Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Breaking news - NHS to pay for Zac’s treatment

Breaking news - NHS to pay for Zac’s treatment:

NHS Northamptonshire has confirmed it will pay the cost of an operation in Germany for a little boy who has cancer. Evening Telegraph

Suicide figures from Northamptonshire mental health team claim some deaths ‘were avoidable’

Suicide figures from Northamptonshire mental health team claim some deaths ‘were avoidable’:

NEW suicide rates among patients under the care of Northamptonshire’s mental health team, showed staff believed nearly one in five deaths could have been avoided. Northampton Chronice and Echo

Will hourly rounds help nurses to concentrate more on caring?

Will hourly rounds help nurses to concentrate more on caring?: Like the curate’s egg, the Prime Minister’s announcement on improving the quality of nursing care on acute wards is good in parts. Given The King’s Fund’s and Health Foundation’s work on nursing rounds with the Hospital Pathways Programme, his support for hourly nursing rounds on inpatient wards and for the ‘visible figure of nursing authority’ on all wards is welcomed. The Health Foundation

Allied Health Professionals referral to treatment data collection

Allied Health Professionals referral to treatment data collection:

Allied Health Professions (AHP) delivering NHS funded services in community, acute and mental health settings were encouraged, from 1 April 2011, to collect AHP referral to treatment (RTT) data for local reporting purposes.

All AHPs delivering NHS funded care are encouraged to base their local data collections, local flows and reporting of AHP RTT data on the Community Information Data Set (CIDS) structure in anticipation of a national mandate for collection and reporting of data.

See the letter, Allied Health Professionals Referral to Treatment Data Collection Mandate, published today, and Referral to Treatment Revised Guide 2011 Department of Health

GPs face tougher scrutiny over diagnostic scans

GPs face tougher scrutiny over diagnostic scans: Government plans to monitor GPs' use of diagnostic tests must set clear standards to avoid GPs being wrongly acc­used of inappropriate referrals, the RCGP has warned. GP Online

Government gives CCGs £100m 'injection'

Government gives CCGs £100m 'injection': The extra cash will boost NHS services in local communities, the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has announced. Public Service

Specialists in commissioning: looking beyond current policy

Specialists in commissioning: looking beyond current policy:

This paper discusses the views of GPs and specialists on current policy on specialists in Clinical Commissioning Groups. It calls for policy to be more inclusive and flexible to allow both groups of doctors to develop positive relationships to enable integrated care across the primary-secondary healthcare boundaries.

After the event: getting care right for patients after a heart attack

After the event: getting care right for patients after a heart attack:

This report calls on all NHS Trusts to offer cardiac rehabilitation services to heart attack patients after finding that 2,100 patients across England are not being offered rehabilitation despite the clear benefits of the service in improving patient experience and outcomes from the disease.

NHS warned of 'neurology timebomb'

NHS warned of 'neurology timebomb':

Call for 'neurology tsar' as growing numbers are diagnosed with Parkinson's, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis

The NHS is facing a "neurology timebomb" as the number of people with conditions such as Parkinson's and motor neurone disease (MND) increases, an umbrella organisation for charities in the field has said.

The Neurological Alliance, which represents more than 70 charities and organisations, said the NHS will be caught unawares unless urgent action is taken and accused the government of having its "head in the sand".

Figures from Parkinson's UK suggest that by 2020 will be 162,000 people with Parkinson's disease – which affects actor Michael J Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali – 28% more that the 127,000 now diagnosed.

The number with MND is set to rise by 27% in the same period and 50 people are newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) every week.

The alliance argues that services are being run in a "haphazard way" with no clear strategy, potentially wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers' money.

It follows a damning report in December from the National Audit Office (NAO), which found that emergency hospital admissions for people with neurological conditions have risen by almost a third despite a government financial investment in services.

While access to services has improved and waiting times have fallen, the study found, key areas of care have got worse.

In 2009-10, 14% of people with Parkinson's, MS and MND who were discharged from hospital after an overnight stay were readmitted within 28 days as an emergency. People admitted as an emergency are also often treated by doctors and nurses with no neurological training, with evidence suggesting this worsens outcomes for patients. Furthermore, the report found delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Steve Ford, the chair of the Neurological Alliance and chief executive of Parkinson's UK, said: "A crisis is looming but the government has its head in the sand. When it comes to helping vulnerable people with a neurological condition, the government is floundering around in a fog of its own making.

"We need a leader to champion improvements – a neurology tsar, if you like, backed up with a plan and a strategy. "When diabetes, cancer and stroke were assigned tsars, things really started to happen. People affected by neurological conditions are fed up with being at the bottom of the government's 'to do' list.

"It is time the Department of Health sorted out this mess. It's not about spending more money: it's about getting good value and quality services."

Ford will give evidence to the Commons public accounts committee on Wednesday in light of the NAO report.

Simon Gillespie, the chief executive of the MS Society, added: "The government now needs to send a clear message to everyone living with a neurological condition that these services are a priority."

The estimated number of people who have MND in the UK is 4,200, but this is predicted to rise to 5,330 by 2020. About 100,000 people in the UK have MS.

The Liberal Democrat minister of state for care services, Paul Burstow, said: "We know that care for people with neurological conditions is not good enough and we must do more. It is clear that too many people are not getting personalised support to suit their needs.

"This is exactly why we need to reform the NHS so we give people with long-term health conditions more control over their care and support, in consultation with clinicians. That is why we are developing a new outcomes strategy, piloting personal health budgets, and rolling out tele-health to deliver better results for people and make sound use of NHS resources." The Guardian

Nurses call for Care Quality Commission to be strengthened

Nurses call for Care Quality Commission to be strengthened: A new survey has shown that nurses believe the Care Quality Commission (CQC) needs to improve to become truly effective. Royal College of Nursing

Integrated Care: Its clinicians that make the difference

Integrated Care: Its clinicians that make the difference:
As clinicians we want to work in the health service to provide better care for our patients. The only way we can do this is by being part of a team. The same is true for our social care colleagues. The relationships we have with other clinicians, managers and health and social care partners are absolutely vital if a community is going to meet the difficult financial challenges ahead and yet deliver the highest possible quality of care.

In Northamptonshire we formed our Integrated Care Partnership (NICP) in 2009. We invited senior clinicians and front line workers from all major providers (including the LMC as the provider arm of primary care), as well as patients, carers, social care and the voluntary sector to come together with the aim of providing better integrated care to our mutual patients. Our ambition was to use this partnership to break down and resolve all organisational barriers and interface issues. We identified a series of quick wins that quickly established the value of the partnership, which still commands the attendance of all organisations 31 monthly meetings later!

We agreed a set of shared markers of success: decrease in emergency admissions and readmissions, decrease in length of stay, decrease in admissions to care homes, and ensure that we are able to honour the wishes of more patients in terms of their preferred place of death. Who could argue or put organisational barriers in the way of these markers? We agreed that we would use the partnership to ensure that the right clinical leaders come together in the right meetings at the right time to make all of the important decisions.

We have already seen a 17% (440 patients) reduction in deaths in hospitals compared to last year following the introduction of new end of life service. However, the most successful and ambitious scheme has been our £3 million Community Elderly Care Service. This all started when a Consultant Geriatrician asked me for 20 minutes on one of our agendas to present the concept. We quickly harnessed the collective enthusiasm around the table and ensured that doors of organisations on which we previously had to pound on heavily to find a solution were flung open due to the collaborative bottom up approach. The business case was quickly developed, piloted and approved.

We are never going to agree on everything. What we have developed over time are strong personal, as well as organisational, relationships that enable us to tackle differences of opinion in an open and constructive manner. For example, we continue to reconcile our ideological differences of the most appropriate place of care for patients by working our way through our Consultant to Consultant referral policy to agree exactly which patients should be seen where. Because we have the right senior clinical leaders in place we can openly discuss and resolve all issues within the NICP. We do not need to escalate to any higher authority, and in fact we would see this as a failure of our partnership.

Once we agree a collective course of action, each clinical leader takes this back to their organisations and ensures the appropriate changes are made. Where change is not delivered and there are further obstacles to be overcome we bring this back to the partnership and work together to resolve them. The hearts and minds battle is so much more easily won when clinicians are leading and driving the change. Nene Commissioning