Skip to main content

Views of patients about sickle cell disease management in primary care

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disorder in England. Without prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, it can be a serious source of morbidity and mortality. The complications of SCD can lead to frequent hospital visits and appropriate management is needed to minimize the risk of developing such complications. SCD clinical guidelines recommend that patients see a general practitioner (GP) for routine examination every six months and more often if new problems arise or their treatment protocol changes. In addition, immunizations, prescriptions and other preventive care measures need to be delivered effectively by GPs to prevent recurring infections and pain crisis. In a questionnaire study published in JRSM Short Reports, Ghida AlJuburi and colleagues investigated the views of patients with SCD about the quality of care they have been receiving from their primary healthcare providers and what they thought was the role of primary care in SCD management.

The results of the study showed that many patients with SCD are not satisfied with the quality of primary care services that they are receiving. Thus, most do not make use of GP services for management of their SCD. However, the majority of the patients did wish for greater involvement from their GP services, even if it was just to refer them to a tertiary care facility or social support. When asked how satisfied patients are with assistance given by their GP to help manage their SCD based on a scale of 0–10 (0 being not satisfied at all and 10 being very satisfied), the majority (54%) scored satisfaction with their GP as 5 or less while 43% scored a 6 or above and 3% did not answer the question at all. Collecting prescriptions was the reason most cited for visiting the GP's office. The findings of the study provide will help in the development a disease-specific intervention which aims to improve patient care and help to ensure that management in primary care is optimized through the establishment of a Local Enhanced Service.


Popular posts from this blog

Improving discharge planning in NHS hospitals

Factors that need to be considered in discharge planning that have been identified in previous projects include:

Ensuring that discharge arrangements are discussed with patients, family members and carers; and that they are given a copy of the discharge summary.Adequate coordination between the hospital, community health services, general practices, and the providers of social care services.There is a follow-up after discharge of patients at high risk of complications or readmission - either in person or by telephone - to ensure that the discharge arrangements are working well. Medicines reconciliation is carried out. This is the process of verifying patient medication lists at a point-of-care transition, such as hospital discharge, to identify which medications have been added, discontinued, or changed from pre-admission medication lists.Ensuring that any outstanding test results at discharge are obtained and passed on to primary care teams; and ensuring there are clear arrangements …

Can GPs issue private prescriptions to NHS patients?

The NHS prescription charge in England is currently £8.60 per item. At this level, many commonly prescribed drugs will cost less than the prescription charge and so some NHS patients may occasionally ask if they can have a private prescription rather than an NHS prescription.

In the past, some GPs have been advised that they could issue both an NHS FP10 and a private prescription, and let the patient decide which to use. But the British Medical Association's General Practice Committee has obtained legal advice that said under the current primary care contract, GPs in England may not issue a private prescription alongside or as an alternative to an NHS FP10 prescription. In any consultation where a GP needs to issue an FP10, the concurrent issue of a private prescription would be a breach of NHS regulations.

The issuing of a private prescription in such circumstances could also be seen as an attempt to deprive the NHS of the funds it would receive from the prescription charge. Fur…

What will Brexit mean for the NHS?

On the 29 March 2017, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May, formally notified the European Union (EU) Council President, Donald Tusk, of the UK’s intention to leave the EU. Theresa May’s letter to Donald Tusk triggers a two-year process during which the UK will have to negotiate both the terms of its exit from EU and the arrangements that will replace those we have had for over 40 years with the other member states of the EU. The consequences of the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’) will be wide-ranging and will affect all areas of UK’s society, including the National Health Service (NHS).

For the NHS, Brexit comes at a time when it faces many other major challenges. These include severe financial pressures, rising workload, increased waiting times for both primary care and specialist services, and shortages of health professionals in many key areas (such as in general practice and in emergency departments). The NHS also faces challenges fr…