Friday, 30 December 2011
The Health Visitor Implementation report published today, sets out progress on key areas of the Health Visitor Implementation programme, which began in February 2011.
The Health Visitor Implementation progress report provides the latest summary of progress against the Government’s commitment. Summary progress reports will be published every quarter until 2015.
Department of Health
DH press release: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=46&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=422439&SubjectId=36
BBC News report: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16206169
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Political and Healthcare leaders must in 2012 persuade public to let go of "hospital-or-bust"model of care, says NHS Confederation chief
Computer Sciences Corporation admits it may have to write off entire value of its investment in the delayed Lorenzo system for health service. Computer Sciences Corporation has admitted that eight years of delays and setbacks on its disastrous NHS contract have left little or no value for shareholders, as the company prepares to write off almost £1bn.
CSC's bold writedown this week echoes similar move by fellow regional contractor BT, which is responsible for installing NHS IT systems across London. Its Global Service division wrote down £1.3bn two years ago in relation to two of its most troublesome contracts — though it never revealed how much related to its NHS work. Guardian
One in four NHS hospital patients would be better off treated at home, the head of the NHS trusts organisation has said. Independent
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Armed forces cuts could see thousands more combat veterans needing help to cope with range of mental illnesses. Cuts to the armed forces could lead to thousands more combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan needing help to cope with a range of mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, a charity has warned.
Last year a report published in the Lancet indicated that 4% of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan reported suffering from probable PTSD, and 19.7% symptoms of common mental disorders such as anxiety. It also raised concerns over the misuse of alcohol. Guardian
Exclusive poll backs up consultants' protests over bed closures and longer waiting times for surgery
The coalition's pledge to protect the NHS is in fresh doubt after four out of five doctors said they had seen patient care suffer as a result of health service cuts during 2011.
A poll of GPs and hospital doctors, carried out for the Guardian, challenges David Cameron's promise to "cut the deficit, not the NHS".
Doctors cite hospital bed closures, pressure to give patients cheaper, slower-acting drugs, cuts to occupational health support, and reductions in community health services as examples of recent cost-cutting measures. Guardian
Friday, 23 December 2011
The published planning guidance supports the delivery of the NHS Operating Framework 2012/13 and provides more detail on accountability arrangements.The integrated approach to planning and assurance between the Department of Health and the NHS for 2012/13 includes:
the indicative planning timetable; content of the submission; overview of the indicators process; overview of the milestones process; overview of assurance narrative and red, amber,green rating on each primary care trust cluster plan.
Strategic health authority cluster submissions on plans for 2012/13 are due in two stages: the first submission due on 27 January 2012, with the final submission due on 5 April 2012. Department of Health
Changes would enable patients to view their whole medical history and study results of diagnostic tests. NHS patients will be allowed to see and edit their medical records under proposals in a government-commissioned report.
The plan is contained in a report that an expert advisory group, headed by Professor Steve Field, the coalition's NHS troubleshooter, is finalising before handing it to the Department of Health. Guardian
Thursday, 22 December 2011
AN INJURY recovery centre costing £8.5 million, which will be open to both elite athletes and the public, is set to open at a Northampton college. Chronicle & Echo
A panel of health care chaplaincy appointment advisers drawn from the different religions and faiths in England will be established from whom advisers can be recommended to trusts, who seek assistance in the complex process of appointing full time chaplains to acute and mental health hospitals.
Chief executives will wish to consider these new arrangements, and the importance of providing access to faith communities to support the spiritual wellbeing of patients and staff, when commissioning services. NHS Networks
The first ever strategy for adults with autism in England, Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives, was published in March 2010. The strategy sets out a long-term vision and ambition to improve health outcomes for adults with autism.
On 1 April 2011, to help deliver the strategy, the Department invited all local authorities to complete a self assessment framework questionnaire as part of a data gathering exercise on adults with autism.
The attached letter from Bruce Calderwood, Director of Mental Health and Disability, to all directors of adult social services, sets out an additional list of questions to be included as part of the self assessment framework exercise.
Department of Health
Healthcare network's top stories of 2011
Does the NHS need to learn lessons on locating its services from supermarkets? Health policy analyst Roy Lilley thought so in November. Many of you, however, were divided on the issue. The government announced a second wave of GP commissioning ...
and more »
Early intervention: the key to reform
Successful health reform requires public confidence and clinical support for moving to a different system with much more emphasis on prevention, screening and early detection, delegates at Public Service Events' NHS Reform – Managing the Transition ...
The benefits of joined-up careThe Guardian
all 4 news articles »
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
As announced in Parliament today, we are outlining the Heads of Agreement on the proposed scheme design for the NHS Pension Scheme to be introduced in 2015. The next steps are that the unions have agreed to take to this to their Executives. Further work on the remaining details will take place in the new year, and Executives will consult members as appropriate.
This agreement includes a commitment to suspend any further industrial action while the final details are resolved and Unions are consulting their members.
A new calculator based on the proposed NHS Scheme specific arrangements and will be available as soon as possible
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development carried out a survey of 2,000 people in employment in the UK which revealed that despite more than a quarter (26%) of employees having experienced a mental health problem while in employment, too few employers are taking positive steps to manage this increasingly business critical issue. This guidance, produced by Mind, will help employers ensure that how they manage people supports their mental wellbeing and resilience, and also encourage more employees to talk about any mental health issues they may be facing at an early stage.
This suite of factsheets provide more details on the design of the new public health system, including the role and responsibilities of local government in public health, the operating model for the new executive agency Public Health England and an overview of how the whole system will work.
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
A DIABETIC was accidentally given 10 times their normal dose of insulin by a nurse working for Northamptonshire’s mental health trust. Northampton Chronicle and Echo
The telehealth part of the study focused on three diseases, COPD, diabetes and heart disease. Data was collected over a minimum of 12 months for every participant and is undergoing evaluation by an independent team of researchers from six of the leading academic institutions in the country. NHS Networks
Responding to the progress in talks on the NHS pension scheme, Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, said: "This significant step forward will help lift the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the NHS around pensions and industrial ...
MPs updated on pension reform talksThe Press Association
Public sector workers close to pension dealThe Independent
Danny Alexander updating MPs on pensions row progressBBC News
ifaonline.co.uk -Citywire.co.uk -Nursing Times
all 652 news articles »
Fury at European commission's plans that would allow EU doctors to register in UK without tests on English or skills
The UK's medical regulators have warned that patient safety is at risk because, despite changes to rules on the movement of labour proposed by the European commission on Monday, EU doctors will still be able to register in the UK without being tested on their English or medical competence.
Although the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has already made clear he will strengthen NHS employers' powers to check on medics' language skills under measures not bound by EU laws, the General Medical Council (GMC) is furious that it will first have to recognise doctors' qualifications without giving them the same checks that are applied in the case of doctors from other parts of the world who are seeking work in Britain.
The GMC recently revealed that a foreign doctor's husband contacted them on her behalf to register her for work because she could not speak English.
The government and healthcare bodies have been pressing for changes for more than two years after the Guardian revealed how Daniel Ubani, a German doctor, accidentally killed a patient on his first UK locum shift by administering a massive overdose of painkillers. He was subsequently ruled incompetent by a coroner and struck off the UK register, although he is still able to practise in Germany.
The proposals for changes to the directive that governs the mutual recognition of professional qualifications will take years to make their way through the EU decision-making process. Member states will have to ratify them by 2014, and peers recently pointed out they might not take affect until 2017. The proposals say doctors and other healthcare professionals can face competence checks by authorities after registration although it is not clear who would carry these out on self-employed people.
The GMC's chief executive, Niall Dickson, said serious concerns remained. "It remains our view that the final directive should provide greater safeguards for patients. Over the coming months we will continue work with the UK government, MEPs, other regulators, and EU institutions to ensure that the final version of the directive focuses on protecting patients."
Lansley said: "For too long patients have been let down by lax EU rules which have allowed doctors to operate in the UK without the necessary safeguards. That's why I am bringing in new rules on checking doctors' language skills and new powers to take action against doctors who can't speak English properly."
Commission plans for better sharing of information about the doctors that come to work in the UK were "steps in the right direction", said Lansley, "but we need to understand more of the detail behind them. For example, we would need to be convinced that a common European professional card would bring tangible benefits and proper checking systems.
"Our overriding concern must be to protect patients from healthcare professionals who may not be properly skilled to do the job and we will do everything we can to work with the EU to achieve this." Guardian
Monday, 19 December 2011
This guide to good governance for clinical commissioning groups aims to help them take their first steps towards authorisation.
Andrew Lansley's proposed shakeup of PCTs is causing confusion at heart of NHS, say service's top managers
Andrew Lansley's decision to shrink the number of NHS trusts has seen health service directors told they will have to leave their jobs by the end of the year, distracting the NHS leadership when it is undergoing the biggest shakeup in 60 years, internal documents reveal.
In a letter to the NHS Confederation – which represents the health service's top managers – senior executives write that a decision to cut both the size and number of primary care trusts, which commission £90bn of healthcare on behalf of patients, has led to the threat of a mass clearout at board level earlier than expected.
"We write to you with almost immediate urgency to express our huge concerns about the efficacy of the current proposals … during the current transitional period created by the health and social care bill," writes Sir Bill Taylor, the chairman of Blackburn with Darwen Teaching Care Trust, on behalf of the chairs of NHS boards in Cumbria and Lancashire, which collectively spend £3.5bn of NHS cash.
Under the health secretary's proposals, many of the chairs and non-executive board members – the local great and the good of the NHS – will be swept away.
While Lansley has made it clear the trusts will be gone by 2013, it was assumed these non-executives would be on hand to ease the transition to a new NHS where GPs call the shots and spend the health service budget. The process has already seen 151 PCTs moving to 52 PCT "clusters".
Describing the proposals to do away with boards as "on the hoof arrangements" the letter – copies of which were sent to No 10 and Lansley – warns there is "a huge potential to lose corporate memory".
The shakeup, claim executives, has left a trail of confusion at the heart of NHS – diverting precious management time away from trying to run the health service. "The whole letters, resignations, reappointments … is divisive and diversionary from the active and effective transference of responsibilities," writes Sir Bill in the letter, seen by the Guardian. Copies have been sent to Downing Street and Lansley.
Andy Burnham, Labour's health spokesman, said the government had "plunged the NHS into a leadership crisis on the brink of the toughest year in its history" and warned this was occurring without parliamentary approval.
The health bill is at a crucial point in the Lords, with the government poised to make concessions to Labour and the Lib Dems as it reaches the end of the decisive committee stage.
"The coalition's bill has still not been approved by parliament but the NHS has been radically altered anyway," said Burnham. "Andrew Lansley looks increasingly like a man on a kamikaze mission to destabilise the NHS.
"Not only has he chosen the worst possible moment to reorganise the NHS, he now removes the very people who were crucial to holding things together. By combining the financial challenge with the biggest-ever reorganisation, the government has created the conditions for a perfect storm that threatens to engulf the NHS in 2012."
The Appointments Commission, which regulates non-executives in the NHS, wrote to directors in Greater Manchester this month saying that it was "sorry to have to write to you in this manner. I know that is particularly hard to resign after you have given years of service to the NHS" but that there were only two routes open: resignation or termination of contract.
Non-executives are the only lay people with intimate knowledge of the NHS trusts, providing checks and balances in the system. The frustration with the sudden disappearance of a tier of oversight in the north of England has been mirrored by similar complaints in the south.
Last week the respected health think tank the King's Fund warned that the government was a making a mistake by handing NHS budgets in London to GPs without any body having oversight of the £20bn of public spending.
There has also been dissent by Conservatives over the turmoil caused by Lansley's shakeup.
Lord Mawhinney, a former Tory health secretary in the 1990s, told peers in October that health bosses had "decided to amalgamate the Peterborough and Cambridge PCTs. Nobody wants this. In Peterborough it did not consult the primary care trust. It did not consult the Peterborough hospital. It did not consult the Peterborough council. It just did it because it would save some money".
A department of health spokesperson said: "Primary Care Trust (PCT) clusters bring together a group of PCTs under a single executive team to ensure clear accountability for the health services provided for their communities.
"The strong feedback we have received from the NHS is that forming a common board across all PCTs in the cluster is the most effective [body]. As common boards form, the number of different non-executives needed will reduce. We have given clusters flexibility to take more time to complete this process, where necessary, and form a strong and representative common boards. The Guardian
The financial crisis engulfing three hospitals in Yorkshire was dramatically worsened yesterday after an employment tribunal awarded £4.5m compensation to a consultant who was hounded out of her job. The Independent
Friday, 16 December 2011
A wide-reaching review into acute healthcare provision in the region won’t lead to huge changes for patients in north Northamptonshire, health bosses have said. Evening Telegraph
In January 2010, the Department of Health established a Steering Group to consider
remediation, focussing on managing competence and capability issues in the small minority of doctors where there is concern about their health, conduct, clinical
competence and capability.
Many members of the Group had considerable personal experience of tackling clinical
competence and capability problems and were able to draw upon this experience as
well as the Department of Health survey and other recent work in developing their
ideas.In looking at how remediation could be better managed, the Group made six broad
- Performance problems, including clinical competence and capability issues, should normally be managed locally wherever possible
- Local processes need to be strengthened so as to avoid performancemproblems wherever possible, and to reduce their severity at the point ofmidentification;
- The capacity of staff within organisations to deal with performance concerns needs to be increased with access to necessary external expertise as require
- A single organisation is required to advise and, when necessary, to coordinate the remediation process and case management so as to improveconsistency across the service;
- The medical Royal Colleges to produce guidance and provide assessmentand specialist input into remediation programmes;
- Postgraduate deaneries and all those involved in training and assessment need to assure their assessment processes so that any problems arising during training are addressed
Report of the Steering Group on Remediation
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a quick guide on whistleblowing for health and care professionals who need to raise a concern about their workplace. It provides advice on speaking out about poor care and what protection there is from the law.
The Health Survey for England is part of a programme of surveys commissioned by The NHS Information Centre for health and social care. It provides information on a range of aspects concerning the public's health and many of the factors that affect health. The series of Health Surveys for England was designed to monitor trends in the nation's health, to estimate the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions, and to estimate the prevalence of certain risk factors and combinations of risk factors associated with these conditions. The survey is also used to monitor progress towards selected health targets. The main focus of the survey in 2010 was respiratory health and lung function. Additional areas covering contraception and sexual health, wellbeing, kidney disease and dental health.
Preventative care and early intervention in mental health
At any one time in London, one in six adults suffers mental health symptoms and suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the capital. The issue was raised at a recent London assembly health and public services committee meeting. ...
AMs call for regional supervision of mental health servicesMayorWatch
New ways of working across blue light services are key to future success for ...Bapco Journal
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Almost five million children who are prescribed penicillin each year for infections are getting too little of the antibiotic to be effective, putting them at risk of serious complications. The Independent
Thursday, 15 December 2011
The study also raises wider questions about the impact of their involvement, particularly whether it can change the nature of local power relations in the long term. NHS Networks
The revenue allocations for primary care trusts (PCTs) for 2012-13 are announced today. The total investment in local NHS services for 2012-13 is £91.6 billion an increase of £2.5 billion or 2.8 per cent
- £87.5 billion in recurrent revenue allocations to PCTs including an additional £150 million for reablement (assistance regaining independence if daily living skills are lost through illness or injury), an increase of £2.5 billion
- £4.1 billion in allocations for primary dental services, pharmaceutical services, general ophthalmic services, and to support joint working between health and social care.
Recurrent revenue allocations
Recurrent revenue allocations to PCTs are usually determined based on a weighted capitation formula. The weighted capitation formula determines each PCT’s available resources to enable them to commission similar levels of healthcare for populations with similar healthcare need, and to reduce avoidable health inequalities.
To provide the NHS with financial stability in a year of transition, the weighted capitation formula has not been applied for 2012-13. All PCTs have received a uniform uplift in their 2012-13 recurrent allocations.
Subject to the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill, for 2013-14 onwards, the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for the allocation of resources to clinical commissioning groups, while the Department of Health will make ring fenced grants to local authorities for their public health responsibilities.
One in five children is obese by the end of primary school, NHS figures show
"Some 82% of obese children go on to become obese adults and doubling the obesity rate in six years of school has to be an indictment of the current healthy schools policy. With today's economic climate, where healthy food is costing more at home, ...
One in three children leaving primary schools is overweight or obeseTelegraph.co.uk
Obesity up among final year primary school childrenWebMD.Boots.com
Concern over rise in child obesityThe Press Association
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NHS board assessments ordered after parliamentary committee finds half of all boards have leadership issues
Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, has ordered "independent assessments" of the boards of NHS trusts after a powerful parliamentary committee found that half of them had issues of "capacity and capability of leadership", preventing them meeting the government's deadline to become foundation hospitals by 2014. The Guardian
The number of people admitted to hospital with life-threatening anaphylactic shock – involving sudden swelling, breathlessness and low blood pressure – has increased by at least 700 per cent in the last two decades. The Independent
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
HOSPITAL bosses want community maternity staff in Northamptonshire to be immune from some parking restrictions after clampers prevented a midwife from being available for a home birth. Northampton Chronicle and Echo
The report is also supported by a number of supplementary tools which may help local authorities with workforce planning. NHS Networks
Plans to tackle deficiencies in cancer intelligence are set out in a new framework published today .
The Cancer Intelligence Framework sets out the actions that are being taken to ensure that high quality, timely intelligence is available to all those who need it to play their part in improving cancer outcomes.
It is intended to ensure clarity and accountability about who will do what, and when, in improving cancer intelligence, improving the information that is available, removing duplication and maximising efficiency.
Developments are needed in particular in order to improve intelligence on screening, access to diagnostic tests from primary care, chemotherapy, date of recurrence and costeffectiveness, as well as a major drive to modernise cancer registries.
This cancer intelligence framework has been produced by the National Cancer Intelligence Network following a commitment made by the Department of Health to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in May 2011.
The PAC identified a number of areas where urgent improvement is required and this framework meets the commitment made to the Committee to set out, with timelines, the actions being undertaken to address this. Department of Health
WellChild, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), and the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG) have launched the new Medicines for Children website, currently providing access to information leaflets on over 100 key medicines. Please see the link below for details.
This evaluation report describes how performance measures are being used by a wide array of organisations and the types of measures being used for different purposes; summarises key barriers and facilitators to the use of measures; and identifies opportunities for easing the use of performance measures moving forward.
Channel 4 News
NHS whistleblowers call for better protection
Channel 4 News
They are also sceptical about plans by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to tighten up the whistleblowing policy by incorporating it into the NHS constitution next year. Dr Holt said that it had not legal foundation and so could not be challenged. ...
Leigh, Day & Co | Baby P whistleblower says NHS still 'too dangerous' for ...Linex Legal (press release) (registration)
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Kim Holt, who raised concerns about a clinic where Baby P was treated, says employment laws are used to silence critics
A consultant paediatrician who raised concerns about a clinic where Baby Peter was treated days before his death has accused NHS managers of using employment laws to gag potential whistleblowers.
Kim Holt said there was a need to "change the culture of the NHS to one of openness and transparency and not one where the truth is often hidden and employment laws misused to silence critics.
"Whistleblowing should be actively encouraged within the NHS. As the evidence given to the Mid Staffordshire inquiry from people too scared to raise concerns showed, without the 'safety valve' provided through an effective whistleblowing procedure patients may be harmed or even killed."
Holt was speaking before the formal launch of a lobby group, Patients First, made up of whistleblowers within the NHS. In 2006 she and colleagues raised concerns over poor record-keeping and understaffing at St Ann's clinic in Haringey, north London, a move she has previously said led to her being removed from the clinic.
The following summer, Peter Connelly was seen by an inexperienced locum doctor days before he was killed. The locum failed to spot signs that the 17-month-old boy, who was on Haringey's child protection register, had been physically abused.
Holt has also said she was offered £120,000 to withdraw her complaints after Baby Peter's death, a claim Great Ormond Street denied, but in June this year, the hospital, which supplied doctors for the clinic and Haringey primary care trust, apologised for the "difficult time" she had had. Holt now works at the Whittington hospital in north London.
The health minister Anne Milton said: "Staff on the frontline know when patient services need to improve. That's why staff who blow the whistle are crucial in helping to raise standards and we are determined to support them.
"We have already brought in a contractual right to raise concerns and issued clear guidance to NHS organisations that all their contracts of employment should cover staff whistleblowing rights. We are also putting the rights of whistleblowers in the NHS Constitution. So-called 'gagging clauses' are simply unacceptable, and void under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. We will continue to do everything we can to support whistleblowers." The Guardian
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
PATIENTS are being warned the already overloaded accident and emergency department at Northampton General Hospital will have its capacity further reduced during the winter in order to carry out improvements. Northampton Chronicle and Echo