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'Focus Groups'

2 July 1998

'SmithKline Beecham'

Health Improvement - A Programme for Depression
Progress and practice in the effective management of depression

Heath Improvement programmes are set to emerge as the axis by which national priorities become local solutions for Our Healthier Nation. One in four of the population will be affected by depression at some point in their lives - few conditions are as central to our health and well being. Arranged in association with The Depression Alliance this session examines working solutions for health improvement. By assessing local need, creating and evaluating the evidence-base and implementing local action, the NHS and its partners, can improve outcomes for people with depression.

The focus will be on an informed overview of the new policy agenda and what it can mean in practice. This session provides a unique opportunity to look at real examples of how the NHS is already progressing towards health improvement programming. By outlining the support and resources available to the NHS the speakers and audience can identify those issues central to the health improvement programmes of the future. There will be an opportunity to continue the discussion over lunch.

'Norwich Union Healthcare'

  • Is There A Role For A Private Sector?
  • What is the true extent of the NHS rationing?
  • Is it time for true public/private partnership?
  • Why the Private Sector is an opportunity rather than a threat.

In The Chair

  • Mike Smith, Chairman, Redbridge Health Care NHS Trust


  • Professor Brian Edwards, The University of Sheffield
  • Second speaker tbc


Breaking Down the Barriers; How Pharmacy Can Help Primary Care Groups Build A Healthier Nation

The benefits of Primary Care Groups will only be achieved if GP's, nurses, other health professionals, managers, social services, Health Authorities, NHS Trusts and the public are able to develop an effective partnership.

This session explores the contribution Pharmacy can make to patient care through delivery of the local Health Improvement Programme.


  • tbc

'Merck Sharp and Dohme'

Improving and Evaluating Clinical Effectiveness - The Future

The White Paper "The New NHS - Modern, dependable" places great emphasis on the importance of both improving and measuring clinical effectiveness.

The objective of this focus group is to allow delegates to learn about two important initiatives which will help to achieve these goals.

  • A Pioneering Clinical Effectiveness Programme From the RCGP

Professor Allen Hutchinson, of the School of Health and Related Research, Sheffield, will discuss a pioneering new programme which seeks to establish criteria for undertaking evidence based reviews, and which will allow practices, for the first time, to compare the quality and effectiveness of their patient care with that of other practices.

  • An Innovative Shared Care System

A practical initiative for improving clinical effectiveness will also be demonstrated. This innovative shared care system, based within a secure intranet, is now in use in several Trusts across the country. Delegates will learn about the background and objectives of the initiative, and will experience a live demonstration of the system.

An interactive discussion will follow the presentations.

This focus group is sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited, the UK subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.1 a leading research-driven products and services company. Merck & Co., Inc. discovers, manufactures and markets a broad range of innovative products to improve health.

1 Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, USA

'Glaxo Wellcome'

Multidisciplinary Working In PCGs: Getting Our Act Together

Collaboration, not competition, says the new rhetoric, with partnership replacing rivalry. But how on earth is the NHS going to overcome five decades of professional tribalism, reinforced by the market philosophy of the past ten years? Is there any way in which we can persuade GPs to work with each other in primary care groups, let alone nurses, local authorities and members of the public into the new arrangements?

In this satellite session, three short keynote presentations by people involved in different parts of the health 'industry' will be used to provoke debate and discussion of the issues. Jonathan Shaprio from the Health Services Management Centre in Birmingham will lead the discussion with a short national 'position statement'. Glen Garrod works for Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council's department of Social Services and will describe an example of effective collaboration between the NHS and a local authority; and Maureen Devlin, NHS Partnership Manager, from Glaxo Wellcome will talk about partnership between the public and private sectors.

If you have any involvement in the setting up of PCGs, concerns about their management and accountability, or experience of multidisciplinary working, then this session will give you the opportunity to address those concerns and work towards their resolution. Whether you feel you need group therapy or a soapbox for your views, this session will move the debate on PCGs into the real world.


  • Jonathan Shapiro, Senior Research Fellow, Health Services Management Centre
  • Glen Garrod, Assistant Director, Social Services, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Maureen Delvin, NHS Partnership Manager, Glaxo Wellcome UK and Hon. Research Fellow, Health Services Management Centre


Health Action Zones

Eleven deprived areas have been selected to pilot the Government's health action zone (HAZ) approach to improving health. Each HAZ will bring together the NHS, local authorities, social services, private and voluntary organisations to provide better health services and reduce the health gap between rich and poor.

Representatives from two of the successful HAZ teams will be speaking at this Focus Group meeting, which will cover the processes involved in making a successful bid to become a HAZ. They will illustrate what was involved in developing the proposal, what decisions they had to make, how these were made and their assessment of the critical success factors. Choosing a team, team-working and funding will also be discussed.

Other issues that will be covered include implementation of the HAZ bid and critically the evaluation of its success and outcomes. There will also be an opportunity for you to put your questions to the speakers.


  • To be confirmed.

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