Friday, 11 May 2012

VIDEO: Bed blocking patient's frustration

VIDEO: Bed blocking patient's frustration: A pensioner who fractured his skull has been stuck in hospital for 10 weeks because the authorities cannot find the specialist care he needs. BBC Northampton

Plan to build new estate medical centre and pharmacy on former pub site in Wellingborough approved

Plan to build new estate medical centre and pharmacy on former pub site in Wellingborough approved:
Plans to build a new medical centre and pharmacy on the site of a former estate pub in Wellingborough have been approved by councillors. Evening Telegraph

New health visiting case study published

New health visiting case study published: This case study describes a new model of community practice teacher support designed by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust. NHS Employers

Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services

Factors that promote and hinder joint and integrated working between health and social care services:
The aim of this research briefing is to give people who provide and use social care services an overview of the research evidence for joint and integrated working by identifying and describing: different models of working between health and social care services at the strategic, commissioning and operational levels; evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness; factors promoting and obstacles hindering the success of these models; and the perspectives of people who use services and their carers.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration - what you need to know

Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration - what you need to know:
From July 2012, most primary medical services providers will be invited to apply for registration with the CQC, and all providers will need to be registered by April 2013. The purpose of this guidance is to aid GPs by providing a straightforward explanation of the registration process, to help providers determine whether they are compliant with the CQC’s essential standards, and to explain what will happen once providers are registered.

iPad apps put into rehab at Wirral

iPad apps put into rehab at Wirral:

The patient rehabilitation treatment process at a hospital in the north west of England is set utilise iPad apps.
Patients who have suffered from strokes or undergone ear, nose and throat surgery will benefit from the technological initiative at Wirral Community NHS Trust.
They will also be used for children who have difficulties in communicating.
Clinicians involved in the speech and language... Healthcare Today

How new technology is helping deliver sexual health services

How new technology is helping deliver sexual health services:
Text services, apps and social media are being used to provide advice and information to young people
Three-quarters of 11- to 16-year-olds in the UK have a mobile that can access the internet, and the number is rising rapidly: only a year ago the figure was 65%. More children and young people than ever – some 74% of five to 16-year-olds – have their own laptop or PC and 58% can now access the internet in the privacy of their bedroom. Those figures are up from 62% and 46% respectively just a year ago.
In that context it's no surprise that local authorities, primary care trusts and sexual health charities are increasingly turning to text services, apps and social media to provide advice and information to young people.
"It was increasingly becoming apparent that this is how young people wanted to talk to us," says Brook's Rachael Wyartt, who manages the Ask Brook web, text and phone services.
It makes sense to use the same technologies and social networks that teenagers use to communicate with friends and potential sexual partners, says sex education consultant Barbara Hastings-Asatourian: "This is such an effective and rapid way to share important stuff."
Text messaging services, many offering answers within minutes, are a key area of provision. The award-winning free Txtm8 service, provided by social enterprise Living Well, is used by the London boroughs of Enfield, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Havering.
Local authorities around the country use similar systems. Brook's instant answer text service has been "incredibly successful" since its inception in 2009, says Wyartt, handling 2,000 queries in its first full year, and 5,000 the year after.
Web inquiry services, offering either instant replies or supplying a code that users can input to access their answer when it's ready, are also popular. The guaranteed confidentiality of such a system, with no need to enter an email address, is crucial to reassure potential users, says the Family Planning Association's helpline and information services manager, Lynn Hearton. "Actually writing down quite intimate stuff about your life is a very scary thing; sending it into the ether can make people quite anxious."
The organisation's Ask WES service, which began in 2009, provides answers within three working days, or immediately if the question is urgent. There has been a 46% increase in inquiries between its launch and the year to this April.
In the US, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's (PPFA) live online chat service – targeted at young people aged 15 to 24, particularly those from the African-American and Latino communities – has held more than 65,000 conversations in its first 18 months. One in three users now access the organisation's website from a mobile device; last month it had nearly 1.2 million mobile visitors and nearly 73,000 visits to its Spanish-language mobile site, more than 17,000 of them from Mexico.
"We know that sex education can really make a difference in the decisions young people make — and now we can reach millions more young people with these new digital approaches," says Leslie Kantor, the PPFA's vice president of education.
Studies by the International Planned Parenthood Federation in Peru, Swaziland and Nepal on how to make young people's sexual health centres in the developing world more accessible have found that mobile technology has "immense potential" to draw young people in. "A number of member associations are now beginning to experiment with mobile technology," a spokesman says. "It's too early to provide any conclusive assessment, but early indications are that the approach has considerable potential."
One of the challenges of using such technology in developing countries is that even if the mobile market is booming, as in Africa, phone ownership among teenagers is not guaranteed.
But that doesn't meant the technology can't still be used to improve the quality and uptake of services. At the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, PhD student John Dusabe has developed an SMS system that will see informal village drug stores in the Mwanza region of Tanzania texting local health centres and dispensaries when young people come in seeking help. A unique passcode will then be sent back to the store owner for them to pass on to the client, who can present it to the dispensary to receive a confidential, fast-track service.
"Most of the people who man the drug shops don't have any medical training," Dusabe says. "What we want is for them to refer adolescents to the dispensary for professional treatment, instead of treating them without a prescription."
He's using text messages because they're more efficient than paperwork, which can get lost, and cheaper, in a country where notebooks can be costly. Shops are keen to get involved it because those who do so are set to get licences to sell more drugs. The system will run for 18 months, being evaluated against a control.
Aside from offering advice, mobile technology can be also be used simply to direct young people to their nearest clinic or free condom service, after typing in their postcode, or allowing apps to use GPS to pinpoint the location of their phone.
In Kent, a new app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry works alongside the successful C Card service, which since 2007 has provided young people aged 19 or under access to free condoms given out by sexual health clinics, pharmacies, youth schemes and some school nurses. Now when they register for the scheme they are given a code they can scan to download the free app, which will direct them to the nearest participating outlet.
Around 46,000 teenagers in Kent have already registered for C Cards, which are used around the country. Jo Treharne, citizen engagement manager for NHS Kent and Medway, who came up with the app idea after realising that young people might not want to access information about condoms on home computers their parents might check, says other PCTs have approached her asking if they can use it.
Other apps are educational, often using games or quizzes to teach young people about risks and how to stay safe. One developed for Kent county council by student communications company Youth Media, and being used in schools, consists of a lottery game covering teenage pregnancy, STIs and the HPV vaccine. Since going live last June it has seen more than 23,000 views across 7,500 users. The Guardian

Botox given go-ahead for migraine sufferers

Botox given go-ahead for migraine sufferers:
Nice has reversed its previous opposition and is recommending the injections as a treatment for adults who are badly affected
Botox, best-known for smoothing wrinkles, is to become available on the NHS to thousands of people whose lives are blighted by chronic migraines after a rethink by the drugs rationing body.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) is to recommend the injections as a treatment to stop headaches from developing in adults who are badly affected by migraines.
In final draft guidance issued on Friday, Nice reversed its previous opposition to Botox being used for such patients. In February it said there was too little evidence to justify approving it.
But it is now backing the use of botulinum toxin type A in adults with chronic migraine whose condition has not been alleviated by taking at least three previous preventative medications and who are not overusing medication.
Botox could make a huge difference to some migraine sufferers, headache specialists predicted. "The headache experts with first-hand experience in treating chronic migraine know how debilitating the condition can be for some patients and Botox can be a life-changing treatment," said Dr Fayyaz Ahmed, chair of the British Association for the Study of Headache (Bash).
"The medical evidence shows that Botox can provide significant benefit to patients with chronic migraine, helping to reduce the number of days disrupted by migraine or headache and improving their quality of life," Ahmed added.
Sufferers who have used Botox say it helps them to undertake everyday tasks such as doing the school run, attending meetings or visiting a relative, he said.
Chronic migraine affects an estimated one in 50 people, according to the Migraine Trust. Sufferers endure a headache for at least 15 days a month, and have a migraine on at least eight of them. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licensed Botox for that purpose in 2010.
"Although Botox may not be effective or appropriate for all patients with chronic migraine, the Migraine Trust and Bash believe that it should be available on the NHS for those patients who have been unable to manage their condition with preventative medication and who are most likely to respond to the treatment," the organisations said in a joint statement.
Nice will issue its final guidance in June, but is not expected to change its mind after its independent appraisal committee reviewed the available evidence after the watchdog's initial rejection. After that, the NHS in England and Wales will have 90 days to make Botox available when specialists recommend it. It will cost £349.40 for a 12-week cycle, and sufferers will receive injections in their head and neck.
"Chronic migraine is a disabling condition and in many cases ruins people's lives," said Wendy Thomas, chief executive of the Migraine Trust. "For patients who suffer with this condition Botox may offer a safe and effective preventative treatment option to help them manage and improve their quality of life."
Meanwhile, in a separate decision, Nice has come under fire for refusing to approve a drug, which, in some instances, can help men with advanced prostate cancer live up to three months longer.
Sir Andrew Dillon, Nice's chief executive, said at £22,000 per patient, the drug cabazitaxel, which is marketed as Jevtana, did not represent value for money for the NHS. There are also concerns about its side-effects, he added.
But prostate cancer charities criticised Nice for denying men with the disease one of the few treatments that can potentially help them live longer.
"This decision seeks to limit what we as clinicians can do for our patients and their families," said Professor Jonathan Waxman, an NHS oncologist and the clinical chair in prostate cancer at Imperial College London.
"The cost argument on which Nice bases their decision is false, giving a much higher estimate of true cost than applies in reality. As a result yet another successful and effective cancer treatment is denied our patients, a mortifying blow to cancer care in England." The Guardian

Half of all British men will be obese by 2040, claim experts

Half of all British men will be obese by 2040, claim experts: Nearly half of all men and more than a third of all women will be obese within the next 30 years, experts have warned. The Daily Telegraph

Sleeping pills spending by NHS reaches £50m

Sleeping pills spending by NHS reaches £50m:
A sharp rise in the use of sleeping pills saw NHS spending on the drugs reach nearly £50 million last year, new figures reveal. The Independent