Friday, 25 November 2011

International report confirms the NHS is performing well for patients

International report confirms the NHS is performing well for patients:

However, the report Health at a Glance by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also shows that England still lags behind other countries on some patient outcomes for cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases despite spending more on healthcare than the OECD average. It also reiterates the increasing pressures on the NHS due to obesity and other lifestyle related diseases and long-term conditions. NHS Networks

New NHS operating framework published

New NHS operating framework published:

The new NHS operating framework setting out the business and planning arrangements for the NHS in England for the next year has been published today.

The Operating Framework for the NHS in England 2012/13 describes the national priorities, system levers and enablers needed for NHS organisations to maintain and improve the quality of services provided, while delivering transformational change and maintaining financial stability.

It sets out the practical steps that need to be taken to carry the NHS through a strong and stable transition over the next year, maintaining high quality standards and financial grip, as the NHS moves towards the new modernised system envisaged in Liberating the NHS. Department of Health

Safeguards for vulnerable questioned

Safeguards for vulnerable questioned: Mental health charities tell the BBC they fear Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, designed to protect the vulnerable, are "not fit for purpose". BBC News

First baby at home 'higher risk'

First baby at home 'higher risk': Having a home birth carries a slightly higher risk for babies of first-time mothers but there is no difference in safety for further deliveries, says a study. BBC News

NHS in most dangerous time in history, NHS chief executive warns

NHS in most dangerous time in history, NHS chief executive warns: The NHS is in its most dangerous time in history as old structures 'fall apart' before the new system is up and running, the NHS chief executive has warned. GP Online

NHS pension strike will cost economy £500m warn ministers

NHS pension strike will cost economy £500m warn ministers: Strikes over public sector pensions could cost the economy over half a billion pounds, ministers have warned. GP Online

NHS told to get ready for info strategy

NHS told to get ready for info strategy: The Department of Health's annual 'to do' list for NHS managers has urged them to prepare for the elusive information strategy. E-Health Insider

NHS could be like '1970s car factory' says health committee chairman

NHS could be like '1970s car factory' says health committee chairman: Doctors and patients need to embrace the need for major cultural change in the NHS - to prevent it becoming like a redundant 1970s car factory, according to Stephen Dorrell. GP Online

New guidance on strike action and the deduction of pay

New guidance on strike action and the deduction of pay: Following a number of requests from employers, we have worked with DAC Beachcroft LLP to provide practical guidance on strike action and the deduction of pay.

Industrial action - legal hotline launched: A free industrial action advice line to help NHS HR teams has been launched today. The advice line will be open from Thursday 24 November to 30 November inclusive and will be staffed by experienced lawyers from our legal advisers, DAC Beachcroft LLP.

NHS Employers

Mental Health Payment by Results Readiness Review

Mental Health Payment by Results Readiness Review: The development of a Payment by Results approach to provider reimbursement in mental health services has been going on for a number of years. NHS Confederation

NHS Confederation comments on 2012/13 Operating Framework

NHS Confederation comments on 2012/13 Operating Framework: David Stout, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, says the framework shifts the NHS in to implementation mode and away from the political debate. NHS Confederation

NHS shakeup in danger of harming patients, risk assessments show - The Guardian

NHS shakeup in danger of harming patients, risk assessments show - The Guardian:

The Guardian

NHS shakeup in danger of harming patients, risk assessments show
The Guardian
But ministers blocked requests from Labour to release a confidential risk register, which outlines the perils for the NHS that reform entails. Last week the information commissioner, Christopher Graham, said the government was wrong to keep the ...

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Is reform bad for the NHS? | Martin McKee and David Skelton

Is reform bad for the NHS? | Martin McKee and David Skelton:

Martin McKee and David Skelton debate the OECD claim that constant 'reforms' are holding our health service back

Martin McKee: 'These changes will be cited as how not to make policy'

As the OECD points out in its report this week, the NHS has been changing, introducing innovative models of care that have been associated with some of the fastest improvements in health in any industrialised country. Our experience, and that of other researchers – such as those who have shown how hospital mergers set the new organisations back several years – confirms the OECD view that what is needed is institutional stability: and that this is what gives rise to effective innovation.

A few weeks ago we launched a major report on what makes some health systems work better than others. We were updating a seminal report undertaken 25 years previously by the Rockefeller Foundation entitled Good Health at Low Cost. The original report had identified China, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Kerala, in India, as places that had achieved much better outcomes than might be expected given their level of economic development. In our report we looked at their subsequent experience, which was mixed, but also at five states that had made substantial strides in health outcomes in the years since then. These were Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand and, again in India, Tamil Nadu.

What did we find? Success was associated with a number of factors. These included: a clear vision of the desired outcome; good communication with those who had to implement it; reforms that were appropriate to the context in which they were taking place; and an ability to take advantage of events. But above all, they had achieved success because they had maintained the stability of institutions. The organisations that were designing and implementing the reforms had, in some countries, survived changes of government and even coups. They provided islands of stability in often rapidly changing circumstances, with institutional memories that minimised the risks of making the same mistakes over and over again, and which provided space to anticipate the future and develop appropriate responses.

The UK's Department of Health argues that the NHS must change because of the rapidly changing environment in which it is operating. But we are being given a disruption so great that, as the NHS chief executive has suggested "it can be seen from space", while the incoming chair of the National Commissioning Board faces the challenge of implementing a bill he describes as "completely unintelligible". In time, the current changes will be cited in textbooks as an example of how not to make policy and the result will be a health system that, as the just-published NHS London risk register confirms, is far less able to adapt to changing circumstances than it is now. Worse, there will be many casualties along the way.

• Martin McKee is professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

David Skelton: 'The NHS must be nimble enough to evolve'

A National Health Service, delivering high-quality healthcare free at the point of delivery is, rightly, one of the institutions that British people are most proud of. However, in order to enhance this reputation and maintain quality of service it is vital that the NHS evolves to meet changing health needs, rapidly developing technological innovation and rising patient expectations.

The NHS cannot be preserved in aspic. It needs to be nimble enough to adapt to meet changing circumstances. The health needs that the NHS faces now are so very different to the health needs faced by Nye Bevan in 1948. Since Bevan's masterpiece was created, life expectancy has increased dramatically – male life expectancy has risen from 66 in 1948 to over 78. The challenge facing the NHS is now much more about dealing with long-term conditions, such as diabetes. Far more of the NHS's resources now need to be targeted on prevention – keeping people out of hospital in the first place.

The technology on which the NHS relies is evolving at a rapid rate. Emerging technologies are likely to have a dramatic impact on patient treatment, increasingly enabling patients to be treated at home, rather than spending too much time in impersonal hospital wards. Technology can have a huge impact on dealing with long-term conditions and help provide patients with the information necessary to make their healthcare choices. The number of patients seeking online health information in the UK is also rapidly rising. The NHS will only make the most of emerging technology if it is prepared to change with the technology. A static, reform-resistant NHS would not be able to do this, and so we should not take the conclusions of the OECD report as evidence that the service can simply be left alone.

The NHS also has to meet rising and changing patient expectations. Citizens are now used to using a variety of sources, including the internet, that help them make key decisions in their day-to-day life and raise the bar for NHS performance and responsiveness.

We are justifiably proud of the NHS. The NHS has evolved in the past and it must continue to do so in the future in order to deal with a changing healthcare environment.

• David Skelton is deputy director of Policy Exchange

The Guardian

Doctors' leaders declared all-out opposition to NHS shake-up

Doctors' leaders declared all-out opposition to NHS shake-up: Doctors' leaders have declared all-out opposition to the Government's NHS shake-up amid claims they will give too much influence to the private sector. The Telegraph

Cervical screening: sharp rise in test results sent out to women within two weeks of screening

Cervical screening: sharp rise in test results sent out to women within two weeks of screening: Nearly 83 per cent of test results in England were sent out by primary care organisations (PCOs) within a fortnight, compared to nearly 45 per cent in... NHS Information Centre