Thursday, 5 July 2012

Health and social care data to integrate

Health and social care data to integrate:
The NHS Information Centre is set to have a national role in integrating health and social care data in a move that will see the two data sets joined up for the first time to aid integrated commissioning under the NHS Commissioning Board’s final information operating model.
The aim is to offer new opportunities to benchmark performance and costs and comes as the board’s commissioning intelligence lead Helen B...Healthcare Today

If patients wait more than 18 weeks they can demand private hospital

If patients wait more than 18 weeks they can demand private hospital:

Health secretary Andrew Lansley looks set to announce that patients can demand to be treated privately if they have to wait more than 18 weeks for NHS care.
In addition, patients who are told they have cancer will be given a legal right to demand a consultation with an alternative provider if they have to wait more than two weeks on the NHS.
Mr Lansley said: “In the last year the NHS has reduced the n...Healthcare Today

Opening up jobs in NHS to students with learning disabilities

Opening up jobs in NHS to students with learning disabilities:
An award-winning workplace familiarisation programme is offering fresh opportunities to college students with learning disabilities
A workplace familiarisation plus placement scheme, set up in 2006 and run by Lancashire teaching hospitals NHS foundation trust, is now offering around 90 students from local colleges placements in hospital roles such as catering, portering, domestic services or support work on a ward.
"We believe this programme to be the only one of its kind in the country," says Stephanie Iaconniani, equality and involvement lead at the trust and a driving force behind the programme which recently won a National Training Award. "People have different skills and abilities, yet people with disabilities are not always given the opportunities they deserve."
Through the eight week programme, students handle splints and oxygen masks, learn resuscitation skills, and try their hand with cleaning, security and catering equipment. Sessions cover health and safety, and equality and diversity, and students involved in the programme have grown in confidence over the course.
A student who took part in the 2006 programme, Scott McNamara, 23, is now a catering assistant at the trust. "I didn't know what I was going to do when I left college," he says. "At first I was nervous and too shy to talk to anyone. I thought just doctors and nurses worked in the hospital. But when they started showing us around catering and portering, I started to enjoy it."
"The course gives students a real insight into the work of all the people who actually make the hospital run," says Chris Fisher, clinical practice educator at the trust. "It also takes a bit of the mystique away, so if either they or a relative comes into hospital they feel more comfortable with the situation."
Over the last few years, students have moved on to paid and voluntary employment, at a local college, a supermarket and as a refuse collector; others volunteer with charities. Some choose to remain at the trust: "I like taking post to the nurses and doctors," says Neil Wilcox, 28 who has worked part-time in the post room since 2007. "It's good learning and seeing different things."
"The opportunities that have been developed make a tremendous difference to young in terms of the skills and employability it gives them," says Stephen Pegg, principal at Cardinal Newman College, "but it also makes a tremendous difference to the employer. They're getting young people who are very committed and very loyal."
The trust is now looking to extend the scheme to other public sector organisations including the county council, police and fire service. "This is a programme that I am very passionate about," says the trust's chief executive Karen Partington. "As a major employer, we want to ensure that our workforce reflects the diversity of the local community and supports people who are often excluded from mainstream employment. The success of the programme makes it an examplar for effective partnership working between the NHS and FE sector."
McNamara agrees. "If I hadn't come on the programme, I probably wouldn't have a job now because of my confidence. Now I do everything that everyone else does, and I enjoy coming to work – I just love it." Guardian

Cancer patients 'may have suffered' as records lost

Cancer patients 'may have suffered' as records lost: Cancer patients may have died or suffered complications after a leading hospital lost their medical records and then played down the risk of them missing life-saving treatment, it has been alleged. Telegraph Health News

Rise in drug-resistant TB cases

Rise in drug-resistant TB cases: Cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) have risen by over a quarter in 2011, the Health Protection Agency says. BBC News

£1bn bailout to NHS trusts in six years

£1bn bailout to NHS trusts in six years:
Struggling NHS trusts have received more than £1bn in emergency bailout funds in the past six years, with a huge gap between the country's strongest and weakest organisations, a new report reveals. Independent

Racist nurses struck off

Racist nurses struck off:
Two nurses who staged a sickening campaign of racist abuse on a hospital ward were kicked out of the profession today, Thursday, July 4. Northants Evening Telegraph

Occupational health services SLA template

Occupational health services SLA template:
This template can be adapted locally for occupational health units to use with their providers. It is fully endorsed by NHS Employers and is currently undergoing Quality Assurance for inclusion on the SEQOHS Knowledge Management System.
Template NHS Employers - news
Kings Fund

Foundation Trust Performance Review Published

Foundation Trust Performance Review Published: Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has today published its review of NHS Foundation Trust performance for the fourth quarter 2011/2012.

NHS spending squeeze on new drugs

NHS spending squeeze on new drugs: Source: PharmaTimes

According to a PharmaTimes report,  the Office of Health Economics has forecast an NHS spending squeeze on innovative medicines over the next three years.  
The annual drugs bill in the UK is currently around £10 billion, which equates to approximately 10% of NHS expenditure, having risen around 3.5% a year between 2007 and 2011.  
However,  figures suggest that whilst the total amount spent on the NHS is set to climb by 2.5% a year between 2011 and 2015, cash sunk into new innovative branded medicines will rise by just 1.3%.  
And while the total medicines spend is predicted to grow around 3.7% annually up to 2015, in three years' time drugs launched between 2012 and 2015 are expected to account for less than 2% of this expenditure.  
These figures have consequently sparked concern throughout the research-based pharmaceutical industry that the NHS is not investing enough on the most innovative medicines and that patients in the ...NELM News

Unused medication a huge cost to NHS

Unused medication a huge cost to NHS:

Unused medication returned to pharmacists could be costing the NHS as much as £150 million a year.
Drugs returned to the chemist cannot be re-used and is incinerated rather than re-dispensedThe NHS spends £12bn a year in England on medicines, about a tenth of its budget, with £8bn of that spent in primary care.
The figures come at a time that the NHS is having to make £20bn in savings and also...Healthcare Today

Consultation on new care objectives for improving health and healthcare

Consultation on new care objectives for improving health and healthcare:
New objectives for the improvement of health and healthcare have been set out for public consultation.
‘Our NHS care objectives: a draft mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board’, sets out Health Secretary Andrew Lansley’s expectations for the health service and marks the move to a more patient-centred, independent, transparent and outcomes focused NHS.
The mandate aims to:
  • set care objectives that really matter to people
  • ensure that patients continue to receive high quality care every time – care that is effective, safe and results in patients having as positive an experience as possible
  • make sure that there is clear accountability and a transparent way to tell whether the Board is getting results
  • set out a clear expectation for continual improvement across the health service.
Find out more about the draft mandate and the consultation
The care objectives are set out in five domains that broadly cover the range of work the NHS does:
  • preventing premature deaths – helping people live longer
  • supporting people with a long term condition to look after themselves
  • supporting people through their recovery from episodes of ill health or injury
  • making sure that people have a positive experience of care in the NHS
  • treating people in a clean, safe, environment and protecting them from unnecessary harm.
These are standards that the Health Secretary expects to continue and improve.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
‘In the past there has been too much focus on systems and processes rather than people. For the first time the mandate will focus on holding the health service to account for results that make a difference to people.
‘Objectives for improving care will be shaped by what the public needs and will be one of the most important ways the Government can hold the new system to account.’
Department of Health

Health Secretary’s annual report on the NHS and public health published

Health Secretary’s annual report on the NHS and public health published:
The Secretary of State’s annual report has been published today, a year earlier than is required by law, in order to enable Parliament and the public to see the direction the NHS is heading. From 1 April 2013, the Secretary of State for Health will be under a new duty to produce the annual report relating to the performance of the health service in England, which will be laid before Parliament. The Health Secretary’s annual report will be the principal method by which Parliament will hold the Health Secretary to account for the performance of the health service in England.
The National Health Service and Public Health Service in England: Secretary of State’s Annual Report 2011/2012 covers a wide range of achievements from across the health service,  including:
  • 96 per cent of patients spending less than 4 hours waiting in A&E
  • 212 clinical commissioning groups on their way to being authorised by January next year
  • 12,500 patients helped to access the cancer drugs previously denied them.
  • £400 million invested to complete the roll out of the improving access to physcological therapies (IAPT)
  • MRSA infections down 24.7 per cent and C difficile infections down 17 per cent, the lowest levels since mandatory surveillance began.
Department of Health

Report outlines effect of the NHS Constitution

Report outlines effect of the NHS Constitution:
A report on the effect of the NHS Constitution on patients, staff, carers and members of the public has been published today by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. The report will inform efforts to fully embed the Constitution throughout the NHS.
The report seeks to clarify the effect of the NHS Constitution on those who use NHS services and who work in the NHS. It considers whether, and to what extent, the Constitution has made a difference to patients, staff, carers and the public, and examines the degree to which it is succeeding in its aims.
The independent NHS Future Forum, chaired by Professor Steve Field, advised the Health Secretary on the effect of the Constitution and outlined the need to raise awareness, and promote real understanding about, and use of, the Constitution.
Public awareness of the Constitution remains generally low and there is little evidence that patients use it as a means of exercising their rights. Staff awareness of the NHS Constitution is significantly higher than among the public but still few feel well informed about it.
In its advice to the Health Secretary, the Future Forum said:
‘We take heart from the fact that staff who are most informed about the NHS Constitution are also the most likely to value and champion it; and from the extent to which people in the East of England have become aware of the Constitution, showing the effectiveness of efforts made there. It is also clear that, when shared with different groups, the Constitution has the power to enthuse and galvanise people.’
The Future Forum will now consider how the Constitution can be strengthened and reinforced for the future, in terms of both content and awareness.
The NHS Future Forum will present its advice to the Government in the autumn. Following this, there will be a public consultation on any changes to strengthen the Constitution so that patients, staff and the public have the chance to have their say.
Read the report on the effect of the NHS Constitution
Read the letter to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley from Professor Steve Field of the NHS Future Forum
Read the awareness survey NHS Constitution Wave 3 Report

Department of Health