Pulse Reporter awarded Newcomer of the Year

Congratulations to Pulse Reporter, Caitlin Tilley, who was awarded Newcomer of the Year at yesterdays Medical Journalism Awards.

The judges said ‘Caitlin impressed us with her dogged determination to discover the real reason behind the ambulance delays and she clearly has a great eye for a story. She sensed that handover delays were more than the odd unfortunate incident and was tenacious in her approach, amassing all the supporting evidence from a variety of reputable sources, as well as securing strong quotes from key individuals.’

Jaimie Kaffash, Pulse Editor, was also shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the Medical Journalism Awards.

With a membership of over 450 health and medical writers, broadcasters and editors, the Medical Journalists’ Association seeks to promote excellence in journalism, encourage and support their membership and to provide opportunities for networking.

Two nominations at the Medical Journalism Awards

The team have received two nominations at this year’s Medical Journalism Awards.

Caitlin Tilley, Pulse Reporter, has been shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year, and Jaimie Kaffash, Pulse Editor, shortlisted for Editor of the Year at the Medical Journalism Awards.

The judges said ‘Caitlin impressed us with her dogged determination to discover the real reason behind the ambulance delays and she clearly has a great eye for a story. She sensed that handover delays were more than the odd unfortunate incident and was tenacious in her approach, amassing all the supporting evidence from a variety of reputable sources, as well as securing strong quotes from key individuals.’

Jaimie Kaffash offered judges a ‘positive light through which to view the prism of GP access, Pulse launched a new campaign for a better vision of the profession for GPs and patients. The aim was to offer positive thinking driven by GPs and create a context in which their skills could be used to revive primary care through simple changes. The constructive approach, a panel of GPs as a sounding board and GP surveys, led to a list of principles devised to make NHS leaders and ministers pay attention. Acknowledging that GPs were losing the PR war, Pulse made a creative stab at tackling the negative messages in a manner designed to serve both readers and patients.’

With a membership of over 450 health and medical writers, broadcasters and editors, the Medical Journalists’ Association seeks to promote excellence in journalism, encourage and support their membership and to provide opportunities for networking.

The winners will be announced in September.

Major concerns around the new NHS structure, CCG report finds

Out-going clinical leaders have expressed major misgivings about how the NHS is being run and raised concerns about a loss of clinical leadership as the healthcare system undergoes a massive restructure this week, according to a report from Healthcare Leader.

The report, CCGs: A post-mortem, released today, found that nearly three quarters of clinical commissioning group (CCG) leaders and staff (74%) do not have confidence in the way the NHS is being run.

Just under two-thirds think the move to Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), which take over from CCGs this week, will not be positive (60%) or improve primary care (62%). Half think it will not improve patient care (52%) and 68% of respondents feel there will be a loss of clinical leadership as the new system takes over.

While today marks the first official week of Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) taking up the reigns of running the NHS, it also marks the end of the GP-led commissioning era as CCGs are consigned to history.

Before those clinical leaders are dispersed Healthcare Leader captured their thoughts and feelings. Through eight interviews with CCG chairs past and present and a CCG evaluation survey of 143 clinical leaders and staff, CCGs: A post-mortem, pulls together a snapshot of the past decade’s successes and current concerns to evaluate and reflect what CCGs achieved and predict what ICBs need to be wary of and build on for future success.

The report records some of the work done by CCGs and gauges opinions on what the future could look like after GP-led commissioning. It also seeks to recognise a decade of dedication from the GPs who put their heads above the parapet and became commissioners.

Healthcare Leader editor and report author, Victoria Vaughan, says: ‘We carried out the report to mark the end of nine years of CCG work, which had both benefits and disadvantages, and for it to act as informal handover notes to the new system.

‘Our report shows that there are profound concerns about the loss of primary care clinical leadership and a swing to the dominance of the acute sector as the NHS architecture is reshaped.

‘It highlights that there is a whole tranche of out-going clinical primary care leaders who have experience and knowledge which is worth utilising to help support and inform the new system.

‘There was also sadness around the end of an era during which there was real power in primary care which benefitted patients where CCGs were well run.’

The survey also shows that 67% think CCGs were successful in making clinically led decisions, 71% think they were successful in increasing the primary care perspective and voice within the NHS and 66% think they generated clinical leadership.

About Healthcare Leader

Healthcare Leader is an online media platform dedicated to informing, engaging and supporting decision-makers in NHS primary care services.

As the architecture of the NHS shifts from clinical commissioning groups to integrated care boards and integrated care partnerships, Healthcare Leader gives primary care leaders in the three emerging tiers of the NHS – system, place and neighbourhoods – the opportunity to share innovative ideas on how to address the challenges they face politically, structurally and financially.

Our team produces daily news, thought leadership, roundtables, insight and reports to champion primary care services. We work to seek out case studies, profiles and interviews covering innovative projects and pilots to help spread best practice and support the ICBs’ triple aim – a duty of better health for everyone, better care for all patients and sustainable NHS services.

For more information visit healthcareleadernews.com and contact: Victoria Vaughan, editor victoriavaughan@cogora.com Jess Hacker, reporter jesshacker@cogora.com.

Follow Healthcare Leader: Twitter. Facebook. LinkedIn.

Best news writer win at the BSME Talent Awards

We are delighted to announce that Costanza Potter, Pulse Deputy News Editor, has been awarded best news writer at the BSME Talent Awards.

The judges said that in a ‘highly competitive category’, Costanza ‘stood out for her tenacious reporting that had a big impact to the magazine’s audience and beyond’.

Pulse were nominated for four awards in total, with Sofia Lind up for deputy editor of the year, Costanza also up for B2B writer and the news team up for team of the year.

The award follows Pulse PCN’s ‘Launch of the Year’ win at the BSME Awards in February. The judges commended the Pulse PCN team for identifying a ‘genuine need in their audience’ and getting them ‘involved in shaping and providing content from the outset’.

The British Society of Magazine Editors (BSME) is the only society in the UK exclusively for digital and print editors.

Nursing in Practice: Challenges in child health

The challenges in child health that confront health visitors and nurses are greater than ever, practitioners have told Nursing in Practice in the Summer 2022 print edition. 

Nurses in primary care continue to push for babies, young children, and their parents, to receive effective care, and want more support and investment from the Government to tackle challenges in child health, but the situation is more difficult than ever.  

Referrals to an increasingly stretched health visiting service have risen rapidly. And as one health visitor said: ‘We’re also seeing a lack of early intervention because of the pandemic, which means families have got to crisis point before they come into contact with services.’

While demand for services that support families with young children is escalating, the resources required to deliver that support are decreasing, with nurses reporting funding cuts and staff shortages. 

The Institute of Health Visiting warns that the health visiting workforce is being asked to handle ‘unmanageable’ caseloads. 

Children’s services are being push to the limit, explains Helen Lewis, an ANP in general practice based in the South Wales Valleys. ‘We continued to see children and families during the pandemic, and now we’re seeing more children than even before the pandemic… Some patients also don’t understand why their child can’t be seen straight away – dealing with their frustrations also adds to the workload.’

It’s also alarming, she says, that practices are seeing even more families who ‘can’t afford to fill their fridges up’.

The latest of Nursing in Practice also looks at the plight of the nurses battling long Covid, and the impact that is having on their own health and their careers.

Transgender health is the topic of an in-depth Q&A article giving advice, for example, on the barriers to accessing healthcare all too often experienced by trans people.

We also share guidance for nurses on supporting patients through the current and high-profile HRT shortages, examine factors in asthma inhaler choice, and give an update on contraception in the under-18s.

Plus, Nursing in Practice editorial board member Marilyn Eveleigh argues that over-reliance of recruitment from overseas isn’t the right formula for success for an alarming number of vacancies, at a time when the nursing profession needs strength and stability.

Pulse Editor wins at the PPA Awards

Congratulations to Pulse Editor, Jaimie Kaffash, who was awarded Editor of the Year by the Professional Publishers Association!

The judges said Jaimie had ‘demonstrated excellent journalism and demonstrable commercial success’.

‘This editor plays a huge part in highlighting important issues and consistently puts out relevant content for the readers.’

Jaimie said: ‘This is a recognition of the team, first and foremost. I have been in awe of how they have managed to produce so much incredible work throughout the pandemic.

‘It is a pleasure to continue editing a magazine for such an engaged and smart audience, who are so willing to highlight problems and injustices in the health service – and occasionally what is going well! – and tell us when we get things right and wrong.’

Pulse was nominated for a further three awards at the PPA Awards: Media Brand of the Year (business), Innovation of the Year (Pulse PCN) and Cover of the Year. The PPA Awards seeks to celebrate the work and achievements made across the UK publishing and media industry since the start 2021.

Pulse in the Press: Half of GPs plan on retiring by the age of 60

An exclusive Pulse survey revealing that half of the existing GP workforce plans to retire at or before the age of 60 has been picked up by the national press.

The story of half of GPs plan on retiring by the age of 60 has been mentioned in the Mail, Independent, the Times and ITV News. Our reporters have also been on Times Radio and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to discuss the findings.

Of more than 800 GPs surveyed across the UK by Pulse, almost half (47%) said they intend to retire at or before 60, including 1 in 8 who said they intended to retire before reaching 55.

Respondents gave a number of reasons why they wanted to retire early, with the most common factors being burnout and workload, although problems around pensions have also been a significant reason.

This story follows another recent Pulse exclusive, revealing that the first female chair of the BMA GP Committee had taken sick leave following sexist comments.

Pulse in the Press: BMA GP Committee Chair had to take sick leave following reports of sexist comments

An exclusive Pulse story into sexism at the BMA caused huge controversy.

Pulse revealed that the first female chair of the BMA GP Committee had taken sick leave following sexist comments. This story has since been picked up by the Times and the Daily Mail, and sparked huge debate on social media.

Dr Farah Jameel was elected as the firs female chair of the BMA’s GP Committee (GPC) in England in November 2021. However, in March this year she took sick leave, with the conduct and culture of the GPC contributing to her ill health, a Pulse investigation has concluded. Dr Jameel has now returned to her role.

Private sector booms on the back of NHS troubles

Private companies are boosting their profits by up to 100% as the health service struggles to cope, shows a major investigation into the increased privatisation of health in England by Pulse magazine.

The investigation – the most comprehensive since the introduction of the Health and Social Care in 2012 – shows that local commissioners are paying hundreds of millions to private hospitals and that hospitals have also boosted their income from private work.

An analysis of company reports and statements from all the major private hospital chains that make their figures available shows all have boosted their revenues this year.  They say they are gaining from the plight of the NHS, with patients more likely to pay for their care to avoid lengthening NHS waiting lists.

Figures obtained by Pulse under the Freedom of Information Act also show increasing use of private hospitals by clinical commissioning groups, largely in an attempt to reduce waiting lists, with an 18% rise between 2013/14 and 2015/16.

Other FOI figures from hospital trusts show they are taking advantage of their new freedom to carry out more private work (the cap was lifted in 2013) by increasing the amount of private work they do by 14% from 2012/13 to 2015/16, with one trust reporting a 36% increase in income – at a time it is being put through remedial measures due to the length of its NHS waiting lists.

And a number of private companies are now springing up to take advantage of long waiting times for GP appointments, with one promising to deliver a GP on your doorstep in 90 minutes for £120.

BMA council member and former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada, who led much of the GP opposition to the 2012 reforms, says: ‘I am afraid that we are sleepwalking into US health system.’

Pulse editor Nigel Praities said: ‘Our investigation shows a real sea-change in healthcare provision in England. While the NHS crumbles, private companies finding increasing demand for their services. Chronic underfunding is degrading what is a cherished public institution and the Government is culpable for what amounts to an inexorable slide towards an increasingly profit-motivated healthcare system.’

But a DH spokesperson said: ‘This Government was the first to ensure that doctors, not politicians, make decisions about who provides care. In fact, the rate of growth in use of the private sector as a proportion of the NHS budget remains slower than it was before 2010. On the back of a strong economy, we are giving the NHS the £10bn it asked for to fund its own plan for the future.’

Read the latest issue of Pulse magazine online here.

Pulse’s investigation was covered in the Daily Mail and the Times newspapers.

Pulse in the Press: GP closures on BBC News

A senior NHS England official has said vulnerable practices must ‘transform…or be allowed to fail and wither’, a leaked document obtained by Pulse and the BBC has revealed.

Paul Twomey, medical director of the Yorkshire and Humber area team, made the claim in a briefing sent to NHS managers and GP leaders in the region.

He said that NHS England is ‘no longer in a position’ to continue supporting vulnerable practices ‘irrespective of their willingness or ability’ to transform.

The story, which was covered on BBC News at Ten, focuses on this quote from one NHS manager in the north of England, “vulnerable practices must either transform and deliver a quality service or be allowed to fail and wither by the system”.

It comes as Pulse has revealed that a £10 million fund to support vulnerable practices announced 14 months ago has had very little impact, with many area teams having failed to even identify the practices that will receive funding.

Read the full story here.