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Mark Howson

  • GPs facing brunt of patient complaints due to OTC prescribing cuts

    Mark Howson's comment 18 May 2018 2:36pm

    The contract doesn’t require you to prescribe on the NHS. Responsible use of NHS is a requirement of a doctor and that requires you to direct people to otc meds.

  • GPs facing brunt of patient complaints due to OTC prescribing cuts

    Mark Howson's comment 17 May 2018 7:35pm

    Don’t see the problem. Haven’t had any complaints and even if I did I would just say the NHS no longer provides prescriptions for this and shrug. Written complaints can have a form letter reply then ignore.

  • GPs denied compensation for Capita registration delays

    Mark Howson's comment 11 May 2018 3:06pm

    Human rights legislation makes it an offence to prevent you from earning your living. Is there a case?

  • GPs are only ‘best placed’ to be GPs

    Mark Howson's comment 10 May 2018 8:09pm

    I just say you can no longer get that on prescription from the NHS. You can buy it otc. Simples. Rarely have a problem. Any rare wingeing goes over my head. Be firm and there is no problem. (Of course this only applies to otc for short term self limiting problems and hay fever)

  • How and when GPs should pick up prescribing from hospitals

    Mark Howson's comment 31 Mar 2018 12:33pm

    Anonymous3. It is a common misconception that GPS must give a FP10 or eps for necessary medication. In fact the contract only says IF you provide a script it must be on an approved form or eps. You are under no obligation to provide a script. This is why we can ask people to buy their own otc meds.

  • NHS England issues guidance to curb over-the-counter prescribing

    Mark Howson's comment 30 Mar 2018 2:17pm

    The GMC requires you to prescribe responsibly with a view to responsible use of NHS resources. So you will not be criticised by the GMC. Indeed you are acting irresponsibly if you do prescribe otc meds and always have been.

  • Emergency medicine service 'saved 40,000' GP appointments in a year

    Mark Howson's comment 24 Mar 2018 9:47am

    All pharmacies are contracted to provide an emergency supply to people who have lost medicines at weekends or forgot them on holiday. So seems silly to fund a parallel service. I guess the only difference is in the current contract the pharmacy can charge. But still seems like money spent by scheme to solve a non-problem.

  • CQC: 43% of online prescribing providers 'unsafe'

    Mark Howson's comment 23 Mar 2018 11:45am

    I don't understand why this is not a GMC matter for the doctors involved.

  • BMA calls on NHS England to release details of 'unallocated' pensions money

    Mark Howson's comment 22 Mar 2018 7:15pm

    I have no contribution listed since 2014 and I have sent copies of the certificates as well as my accountant sending them originally. I retire in August. Not sure what happens legally if they fail to give me my pension.

  • GPs in England to get 1% pay rise from April

    Mark Howson's comment 20 Mar 2018 5:44pm

    Who is paying the 6% pay rise to staff? I guess not so a large proportion of NHS workers who are in primary care will not get the advertised 6% pay rise. But at least they won’t lose a days pay! I am off in August so “goodbye and thanks for all the fish”

  • Referral management scheme declined almost a tenth of GP requests

    Mark Howson's comment 16 Mar 2018 1:26pm

    I do referral management and I don’t see it as declining a referral. I offer advice on management and always say if this doesn’t help refer back. I do this for about 15% of ENT referrals. I have just stopped working as a clinical fellow in ENT doing general clinics.

  • Plans for minor illness prescribing ban would 'breach GP contract', BMA warns

    Mark Howson's comment 24 Feb 2018 1:20pm

    It has been repeatedly pointed out that section 14.2 does not require you to provide an FP10. It only requires you to use an FP 10 if you give a prescription. If you are going to advise the patient to use over-the-counter medicines you do not have to provide a prescription at all of any kind. I wrote to NHS employers, who are responsible for the contract, as our CCG has a long list of otc for which we should not provide FP10s, and they clarified and confirmed this point.

  • Vast majority of GPs support charges for non-NHS work

    Mark Howson's comment 21 Feb 2018 1:29pm

    Pradeep I have wondered this and indeed there are practices I know who provide skin surgery to their own patients in breach of their contract in our area and NHSE is aware. When I raised it with NHSE informally I was told they could do nothing but it was the responsibility of the CCG. I have thought of doing the same. The worse that can happen is a slap on the wrist and told to stop but as a precedent has already been set I don't think they can do anything else and would more than likely do nothing.

  • Thousands more 'fit notes' issued - but one in five GPs say their advice is ignored

    Mark Howson's comment 09 Feb 2018 12:32pm

    They are required if a person or employer is to get sick pay. For us they are inappropriate as we are not OH trained. So I keep them simple and repeat sick notes rapidly become maybe fit and then a note to DWP or employer in the space provided saying I am not in a position to give advice please seek an OH doctor.

  • Great escape: why GPs are drawing pensions at a younger age

    Mark Howson's comment 01 Feb 2018 10:23am

    I am drawing my pension this August at 58. There is minimal financial hit. You get a 10% reduction in the amount you get but you get it for two extra years... to put it bluntly you are financially ahead of the game until you are 80. I will do a few OOH sessions now and again ( which in my area are indemnified so no need for MDU). Next Feb plan a belated gap year in Australia. Will be a person of independent means who can do what they like, assuming I dont die-- we are all on borrowed time.

  • Bawa-Garba: this case is far from closed

    Mark Howson's comment 31 Jan 2018 5:45pm

    Very good article in Times today giving the correct facts of the case from the author of black box.

  • BMA seeks reassurance over 'shambolic' Capita following share price drop

    Mark Howson's comment 31 Jan 2018 5:41pm

    They haven't passed on my superann certificates to the pension agency since 2014 despite repeated requests... luckily the pension is governed by statute and there is no fund. I have copies of them but the pensions agency won't accept them unless from crapita.

  • BMA rejects NHS England proposals for blanket ban on OTC prescribing

    Mark Howson's comment 06 Nov 2017 3:12pm

    No you would not be in breach of 14.2 of the GMS contract. It actually says that if you choose to do a prescription it must be on an FP10 or by EPS but you are perfectly free to choose not to do a scrip and simply advise the person to buy it otc. Please stop getting it wrong. There are other rules from the RCGP and the GMC that require us to use NHS resources responsibly and this would include not giving scrips for otc medicines to the majority of people.

  • GP practices owe over £90m in premises fees, NHS Property Services claims

    Mark Howson's comment 18 Sep 2017 12:59pm

    Most of us have historical contracts in place. Ours involves invoices going back to the 1970's We have continued to pay the reimbursed money and to pay what we have historically paid- mostly for electricity gas and cleaning. The rest we have declined to pay as we have no contract to pay it. I don't think NHSPS can force us to pay anything different until they have negotiated a new lease. We have tried to engage with them to do this but they are basically incompetent and we have got nowhere with them despite being open and reasonable.

    I think the government hoped we would all settle into new leases and then NHSPS would be attractive to sell off. Now they are seen as badly run I don't know what the government can do. Be we have tried to engage with them to negotiate a lease starting two years ago and through no delays on our part we are still nowhere close.

  • GPs forced to get approval before referring patients to hospital

    Mark Howson's comment 11 Aug 2017 10:08am

    Many areas have a referral support service now. There is a wide variation in the quality of referrals and often people are referred for things that are treatable by a GP. An example is the patient with a cough for several years with globus where the GP has only tried a PPI,done CXR etc and the GP simply needs advice to suggest the patient uses gaviscon (otc of course) and using it correctly. Then if no improvement in two months consider referral.
    In our area before the rss was setup we had ENT constulants regualrly reading through the referrals and writing back with advice as an alternative to seeing a patient... this was for the 15% of referral where the letter was poor with insufficient info so the consultant is asking for more info or the the info in the letter was good and the consultant could confidently offer advice. This has now been rolled out so GP and consultants do it together.
    As a result the quality of referrals has improved.