Monday, June 18, 2018

Campus To Clinic Community Vists, and Community Consultations.

I've just completed giving feedback to the first and second year medical students on their group reports on community visits (in groups of four) to voluntary groups in North and West Yorkshire whilst at Primary Care. The standard again has been very good and the students visited 126 diverse community organisation plus the variety of the visits never ceases to impress me. I also recently attended a couple of consultations meetings in Leeds and the first was on 'Charging Overseas Visitors for Health Services.' This was hosted by Leeds City Council (Public Health) and the NHS and whilst no-one would perhaps disagree that wealthy overseas visitors should pay for health services, it does seem that the Government is taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Evidence seems to suggest that the way the policy is being implemented is impacting upon poorer migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and as one front line refugee and asylum seeker worker said: "It is hard to do a bad policy compassionately." The second consultation was run by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and was on 'Changes to Mental Health Services.' These proposed changes will hopefully improve services by focussing on two different age groups separately, 16-65, and 65+. A lot of good comments were made by the service users, ex-service users, and voluntary sector representatives present. A point was made that 20% of all NHS letters received are not understood and we should perhaps make the language simpler, avoid jargon, perhaps be briefer, and use pictures where possible? It was also felt that we needed to cater for those "Who wanted somewhere to go." One presenter made the good point that we needed to counter loneliness in society and also we needed to have a "Need led service." In supporting older people in Care Homes and those with dementia in written feedback I suggested we could possibly explore the use of virtual reality (and this is being trialled around the country by organisations such as VR Doctors). The feeling of those present was that we also needed to keep individual care plans as everyone is unique but it was mentioned that we further needed effective partnerships with voluntary groups and we should not expect the third sector to take on additional roles without proper resources; we would then follow a holistic approach. One final point was that where possible people preferred face-to-face conversations rather than by telephone. SO WHAT'S IN THE BMJ THIS WEEK? . Swiss doctors object to new suicide guidance. . Scotland identifies public health priorities. . NHS must work harder to retain clinical workforce, says NHS Confederation Chief. . Cities with devolved powers can improve public health, finds Kings Fund. . Home Office scraps cap on doctors' visas. . Social media should take more responsibility for children's mental health, says NHS boss. . Online opioid distributors must cease trading, US drug regulator warns. . NHS leaders pledge to cut delayed discharges by 25%. . Creating a debate on air pollution. . US suicide rate is climbing steadily with highest prevalence in sparsely populated western states. . GMC stripped of right to appeal against tribunal decisions. READ ALL ABOUT IT! With best wishes, Barry

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