Friday, 20 April 2012

Integrated care pilots reveal mixed results | Nick Goodwin

Integrated care pilots reveal mixed results | Nick Goodwin: Have the Department of Health's integrated care pilots driven improvements in the quality and cost effectiveness of patient care? (Blog, 19 Apr 2012) Kings Fund

Early implementers sought to test long term conditions year of care funding model

Early implementers sought to test long term conditions year of care funding model:
Early implementers are being invited to apply to test a potential new way of funding long term conditions care. The LTC year of care funding model will be tested by six early implementer sites and prescribes a set approach for the purpose of national evaluation.
The model is described in Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention long term conditions which is published today along side an application form and supporting guidance for those interested in becoming early implementers.
The deadline for applications is Friday 25 May 2012.
QIPP long term conditions is aimed at health and social care commissioners and providers who are implementing integrated LTC care services to improve outcomes and people’s experience. The funding model has been developed through the QIPP LTC work stream to support health and social care teams in integrating care in a more sustainable way by aligning funding with people’s needs.
The  model, which is is not mandated,  has been developed using evidence and best practice and  will be formally tested by the early implementer sites. The model will evolve over time with this testing phase informing future developments. Department of Health

The week: issue 244

The week: issue 244:
On the agenda this week: the Secretary of State launches a consultation on standardised packaging of tobacco products, foreign doctors to prove they can speak English before practising in England under new government proposals, and the Prime Minister announces a call to action for frontline nurses to share best practice with colleagues across the NHS. Department of Health
Download ‘the week’ issue 244 13 – 19 April 2012 (RTF 546KB)

Home births more 'cost effective'

Home births more 'cost effective': Research by a team at the University of Oxford has indicated that planned births at home and in midwifery units are more cost-effective than giving birth in hospital.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, where they compared costs and outcomes for mother and baby of giving birth in different locations, they said this was particularly the case for women who had given birth before.
They focussed on 60,0... Healthcare Today

NHS needs to integrate mental and physical health services for better care and impressive savings

NHS needs to integrate mental and physical health services for better care and impressive savings: A new report from the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network makes the case for combining mental and physical healthcare. NHS Confederation

From vision to action: making patient-centred care a reality

From vision to action: making patient-centred care a reality:
The Richmond Group, an alliance of leading health and social care charities, is calling on the Government to ensure patients are central to the delivery of care in the redesigned NHS in England. This report sets out what the group would like to change to put patients at the heart of the NHS.

NHS waiting times rise 6%

NHS waiting times rise 6%New research from the Patients Association has revealed that waiting times are getting longer for common surgical procedures.
It has warned of increasingly long delays for the most common forms of surgery in NHS hospitals, despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s election pledge to cut waiting times.
Latest figures show that waiting times rose by 6% for eight types of surgery between 2010 and 2011. The ... Healthcare Today

Read the full report here

Spending cuts biggest challenge for health service leaders

Spending cuts biggest challenge for health service leaders:
Our survey found that the impact of cuts is as big a challenge for the NHS as implementing the Health and Social Care Act
The impact of spending cuts is as big a challenge for the NHS as implementing the Health and Social Care Act, say healthcare leaders.
An exclusive Guardian healthcare network survey asked members what they think are the main concerns facing the health sector; 64% said implementing efficiency savings, 62% said the impact of the Health and Social Care Act, and 35% said planned NHS reforms.
Other responses included the increasing demands placed on the health service by demographic changes - citing both the ageing population and an ageing workforce. One member wrote the biggest challenge was "becoming more cost efficient while maintaining and improving quality"; and another cited unco-ordinated thinking and planning.
The issues of spending cuts and the government reforms are recurring themes throughout the survey, with many members blaming them for the aspects they like least about their jobs, and also fearing the effect they will have in the year ahead.
Our survey was launched before the health and social care bill gained royal assent to become the Health and Social Care Act, and asked members whether they personally supported the proposed reforms - 68% said no, 11% said yes, and 21% were unsure.
One member branded the bill "unworkable", another commented "this bill could well be Cameron's 'poll tax'", and a third said: "The NHS remains a political toy and is bounced on a whim from minister to minister."
Members were also asked whether they think there should be more private sector involvement in the health service - 56% said no, 27% said yes and 18% were unsure.
And the questionnaire - completed by more than 500 healthcare network members - also asked whether healthcare leaders think there should be more integration of health, social care and housing services. Some 89% said yes, while 5% said no and 6% were unsure.
The research revealed a very strong sense of public service among healthcare network members, with a large proportion saying the chance to help people, care for patients and improve others' lives was the most enjoyable aspect of their job. Many also cited patient contact, while the variety of their role and the challenges of delivering care were also repeatedly mentioned.
When asked what they liked least about their jobs, many members said they felt uncertain about their future - whether due to government policy, NHS funding or job insecurity. A number mentioned that politics - at a local and a national level - were having a negative impact on their work, and many felt that paperwork, meetings and administration (one member cited "death by email") were the least enjoyable aspects of their work. Other members cited workloads, staff shortages, work place pressure and poor morale.
Most members (73%) think their jobs will become more difficult in the year ahead - and cuts and reorganisations were again mentioned by many.
One member said: "We are fighting to understand the new NHS structures, in 12 months we will still be trying to understand them and delivering in a changing landscape."
Another commented: "There is a huge amount of work to do, and in some instances there is a lack of focus, vision and lack of support. With uncertain financial times, and in the challenging political climate. Things are very tough."
But 25% think their role will stay the same over the next 12 months - and 3% believe it will get easier.
The research is the second in a series of quarterly questionnaires sent to healthcare network members and promoted via Twitter and Facebook. The first questionnaire also found that spending cuts are the biggest challenge facing NHS leaders.
Watch out for further opportunities to contribute to healthcare network research later in the year, and in the meantime please add your comments on the issues discussed in this piece below. Guardian Professional. 

Private companies providing GP out of hours services are 'worse than NHS'

Private companies providing GP out of hours services are 'worse than NHS': Private firms providing GP out of hour services fail to assess urgent cases within 20 minutes and leave patients waiting longer than two hours to see a doctor, a study has found. The Daily Telegraph

Death of autistic boy shines light on national problem

Death of autistic boy shines light on national problem:
A coroner warned yesterday that the "gross failure" of mental health services to help an autistic boy, who was bullied and committed suicide, could be a national problem affecting others with similar behavioural needs. The Independent