Thursday, 17 May 2012

Northamptonshire doctor banned from working for the NHS over deadly spider venom probe

Northamptonshire doctor banned from working for the NHS over deadly spider venom probe:
A GP from Northamptonshire who was banned from working for the NHS after trying to buy deadly venom from the black widow spider and death stalker scorpion insists she is the victim of a ‘set-up’. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Integrated care and why the NHS needs more deviant leaders | Chris Ham

Integrated care and why the NHS needs more deviant leaders | Chris Ham: If integrated care is to emerge at scale and pace, the NHS needs more positive deviants. (15 May 2012) Kings Fund

Preparation for commissioning picks up pace – Barbara Hakin

The pace is picking up now in terms of establishing CCGs, with less than ten months left until the new system goes live in April 2013.
Across the country, groups of practices have been coming together and identifying the shape and configuration of their CCG.  It is a fantastic achievement that these geographies are now sorted and we have emerging CCGs covering the whole of England coming forward for authorisation.
The reforms are based very firmly on three key principles; that patients in their communities should be at the heart of everything we do; that clinicians should be in the driving seat in shaping services; and that we should focus on outcomes based on sound evidence.  CCGs are the cornerstone of delivering these aspirations.  GP practices know their patients and largely serve specific communities with whom the practice has had a relationship for many years.  They already act as the hub of care for their patients; linking patients with other clinicians and ensuring that, through the registered list and the single lifelong record, all the care patients receive is coordinated in one place.  This model is envied around the world and is key to delivering better care, better experience, better outcomes and improved safety.  So it is only logical that these practices should be at the heart of determining how the range of local services can best meet their patients’ needs.
But good commissioning is mainly about bringing together all those with expertise and an interest in care in order to arrange the services which can deliver these quality outcomes.  So the responsibility on the CCG to involve patients and the public, and the full range of health and social care colleagues, is huge.
There is also lots going on to shape the rest of the commissioning system.  This means putting in place all the elements of the NHS CB’s own architecture, the national support office, regional teams and local area teams.  The NHS CB will be responsible for ensuring the whole commissioning system works well together and that the £80bn of taxpayers’ money is turned into the best possible outcomes for patients.  It will support and oversee CCGs who will have the majority of this resource, as well as commissioning specialised services, primary care, prison and military health services, as well as many public health services on behalf of Public Health England.
Another key plank of the systems will be dedicated commissioning support units.   While CCGs will be able to buy their support services from whoever they choose, we need to ensure they have the full range available to them from day one.  Many independent and third sector organisations can offer fantastic niche commissioning support or highly sophisticated tools and products to aid commissioners.  But the capacity and capability to deliver the full range of commissioning support sits with high experienced individuals currently in PCTs, and we must ensure this expertise is supported to deliver the best range of services from which CCGs can choose.
In the final analysis, our success will be predicated on whether healthcare services deliver better outcomes which meet local needs, whether these services deliver integrated care, and whether local communities feel they have a real voice in shaping services which suite them.  The key vehicle in ensuring this happens will be the local health and wellbeing board.  These vital structures are still in their early development  but need to be the focal point for communities, bringing together patient and public representatives, alongside all the players who commission or provide care in the locality, in one place in order to ascertain the needs of the population and outline the overarching strategic plan on which individual components will be based.
There is still much to do in a relatively short space of time.  But much is already in place, and we should be optimistic that this greater clinical and patient engagement will bring about the changes we need to see in order to keep improving the quality of care in this difficult economic environment.
GPs and their practices have been placed centre stage in this arena in a way we have never seen previously.  CCGs will only be successful if the majority of practices seize this opportunity and make the CCG their own.  Their leaders are already emerging, trusted to oversee much of the day to day aspects of clinical commissioning.  But without the support of the majority of their practice colleagues their task will be too great.  It is the action of all GPs and their practice teams through their connection with their patients, and all others who care for them, which will create a wealth of collective experience which will make the difference. NHS Commissioning Board

Ambulance changes ''may save 150 lives''

Ambulance changes ''may save 150 lives'': A new way that 999 calls are received will prioritise call-outs to the most critically ill patients Public Service

Nurses fear spending cuts will put people with learning disabilities at risk

Nurses fear spending cuts will put people with learning disabilities at risk: Three in four nurses have seen cuts to services in their area in the past year, survey revealsNurses who work with people with learning disabilities have "real concerns" about the safety of their clients because of cuts in services, according to a study published on Wednesday.A survey of 500 nurses revealed that three out of four saw spending cuts to services in their area in the past year. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said its survey also uncovered cuts in the range of services offered, such ...

Race equality in mental health

Race equality in mental health: This Briefing summarises the findings and recommendations from a recent report, commissioned by the Department of Health, into race equality in mental health. The report is based on a series of interviews with NHS and local authority leaders. NHS Confederation

Smart guides to engagement

Smart guides to engagement:
The next set of guides in this series of 10 have been published. This set covers practices and patient engagement; listening, learning and responding; and community development and population health.

NHS 'should consider giving statins to healthy people' - BBC News

NHS 'should consider giving statins to healthy people' - BBC News:

BBC News

NHS 'should consider giving statins to healthy people'
BBC News
The Oxford researchers says the NHS should consider giving statins to healthy people. The NHS drugs watchdog, NICE, is reviewing the evidence. However, statins have been linked to side-effects such as kidney failure. They are among the most widely ...
Statins could benefit health of millionsThe Guardian
All over 50s should be taking

all 16 news articles »

Why today's NHS leaders need to be more engaging

Why today's NHS leaders need to be more engaging:
High quality leadership is more important than ever, a King's Fund report has judged. It recommends a shift away from traditional 'heroic' leadership towards a more engaging style
The NHS is facing some of its biggest financial and quality challenges since its inception. An ageing population poses significant challenges to our health care system. The increase in demand means that the NHS needs to make efficiency savings worth £20bn by 2015. Older people are more likely to have complex conditions, requiring better co-ordination and integration of care. Never before has effective leadership and management been so vital for our healthcare system.
In May last year, the King's Fund published a report, called No More Heroes, into the future of leadership. It found that, contrary to prevailing assumptions, the NHS was not over-managed. Cuts in management will result in the loss of thousands of experienced leaders at a time when their expertise is most needed to secure essential productivity gains.
The report also found that a shift away from the strong heroic leader model relied upon to meet targets was needed. It judged that leaders are far more likely to meet today's challenges, and deliver better results financially and in terms of quality of care, by engaging populations, patients, carers and staff. More engaging leadership styles will also be important in enabling patients and their families to receive better co-ordinated care across systems.
This approach to leadership was also explored by the NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which used a medical scale to measure levels of engagement amongst clinicians. Initially working with 30 hospitals, the study concluded that there was a very strong association between medical engagement and clinical and financial performance, as assessed by the Care Quality Commission.
The new national structures, such as the NHS Commissioning Board and Leadership Academy, will have a key role to play in developing leadership across the systems but, importantly, local NHS bodies and local authorities will be instrumental in embedding it throughout the system.
There are already some exciting programmes working on real challenges within communities. In Surrey, clinicians are focusing on optimising the care of the frail elderly, working with the King's Fund on a whole system leadership programme.
The work has encompassed social care, community providers, GPs, mental health and acute care along with nursing homes. This is just one example where openness and communication amongst a multitude of players is at the core of effective and sustainable change in pursuit of delivering high value care.
The challenges for the NHS and local government to continue to enhance the range and quality of services within a very challenging fiscal environment requires the very highest quality of leadership. The case for a more distributed and engaging style of leadership is compelling and needs to be the norm now more than ever before.
The King's Fund is holding its second annual summit on leadership and management on 23 May and will be publishing a follow-up to the No More Heroes report at the event.
Guardian Professional.

Number of elderly receiving free home care falls by 11 per cent

Number of elderly receiving free home care falls by 11 per cent: Cuts to social care budgets have been blamed for an 11 per cent fall in the number of vulnerable people who have their care services paid for by their local authority, it was reported. The Daily Telegraph

Giving patients choice 'will drive hospital closures'

Giving patients choice 'will drive hospital closures': Hospitals will close under Government plans to give patients more choice about where they are treated in a drive to push up NHS standards, senior health figures have admitted. The Daily Telegraph

'No excuse' for diabetes errors

'No excuse' for diabetes errors:
Almost one in three diabetic hospital patients are victims of medication errors that can cause dangerous blood glucose levels, a report has found. The Independent