Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Accelerating adoption of innovation in the NHS

Accelerating adoption of innovation in the NHS:
The report, Innovation Health and Wealth: accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS, published today, sets out a delivery agenda for spreading innovation at pace and scale throughout the NHS.
The NHS is recognised as a world leader at invention, however sometimes the best ideas fail to achieve widespread use in the NHS as adoption has been slow. Now more than ever before, innovation has a vital role to play if it is to continue to improve outcomes for patients and deliver value for money.
Innovation must be encouraged and nurtured. Designing and implementing change will need all parts of the health and social care system to plan and improve together. This report requires all NHS organisations to build the actions set out into their planning processes, for 2012/13.

Consultation on HIV positive healthcare workers launched

Consultation on HIV positive healthcare workers launched:

A consultation into relaxing the restrictions placed on the work that can be undertaken by HIV positive healthcare workers was launched today.

This follows a review by a group of leading experts which jointly examined evidence around the risk of HIV transmission from healthcare workers with HIV to patients.

The expert review

The Expert Advisory Group on AIDS, the UK Advisory Panel of Healthcare Workers Infected with Bloodborne Viruses and the Advisory Group on Hepatitis found that there have been no reported transmissions of HIV from healthcare workers even though there have been investigations involving 10,000 patients who were tested for HIV. They also found that few other countries have such tight restrictions as the UK.

Under the current system, healthcare workers diagnosed with HIV are not allowed to perform most surgical or dental procedures. These restrictions will remain in place until the outcome of the consultation is decided.

The risk of HIV transmission

The expert advisory groups concluded that the risk of HIV transmission from a healthcare worker who is undiagnosed and untreated is extremely low for the most invasive procedures such as open cardiac surgery. It is negligible from the least invasive procedures such as a local anaesthetic injection in dentistry.

The risk of HIV infection to any patient having the most invasive type of exposure prone procedure – such as open cardiac surgery – has been estimated as about one in five million, which is a similar level of risk to being struck and killed by lightning. These risks can be reduced even further by effective antiretroviral drug therapy.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “Patient safety is always our top priority. Our knowledge and understanding and the treatment of HIV have all developed enormously over the last 25 years. It is right that we now consider our current guidelines to reflect what the science is telling us about the risk of HIV transmission from healthcare workers with HIV to patients.

“There are currently around 110 healthcare workers with HIV in England who might be affected by the current restrictions. We need to ensure that the guidelines and restrictions imposed are evidence-based and achieve a fair balance between patient safety and the rights and responsibilities of healthcare workers with HIV.

“This consultation will seek wide views on the expert advice and whether it should be accepted.”

Views invited

The consultation invites views from the medical community as well as the public on whether current restrictions should be maintained or how the expert group’s findings could be implemented effectively.

The consultation runs until 9 March 2012.

NHS-life sciences partnership

NHS-life sciences partnership: How government plans to boost medicines research BBC News

More care home firms 'may fail'

More care home firms 'may fail': The government should do more to monitor the finances of England's care home companies if another crisis like Southern Cross is to be avoided, MPs say. BBC News

Postal morning-after pill offer

Postal morning-after pill offer: A charity is offering women free emergency contraception in the post as Christmas approaches BBC News

NHS open data plans 'death of privacy'

NHS open data plans 'death of privacy': Privacy groups say a government plan to share anonymised NHS data with commercial companies will herald the "death of patient confidentiality". E-Health Insider

NICE to drive innovation in the NHS

NICE to drive innovation in the NHS: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has been given a big extension to its remit as part of the government attempts to encourage innovation in the NHS. E-Health Insider

DH launches 3m lives telehealth campaign

DH launches 3m lives telehealth campaign: The Department of Health has launched a campaign to use telehealth to improve the lives of 3m people over the next five years. E-Health Insider

Developing an outcomes-based approach in mental health

Developing an outcomes-based approach in mental health: This Briefing sets out the policy context for outcomes in mental health and summarises the recommendations made in the report. NHS Confederation

Housing and mental health

Housing and mental health: This Briefing, produced in association with the National Housing Federation, outlines a number of routes that mental health providers and housing associations may wish to explore together to improve quality and reduce costs. NHS Confederation

Doctors being 'bullied and coerced' over NHS reforms

Doctors being 'bullied and coerced' over NHS reforms:

Doctors who are set to take charge of the NHS budget as part of the Coalition's healthcare reforms are being "bullied and coerced" by local health chiefs, according to their representative body. The Independent

Easy scheduling using Doodle

Easy scheduling using Doodle:

Meetings, gatherings, teleconferences are all part of our working lives, but organising them can be a tedious business. I was pleased to discover an “online scheduler”, Doodle that makes it easy to see at a glance what dates/times suit everyone. Need I add, this would also work for parties…