Struggling GP trainees given option to extend training for up to 18 months

Trainee GPs that struggle to meet required levels after the standard three years of training will now be able to extend their training by up to 18 months, Health Education England (HEE) has said | GP Online


GP trainess who fail one or more exams at the end of their usual three years will be able to extend their training by 12 months, with a further exceptional six months. The move brings GP trainees more in-line with other medical specialties, which are currently allowed to extend their training by 12 months with a further exceptional 12 months.

The BMA welcomed the change, as it warned current system ‘unfairly disadvantage’ some of the more diverse groups of doctors. It is hoped the change will help prevent doctors who initially struggle to pass exams being lost to the profession.

The announcement comes alongside a commitment to make it easier for doctors from other specialties to enter GP training.

Read the full news story here

Delivering high quality end of life care for people who have a learning disability

This guidance document provide resources and tips for commissioners, service providers and health and social care staff providing, or delivering care to people with a learning disability at the end of their lives | NHS England


Image source: NHS England

This ‘top tips’ guide aims to support commissioners, providers and clinicians to reduce inequalities in palliative and end of life for people with a learning disability, focusing on ‘The Ambitions for Palliative and End of Life Care’. These six ambitions provide a framework for national and local health and care system leaders to take action to improve palliative and end of life care. Developed by 27 organisations across the palliative and end of life care system, these ambitions set out what high quality palliative
and end of life care looks like. The ambitions call on leaders from every part of the health and caresystem, and the wider community, to put the framework into practice.

This ‘top tips’ guidance has been developed by NHS England in association with the Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities (PCPLD) Network. The development process involved consultation with Public Health England and a range of commissioners, providers and professionals working within palliative and end of life care and learning disability settings. People with lived experience have also helped us to develop the guide.


Involvement of people with experience of mental illness in CCG commissioning

Little is known about the extent to which CCGs are involving people with experience of mental illness in the commissioning of mental health services | Rethink


Image source: Rethink

CCGs told us that with enormous pressure on resources and very full remits, it was difficult to prioritise implementing new ways to involve experts-by-experience.

Information gathered by Rethink Mental Illness through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, in which 196 out of 209 CCGs responded, uncovered that:

  • Only 15% of CCGs who responded told us they had used a co-production approach at least once in mental health commissioning
  • Only 1% of CCGs explicitly stated an ambition for co-production in mental health that was aligned to the vision in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health – that co-production will be a standard approach to commissioning.
  • Only 14% of CCGs had plans to do more to involve people with experience of mental illness in their work.

Rethink Mental Illness’ research showed that there are some good examples of CCGs involving people with experience of mental illness in the design of services. CCGs told us that co-producing services has ensured focus on the day-to-day experience of people who use services.

This report recommends that bodies such as NHS England provide national leadership, advice and support for CCGs, and hold CCGs to account by establishing mechanisms to monitor progress. It also recommends that CCGs use tools such as the Rethink Mental Illness ‘Commissioners Co-production Grid’, and NSUN’s 4PIs to facilitate steps towards embedding co-production as the norm.

Full report here

Where next for commissioning?

NHS Providers has published the next of its ‘Provider Voices’ series sharing a chief executive’s view on Where next for commissioning?

The chief executive of West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust shares his view in relation to ambulance services.  Areas covered include designing pathways for continuous improvement, STPs, diversity of commissioning approaches and providing value for investment in commissioning.

Networked care – a toolkit for practice

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the 13 acute care vanguards which aim to “link hospitals together to improve their clinical and financial viability, reducing variation in care and efficiency” | Institute of Healthcare Management


The Moorfields vanguard team has spent the past year exploring whether the longer-term sustainability of single speciality services can be strengthened by entering into a networked care partnership, and the other benefits that the model might bring.

The team was keen to understand what makes the biggest difference for patients, staff and partner organisations in getting things right first time when establishing a networked care partnership; and to identify the best way to sustain services so that specialist care can continue to be offered locally.

The team’s findings are shared in the toolkit, an online resource with evidenced-based learning that other trusts can use to evaluate whether networked care could help their smaller clinical services.  It has practical advice on how organisations can establish their own network in the way for them.

The toolkit also includes recommendations on how to:

  • ensure consistent quality of care at multiple sites
  • ensure a sustainable workforce
  • maintain effective partnerships
  • develop sustainable specialist care
  • provide a standardised quality of care

Use of Resources assessment framework

A framework for evaluating how providers are making use of resources, leadership and governance in order to provide high quality care that is efficient and sustainable | NHS Improvement


Following sector-wide feedback, we’ve produced this framework, finalising our approach to the Use of Resources assessment. This will help us to better understand how effectively and efficiently providers are using their resources – including finances, workforce, estates and facilities, technology and procurement – to provide high quality, efficient and sustainable care for patients, and will help us to deliver tailored support to providers.

The Use of Resources assessment will also help us to identify providers’ support needs under the Single Oversight Framework (SOF), and deliver targeted support accordingly. We are now updating the SOF to reflect these and other changes in our oversight approach and will publish an updated version in October, following feedback.

Read the full overview here

Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services

Improving access for all: reducing inequalities in access to general practice services

NHS England

This guide, aimed at GP commissioners and providers, is designed to promote understanding of groups in the community who are experiencing barriers in accessing services. It provides resources to help address those barriers as improvements in access to GP services are rolled out.