Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Support for Northamptonshire carers set to continue

Support for Northamptonshire carers set to continue:
A SERVICE supporting carers will continue for at least three years after the success of a two year pilot scheme. Evening Telegraph

Calls for ambulances in Northamptonshire up by 7,000 a month

Calls for ambulances in Northamptonshire up by 7,000 a month:
MORE than 7,000 extra calls were made to the ambulance service for Northamptonshire in one month compared with the same period a year ago. Northamptonshire Chronicle and Echo

NHS Performance Framework – implementation guidance available

NHS Performance Framework – implementation guidance available:
Implementation guidance for the NHS Performance Framework is available. It sets out the Department’s approach to identifying underperforming NHS organisations and stipulates when intervention should occur in such organisations. This implementation guidance for 2012/13 is designed to support the application of the framework.
Specifically the NHS Performance Framework – implementation guidance:
  • informs NHS organisations of the criteria against which their performance will be assessed – underpinned by the NHS Operating Framework and input from regulators, as well as the frequency of assessment and escalation measures
  • informs strategic health authorities as the regional system managers and primary care trusts (PCTs), as the local commissioners of NHS services of when they should intervene to address poor performance
  • informs the NHS as to how performance management will be aligned and integrated with the Tripartite Formal Agreement (TFA) monitoring process for NHS trusts, both in terms of scoring and escalation.
The NHS Performance Framework is part of the NHS Performance Regime. Department of Health

Metal hips cancer fears allayed

Metal hips cancer fears allayed: There is no evidence that metal-on-metal hip replacements increase the risk of cancer, a study suggests. BBC News

Asthma publications

Asthma publications: NHS Improvement has published the following case studies relating to asthma:

- Improving adult asthma care: emerging learning from the national improvement projects
- Reducing adult asthma re-attenders at accident and emergency
- Asthma care bundles
- An integrated care pathway for A&E
- Reducing admissions and increasing community support
- Pharmacists and medicines use reviews
- An integrated approach to asthma care
- Targeted medicines use reviews using a Local Enhanced Service

King's Fund briefing: Emergency hospital admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions

King's Fund briefing: Emergency hospital admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions:

The King's Fund has published a briefing describing current levels of emergency hospital admissions for ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs). Ambulatory care-sensitive conditions (ACSCs) are conditions for which effective management and treatment should limit emergency admission to hospital.
Currently ACSCs account for more than one in six emergency hospital admissions in England, indicating poor co-ordination between the different elements of the healthcare system, in particular between primary and secondary care.
This briefing highlights, for commissioners, the opportunities for improving the quality of care and saving costs that reducing emergency hospital admissions for ACSCs presents. To realise the potential savings, changes will be needed in the management and prevention of these conditions.

Arrangements for health emergency preparedness, resilience and response from April 2013

Arrangements for health emergency preparedness, resilience and response from April 2013:
This document describes changes being made in health emergency preparedness resilience and response to reflect the new health system that will be established by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This will create appropriate structures and functions in the NHS Commissioning Board, Public Health England and with directors of public health in local authorities.

Developing Payment by Results (PbR) for sexual health

Developing Payment by Results (PbR) for sexual health:
A range of documents, resources and guidance has been published by the PbR team for sexual health services, which fall into two development projects: integrated sexual health and HIV outpatient services. The HIV National Reference Group has also developed a simple guide to aid commissioners and providers apply the new currency in 2012/13.

Improving diabetes care

Improving diabetes care:
The Department of Health has confirmed that children and young people with diabetes will have improved care due to 13 new mandatory care standards coming into force from today.NHS Diabetes Paediatric Network Clinical Lead and Consultant in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, Dr Tabitha Randell said: "Our Paediatric Diabetes Networks have been working hard with the Department of Health’s PbR2 team over the pa... Healthcare Today

International Learning on Increasing the Value and Effectiveness of Primary Care (I LIVE PC)

International Learning on Increasing the Value and Effectiveness of Primary Care (I LIVE PC): This article, based on a Commonwealth Fund/Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality international conference on primary care, shows how strong primary care can provide the groundwork for efforts to improve overall care and population health while also controlling costs. The Commonwealth Fund

Early action could save NHS millions - The Guardian

Early action could save NHS millions - The Guardian:

The Guardian
Early action could save NHS millions
The Guardian
The NHS could save almost £250m a year if it was better at preventing patients with common conditions such as flu, asthma and diabetes from ending up in hospital, new research reveals. A report out Wednesday from the King's Fund health thinktank claims ...

Transparency and the NHS: the story behind the data

Transparency and the NHS: the story behind the data:
To help people understand how their local health services are performing, a new website is about to get a national rollout
While transparency is important in improving health and care services, one of the lessons we have learned is that people want to understand the story behind the data – merely publishing a graph or spreadsheet is not enough.
As part of the government's commitment to "open up" the public services, last July the prime minister, David Cameron, announced that the Department of Health had agreed to publish specific sets of data previously not publicly available.
There is also a report from the Health Foundation on the impact of public reporting on healthcare quality, which shows that such publication leads to an improvement in the services delivered by an organisation.
The NHS in the south-west has also started exploring what transparency might mean at a local level and we have launched a unique website, Our Health, that provides local information about stroke and dementia services, including previously unpublished data on the quality of local services.
At the start of the project we found that one of the important gaps for people who use the services and for professional staff, was a lack of information about what happened across organisational boundaries – what NHS staff call the care pathway or what might be called the patient's journey.
We talked to patients and carers about what they might want, focusing on stroke survivors and people with dementia. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) had recently published quality standards for these two care pathways so there was an evidence-based description of what great care looked like and a clear set of statements describing what services people should expect to receive from the local NHS and partner organisations.
People told us that there was good information about the nature of the condition and the treatment options, with excellent information available from charities such as the Stroke Association and Alzheimer's Society. They also said they did not want a performance scorecard for their local services.
However, there were three areas where gaps were identified. First, most of the information available was national rather than local, and people often struggled to find out what was available in their patch. Second, people wanted to know whether their local services were up to scratch and what they should do if something in the national information was not available locally. Finally, they wanted a range of different types of communications – different channels bringing together leaflets, online services and someone to talk to.
We have worked with the full range of NHS providers and commissioners in the south-west and local authority colleagues. The regional branches of the Stroke Association and the Alzheimer's Society have been our partners, and we have been talking to them about how their networks of advisers and buddies can provide a personal contact, so people have someone to talk to.
We aim to provide five features on the Our Health website:
• Explaining what people and their carers should expect from local stroke and dementia services across all parts of the person's journey, linking this with the Nice quality standards
• Describing the specific local "offer" for stroke and dementia services commissioned by the local NHS and, where appropriate, the local authority
• Providing a directory of organisations that deliver services throughout the person's journey. This gives the organisation the opportunity to describe what it provides. We believe that the directory is the most comprehensive in the region with over 4,000 organisations offering almost 5700 different services, with more being added all the time
• Presenting comparisons of local organisations that enable people to understand the performance of their health and social care services, with the opportunity for organisations to comment on their own results. We have 73,000 data items that form an initial set of 25 indicators across the dementia pathway for each local area in the south-west and 53 indicators across the stroke pathway. We believe this is the most comprehensive set of indicators on these pathways published in a single place
• Providing opportunities for people to feed back on services they have received. We are exploring use of the "net promoter" question.
Last week, the prime minister pledged to boost funding for dementia research and care, including a promise to promote the information offer pioneered by the NHS south-west, which we are rolling out across the south by the end of 2012. From April 2013, information designed and developed locally will be available in all other parts of the country. There are options to expand the information covered, especially from domiciliary and residential providers of social care, and the ways in which the information can be accessed.
This is only the start of the journey and we are learning lessons all the time. I am sure our site will look different in a few months time as we roll it out across the south of England and to other parts of the country, responding to the Cameron's challenge on dementia care.
Richard Gleave is director of programmes and patient experience, NHS South of England
Guardian Professional.