Archive | Dispensing

3rd UK National Conference on Rural Practice

Rural Forum LogoDetails have been released about the 3rd UK National Conference on Rural Practice – to be held on Friday 2nd May 2014 in Manchester.

Organised by the RCGP Rural Forum, the event covers a range of topical issues relevant to rural practice today – from paediatric emergency care (including Drs James West and Hal Maxwell), to recruitment & retention and the challenges of maintaining financial viability in remote & rural practice.

Professor Mike Pringle, President of the RCGP, will discuss his views and the future view of rural practice within the RCGP, and college First5 Lead Dr Phil Williams will give an update on what services and support is being made available to members within their 5 five years of qualifying as GPs.

As parallel session will be run throughout the day – looking at Social Media and how to join the growing trend of using services such as Twitter to keep abreast of CPD updates, useful clinical information and sharing views with others across the globe.

For the full programme and registration details, you can download the form here or go direct to the RCGP Bookings site.

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Dispensing Debate taken to heart of Scottish Parliament

sb-1-5GP dispensing and its vital role in sustaining healthcare in rural communities, was given some much needed focus in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.  Alan Kennedy and Jean Kerr, of the Cumbrae Public Reference Group faced a number of probing questions around why this hot topic in rural practice deserves a change in the law.  Moreso, why rural communities wish to have a greater voice in the decision-making process involved in setting up pharmacies, in areas served by dispensing practices.

Recruitment and retention to rural healthcare in Scotland is in crisis, and recent examples in Cumbrae and Benbecula are just some examples where the present regulations threaten the continuity of healthcare provision in rural, and particularly island, communities.

Giving evidence under petition PE1492 at the Public Petitions Committee, they did much to ensure that the issue is being taken seriously.  You can watch their session below or at the BBC Democracy Live website.


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Financial threats to rural dispensing practices

Please send information about pressures on services to rural patients produced by the falling income to your dispensing practice via the email below.

There is increasing concern that dispensing doctors are facing financial threats which could undermine the viability of many rural practices.  With the introduction of the new dispensing fee scale in October leading to a fall in fee per item from £2.14 to £1.95, this has been brought into sharp focus, as at a stroke this reduces the income of the average dispensing practice by over £850 per month.

The major threat is however the shortfall in reimbursement, which, as it worsens, is already leading to anecdotes of loss of rural health services, and staff, and at worst will lead to further surgery closures.

The Dispensing Doctors Association has been campaigning nationally to make the Government aware that many medicines are now being dispensed at a loss. There have been calls for the Government to provide emergency relief and to carry out an urgent review of reimbursement procedures.  They are also trying to generate awareness of the financial threat to dispensing surgeries amongst MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates at a local level. Guidance notes on contacting your local politicians are available from the DDA.

A cost enquiry on Pharmacy is due to report in April, and a similar enquiry for Dispensing Doctors is due to start later in 2010. In order to offer robust evidence to this enquiry the DDA needs information from individual practices on the impact of these income changes (eg fee scale, loss of manufacturer discounts despite continuing clawback, catM price pressures). In particular, though, the DDA needs evidence from practices about the impact of falling income on reduction in staff levels, facilities such as branch surgeries, and services, all of which will have an adverse effect on local rural health services.

The DDA would be very grateful if any relevant information could be sent to the admin office

Thanks to Aidan Egleston of the DDA for this article.

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