maternity and children and mental health, dementia and neurological conditions.
The formation of a maternity and children’s network has been welcomed by the Royal College of Midwives, which described the plans as very good news.
The decision to ignore conditions such a respiratory disease has fuelled criticism of the plans. Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, pointed out that respiratory disease was a national priority under the NHS outcomes framework and was the only major area to have been overlooked.
He added that the decision not to establish a clinical network for respiratory disease represented a real lost opportunity to transform care in line with the government’s own respiratory strategy.
Melanomas On The Rise
Cancer Research UK has confirmed that cases of malignant melanomas were soaring, and people are being urged to take extra precautions in the sun.
Last year, just under 12,000 people across the UK were told they had a melanoma, nearly four times as many as in a typical year in the late sixties.
Most cases occur in people aged over 45.
New Patient Chart Will Save 6,000 Lives
Two UK Royal Medical Colleges have become the first in the world to introduce a new way of displaying a patient’s vital signs to compel action which is expected to halve avoidable deaths in hospital, saving at least 6,000 livers a year in the UK.
Bryan Williams, Professor of Medicine at University College, London, who first proposed the innovation in an earlier report in 2007, said there were at least 100 different hospital charts in use throughout the NHS with different scoring systems.
A study, published earlier this month found 1,000 patients a month were dying in NHS hospitals as a result of bungled care, most often because medical staff failed to spot or act on signs that patients were deteriorating. Professor Williams said: ‘I think we could expect a 50 per cent reduction in morbidity and mortality as a result of implementing this.
NHS U-Turn Over Cheap Eye Drugs
Health trusts have reportedly been telling consultants to switch to the cancer drug, Avastin rather than Lucentis, which is 15 times more expensive.
Both drugs treat wet-age macular degeneration (AMD), an eye disorder that can lead to blindness, but only Lucentis is licensed and approved for NHS use.
Its manufacturer, Novartis, has mounted a legal challenge by seeking a judicial review of the policy being pursued by a group of primary care trusts in the south of England.
Watchdog Waited Two Years To Act
‘Systematic failures’ at an NHS hospital trust were suspected by the watchdog, the Care Quality Commission for more than two years before it finally launched an investigation that exposed scandalously poor care.
Documents have revealed that a senior Care Quality Commission official warned in 2009 that further ‘tragedies’ at Morecambe Bay NHS maternity units would be avoided only if care improved significantly.
Legionnaires’ Kills Again
Scientists are trying to discover the source of an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease at Stoke on Trent that has already caused one death with 15 other known cases. The Health Protection Agency said one person had died at the weekend.
A spokesperson for University Hospital of North Staffordshire said: ‘The trust is currently treating 11 patients confirmed with legionnaires’ disease, who are all in a stable or improving condition. One patient has sadly died. Three patients are well enough to go home and have been discharged.’
Licensing Dilemma Over Transforming Cystic Fibrosis Drug That Costs £200,000
The NHS is weighing up whether to make available, Ivacaftor, a drug that promises to transform the lives of people with cystic fibrosis, but has an annual price tag of about £200,000. Last week it was approved by the EU medicines watchdog.
Trials of Ivacaftor have shown dramatic improvements in patients, including easier breathing, weight gain and reduced needs for antibiotics.
Controversial Test Can Stop Prostate Cancer
Three times as many men would develop advanced prostate cancer if a controversial blood test widely criticised for unreliable diagnoses did not exist, according to a study.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test is commonly used in Britain and other countries to identify men at risk of prostate cancer. However, critics argue that it frequently results in aggressive treatments, which carry a risk of serious side effects, even though the cancer may be benign and harmless.
‘Not doing the PSA test will result in many men presenting with far more advanced prostate cancer. And almost all men with metastasis at diagnosis will die further from prostate cancer’, according to Edward Messing of the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York, a co-author of the study.
Bionic Boy Can Hear After Brain-Stem Operation
An eighteen month old boy has heard his parents’ voices for the first time thanks to a £40,000 pioneering brain stem operation.
The delicate operation has been very successful, part funded by well-wishers who have already raised £25,000 of the £40,000 need for the child’s treatment.
The ground breaking specialist surgery was carried out by Professor Vittorio Colletti at the University of Verona in Italy.
Blackberries Good For Health
Blackcurrants could be the key to overcoming heart disease, according to research. The berry is packed with potent antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and heart failure.
Professor Michael Aviram led the research at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa, Israel, and his study was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal, Food and Function,
Recession Bad For Skin
Nine out of ten dermatologists have reportedly noted a 41 per cent increase in eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions caused by stress since the credit crunch hit.
With the distress of skin conditions leading some sufferers to self-harm and contemplate suicide, the British Skin Foundation said it was important to address any underlying emotional problems that trigger physical symptoms.
A survey of 105 doctors and nurses who specialise in skin conditions discovered that 41 per cent had seen a noticeable increase in stress-related breakouts, while five per cent cited a ‘huge’ increase and almost half had seen a slight increase.