Healthcare Leader ICB 101 series

Healthcare Leader’s ICB 101 series introduces the aims and organisations of the new NHS leaders through exclusive interviews with NHS CEOs.

The Healthcare Leader ICB 101 interviews cover the unique aspects of each NHS integrated care board (ICB), the organisations established in July 2022, which are now responsible for running the NHS budget in their area.  

The series features ten of the 42 leaders so far including Mark Fisher CEO of Greater Manchester, Shane Devlin, chief executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) and Tracey Bleakley chief executive of NHS Norfolk and Waveney.

The interviews are part of our new ICB Hub where the latest developments in each NHS region are highlighted along with key ICB facts.

Editor Victoria Vaughan says: ‘There is a huge amount of optimism from the new integrated care board leaders and their mission to reduce health inequalities but relatively little is known about the plans of this whole new tranche of NHS leadership.

‘Our Healthcare Leader ICB 101 interviews seek to provide an overview of the ICB areas and the current thinking of the new NHS leaders, particularly with regard to primary care, and to shed light on what NHS system working means for primary care staff and patients.’

In July last year clinical commissioning groups were dissolved, and their staff were transferred into ICBs. This change was made to shift the way of working from competition to collaboration and to bring together health and care with the aims of better health for everyone, better care for all, efficient use of NHS resources, and to enhance the NHS contribution to social and economic regeneration.

ICBs represent the NHS in the wider integrated care partnerships as part of the integrated care system.

Healthcare Leader aims to support NHS system leaders in taking forward blueprints for the future of health and social care in their places and neighbourhoods.

Visit our new ICB Hub to find out the latest developments in each NHS region. The site also features expert opinion, reports and insight on the aims of ICBs as well as the latest news.

For the opportunity to reach our audience of decision makers across NHS integrated care systems (ICSs), including ICB leaders, through a variety of digital advertising options, please contact us.

Pulse: Best-laid plans

The Pulse Best Laid Plans investigation, the cover feature of the March issue, looked at previous Government ‘rescue’ plans for general practice ahead of its latest proposals that are set to be released this Spring.

The Pulse Best Laid Plans investigation rated each of their pledges out of ten, and looked at detail whether huge sums of funding pledged by ministers ever actually reached GPs.

The Pulse clinical section answered key questions on rectal bleeding, and provides guidance on treating mental health problems in pregnancy.

Finally, Pulse Checker – our satirical look at general practice – asked artificial intelligence programme ChatGPT to write an NHS England recovery plan in the style of Dr Nick Riviera from the Simpsons. And the results were terrifying (though probably better than the real thing)…

ASK Real-World Evidence UK case study

The ASK Real-World Evidence UK case study has now launched, the third regional case study within the programme, focusing on the adoption of oncology biosimilars in the UK healthcare system.

The ASK Real-World Evidence UK case study will cover the implementation of biosimilars medications within the UK National Health Service (NHS), with a focus on the Cancer Vanguard Project in NHS England. Developed with Emma Foreman, Consultant Pharmacist at the Royal Marsden Hospital, this case study outlines the oncology biosimilars landscape in the UK and discusses the benefits of oncology medications to the UK healthcare system.

Alongside the case studies, you can also explore the education hub which offers additional free education including the real-world evidence abstract library, a core handbook, on-demand webinars, resource library, and learning chapters. Helping to expand your knowledge on the use of biosimilars in the treatment of cancer.

The programme’s resources are specifically targeting oncologists, oncology nurses, and hospital pharmacists in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia and globally. Marketing of the resources is done via the ASK Real-World Evidence community, as well as our media brands Hospital Healthcare Europe and Hospital Pharmacy Europe.

Advisory boards

Working in strategic partnership with Cogora: The Agency gives you first-in-class access to market insight via our advisory boards, meeting your business needs, while ensuring tangible return on your investment.

Our approach is encapsulated in these top tips on the way we plan and implement half-day or full-day advisory boards (face-to-face or virtual) for our pharmaceutical and medical device clients in the UK, Europe and globally:

We listen to our client’s needs, and gain understanding of what they are looking to achieve – the closer our understanding of our client’s definition of a successful advisory board, the more likely we are to achieve it. The client may need to gain a critique of an innovation in development, or to access company-confidential market insight, or to hear the delegates propose specific tools with which to address a specific need – we are flexible in our delivery of the type of advisory board the client needs.

Based on this, we bring the right people to the table, ideally a mix of our client’s selected advocates or key opinion leaders from Cogora’s extensive list of experts. These people (ideally not more than 8) will be the team that provides market insight, so they must all be knowledgeable, influential and complementary. Getting the team right is the single most important element of a successful advisory board.

We create and agree an agenda for the advisory board that maximises the transfer of market knowledge and insight from the delegates to the client. Structure the agenda so as to introduce various means of engagement.

We prepare. One-to-one interviews in the week preceding the advisory board are conducted. Ten interview questions (agreed with the client) in 30 minutes is all it takes for the Chair to appreciate the delegates’ perspectives on the topic to hand, the better nuanced the discussion on the day of the board. And it is an ideal platform from which the delegates can step into the discussion.

We build a rapport with the delegates. Chair the advisory board in a way that gives a voice to all delegates, not only those who are inclined to speak loudest. Focus at all times on the client’s objectives. Stay on piste. Remember: the client is not paying for the Chair’s opinion – it is the Chair’s sole responsibility to get to the essence of what the delegates can contribute to the discussion. This will not occur in a question-and-answer format, but rather when they are steered to interact with each other. Remember, although our delegates will all be experts, they may well never have met each other, especially if they come from across disciplines and many countries. The more energy the Chair can muster in running the board, the more energy will result from the delegates, for the benefit of the client.

We deliver the outcome of the board in the format that suits the client’s needs – a report to be published in one of Cogora’s media brands (print or digitally), a presentation for the client’s internal requirements, or as a series of options of tools for further development from which to choose.

This allows Cogora to develop a long-standing relationship with our clients, working on additional projects which have been strategically decided on based on the outcome of the advisory board.

We nurture our relationships with the client and with the delegates – they will want to remain associated with the delivery of change-provoking, insightful activities.

Advisory boards are an excellent example of the type of strategic partnership by which Cogora: The Agency seeks to define itself, bringing our clients in close working contact with healthcare professionals around the world. 

To discuss how advisory boards can suit your business needs, please contact us.

HCM Academy 2023

Brought to you by PCM Scientific, our CME division, we are excited to announce the launch of the HCM Academy 2023 programme.

Expanding on last year’s pilot, the programme offers independent medical education, surrounding diagnosis and best practice care for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).

The programme will target primary and secondary care audiences including GPs, primary care nurses, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, echocardiographers, and hospital pharmacists across the United States, Canada, and Europe, including the United Kingdom.

The HCM Academy 2023 offers free online education, designed to increase awareness and knowledge surrounding HCM. The curriculum will include three primary care and six secondary care focused webinars, with on-demand content available after the live event, and six case studies, linked to each of the secondary care webinars.  

The first primary care webinar will take place on 27 March 2023 led by Anjali Owens and Lubna Choudhury and the first secondary care webinar on 11 April 2023 led by Anjali Owens and Stefano Nistri.

Marketing of the resources will be via the HCM Academy, and our media brands, PulseNursing in PracticeHospital Healthcare Europe and Hospital Pharmacy Europe

Pulse: Urgent care in critical condition

Pulse’s February cover feature, ‘urgent care in critical condition’, looked at the impact the urgent care crisis and ambulance delays were having on GPs.

Pulse’s ‘urgent care in critical condition’ investigation revealed significant numbers of GPs were advising patients not to wait for an ambulance and some were conveying patients to hospital themselves due to the delays.  GPs shared harrowing accounts with Pulse about the situations they were finding themselves in, including waiting 80 minutes for a patient with complex cardiac history when the response should have taken 18; pushing a patient with sepsis to A&E in a wheelchair; and having to travel to two neighbouring surgeries to get oxygen for a patient with failing breathing before taking the risk to drive them to hospital.  

Elsewhere in the issue, Pulse analysed how the cost-of-living crisis was affecting general practice. A survey of 1,000 GPs found 22% of consultations were currently health problems caused or exacerbated by the rising cost of living. GPs said the effect on mental health was one of the biggest problems but patients with long-term physical health conditions such as diabetes and asthma were also being impacted.

Our clinical section featured advice for GPs on dealing with suicide risk, as well as how to successfully refer for dermatology conditions.

And finally, our CPD this month was on developing a culturally competent practice.

Healthcare Leader launches ICB hub

Healthcare Leader has launched an ICB hub, a new resource to bring together and showcase developments across the NHS’s 42 Integrated Care Boards (ICBs).  

The new hub houses all the latest news, interviews and case studies in ICB areas giving a snapshot of the work involving primary care across the systems in the seven NHS regions.

The ICB hub is part of Healthcare Leader’s new focus on integrated care boards that officially launched on July 1 last year, replacing clinical commissioning groups, and now hold much of the NHS budget. Each ICB covers a population of around 0.5-3 million people.

Since their launch, they have been setting up their organisations, writing their strategies and working to bring together health and care in their Integrated Care System alongside their partner organisations – local authorities, care providers and the voluntary sector.

Each ICB in each System has a different set of challenges covering historic financial positions, populations and geographies, but they all have a set of common goals: better health for everyone, better care for all, efficient use of NHS resources, and to enhance the NHS contribution to social and economic regeneration.

The North Star or guiding principle for these new bodies is to reduce health inequalities – and it is the first time the NHS has an official mandate to tackle this issue.

The Healthcare Leader ICB hub will highlight primary care-led innovations and projects at system and place levels to help spread best practice and shine a light on work being done across the 42 areas.

Editor Victoria Vaughan said: ‘This new resource will be the go-to place to find out about ICB work, news and case studies. The new ICBs have the potential to really change healthcare for the better by targeting health inequalities. But sharing best practice and galvanising the primary care voice are two areas which have long been difficult for the NHS.

‘Our new Healthcare Leader ICB hub will act as an easy-to-digest resource for all those interested in primary care in the system and at place level. ICBs need to have flexibility so they can tackle their own unique problems. However, that has created increased complexity. Healthcare Leader aims to distil that and get to the heart of the plans and the changes that are making a difference to both the NHS and patients.’

Healthcare Leader aims to support NHS system leaders in taking forward their blueprints for the future of health and social care in their places and neighbourhoods. The site also features expert opinion and insight on the aims of ICBs as well as the latest news.

For the opportunity to reach our audience of decision makers across NHS integrated care systems (ICSs), including ICB leaders, through a variety of digital advertising options, please contact

Nursing in Practice 365 launches

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Nursing in Practice 365, our new education platform for UK primary care and community nurses, brought to you by Nursing in Practice.

Following the Covid-19 lockdowns, our audience became accustomed to the convenience and effectiveness of online learning. A ‘hybrid’ offering for events and online education has been universally welcomed by our audience and this is where Nursing in Practice 365 comes into its own.

Designed to give easy access to the best CPD and professional educational content in a variety of formats, Nursing in Practice 365 allows nurses to learn anytime, anywhere.

A mix of bite-sized, interactive and longer-form content spans over 27 clinical areas, meeting users’ preferences and time available. Relevant and constantly updated, content is presented in a variety of formats: CPD modules, virtual seminars, on-demand sessions, and in-person events; with tools to help nurses to plan their engagement throughout the year: ‘save favourites’, ‘track progress’, ‘add to calendar’, and more.

It’s sister platform Pulse 365, which launched in 2022, provides a similar educational offering for GPs.

For further information about Nursing in Practice 365 and the advertising opportunities available including virtual event sponsorship and online content hosting, please contact Nick Hayward at

Pulse 365 offers GPs access to our face-to-face events, virtual events, CPD learning modules and our community.

Nursing in Practice: Climbing the leadership ladder

In the spring edition of Nursing in Practice, ‘Climbing the leadership ladder’, we asked: why do female nurses struggle to reach the top of the leadership ladder?

For many years, nurses were often viewed as doctors’ handmaidens. Times have changed, but despite the advances the profession has seen, how much do elements of these old-fashioned views linger? What’s holding primary care nurses – female nurses, in particular – back?

In primary care, although men make up only 4% of the nursing workforce in general practice, they occupy 10% of nurse partner roles. They also hold 10% of advanced nurse practitioner and nurse specialist posts, according to NHS Digital figures

In the spring edition of Nursing in Practice, ‘Climbing the leadership ladder’, we spoke to women from a variety of nursing backgrounds who hold a range of leadership roles but who all have a shared experience – they have had to work hard for their voices to be heard.

We asked: Why do female nurses struggle to reach the top of the leadership ladder?

Carole Phillips was until recently a nurse clinical director at Brunel Health Group PCN, and is a national professional advisor for the CQC, and a senior lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, developing the physicians associate and advanced clinical practice course.

She says practice nurses can still be seen as subordinates to GPs, as nurses or HCAs in general practice today are given tasks such restocking supplies in the practice rooms, changing the paper on examination tables and emptying bins. 

Jade Fenton, a practice nurse team leader in Worcester, told Nursing in Practice that nurses may lack confidence in their leadership abilities, but many would make great leaders if the right training was available to them.

We also heard that there are too few primary care and community nurses in senior decision-making roles. Addressing issues such as pay and conditions for general practice nurses, and ensuring their voice is heard amongst decision-makers, are urgent challenges.

Nursing in Practice is exploring the experience of nurse leaders in primary care in a new series ‘Lessons in leadership’. Kicking off the series is a discussion with Tricia D’Orsi, nurse director at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB).

Also, in the spring edition of Nursing in Practice, is an exclusive analysis of the introduction of virtual wards – the bridge between hospitals and the community that are helping to improve discharge rates from secondary care.

The prevention and management of pressure ulcers, hypertension diagnosis and management, psoriasis, genitourinary symptoms of the menopause, and the management of self-harm in primary care, feature in our latest Clinical updates. 

More content from Nursing in Practice can be found at, and via the Nursing in Practice app, and on social media.

Pulse: Viva la revolución

The coming year may prove pivotal for general practice, and our Pulse January cover, Viva la revolución, looks into what may happen with negotiations around the GP contract in England. We look at some radical changes, such as workload limits, GPs being paid by activity rather than by patient numbers and even privatisation. We canvass the opinion of more than 1,000 GPs on what radical solutions they are willing to adopt, as well as examining the positions of the BMA and the Government.

A major analysis from Pulse January also examines the criticism around GP access, and asks whether it is fair. When ‘league tables’ of access were produced, the media accused them of shunning face-to-face appointments and long waiting lists. Pulse’s analysis examines the systemic pressures, revealing that practices are having to make choices between face-to-face access and shorter appointment times as it is impossible to provide both with current resources.

In the clinical section, we have key questions on postural tachycardia syndrome, while our new series on ‘rational referrals’ supports readers in navigating pathways. We have a therapeutics update on CKD management, and another quiz based on symptoms found in the new Pulse Reference service.

And finally, our columnists look to the year ahead and provide their predictions – some more serious than others.

The HCM Academy 2022 programme

The 2022 HCM Academy programme was a great success, offering education on diagnosis and best practice care for patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Launched in November 2021 by PCM Scientific, the HCM Academy offers free education to healthcare providers, including live digital CME workshops and online CME and non-CME activities.

Marketing of the 2022 HCM Academy programme ran until December 2022 and focused on targeting GPs, family physicians, nurses, and community cardiology teams across the United States. It provided learners with access to education from leading HCM experts through live digital workshops, CME online modules and case studies, and patient videos that shared their real-life HCM journeys. The HCM Academy generated 126,600+ website page views, 300+ workshop attendees, and 510+ participants in educational activity.

“The HCM Academy offers the full gamut of disease. Whether it’s age, symptoms or treatment or missed opportunities. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this unique offering” – Physician, TN 

After a successful pilot phase of the HCM Academy, the programme is being expanded in 2023. Launching in February 2023, the programme will now target both primary and secondary care healthcare professionals, including GPs, primary care nurses, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, electrophysiologists, echocardiographers, and hospital pharmacists across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The offering will aim to further increase education and knowledge surrounding HCM and will include three primary care focused webinars, six secondary care focused webinars, and six secondary care case studies, linked to each of the webinars.

Winners of the 2022 General Practice Awards are revealed

On Friday 9th December, the 15th Annual General Practice Awards were held at the Novotel London West. We welcomed over 700 guests from across primary healthcare and the healthcare industry in the UK, for a fantastic night celebrating the very best in patient care – highlighting innovation, dedication, and passion.

Head of Events Marketing at Cogora, Jess Cornish, kicked off the night’s proceedings: “We may say every year how truly valuable it is to have a night like tonight where we recognise those who have gone above and beyond, but I think in the current climate, these words have never been more appropriate.   

Two years on and the impact of the Covid pandemic is still ever present – as are the knock-on effects it is having on patient care. I was lucky enough to be one of the judges on the panel for the new Vaccination of the Year category, and I was honestly blown away by the amazing dedication, innovation, leadership and courage so many of you showed.    

Using the experience of the covid vaccination programme, you have extended the way you engage with communities, adding opportunistic health checks to increase access to healthcare. All this innovation has been against a backdrop of the usual challenges; tackling staff shortages, managing rising patient demand, the secondary care workload dump…..  

But this is why I think it is as important as ever to celebrate your successes and the amazing resilience that you continue to show. Tonight is our chance to put all our worries to one side and celebrate the very best examples of general practice.”

And what a celebration it was! Here are our 2022 winners . . .

Practice Manager of the Year
WINNER: Martin Turner, Practice Manager and PCN Manager, Staveleigh Medical Centre
Sponsored by Livi
Having recognised the demand in patient expectations since COVID, Martin has innovated positive change, not just within his own practice but amongst others in the local area. Despite never having worked in healthcare before, Martin sets an example to other managers with his enthusiasm and passion to improve services. Martin has set up a homelessness project, a training centre for clinical and non-clinical staff, a staff welfare programme, frailty and dementia projects and a local version of a 111 scheme to reduce hospital admissions and calls to practices.

Reception Team of the Year
WINNER: Health Care First, Sponsored by Think Healthcare
After a successful merge of seven practices in 2019, the Health Care First Reception team has significantly contributed to a review of patient access alongside the implementation of a new operating model. The average time to answer calls has reduced from 50 minutes to less than 10 minutes and patient satisfaction has hugely improved over the past 12 months. Working at the forefront of the new online platform, the reception team now assist 20% of patients via a 2-way messaging service. Staff morale has improved due to the reduced pressure of the call queues and patients are now receiving a happier, more responsive and efficient service.

HCP Programme Provider of the Year
WINNER: Qualitas
Qualitas’ Pathway to Partnership is a development programme for GP Partners that blends academic rigour with examples of excellent practice and new ways of thinking. Featuring group study, coaching, and intermediary projects, the programme has been designed to make an immediate positive difference. All graduates are alumni and there is a growing super-cohort who can benefit from ongoing post-programme support. The longevity of sustainable and peer learning is embedded.

Clinical Improvement Award: Long Term Conditions
WINNER: UCLPartners Proactive Care Team
The UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks was developed to help primary care restore and transform the management of long-term conditions as we emerge from the pandemic. Core elements include comprehensive risk stratification tools to prioritise and optimise care, the use of the wider workforce to support patient education and self-management, and complementary digital tools. Widely welcomed by GPs, the innovation has been adopted into two national programmes and 14 Integrated Care Systems are formally committed to supporting implementation in their PCNs.

Clinical Improvement Award: Mental Health
WINNER: Primary Care Gambling Service
Established in 2019, the aim of the Primary Care Gambling Service was to raise awareness of gambling harms amongst healthcare professionals and to provide a free NHS treatment service to patients who are suffering harm focusing on a holistic and multidisciplinary approach. The service bridges the gap between primary care and the voluntary and specialist services and now provides an integrated, easily accessible treatment service. The first of its kind in the country, the service has helped 120 patients and the team have successfully engaged GPs, addressed the needs of those with gambling addiction and established a robust treatment service.

Clinical Improvement Award: Public Health & Prevention
WINNER: The Integrated Motivational Proactive Anticipatory Care Team (IMPACT)
The IMPACT team utilises population health intelligence to identify patients diagnosed with LTCs who are not engaging with healthcare provision. Care Coordinators take a holistic approach that is sensitive to the wider determinants of health which influence self-management and engagement with services. Outcomes included: A&E attendances reduced by 23%, hospital admissions decreased by 44%, 94% of patients did not require additional GP care, and the number of patients reporting problems with anxiety/depression decreased by nearly 10%. The hope is that by sharing the success of the project it may be rolled out across the country.

Digital Solutions Provider of the Year

When faced with a client who needed to urgently upgrade their telephony to accommodate a new way of working due to the pandemic, X-on stepped up to offer a new cloud-based system that offered the practice the solutions they needed. The system seamlessly integrated with major clinical systems which improved productivity at the practice. X-on changed the way the practice worked and offered little extras which all contribute to reducing call wait times.

GP Trainee/Rising Star Award
WINNER: Dr Solomon Lebese, GP Trainee, Symphony Health Services
Sponsored by Atrumed

Destined for great things, Dr Lebese was nominated for going above and beyond expectations, excelling in his workload, in promoting Symphony Health Services as an organisation, and in contributing to regional trainee committees and events. He combines enthusiasm and a natural flair for communication, referencing evidence and poignant personal anecdotes. He is a calming and constructive presence and talks truth to power. The type of colleague everyone wants to work with and who everyone wants to be looked after by.

Pharmacist/Pharmacy Team of the Year
WINNER: Helen Kilminster, Senior Clinical Pharmacist, Portway Family Practice

Extraordinary, exceptional, exemplary – just some of the words used to describe Helen Kilminster. Having recently completed a two-year tenure as one of a handful of pharmacist Clinical Directors in England, her achievements included PCN and regional roll out of the COVID vaccination effort, improving the inclusion of Bangladeshi, Chinese and LGBTQ+ communities, and the integration of PCN Pharmacists and ARRS staff.

Medical Supplier of the Year
WINNER: Enhanced Primary Care

Offering a unique PPA reconciliation service, Enhanced Primary Care is a hassle and risk free service for practices. Their mission is to offer practices time – a precious commodity in primary care. They have found hidden income worth £733,531 for practices in just 15 months.

Extended Practice Team Member of the Year
WINNER: Allied Patient Intervention Team

By diversifying the workforce within Primary Care, the Allied HCP team are able to take a holistic approach to tackling health inequalities within the population, specifically focusing on the most vulnerable patients. The team responded to the post-covid rise in patients requiring mental health and substance misuse support, by providing stability in treatment and encouraging physical health checks. The introduction of a full-time safeguarding lead enabled information requests to be shared efficiently and for procedures to be completed swiftly. They were able to bridge the gap between primary and secondary services and have prevented patients becoming unstable or disengaged.

Staffing/Recruitment Agency of the Year
WINNER: Clinical Pharmacist Solutions

Clinical Pharmacist Solutions offer an innovative recruitment service incorporating the clinical expertise of their staff, allowing them to specialise in recruiting Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians for surgeries and PCNs. Providing high-calibre, trained clinicians, from their network of over 8,500 pharmacists.

Practice Nursing Award
WINNER: Janette Morgan, Practice Nurse, Practice 2, Keir Hardie Health Park
Sponsored by Benecol

A truly committed and devoted all-rounder, Janette has become the key person at the practice in dealing with all chronic disease queries. She has been instrumental in helping the team achieve the QAIF targets; she has significantly decreased the obesity rate in the local population; and in 2021 she started a “Green inhaler project”. This was a self-initiative that Janette undertook as part of sustainable inhaler prescribing. She carried out an audit of all patients on Ventolin and reviewed them, achieving a 60% drop in acute and repeat prescriptions. A laudable achievement undertaken over and above her usual duties, reflecting her commitment to her patients and a wider responsibility to the environment.

The General Practitioner of the Year
WINNER: Professor Michael Holmes, GP Partner, Haxby Group; Chair Nimbuscare; Chair of the Trustee Board, RCGP

Described as not just a GP but a selfless visionary leader in General Practice who champions collaboration and innovation, Professor Holmes gives his time to support individuals and communities at local and regional level, as well as contributing to valuable national programmes. His practice delivers care to almost 100,000 people and he has worked to set up services in areas of deprivation where there is inequality of access to healthcare. Amongst other things, Michael has set up a local GP Mentoring Scheme offering grants to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds apply for medical school.

PCN of the Year
WINNER: Norwich Primary Care Network
Sponsored by X-on

Having identified several issues common to all practices within the PCN, the team worked to come up with effective solutions for all, and significant improvements were made across many areas. A GP Front Door service reduced footfall in emergency departments and over 14,000 patients have now been seen by staff. The Improved Access Service has provided more than 93,000 telephone or face-to-face appointments, greatly reducing pressure on the practices. Finally, the Living Well team has created an effective social prescribing offer supporting patients across Norwich. Early local estimates suggest the programme is delivering in excess of £5m in savings to the local system each year.

Telecoms Provider of the Year
WINNER: Babblevoice

Babblevoice have recognised that today’s demands on primary care are complex and diverse and so they aim to provide their customers with a unique combination of innovative technology with a user-centric focus on adaptable solutions. When required, in just 24 hours they were able to get a new client up and running with almost unlimited lines, essential staff trained, and softphones implemented throughout the practice, all without impacting patients.

Vaccination Service of the Year
WINNER: Modality Partnership

The Modality Partnership team worked hard to increase vaccine uptake in their local area, focusing on groups characterised as vaccine hesitant. Targeting areas with significant pockets of deprivation and populations across a number of ethnic groups, they worked to overcome language and knowledge barriers, and to reach those who had declined the vaccine. Successes include their first Mosque pop up clinic which led to a further four more opening. They have run over 30 pop up vaccination centres to date in community centres, churches, shopping centres, an Asian women’s centre (the first female only vaccination event) and music festival. Community relationships have deepened, and strong links now exist – all contributing to reducing inequalities.

GP Team of the Year
WINNER: Miriam Primary Care Group

Miriam Primary Care Group delivers general practice services to over 15,000 patients in some of the most deprived socio-economic boroughs of the Wirral. Consistently bucking the trend by delivering a comprehensive service, the team provided extended access 8am-8pm 365 days during the pandemic. Led by Dr Mantgani, who has been described as a formidable and passionate advocate for reaching communities most in need, The Miriam Primary Care Group have developed strategic partnerships offering drop-in sessions for health promotion, free covid testing, satellite health promotion clinics, and a Covid Art project where staff worked with a local college to create artwork to celebrate healthcare workers using packaging leftover from the vaccination programme.

The General Practice Awards will be back in 2023 with new categories, a new host, and lots of opportunities for you and your team to shine! To stay updated, click here to sign up to our mailing list.

Pulse: A very Capita Christmas

For the Pulse Christmas issue, we feature an investigation on Capita and its running of support services for GPs, such as processing pensions statements and payments to GPs.

Capita had its contract extended earlier this year for three years, but GPs are continuing to report how problems with the service are affecting their professional and personal lives. GPs tell us they are having to delay retirement and even how problems are holding up divorce proceedings.

Elsewhere, Pulse review what has been a tough year for GPs, and our annual awards honour the vast number of health secretaries as well as more of the great and the good.

We answer GPs’ key questions on renal and ureteric stones, we look at sports injuries in children and adolescents and for clinical clangers we review whether a baby does actually have conjunctivitis, or whether it could be something more serious.

To finish the Christmas theme, we spend some time with a husband and wife GP team who spend Christmas Day in hospices.

General Practice Awards 2022

After a record-breaking year for nominations, the General Practice Awards has done it again with 2022 being the first year that the Awards Ceremony has sold out! 700 guests are booked to attend the black-tie evening on 9th December.

“We are delighted that so many healthcare professionals and industry suppliers have booked to join us for what is set to be a fantastic evening celebrating the incredible work carried out daily across primary and community care in the UK” said Jess Cornish, Head of Marketing. “Yet again we have been incredibly inspired and moved by the stories we received of individuals and teams going above and beyond to provide their patients and communities with the very best care in continuingly trying times. We are planning a very special evening for our guests at the General Practice Awards, and can’t wait to welcome them.”

Two new General Practice Awards categories proved exceptionally popular this year, with the Vaccination Service of the Year Award being the most hotly contested with over 80 entries. Nine teams made it to the finalist stage and now eagerly await the result, along with 94 finalists across 17 other categories. This year’s host, Shappi Khorsandi, will no doubt have the guests in stitches with her “spit & sawdust” comedic style.

Guests are joining us from far and wide across the UK including Yorkshire, Northern Ireland, Norfolk, Somerset, Lancashire, Cornwall, Merseyside, Hertfordshire, London, and the Midlands.

For all the live results on the night, make sure you follow @GP_Awards on Twitter, and if you are interested in taking part next year, you can sign up via the website to be added to the mailing list.

ASK Real-World Evidence programme

This month sees the launch of the ASK Real-World Evidence (RWE) programme, bringing healthcare professionals the latest emerging data on oncology biosimilars.

The ASK Real-World Evidence programme builds on the existing ASK Biosimilars programme and includes the ASK RWE abstract library conveniently broken down into 3 strategic areas – switching, implementation and economics. It provides summaries of the latest published papers, associated data, and real-world evidence concerning oncology biosimilars and includes bite-sized key takeaways.

A series of regional case studies, developed with expert regional faculty, will provide reflections on the oncology biosimilars adoption landscape for different healthcare systems including Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, America, as well as globally. Each case study will offer a localised perspective on oncology biosimilar implementation, switching and health economics for that location and will include discussion areas for consideration with patients when implementing a biosimilar switching programme.

The ASK Real-World Evidence programme’s resources will be marketed to our Oncology MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) community, including oncologists, hospital pharmacists, secondary care nurses, advanced practice providers, and payors, all via our media brands Hospital Pharmacy Europe and Hospital Healthcare Europe, as well as our expert faculty and worldwide societies.

Four Pulse award nominations at the BSME Awards

Pulse’s editor and art director have been shortlisted at the prestigious British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) awards.

For the first time, Pulse editor Jaimie Kaffash has been nominated at the BSME Awards for the ultimate accolade of Editor’s Editor award which the BSME describes as being a ‘truly special award to recognise extraordinary individuals for their dedication and outstanding editorial contribution to magazines.’ He has also been nominated for Editor of the Year in the B2B category.

James Depree, art director across all of Cogora’s media brands, has been shortlisted for Art Director of the Year in the BSME Awards B2B category.

And Jaimie and James have also received a nomination for Cover of the Year for its Winter is Coming cover which played on the Games of Thrones’ theme. It depicted GPs’ predictions of a worst ever winter for the NHS.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 29th November.

ASK Biosimilars: oncology biosimilars

Launched in December 2021, the ASK Biosimilars programme offers multi-format education resources on the use of biosimilars to our community of oncologists and hospital pharmacists.

Developed by PCM Scientific, the ASK Biosimilars programme provides free educational resources to enhance learning on the use of biosimilars. This includes 10 learning chapters, a library of 30 abstracts, local guideline summary documents, an archive of expert-led webinars, and a downloadable handbook.

To reach our community of oncologists and hospital pharmacists across Western Europe, Canada and Japan, the ASK platform has been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, and is promoted through our media brands Hospital Healthcare Europe and Hospital Pharmacy Europe.

To date, the programme has generated over 11,970 unique engagements and over 5,340 website users. This success has resulted in the platform being expanded to include an abstract library and case studies showcasing real-world evidence of the use of biosimilars. Due to launch this month, the programme will not only now reach our audience of oncologists and hospital pharmacists in Europe, but also Canada, the US and Australia, as well as payors.

Read our full case study here.

Pulse: SAS to the rescue?

The cover feature of the Pulse November issue focuses on the story broken by Pulse that the GMC has proposed relaxing rules to allow secondary care doctors to work in general practice. We look into the implications of the move and what it means for the recruitment crisis in general practice.

The Pulse investigation also analyses how deprivation affects childhood vaccination rates, revealing that a new payment system introduced last year has widened the inequality gap.

The clinical section answers key questions on bronchiectasis, gives tips on managing groin and hip injuries in general practice and we have a quiz based on our new site, Pulse Reference.

Recent Cogora events

The Cogora Events team have been busy delivering a series of events, both virtually and face-to-face, to healthcare professionals across the UK.

Over 600 GPs logged in to watch the recent Pulse Virtual event in October, with many staying tuned in all day to watch the expert-led talks. In view of this success, we have added two new dates to the calendar for 2022: Public Health & Lifestyle Medicine to be held on 24th November, and Rare Diseases, to take place on 6th December. Feedback from delegates has been hugely positive: “An amazing event that covered the whole spectrum of general practice. It was very educational and informative, and it helped me to change my practice.”

The Nursing in Practice Virtual events have also been similarly successful with over 400 nurses joining us online in September and almost 350 in October. We have received strong pre-event sign up for the remaining event in 2022 and expect to finish the year with great engagement.

On 19th October we held the first ever Management in Practice Bristol conference which saw positive interaction between our attendees and exhibitors. Feedback for the event has been very positive with delegates enjoying “the chance to have time to speak to the exhibitors and get a better idea of what is in the marketplace for services to Primary care.” Plans for 2023 are now underway.

This year has seen record ticket sales for the General Practice Awards ceremony which is taking place on 9th December in London. We will be welcoming 700 guests on the night to celebrate the incredible achievements of those working in primary and community care. If you are interested in sponsoring the 2023 Awards, do get in touch now as we expect the packages to book up quickly after this year. Contact for more information.

Looking ahead to 2023, we are working on exciting plans to optimise our engagement with our HCP audience through the newly launched PULSE 365 platform and the soon-to-be released Nursing in Practice 365 edition – offering a greater choice of event content, both live and on-demand.

Nursing in Practice: Nurses prepare for a tough winter ahead

Winter pressures began early, with nurses in primary care facing a host of challenges, including rising workload and unknowns around the severity of flu and Covid-19.

The autumn print edition of Nursing in Practice focuses on the enormous task that nurses in general practice have done in preparing for this winter: to deliver winter vaccinations, manage increased demand and the care backlog following Covid, and to support stressed patients and families who are worrying about their economic situations.

With a ‘depleted and exhausted’ workforce still tackling the impact of the past two years, busy nurses are confident in delivering the flu and Covid vaccination campaigns at pace, but concerns remain about workload and that vaccine fatigue may affect uptake.

Adele Parsons has worked in general practice for more than 16 years is a senior lecturer at the University of Lincoln. She points out that the success of a flu campaign often depends on the goodwill of practice nurses who, she says, ‘do what they need to do to make it work with what they’ve got’. However, she warns this goodwill is ‘starting to ebb a little bit’.

‘The PCNs have been fantastic because they’ve been able to pool resources, and in some areas, they are really well integrated,’ she adds. ‘I have no doubt that the goodwill again will be a major factor. The only problem might be the vaccine hesitancy for patients.’

In our ‘Ten Top Tips’ clinical series, GP partner and PCN clinical director Dr David Coleman offers clear advice to nursing teams for this autumn on protecting vulnerable patients this winter, including: active screening for mental health problems, promoting Covid and flu services, prioritising patients with poorly controlled asthma, and increased awareness of those who are particularly at-risk for other reasons. He says: ‘It goes without saying that patients who are elderly, frail or have a chronic illness will be particularly vulnerable. We must also be mindful of the pressure on carers and the challenges facing young families.’

At the same time, Marilyn Eveleigh, nurse adviser and Nursing in Practice advisory board member, asks ‘Why on earth does the NHS let experienced nurses walk away?’. She tells the story of nursing colleague ‘Natalie’ who, at retirement age, would have been willing to stay within the NHS, but found opportunities lacking. Despite a serious nursing shortage, and the UK reaching out to other countries for recruits, the NHS is an inflexible and unimaginative employer, says Ms Eveleigh, who adds: ‘Sadly, the NHS has allowed another experienced nurse to leave, taking much-needed skills with her. What a scandalous waste.’

Nursing in Practice Reference launches

Nursing in Practice launches Nursing in Practice Reference, a new resource for nurses that allows them to check symptoms and decide on next steps to take during consultations.

Nursing in Practice Reference is a free searchable tool, with details on 140 symptoms commonly seen in primary care. It has been designed by GPs and adapted by nurses to be used within consultations or as a learning resource.

The tool has been launched alongside Pulse Reference, and is based on the best-selling Symptom Sorter book, written by Pulse’s clinical adviser Dr Keith Hopcroft and Dr Vincent Forte. It has been further adapted by primary care nurse and editorial advisor for Nursing in Practice, Marilyn Eveleigh, to make it more relevant for the nursing profession.

It presents a range of symptoms commonly seen by nurses, along with red flags and top tips. It is free for all general practice nurses and community nurses to use, and will be kept updated as information changes.

Gemma Collins, Nursing in Practice’s director of content and editorial, said: ‘We hope that this new service will be invaluable for nurses working in primary care. It’s a great development for Nursing in Practice and is a unique tool.’ 

Carolyn Scott, editor of Nursing in Practice, added: ‘We hope that Nursing in Practice Reference will be an incredibly useful resource to make your working day just a little bit easier. Please take a look and add the site to your favourites to support you in your practice.’

This follows the launch of Pulse Reference in September.

The experts behind Nursing in Practice Reference:

Dr Keith Hopcroft is the co-author of Symptom Sorter and has been Pulse’s editorial advisor for more than 15 years. He is a GP in Basildon, Essex, an associate trainer and medical writer and columnist.

Marilyn Eveleigh is a primary care nurse and editorial advisor for Nursing in Practice. She is the former head of clinical quality and risk and lead nurse at NHS Brighton and Hove and is an independent trainer and consultant for quality and patient safety. She works as a primary care nurse in East Sussex.

Pulse: Glimmer of light?

This month, the Pulse October issue focuses on long Covid, its effect on patients and how it affects general practice workload. We ask whether the sheer numbers of long Covid sufferers – as estimated 2 million in the UK – might help researchers develop a better understanding of medically unexplained symptoms.

Elsewhere, Pulse looks at the plan from the new health secretary to ensure patients get a GP appointment within two weeks – and how this is just a baseless promise.

In our clinical section, we look at NICE’s new guidelines on depression and dealing with shoulder and arm sports injuries.

Successful IOTOD summer webinar

This month, our CME division, PCM Scientific, hosted the live IOTOD summer webinar: ‘The opioid-dependance treatment triangle in prisons: medication, continuity, and harm reduction.’ 

The IOTOD summer webinar was led by world leading expert Professor Dr Heino Stöver from Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and joined by Dr Andrej Kastelic from the Center for Treatment of Drug Addiction, Slovenia.  

During the live session, attended by over 80 healthcare professionals, experts discussed the topic of opioid use disorder within the prison system and the specific needs from treatment services. The educational session is now avaialble to watch on-demand.

The event was well received, with 92% of delegates finding the content relevant to their practice and stating that they would attend a future IOTOD webinar. Our key opinion leaders were also pleased with the content and logistical support from our PCM Scientific team: “found your support in the preparation of the session extremely helpful”.

Best practice treatment approaches were explored, including transferring patients on daily dose methadone or buprenorphine to long-acting buprenorphine (LAB), and the associated benefits of these treatment formulations in this patient population. The interactive session also included a live Q&A session, with the chance for delegates to ask the experts questions. 

The event was promoted to our community of primary and secondary care healthcare professionals via our media brands, as well as the well-established IOTOD community. Attendees included addiction specialists, GPs, primary care nurses, community pharmacists, psychiatrists, as well as other healthcare professionals interested in the management of opioid use disorder across the UK and Europe.  

The IOTOD summer webinar was supported by arms-length funding from Camurus, and the archived version is now available to watch for free on-demand on the IOTOD website. 

Pulse remains the most widely read non-reference journal among GPs

Pulse remains the most widely read non-reference journal among GPs, with a higher readership than the BMJ and the British Journal of General Practice, according to the recently released GP Media Survey (GPMS 2022).

Pulse’s average readership score was 29% over the past year, a point higher than the BMJ and 13 percentage points ahead of the British Journal of General Practice.

Pulse remains the most widely read non-reference journal among GPs for the second year running.

The NMRS is commissioned each year by JICMARS (Joint Industry Committee of Medical Advertisers for Readership Surveys), a group of healthcare publishers and media buyer representatives.

The 2022 annual report covers the period from October 2021 to July 2022, using a sample of 547 GPs. The data are weighted to the estimated universe of all GPs based on counts provided by IQVIA, the sample list provider.

Publications included in the survey (based on the latest period) were: BMA News, BMJ, GP magazine, Prescriber, British Journal of General Practice, GM, Guidelines in Practice, Pulse, The Practitioner, Guidelines and MIMS.

It follows a very successful year for Pulse, which has won an array of awards, including, PPA editor of the year and PPA editor of the year business publication of the year, BSME launch of the year and MJA newcomer of the year.