Press release 7 April 2017

Medical Charities’ Portal launched to highlight financial help available to struggling doctors
We are a group of five medical charities that all offer financial assistance to doctors, as well as dependant members of their family. Our mission is to reach out to every doctor in the UK and make them aware that there is confidential help for doctors who are struggling.
With support from NHS England, we have worked together to launch the ‘Help me, I’m a Doctor’ Portal, which acts as a single access point for doctors searching for financial help. It will also be a useful sign-posting tool for colleagues and organisations who may be trying to help a doctor access support.
In 2016 the five charities supported doctors, and their dependent families, with charitable grants and loans totalling over £1.3 million.
Doctors all too often experience loneliness and isolation, even though working in an extremely busy, stressful work place – whether a hospital or practice setting. Dedicating their time to helping others, while putting their own needs to one side, doctors can often find it difficult to admit they have a problem, to their colleagues or even to their own family. Often they are concerned that admitting they have a problem will impact upon their Fitness to Practice.
The Portal will offer an effective way to attract those who are in distress and have a real need for financial help and money advice.
There has been a lack of knowledge about the differences between each of the charities and how they operate. By completing a very simple questionnaire on the Portal, the result will highlight which of the charities may be able to offer financial help.
The ‘Help me, I’m a Doctor’ Portal will also signpost doctors to other confidential support, including the new GP Health Service.
Please help us spread the word about the Portal and the financial help available?
All applications are considered in confidence.
www.doctorshelp.org.uk
For further information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The number of points available in the clinical QOF Domain has reduced from 407 points at 2016/17 to 367 points at 2017/18. The Domain has been split into Active QOF and Inactive QOF. Approximately 50% of clinical QOF, representing 202 points, has been designated as active QOF; approximately 40% of clinical QOF, representing 165 points has been designated as inactive QOF and approximately 10% clinical QOF, representing 40 points, have been retired and the points value transferred to the Cluster Network Domain.

Patients who die while subject to an authorisation under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) no longer require automatic referral to the coroners

From the 3rd of April 2017, it will no longer be necessary to refer all patients who die while subject to an authorisation under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) to the coroner.

Before that date, patients who died subject to DoLS were regarded as dying while in state detention, triggering an automatic requirement for an inquest. From Monday the 3rd of April the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 will be amended so that coroners will no longer be under a duty to investigate a death solely because the individual was subject to the DoLS at the time. These deaths will only require reporting to the coroner if the cause of death was unknown, or where the cause of death was violent or unnatural.

All deaths while subject to a DoLS authorisation that occur prior to the 3rd of April will still need to be reported to the Coroner.

Background

From 1 April 2016 new information sharing processes between GPs and the police were introduced in an attempt to ensure those licensed to possess firearm and shotgun certificates are medically fit to carry arms. We have significant concerns about these arrangements and we continue to raise them with the Home Office with the aim of agreeing a process that is fair to GPs in particular, and doctors in general, and safe for the wider public. Discussions are ongoing and any future improvements may necessitate the revision of this guidance.

The following advice on the current system takes into account our discussions with the Home Office, the police and the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), as well as external legal advice.

 

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has today taken action to relieve pressure on GPs during the busier than usual winter period.

Vaughan Gething, in partnership with BMA Wales, has taken the decision that the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) element of the GP contract will be relaxed until 31 March 2017

This move will create more capacity for GPs and practice nurses to manage their most vulnerable and chronically sick patients during the winter period where there is a significant increase in demand for their services. 

The Health Secretary said: “The positive action we’ve taken today will help ease pressure on primary care. I’d like to thank GP and practice nurses across Wales for their hard work and commitment to their patients during this busy winter period.

“Instead of patients being called in for routine appointments automatically at the busiest time of the year, doctor and practice nurse’s time will be freed up to see patients, prioritising those urgently requesting appointments because they are ill.

“Both BMA Wales and Welsh Government remain committed to working positively and collaboratively to improve access to services. No GP practice will lose out financially as a result of QOF relaxation.

“I hope that both primary care and patients in Wales will feel the benefits of this decision.  It’s a common sense approach that shows the agility of NHS Wales – especially when it’s under pressure.”

Chair of GPC Wales, Dr Charlotte Jones said: “This welcome move will have a positive effect on practices by reducing bureaucracy and box ticking, as well as releasing capacity which will enable GPs and practice nurses to focus on the complex care needs of their patients at a particularly busy time.

“We are committed to working in partnership with Welsh Government to continue improving working conditions for GPs in Wales, and this agreement demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration on an agreed vision.”