Monday, 14 May 2012

Ambulance station plans opposed

Ambulance station plans opposed: More than 1,000 people sign a petition in Northamptonshire opposing plans to cut the number of ambulance stations in the East Midlands. BBC News

Medicine costs at hospital rocket

Medicine costs at hospital rocket:
THE cost of medicines purchased by Kettering Hospital has risen more than 20 per cent in just two years. Evening Telegraph

Exclusive: Radical shake up of child protection planned for Northamptonshire

Exclusive: Radical shake up of child protection planned for Northamptonshire:
RADICAL plans are in motion for a major shake-up of the way child protection work is managed in Northamptonshire, the Chron can reveal. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Sustainable health and social care: a briefing for commissioners

Sustainable health and social care: a briefing for commissioners:
It sets out the key policy and operational drivers for a sustainable development approach to health and social care design and delivery. This includes specific detail regarding climate change and other environmental issues, but also covers social and economic sustainability. NHS Networks

Patients 'treated in corridors'

Patients 'treated in corridors': Patients are being treated in corridors and left for hours on trolleys due in part to a reduction in hospital beds, the Royal College of Nursing claims. BBC News

Only one in five eats five a day

Only one in five eats five a day: Just one in five Britons is eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, a poll for World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) suggests. BBC News

Warning against making IG a ?black art?

Warning against making IG a ?black art?: Information Governance is turned into a "black art" by some people in the NHS who use it as a barrier to sharing information, an Information Commissioner's Office spokesperson said. E-Health Insider

Safety must be number one priority as NHS faces strain

Safety must be number one priority as NHS faces strain: Responding to the Royal College of Nursing's ICM Research polling, NHS Confederation chief executive said patient safety has to be the priority as the NHS faces major challenges

Unsung heroes: developing a better understanding of the emotional support needs of Service families

Unsung heroes: developing a better understanding of the emotional support needs of Service families:
Armed Forces families must be better supported to deal with the emotional and psychological impact of deployment, according to this report. It calls for urgent research into alcohol misuse, domestic violence and the impact of mental health problems on the partners and children of Service personnel and veterans. It argues that while progress is being made to address the psychological needs of Service personnel and veterans themselves, the practical and emotional impact on their partners and children must also be taken into consideration. It also examines the services already in place for families and identifies areas where more evidence, about both the need for services to support families and the effectiveness of these services, is needed.

Too many people are narrow-minded when considering the lifestyle of people with disabilities

Too many people are narrow-minded when considering the lifestyle of people with disabilities: Christine Burke, Senior Development Manager, Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities comments on a recent report, ‘Fighting Back’, by the MS society which unveils British public’s ignorance about disabled people. Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities

NHS community care struggling to cope with demand, survey shows

NHS community care struggling to cope with demand, survey shows:
Royal College of Nursing claims 61,113 posts in the NHS have been lost or placed at risk since April 2010
District nurses and health visitors are facing job cuts, rising workloads and less time to care for patients, despite pledges by ministers that NHS community services would be boosted to relieve the pressure on overstretched hospitals.
A dossier of evidence assembled by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), which represents the UK's 400,000 nurses, reveals that NHS services outside of hospitals are struggling to cope with growing demand brought on by the ageing population, hospital bed shortages and staff cutbacks.
The union also claims that a total of 61,113 posts in the NHS across the UK have been lost or placed at risk since April 2010, as the service undergoes a financial squeeze, including a £20bn efficiency savings drive in England by 2015.
The findings come as the health secretary, Andrew Lansley, prepares to address RCN members at the opening of its annual congress in Harrogateon Monday. Lansley's appearance comes a year after 98% of delegates backed a vote of no confidence in him at their last congress in Liverpool, amid widespread hostility to his controversial health and social care bill.
According to the UK-wide RCN survey, almost nine out of 10 NHS community nurses (89%) have seen their caseload rise over the last year, while 59% said they were spending less time with their patients than this time last year.
Some 68% said staffing levels had fallen where they worked, while 86% reported that patients were being discharged from hospital more quickly than before.
"These results raise major concerns about the capacity of community services to deal with an increasing number of acutely ill patients," the RCN document says. "Despite the stated intentions of politicians across the UK and all the advice from health experts, the RCN found very little clear evidence of this shift actually happening on the ground.
"The acute sector may be getting smaller but the community sector is not expanding to 'take up the slack' and is vulnerable to short-term cuts."
Dr Peter Carter, the RCN's general secretary and chief executive, said NHS community services were "overburdened, under-invested and at risk from cutbacks". In England, the NHS community nursing workforce fell in 2011, with 1,995 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors employed, official NHS statistics show.
Cuts to district nursing were "a false economy", said Carter, because these services saved the NHS money by keeping elderly or patients with long-term conditions out of hospital. Social care budget cuts also put pressure on them and other NHS community personnel, he added.
"This worrying survey shows that the NHS is coming under attack from every possible angle. Services are clearly being cut at both ends – in hospitals and in the community – and that is a very dangerous path for the NHS to take," said Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary. "If hospital beds and wards are closing, it is essential that community services are protected. The government's failure to ensure that suggests there is no clear plan for the efficiency challenge and haphazard cuts are being made across the system."
But Simon Burns, the NHS minister, said ministers did not recognise the RCN's job loss figures – reiterating the response he has given each time the union has produced an updated estimate of the total number of posts set to disappear. The RCN insisted its statistics had been strictly certified and were based on official NHS information.
There are only 450 fewer qualified nurses working in the NHS now than in September 2009, while 2,300 community nurses and health visitors are being trained this year, double the number of the year before, Burns said.
"The health and social care act will make shifting care out of hospitals and closer to people's homes simpler. No one should stay in hospital longer than they need to and we are already investing £300m to help people return to their homes with the support that they need more quickly after a spell in hospital," he added. The Guardian

Diabetes care in 'state of crisis'

Diabetes care in 'state of crisis':
Second-rate diabetes care putting sufferers at increased risk of health complications and early death, charity warns
Diabetes care in England is in a "state of crisis", with fewer than half of people with the condition getting the basic minimum support, a report warns.
According to the State of the Nation 2012 report, published on Monday by Diabetes UK, there are some areas where just 6% of people with diabetes are getting the regular checks and services recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).
The report details how not getting these checks has helped fuel a rise in rates of diabetes-related complications such as amputation, blindness, kidney failure and stroke.
These complications account for about 80% of NHS spending on diabetes and are one of the main reasons that treating the condition costs about 10% of the NHS budget, Diabetes UK said.
The national service framework for diabetes – setting out the healthcare diabetes patients should get – has been in place for 11 years but has not become a reality, it warns.
Diabetes UK is calling on the government to urgently deliver a plan to implement these standards.
Barbara Young, chief executive of the charity, said: "We already know that diabetes is costing the NHS a colossal amount of money, but this report shows how, in exchange for this investment, we are getting second-rate healthcare that is putting people with diabetes at increased risk of tragic complications and early death.
"Whether showing the number of children with type 1 diabetes who are only diagnosed at accident and emergency, or highlighting the thousands of preventable diabetes-related amputations performed every year, the report shows that diabetes healthcare has drifted into a state of crisis. It is a compelling case for change.
"Above all, the wide variation in standards of care shows the need for a national plan to be put in place for giving people with diabetes the kind of healthcare that can help prevent complications, as well as a greater focus on preventing type 2 diabetes."
She added: "This kind of approach is the only way to prevent what is a looming national health disaster.
"With the number of people with diabetes rising so rapidly, unless urgent action is taken now, this rising tide threatens to sink the NHS." The Guardian
Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "There is still much to be done to help tackle diabetes and root out poor care. That is why we are working on a new long-term conditions strategy with diabetes as an exemplar.
"Our focus is on prevention and education, with more done to get earlier diagnoses and to help people manage their conditions themselves.
"This report and our new strategy will help local NHS services act so that diabetics get the care they need and deserve."t to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

NHS pays 'extortionate' 328 per cent mark-up on printer parts

NHS pays 'extortionate' 328 per cent mark-up on printer parts: The NHS is paying "extortionate" prices for basic computer equipment and services, with dealers collecting profit margins of up to 328 per cent, a study has found. The Daily Telegraph

Alternative medicines 'potentially unsafe'

Alternative medicines 'potentially unsafe': Alternative medicines should be treated with real caution because there is no real way of knowing if they are safe, according to Britain's foremost expert on the subject. The Daily Telegraph

Ministers set to order inquiry into care homes

Ministers set to order inquiry into care homes:
Ministers have warned they are considering a full inquiry into the failings of state-run children's homes in the wake of last week's chilling sex-abuse case in Rochdale. The Independent

Medical and social security records being stored unlawfully and inappropriately accessed, statistics show

Medical and social security records being stored unlawfully and inappropriately accessed, statistics show:
Medical and social security records kept by public bodies are being unlawfully or inappropriately accessed dozens of times a month and hundreds of civil servants disciplined for data offences, according to Government records. The Independent

Doctors vote on industrial action over pension reforms

Doctors vote on industrial action over pension reforms:
Doctors will start voting today on whether to take their first industrial action since the 1970s, in a dramatic escalation of the bitter dispute over the Government's controversial pension reforms. The Independent