Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Race equality in mental health

Race equality in mental health:
The report is based on a series of interviews with NHS and local authority leaders.
Ensuring that more people have good mental health, and more people recover, means we must focus on tackling inequalities in access and experience. Some black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, particularly people from black African and black Caribbean backgrounds, have historically experienced poorer outcomes than the rest of the population. Some groups continue to have higher rates of admission to inpatient units and greater rates of detention than the rest of the population.

NHS trust fined for data breach

NHS trust fined for data breach: An NHS trust is fined £90,000 after details of 59 patients were mistakenly sent to a member of the public.BBC News

Patients 'suffer NHS rationing'

Patients 'suffer NHS rationing': Creeping rationing of NHS care is making patients suffer unnecessarily, doctors are warning. BBC News

The power of information: putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need

The power of information: putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need:
This information strategy from the Department of Health sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for the NHS, public health and social care. One of the key commitments is that patients will be able to view their GP record online by 2015.

Hospital food will improve

Hospital food will improve:

The Health Secretary has told the BBC that the government is working on improving "buying standards" for hospital food given to patients in the NHS.Andrew Lansley informed the Andrew Marr Show that the government's efforts would mean "better nutrition for patients".He said that during the time the Labour government was in power from 2001 to 2010, the amount of patients who suffered from maln... Healthcare Today

King's Fund warns of challenges to new NHS information strategy

King's Fund warns of challenges to new NHS information strategy:
NHS commissioners will find it 'challenging' to invest in IT to meet new government strategy, says think-tank
The King's Fund has warned that implementation of the government's long-awaited NHS information strategy raises technical and financial challenges and will rely on the pace and scale of local take up.
"While we welcome the ambition and direction of the strategy, at a time of unprecedented financial constraint, some commissioners and providers will find it challenging to invest in developing information systems rather than frontline services," said Dr Veena Raleigh, a senior fellow at the health think-tank.
"The goal of linking health and social care records is the right one and is vital for facilitating integrated care to meet the needs of older people and those with chronic conditions. However, while there are some outstanding examples of linking records across services to draw on, implementing this on a national scale raises technical and financial challenges and much will depend on the pace and scale of local take up."
Titled, The power of information: putting all of us in control of the health and care information we need, the document says that the success of the strategy depends as much on a culture shift – in the way patients, users of services and professionals think, work and interact – as it does on data or IT systems.
Intended as a 10-year framework to transform information for health and care, and a response to the consultation on Liberating the NHS: an information revolution, the strategy sets out deadlines for changes.
By 2015, all general practices will be expected to enable patients to book and cancel appointments, order repeat prescriptions, and access their records online.
Currently more then 50% of general practices use IT systems that are capable of providing patients with electronic access to their own records, but less than 1% offer this service.
The document also sets out an aim to develop integrated health and social care networks, when technology is available to enable this. It acknowledges that many health and social care IT systems currently have their own 'standards' and do not work together.
"Using digital and online services can simplify the more routine aspects of care, such as booking appointments, requesting repeat prescriptions, or self-assessment for social care," says health secretary Andrew Lansley in a forward to the document.
"The strategy sets out ways to reduce the frustrations we experience, such as repeating or recording the same information many times for different staff, or travelling long distances for services that could be delivered better in other ways."
The document acknowledges, however, that some GPs may decide that they can only provide online access to records from a specific date onward, rather than access to historical information "which may not have been written with patient access in mind".
By 2014 the Department of Health and NHS Commissioning Board will pilot new ways to promote the use of integrated barcode medication administration systems in care homes. The results will inform the planning of wider implementation.
From 2013 a single portal will bring together information and online services currently provided by NHS Choices, NHS Direct online, NHS 111 online content and Healthspace. The plan is that, together with the 999 and 111 telephone services, it will be one of only three main ways for patients to access help and information about health and social care.
In terms of taking the strategy forward, actions such as setting common standards to allow information to flow effectively around the system, will be led nationally.
More detailed implementation planning will be led by organisations including the NHS Commissioning Board, the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, and Public Health England.
"This strategy represents a detailed repudiation of the centralised National Programme for IT," said SA Mathieson, a senior healthcare analyst for market intelligence provider Kable. "In future, except for some national infrastructure, it will be up to individual trusts and surgeries to equip themselves, although there will be some financial help from the department.
"Patients should get a much better service online, but the careful choice of 'digital first' rather than 'digital by default' recognises that many NHS users will want to use offline methods for many years to come."
Guardian Professional.

Growing number of hospital patients are malnourished when they die

Growing number of hospital patients are malnourished when they die: The number of people dying in hospital while malnourished has risen by half in 10 years, affecting more than 2,500 people in a decade, official figures have shown. The Daily Telegraph

Jobseekers NHS patient care scheme 'health care on the cheap'

Jobseekers NHS patient care scheme 'health care on the cheap': A scheme in which unpaid jobseekers help deliver patient care on NHS hospital wards was attacked last night as being akin to health care "on the cheap". The Daily Telegraph

Patients able to compare treatment by GPs online

Patients able to compare treatment by GPs online:
Patients will be able to compare the performance of their local family doctors and nearby hospitals on a single website, under plans to bring the NHS into the information age. The Independent

Budget cuts may hit free IVF treatment

Budget cuts may hit free IVF treatment:
Tens of thousands more infertile couples could be entitled to free IVF treatment on the NHS from later this year, but budget shortfalls mean many are likely to find themselves excluded. The Independent

New website to help clinicians integrate physical and mental healthcare

New website to help clinicians integrate physical and mental healthcare:
Four medical royal colleges have launched a new website giving health professionals easy access to clinical resources to support the provision of integrated physical and mental health care.
A strong body of evidence shows that mental illness is associated with poor physical health. People with mental illness die on average 5-10 years younger than the general population, and people with medical unexplained symptoms account for around 20% of new presentations in primary care. Yet it can be hard for clinicians to find the right information to help them address these issues.
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