Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Northamptonshire has 692,000 people, census shows

Northamptonshire has 692,000 people, census shows:
The population of Northampton is about 212,000 people according to official census data released on Monday morning. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Northamptonshire’s ambulance service saved 221 cardiac arrest patients

Northamptonshire’s ambulance service saved 221 cardiac arrest patients:
East Midlands Ambulance Service resuscitated 221 cardiac arrest patients in 11 months, new statistics show today. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Elderly resident had no pain relief for five days at Northamptonshire nursing home

Elderly resident had no pain relief for five days at Northamptonshire nursing home:
An elderly resident at a Northamptonshire nursing home was denied pain relief for five days, inspectors found. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

England and Wales population up

England and Wales population up: The population of England and Wales has reached 56.1 million, a rise of 3.7 million in a decade, the 2011 Census shows. BBC News

Most schemes to cut unplanned admissions do not work

Most schemes to cut unplanned admissions do not work: Most interventions designed to cut unplanned admissions fail to do so, and only a few techniques focused on specific groups are effective, researchers have found. GP Online

Update on education and training reform

Update on education and training reform: Progress on the reform of the education and training system is outlined in a letter to NHS leaders from Debbie Mellor, deputy director workforce education at the Department of Health. NHS Employers

BMJ report: Only a fifth of NHS underspend will be carried into next year's budget

BMJ report: Only a fifth of NHS underspend will be carried into next year's budget:
According to a report in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the NHS in England underspent its budget by £1.7bn in 2011-12; however only 18% of this (£0.3bn) was surrendered through the budget exchange system, which allows departments that underspend (up to a "reasonable limit") in any financial year to get an equivalent increase the next year. The same happened the previous year, when the NHS underspend was £900m, of which only £400m was rolled over, the rest going back to the Treasury.
The Department of Health says that a large part of the 2011-12 underspend was the result of cuts in management costs of £1bn and in spending on information technology by £0.4bn. The health minister commented that the amount spent on "frontline services" in 2011-12 had risen by £3.4bn, and that "While spending has increased on patients, we have reduced inefficient spending, saving over £1.5bn on bureaucracy and IT". British Medical Journal (BMJ)

Guide to health records access

Guide to health records access:
This guide is about shared Personal Health Records (PHRs) - a new development with potential to facilitate a step change in the extent to which individuals are involved in managing, and making decisions about, their health. It is aimed at practitioners, managers and patient organisations in health and social care in the UK. It gives a vision for the future of PHRs, and an understanding of some of the challenges and barriers which must be overcome in order to realise their full potential. It points to solutions to these barriers and is, in effect, a call to action.

Care now and for the future: an inquiry into social care

Care now and for the future: an inquiry into social care:
This paper was written in response to the Care and Support white paper and draft bill and it identifies a roadmap of practical reforms to prevent the social care system being placed on the 'critical list'. It makes recommendations on what can be done between now and 2015 to reform the care system and meet current funding challenges.

Rapid access to treatment and rehabilitation for NHS staff

Rapid access to treatment and rehabilitation for NHS staff:
Rapid access is a system which will secure rehabilitation and occupational health treatment for NHS employees with a view to facilitating a return to work which is as fast as practical and reasonable. This guidance is intended for trust boards making decisions about how to manage rapid access services for staff in their organisation.

Cataract surgery cuts

Cataract surgery cuts:

NHS trusts have placed "harsh restrictions" on cataract surgery which could affect many elderly patients, the Daily Mail reports.The paper said the amount of cataract surgeries being carried out by the NHS had fallen by more than 25% in some regions of the country.Research published by the Royal National Institute of Blind People showed more than 50% of health service trusts had put in force ... Healthcare Today

The Channel 4 Goes Mad season challenges mental health stigma - The Guardian

The Channel 4 Goes Mad season challenges mental health stigma - The Guardian:

The Guardian
The Channel 4 Goes Mad season challenges mental health stigma
The Guardian
Viewers are invited to make their own judgment, as they watch potential employers and psychiatrists observe candidates and try to determine who is the most employable, without any knowledge of their health history. Channel 4 Goes Mad begins next week ...

How learning disability liaison nurses are transforming patient care

How learning disability liaison nurses are transforming patient care:
Amid concerns that similar roles will be lost in the NHS reforms, we celebrate the work and impact of the specialist nurses
Specialist learning disability liaison nurse Jainab Desai is making meticulous checks of the complex arrangements to receive a tricky patient with learning disabilities, with staff of the day surgery unit at Royal Bolton hospital.
She has worked for weeks with staff, family and carers of the profoundly disabled and terrified woman (who needs a vascular procedure). This is to make sure that the patient will not freak at the entrance to the operating theatre, forcing the cancellation of the operation.
Desai has identified a hospital back entrance that the patient will not recognise and organised a screened alcove to be equipped like a sitting room for waiting. Most importantly, two consultants will follow the vascular surgeon, while the patient (a diabetic) is still under anaesthetic, to carry out vital retinopathy and dental checks she would not receive in any other way. A check the next day reveals a resounding success.
"The key objective is a successful health outcome," says Desai. "But you want it to happen with a positive experience for the learning disabled patient and minimum distress. It only works in this hospital, because there's commitment from the top down."
At any time Desai could be co-ordinating the care of up to six people with learning disabilities at Royal Bolton hospital. This is set to rise as researchers predict that the numbers of people with learning disabilities in the UK will increase by 14% between 2001 and 2021. They are also 58 times more likely to die aged under 50, often of preventable causes.
The fight to get specialists such as Desai into integrated posts in acute settings has been hard won. She was already in post in 2007 when Mencap's explosive report Death By Indifference, highlighted the cases of six people with learning disabilities believed to have died unnecessarily as a result of receiving worse healthcare than people without learning disabilities. She was a rare breed at the time.
Sir Jonathan Michael's report, Healthcare for All (2008) added fuel to Mencap's campaign by identifying gaps between the law, policy and the delivery of effective services for people with learning disabilities.
Since then progress has been made – 79% of acute settings have a nurse appointed to this kind of role – but there is concern that these roles will be sacrificed in the scramble to reorganise the NHS against a background of service cuts. Mencap's report earlier this year (74 Deaths And Counting), reveals continued institutional discrimination in the NHS towards people with a learning disability.
The Royal College of Nursing's nursing advisor for learning disabilities, Ann Norman, already knows of cuts to at least four UK's consultant nurse roles (of around 35). An RCN survey of 500 disability nurses in May showed that three out of four were experiencing cuts in services. Reports from primary care echo this. Norman says: "We are having to run to keep up, to protect frontline services."
Desai's role is a model of what learning disability campaigners want to keep in place. Based in the hospital since 2006, she works in partnership with the integrated service run by Bolton council, carers, staff in community posts and patients themselves to smooth their way into hospital and ensure they receive the best and most appropriate care.
This means knowing who is being admitted, tweaking the services to accommodate them and visiting the wards during their stay. She is also on hand to help staff with emergencies.
Much of Desai's work is about training. At first many staff could not recognise learning disability, let alone deal with it. Now, most of them understand and accommodate their needs. This could be by creating a low-stimulation area for a hypersensitive person, bringing in a parent to teach nurses how to feed an autistic patient with rigid behaviour patterns, or simply arranging for an elderly parent to stay with their disabled offspring overnight.
She's also worked with the PALS services to produce a hospital passport, detailing specific care needs such as eating and drinking. Her work is incorporated into the fabric of the hospital's work, through her role as Safeguarding Adults lead.
This is a complete change from the way the Blackburn-born nurse started out, doing some of her early training in Calderstones – one of the large Victorian institutions where most people with learning disabilities then lived.
She is passionate about her work: "It is also about their families. I have seen how parents struggle with an adult offspring who is not sleeping and self-harming because they can not communicate their pain."
The fear of campaigners for learning disabilities is that a combination of cuts and NHS reorganisation will see posts and services go. Mencap's national officer, Beverley Dawkins, sees this as reflecting fundamental attitudes: "When they get services right for people with learning disabilities, they get them right for a whole lot of others, like the elderly and people with dementia and stroke victims."
Mencap is now working on a primary care charter aimed at commissioning CCGs. Dawkins adds: "We're actively trying to influence the new NHS structure." Guardian Professional.

Deadly drugs still given to the elderly

Deadly drugs still given to the elderly: Elderly patients in some parts of England are six times more likely to be prescribed potentially deadly drugs than in other areas, official figures show. The Daily Telegraph

Trainee doctors 'fear for patient safety'

Trainee doctors 'fear for patient safety':
One in 20 junior doctors is concerned about patient safety at the place where they train, it has emerged. The Independent