All in all, it’s been a good year for primary care in the UK. Results from the first year of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) showed practices have performed much better than anyone expected in terms of delivering very high quality care. BJPCN is designed to help you keep hitting the challenging targets practice teams will be aiming for in the year ahead.
Welcome to this issue of the journal, with holidays a distant memory and the ‘back to work’ feeling which September brings. A little like January, September is a time of year associated with starting again, perhaps because we remember returning to school for the new academic year. BJPCN provides key information to help you negotiate your way successfully through the latest ‘timetable’ for general practice, ensuring that you are in the right place at the right time.
Making sense of cardiac networks
The concept of networks – groups of different people working together – is not new, as health professionals have been working collaboratively for the benefit of patient care for many years. What is new is the formalising of clinical networks that focus on connecting teams and organisations to improve the patient pathway. The Department of Health considers that networks have a key role in delivering improvements to patient care as part of meeting the Planning and Performance Framework targets for heart disease. An ‘open culture’ is being promoted to embrace modern ways of working through teams and networks rather than hierarchies and formal systems. This article aims to update you on what’s going on in cardiac networks.
One year on: boldly going where no primary care nurse has gone before
Welcome to the first year anniversary issue of the British Journal of Primary Care Nursing (BJPCN). It has been an eventful year for primary care nurses, with new challenges coming from all directions. In each issue of the journal we have tried to provide practical information and tools to help you find your way through the expanding universe of primary care in cardiovascular disease and diabetes – to boldly go where no primary care nurse has gone before!
Practical approaches to empowering people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes
For people with long-term conditions, self-care can have as much, if not more, influence on their health than prescribed medication and treatment. Yet, in many cases, healthcare professionals become frustrated when attempts to improve peoples’ self-care behaviours prove unsuccessful. This article looks at some of the reasons why it can be difficult to encourage people with diabetes or cardiovascular disease to look after themselves effectively; what types of practice can help us to increase people’s success in managing long-term conditions; and how we can incorporate empowering techniques in our day-to-day consultations.
The Primary Care Training Centre
The Primary Care Training Centre (PCTC) was set up eight years ago with the aim of providing practical, evidence-based training for primary care health professionals. It was started in response to requests from primary care professionals who were concerned that there was no training specifically for them, particularly on the important subjects of diabetes and coronary heart disease prevention. Existing courses sometimes failed to fully understand the primary care situation.
Running a successful cardiovascular clinic in general practice
The very good audit data for this practice has led to its winning awards. So how does the practice do it? This ‘day in the life of’ photo diary gives a step-by-step guide to the key elements of running a successful cardiovascular clinic in general practice.
Expanding the role of health care assistants in primary care
As practice nurses take on a growing role in the organisation and implementation of chronic disease management, they need more help in many of the routine – but important – tasks this involves. Health care assistants (HCAs) are providing growing support in this capacity. This article explores what HCAs are taking on and issues regarding their training and regulation.