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Sheffield NHS Choose Your GP Consultation as Health Life Expectancy Gap Widens

Politics / NHS Jul 02, 2010 - 01:14 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Politics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe 13 year Labour government has come and gone and still PCT's such as the Sheffield NHS are sat twiddling their thumbs with yet another patient consultation rather than acting to allow patients to be able to choose to register with any GP, as patients remain locked into their local GP surgeries regardless of the huge disparity in actual health care provision as experienced by patients and as demonstrated by the UK GP Patient survey ( http://results.gp-patient.co.uk- table below).


Today's National Audit Office Report paints a picture of a widening gap in life expectancy between affluent and deprived areas of the country of more than 10 years as a consequence of GP's in deprived areas effectively failing to do their jobs as the report implies GP's ignore the symptoms of a large section of their patients which results in less resources being plowed into high disease prevalence deprived areas in favour of more resources being directed to low disease prevalence affluent areas which really does represent a failure of the GP's to do their jobs.

Department of Health - Tackling inequalities in life expectancy in areas with the worst health and deprivation

GP's provide the main access point to healthcare and are crucial to providing care to the neediest groups. The main lever for rewarding their activity is the Quality and Outcomes Framework which was introduced in 2004. However, it does not provide enough of an incentive to target GPs attention on the neediest groups. GPs can achieve full payment of the additional income available under this framework without covering the entire practice population and as a result the hardest to reach and most in need groups may not be helped through this framework. In addition, until 2009, payments were scaled in such a way that areas with high disease prevalence, often concentrated in deprived areas, received less remuneration per patient than those with low prevalence, and payments to practices did not fully reflect the level of illness in the practice population. By 2011, payments are expected to fully reflect the level of need with consequent redistribution of payments between practices.

When is the Sheffield NHS going to stop talking hot air and actually do something concrete to bring about REAL patient choice so that patients may escape from an early grave ?

If the poor friendly Labour party failed to bridge the health gap between rich and poor than what can people stuck in deprived wards expect from a more affluent voter centric ConLib Government?

As the country has realised under Labour the answer is not to throw even more money at the problem, the answer is to employ COMPETENT staff in the deprived areas of the country that are accountable rather than mostly unaccountable as is the case as it exists today. The National Audit office could not identify what the extra £230 per person that the surgeries in deprived areas have received been spent on, as it was clearly not on improving patient healthcare. Perhaps the following graph gives a clue as to the answer of where Labours spending splurge on the NHS GP Surgeries has actually gone -

When Labour came to power in 1997 average MP pay was £43,722 against average NHS GP pay of £44,000, so both were inline with one another at that time. However as the above graph clearly illustrates in 2003 something started to go seriously wrong with GP Pay which took off into the stratosphere as GP's decided to award themselves pay hikes of more than 30% per annum at tax payers expense that has lifted average GP pay to over £130,000 per annum against £66,000 for MP's.

How could this happen, unfortunately this was as a consequence of the now infamous GP contracts where to be blunt greedy GP's hoodwinked gullible incompetent Labour government health ministers into signing upto contracts which were meant to deliver greater value for money for the tax payer but were designed to do the opposite and resulted in GP's pay doubling whilst at the same time cutting back on hours worked. This was not only a total fiasco for the nations health and finances but also ignited jealousy amongst MP's that directly led to the adoption of the policy of claiming expenses to the maximum in an attempt to fill the ever widening gap between MP's and NHS GP's, as MP's could NOT get away with awarding themselves pay hikes of 30% per annum without losing their seats at the next general election in response to voter outcry.

Sheffield NHS UK GP Patient Survey Surgery Rankings 2009-10

The highly credible Department of Health funded UK GP Patient Survey has continued to give patients a voice as to the actual quality of healthcare services they are in receipt of at their local surgeries across England.

The most recent data release covers 9 months from 1st April 2009 to 31st December 2009 which involved more than 4.1 million questionnaires being sent out to patients across England covering more than 10 question areas such as being able to book an appointment, or Waiting time at the surgery or concerning the practice opening hours and most important the overall patient satisfaction at the quality of healthcare provided (www.gp-patient.co.uk).

For the city of Sheffield, in total 48,324 questionnaires were sent out to the patients of Sheffield's 91 GP surgeries of which 20,626 were returned, from which detailed results were compiled as listed below for the Overall Satisfaction category for all 91 GP surgeries in order of ranking from best to worst.

Sheffield's Top 5 GP Surgeries

  Level of Satisfaction
MILL ROAD SURGERY
99%
STANNINGTON MEDICAL CENTRE
98%
RUSTLINGS ROAD MEDICAL CENTRE
98%
DOVERCOURT SURGERY
98%
THE HEALTH CARE SURGERY
98%

Sheffield's best ranked surgeries all tended to cluster closely together, and tend to reside in the more affluent wards of the city which is reflective of the 'post code lottery' where those that reside in the affluent wards due to more likely being professionals are able to demand a better quality of NHS GP services than those that tend to reside in the deprived wards tend to suffer in silent as to what passes for health care provision which plays a significant part in contributing to a more than 14 YEAR GAP IN LIFE EXPECTANCY between peoples living just a few miles distance from one another, which has been commented upon by the Sheffield MP and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg :

"It is an outrage that social mobility has slowed, not increased, under the Blair-Brown years. It is an outrage that in Sheffield, where I’m an MP, life expectancy in the poorest wards is a full 14 years below the life expectancy of those living in the wealthiest wards. Your life chances are now set by the circumstances of your birth as never before."

Sheffield's Bottom 5 GP Surgeries

HAROLD STREET MEDICAL CENTRE
80%
STONECROFT MEDICAL CENTRE
79%
HIGHGATE  SURGERY
75%
DARNALL HEALTH CENTRE (MEHROTRA)
70%
DARNALL COMMUNITY HEALTH
70%

Unlike the best ranking surgeries clustering closely together, the bottom ranking surgeries see a sharp drop off in the patient experience at the quality of health care from 85% to an abysmally poor ranking of just 70% of patient satisfaction for Darnall, something that the patients of Darnall have had to suffer with for many, many years against other GP surgeries achieving 98% satisfaction ratings.

Results For All 91 Sheffield GP Surgeries Ranked in Order of Patient Overall Satisfaction of Care Received

Sources

Source: http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article20783.html

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-10 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis specialises on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and the housing market and he is the author of the NEW Inflation Mega-Trend ebook that can be downloaded for Free. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 500 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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