Bulletin 21.09.2010

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Bulletin 21.09.2010

NHS General Practice Workforce Census

We would encourage practices to participate, particularly this year , as it is important that accurate and complete information is available to inform the discussions on the implementation of the NHS White Paper and particularly GP led commissioning.The NHS Information Centre will be distributing templates to PCTs shortly and PCTs will then contact practices to ask for this information.

The GPC generally supports this annual census as a means of getting accurate information negotiators on both sides, to support negotiations in the coming year. This census (as at 30 September each year) is one of three which together deliver statistics on the total NHS workforce. The other two censuses relate to hospital and community health service staff in medical, and non-medical, roles. General practice workforce statistics in England are compiled from data supplied by or on behalf of around 8,200 GP practices. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises with these organisations and their agents to encourage complete data submission, and to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data. The general practice census aims to gather information on all practices and practice staff in England, including GPs. It delivers a detailed view of the workforce including staff type, headcount, full-time equivalence, age, gender, and country of qualification (in the case of GPs). It also delivers information on practice size (in terms of number of GPs, and list size). It has historically been published at the level of SHA and PCT. You can view recent census publications online.. The collection of information is rigorously vetted and controlled by the Review of Central Returns process which demands ministerial approval for any collection and specifically seeks to reduce the burden imposed on the service.

The majority of the information for the census is obtained automatically from the Connecting for Health / NHAIS / ‘Exeter’ GP practice re-imbursement system, the aim being to reduce the burden imposed on practices. The census has a number of uses, including workforce planning; planning and development of education and training; evidence to Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB); policy development; monitoring changes in general practice provision (eg by contract type); parliamentary accountability (eg. in answering parliamentary questions); public accountability under the Statistics and Registration Act.

Occupational Health Advice Lines

The Department of Work and Pensions has set up two new types of occupational health advice line for GPs and small businesses in England, Scotland and Wales. One provides guidance to GPs on health and work issues affecting individual patients. The other provides support to small businesses on all occupational health issues, including those raised by the new Statement of Fitness for Work. Both services are staffed by qualified occupational health nurses. The two types of advice line have different contact numbers. The phone number for the occupational health advice line for GPs in England is 0800 022 4233 and the phone numbersfor the occupational health advice line for small businesses in England is 0800 077 8844. Further information available here.

Family Health Service Appeal Unit New Address

The Family Health Services Appeal Unit, responsible for determining contractual disputes between GPs and their PCT, now has a new address and contact details. These are:
1 Trevelyan Square
Boar Lane

Telephone: 0113 86 65500
Fax: 0207 821 0029
DX: 26416 Leeds Park Square

BMA 2011 Research Grants

The 2011 research grants will be available to apply for online here from mid-December this year. The application deadline is 11 March 2011.

The BMA was among the first of the professional bodies to award grants and prizes to encourage and further medical research. Today, around 12 research grants are administered under the auspices of the Board of Science, all funded by past bequests to the BMA. Grants totalling approximately £500,000 are awarded annually. Applications are invited from medical practitioners and/or research scientists and are for either research in progress or prospective research. Subject specifications for each grant vary. For example, in 2011, research areas range from rheumatism and arthritis, cardiovascular disease and cancer to asthma, social determinants of health and neurological disorders. A leaflet providing more information on the grants on offer in 2011 is available here. If you have any questions about the BMA research grants, or would like to receive alerts about them, please contact Evelyn Simpson at info.sciencegrants@bma.org.uk or telephone 020 7383 6755.

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