#weekinreview - 16 March

A glance back over this week's primary care news, opinion, top tweets and best gaffes.


This week’s GP magazine splash revealed exclusively that DH plans to integrate practices and drive up their efficiency could blur boundaries with commissioning groups and undermine their autonomy.

This generated much online comment.


Top 5 articles this week

1. GPs given vitamin d prescribing advice

2. CCG leaders not 'too busy to see patients' as research finds millions spent on locums

3. Exclusive: dh plans gp practice efficiency drive

4. BMA plans to ballot GPs as treasury halts pensions talks

5. Liberal Democrats deliver blow to health bill at spring conference



Reacting to news that Professor Steve Field (@ProfSteveField), who is leading the NHS Constitution review, predicts it will prevent postcode lotteries, Dr Michelle Drage (@MichelleDrage), chief executive officer of Londonwide LMCs,  tweeted:

Dr Una Coales (@drunacoales), Conservative Health secretary, NHS locum GP, RCGP Council representative, author and MRCGP courses educator, questioned revalidation:

She added:

Anti-Health Bill campaigners didn’t manage to get it scrapped (again!) this week. But it wasn’t for the want of trying by GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey (@rvautrey):


While Dr Tom Flynn (@DrTomFlynn), policy and campaigns manager for the Liverpool Guild of Students, tweeted a feeling we at #weekinreview imagine our readers would like to experience more often:



Will the Health Bill put commissioning for anything more than a verruca out of a GP’s reach asks east London GP Dr Jonathan Tomlinson (@mellojonny), quoting healthcare commentator Roy Lilley’s (@RoyLilley) blog? On commissioning support services Mr Lilley writes:

There will be twenty, some say thirty of them, providing overarching back-office services. More important they will also provide the middle-office dealing with formulary, procurement, care-pathway-design, and very likely referral management services. They will exist to do what CCGs can't do, funded by the £25 per-head management cost allowance but, I predict, privately owned, will grow fat off the margin between cost and price.'



  • Health Bill coverage as it received its third reading in the Lords Monday 19 March.
  • Budget coverage: Wednesday 21 March
  • Scottish LMCs conference coverage: Thursday 22 March.

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