This blog covers the latest UK health care news, publications, policy announcements, events and information focused on the NHS, as well as the latest media stories and local news coverage of the NHS Trusts in Northamptonshire.
Acute hospitals, mental health services, community trusts, ambulance services and primary care organisations report incidents to the NRLS where any patient could have been harmed or has suffered any level of harm. The data published today sees an increase of 12.8% in the number of incidents reported compared to the same six month period in the previous year. This increase shows the NHS is continuing to be more open and transparent around the reporting of patient safety incidents.
The reporting of incidents to a national central system helps protect patients from avoidable harm by increasing opportunities to learn from mistakes and where things go wrong. The NHS uses these reports to identify and take action to prevent emerging patterns of incidents on a national level via patient safety alerts. These alerts are a crucial part of the NHS’ work to rapidly alert the healthcare system to risks and to provide guidance on preventing potential incidents that may lead to avoidable harm or death.
Incident reporting is also important at a local level as it supports clinicians to learn about why patient safety incidents happen within their own service and organisation, and what they can do to keep their patients safe from avoidable harm.
Data published today on the NRLS website shows that: In the six months from October 2013 to March 2014, 778,460 incidents in England were reported to the system – 12.8% more than in the same period in the previous year. Of those reported, 69.1% were reported as causing no harm. 24.8% were reported as causing low harm, meaning the patient required only increased observation or minor treatment as a result of the incident. 5.5% were recorded as causing moderate harm, meaning that the patient suffered significant but not permanent harm, requiring increased treatment. The proportion of incidents resulting in severe harm or death remains less than 1% of all incidents reported, with the percentage resulting in death at 0.24%, down from 0.26% reported for the same period in the previous year. The top four most commonly reported types of incident have remained the same: patient accidents (20.9%), implementation of care and ongoing monitoring/review incidents (11.4%), treatment/procedure incidents (11.3%), and medication incidents (10.7%).
Clinicians in NHS England review all incidents resulting in severe harm and death, and have observed that the accuracy in coding of these incidents is improving, further demonstrating increased engagement with the importance of reporting and learning from patient safety incidents. NHS Commissioning
HEE’s Research and Innovation Strategy has been published this week. This follows extensive consultation with stakeholders and sets out a series of plans to develop a flexible workforce that is actively engaged with research and innovation.
Our objectives include: Establishing a system wide coherence to education and training which will facilitate and sustain the organisational and cultural changes required to embed research and innovation. Ensuring that the evidence on best practice for training in research and innovation informs and influences the delivery of effective education and training within the healthcare system. Development of a multi-professional Clinical Academic Careers Framework for patient benefit. Establishing a HEE Research and Innovation Evidence Hub to ensure investment in future education and training is evidence informed.
Professor Nicki Latham, Chief Operating Officer, Health Education England said:
‘This strategy is important for HEE and the NHS workforce because the demands placed on our healthcare services will continue to change over time and we need to develop a workforce that can respond and adapt to these changes.
We recognise that partnership working with our stakeholders will be key to the success of our work in this area and would like to thank all of the organisations that provided feedback on the strategy earlier this year.’
There is a growing disquiet around mental health. Across the board people are calling for change, but what exactly is it that needs to be done and how can we bring about the ‘parity of esteem’ that we all seek?
As the London Health Commission considers how best to provide for the health and wellbeing of Londoners, the London Mental Health Trust Chief Executives Group asked The King’s Fund to engage with stakeholders to help develop a vision for London’s mental health over the next 5–10 years. Our report, Transforming mental health: a plan of action for London, is the culmination of that process.
Our engagement events attracted a wide range of attendees, including: NHS mental health and primary care providers social care providers specialist housing providers local authority and clinical commissioning group (CCG) commissioners representatives from NHS England, Public Health England and the Metropolitan Police Service independent and voluntary sector providers and innovators academics clinicians service users and carers.
These events were booked up immediately, showing that there is a real passion to improve the mental health of those living in London. The experiences that were shared at those events also demonstrated an abundance of expertise in the capital. By the end of the workshops participants had developed a strong consensus on what was working, where the problems were and, importantly, what needed to change.
So, are Londoners unique? It appears not. Many of our findings are reflected in the most recent national vision, Starting today. And a more thorough search of the literature highlights the same issues arising again and again in reports going back over a decade. For the organisations writing these documents alarm bells should be ringing!
Mental health can rarely be considered in isolation; its impact infiltrates every part of our lives and all sections of society. As mental health cannot be separated from physical health, so improving health outcomes overall requires the involvement of multiple stakeholder groups. However, while attendees at our sessions could agree on a vision for the future, they held disparate and often conflicting views on how to achieve this. This was matched on the ground by widespread reports of disharmony between providers and commissioners; a lack of engagement with services users, carers and clinicians; and numerous strategies with duplication of effort and little in the way of shared agendas. Therein lies the problem.
These cultural issues create a significant barrier to implementing change. While we are not blind to the financial pressures that face mental health provision (our previous work on mental health transformation highlighted the importance of financial support for transformation), funding alone is unlikely to deliver the systemic changes being demanded without a shared plan of action.
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our work on collective leadership demonstrates that collaboration is at the heart of culture change. Observing commissioners, providers, service users, academics, carers and clinicians working together to create the first parts of the action plan proves that it can be done. Groups such as Lambeth Living Well Collaborative are already putting this into practice at a local level. Our report highlights nine key steps to facilitating collective solutions and ensuring progress at an organisational and systemic level.
As we move towards a general election, the voice of the mental health community has not gone unheard, but shouting about the siloed status of mental health is not the same as breaking down the walls of that silo. As anyone who lives with mental health problems will tell you, navigating life is a continual process of reaching out and building relationships in order to overcome barriers – isn’t it about time everyone else stepped up to do the same? Kings Fund Blog Download the report, Transforming mental health: a plan of action for London Read more on mental health
During 2013-14, University hospitals of Leicester NHS trust (UHL) treated 1,194,000 patients (or 3,271 patients a day). With the numbers treated set to rise year-on-year, we need to better equip our staff to cope with the additional pressures that will bring.
Like many trusts, our staff are feeling the pressure of the NHS constantly being in the media spotlight. The media focus is often on poor outcomes. It is almost forgotten that the vast majority of hard-working staff provide world-class patient care. Guardian