News in Brief 301107

Poorer psychological outcomes with deprivation
GP consultations for patients with psychological problems in deprived areas are less helpful than for those in affluent areas, according to researchers from the University of Glasgow. Their study compared more than 3,000 patients in affluent and deprived areas. They found that patients in poorer areas had a greater number of psychological problems. But despite having more to discuss, consultations in deprived areas were shorter than those in affluent areas (www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_54146_en.html).

NHS programme for practice-based commissioners
A programme to give practice-based commissioners the skills and knowledge they need to commission effectively has been launched by the NHS Alliance and firm Humana Europe. Named the PBC Academy, it aims to support GPs, practice managers and commissioning managers in PCTs. It offers short, practical training in professional commissioning skills. For more details visit www.pbcacademy.co.uk .

Free training on suicide risks
Mind Cymru is offering a free place on a course it is running called ASIST, which offers training in dealing with those at risk of suicide. It is two days long and the course normally costs £150. It is open to any professional that may encounter such cases and GPs are welcome. For more details contact Alan Briscoe at Mind Cymru on 07852 306 599.

Middlesex practice wins quality award
The Mountwood Surgery in Northwood, Middlesex, won the CHD QOF GP Practice Award at awards given jointly by the Improvement Foundation and NHS Alliance. The practice was recognised for 'its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to tackling CHD'. It boasts an in-house cardiology team and an interactive, patient-empowering booklet for CHD. It achieved BP targets in 96.8 per cent of its CHD patients.

Call for tougher targets for diabetes

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes (APPGD) has called for tougher targets in the treatment of diabetic patients. The APPGD, in collaboration with Diabetes UK, has discussed potential recommendations for key changes to the quality framework, which is up for renewal from April 2008. Proposals include rewarding GPs for the number of patients achieving a 1 per cent drop in HbA1c and for GPs to be incentivised to educate patients about their condition and treatment. For details visit www.nelm.nhs.uk/record viewing/viewRecord.aspx?id=587687

Winner of Amazon vouchers
Thank you to the 517 readers who took part in the GP access survey reported last week. The winner of the £100 worth of Amazon vouchers was Dr CP Minas of Northville Family Practice, Bristol.

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