Family doctors can do more to help patients with multiple long-term conditions such as obesity, heart disease and arthritis, according to researchers.
A team from the University of Glasgow is to work with Stirling and Dundee universities as well as four GP practices to develop new ways to work with patients.
Funded by the Scottish Government, the £820,000 Living Well with Multiple Morbidity programme will focus on those in deprived areas where such conditions are more common, strike earlier and tend to have a disproportionate impact on people’s quality of life.
Researchers will investigate a range of measures that could help patients with multiple morbidity – two or more co-existing medical conditions – to manage their conditions and improve quality of life. It will also look at how changes to the NHS primary care system could improve care for patients and make practices more efficient.
Australia’s largest listed health information technology company today announced contract extensions in Northern Ireland totalling £8.4 million (A$17.4 million) for long-term support and maintenance services of its health information systems, including an option for one of the hospitals to progress to iSOFT’s next-generation Lorenzo solution.
Under the agreements with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, iSOFT will continue to provide services until 2015 for its Clinicom patient management system to all nine of the major acute hospitals that currently use the solution. The deal includes the right to use Lorenzo at one of the hospitals until 2015.
iSOFT also agreed to support its primary care solution with 68 GP practices for a further three years, with an option to extend this contract by an additional year. In both cases, iSOFT is offering new functions, some of which are specific to the health system in Northern Ireland.
Almost all of Scotland’s GP practices now have electronic links to community pharmacies in the first system of its kind in the UK.
The electronic Acute Medication Service (eAMS) allows prescriptions to be transmitted directly, cutting down on paperwork and reducing risk of error.
Patients are still given paper prescriptions but these contain a unique barcode.
This brings up their details when scanned by a pharmacist.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “We have a very successful prescribing system in Scotland, with around one million paper prescriptions written by GPs every week and dispensed in community pharmacies.
“But we can always do more and that’s what eAMS will achieve.”