Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Community nurse deficit 'scandalous'

Community nurse deficit 'scandalous' The loss of more than 900 community nurses in five years in the east of England is "scandalous", the Royal College of Nursing says. BBC News East

Reconfiguring NHS services: necessary but fraught with difficulties

Reconfiguring NHS services: necessary but fraught with difficulties With the NHS facing growing pressures on all fronts, following the general election the next government is likely to begin a new round of NHS service reconfiguration planning. In addition, work will continue to implement the new care models – such as urgent and emergency care networks and modernised maternity services – set out in the NHS five year forward view. So what are the challenges around service reconfiguration? And what evidence is available to help guide this planning process?

At the beginning of April, the National Institute for Health Research published the final version of the report, Insights from the clinical assurance of reconfiguration in the NHS, written by The King’s Fund. When writing the report, we had access to more than 100 reports written by experienced clinicians (the National Clinical Advisory Team) who offered independent expert advice on proposed service reconfigurations. We sought to learn about reconfigurations: what drove them, what lessons could be learned, what evidence was used in planning the changes, and what ultimately happened. Those considering any type of health service reconfiguration should read the report, along with our companion publication on the evidence base for reconfiguration.

Analysis of the Conservative Party’s health pledges in the manifesto

Analysis of the Conservative Party’s health pledges in the manifesto The additional £8bn that is the absolute minimum needed to close the NHS funding gap has taken on iconic status, so you may be surprised to learn that the figure doesn’t actually appear in the NHS Five Year Forward View… The Health Foundation

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GP services face 'retirement crisis'

GP services face 'retirement crisis' GP services are facing a crisis, with a third of doctors considering retirement in the next five years, a British Medical Association poll suggests. BBC News

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Breath test shows promise in diagnosing stomach cancer

Breath test shows promise in diagnosing stomach cancer "A simple breath test could help predict whether people with gut problems are at high risk of developing stomach cancer," BBC News reports. The test is designed to detect a distinctive pattern of chemicals associated with stomach cancer.

The study involved 484 people with a known diagnosis – 99 who had established stomach cancer and others who had different stages of pre-cancer.

Pre-cancer is when abnormal changes have affected certain cells and these changes could trigger cancer at a later date. Not all cases of pre-cancer will progress to "full-blown" cancer.

Overall, the study found that the breath analyser had fairly high accuracy for distinguishing between established cancer and pre-cancer. However, it was less reliable at distinguishing between the different severities of pre-cancer.

The researchers suggest that this could possibly provide a new method of screening for stomach cancer, allowing a method of surveillance for people with pre-cancer. However, it is far too early to say whether this idea could come to fruition.

The breath test could potentially be of value when combined with other methods in the diagnosis of stomach cancer or pre-cancer. However, further study will need to confirm that the test is reliable and that it gives any additional benefit over standard methods.

How lessons from the building industry are transforming mental health services | Denis O’Rourke

How lessons from the building industry are transforming mental health services | Denis O’Rourke A new single contract for all providers is moving services away from high-cost, bed-based provision to supporting people to live in their own homes, at a much lower cost.

Lambeth has some of the highest rates of mental health diagnosis in the country, and commissioning mental health services is one of the biggest challenges facing the council and the local NHS. This is why we as a council have joined forces with Lambeth clinical commissioning group (CCG), GPs and service providers, such as the South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trust, and voluntary and community-sector organisations – Thames Reach and Certitude – to operate under an “alliance contract”.

Pioneered by the construction industry, this is a new way of working, where providers have one contract, a single performance framework aligned to objectives and shared risks. Contract incentives are focused on the rehabilitation and recovery of service users rather than on existing assets or activity (such as secure residential settings). And all partners have an equal stake in getting – and then keeping – people well.

Our living well network brings together services from all sectors to provide support before people reach a crisis. Continue reading... The Guardian

Politicians scramble to make NHS promises, but forget social care at their peril

Politicians scramble to make NHS promises, but forget social care at their peril Are commitments for personal midwives and thousands more doctors and nurses what is really needed?

Coming in the middle of a general election campaign, a gathering of adult social care leaders in England this week will have no politicians speaking. But it will still feature one comedian.

The spring seminar of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) will conclude with a set by Laurence Clark, a professional comic who has cerebral palsy. He is fascinated by how people react to his condition and has in the past tested this by sitting in a wheelchair on the street, shaking a bucket for absurd causes. Continue reading... The Guardian

How the NHS can improve care for dementia patients

How the NHS can improve care for dementia patients Treating people with dementia costs the health service £4.3bn a year, the illness currently affects more than 800,000 people.

There are over 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK and numbers are expected to double within 30 years. Yet, despite the push for better dementia care, education and training in dementia for healthcare professionals remains patchy.

This gap in training is caused by a fixation on a “hospital only” model, instead of addressing the shift towards community care, according to the Dementia today and tomorrow report (pdf) for the Alzheimer’s Society. The document, published in February, calls for targeted initiatives so that appropriate education and training is provided for all staff across the NHS and social care. Continue reading... The Guardian

Secret NHS plans overheard on the train

Secret NHS plans overheard on the train Management consultants in talks about the future of hospitals in London and Surrey have accidentally revealed plans which had been kept secret from the public. The Daily Telegraph

NHS pays £13 million after botched births left siblings with cerebral palsy

NHS pays £13 million after botched births left siblings with cerebral palsy After a two-decade legal fight the health service has finally agreed to pay compensation to a family left devastated by medical negligency. The Daily Telegraph

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Fitness apps don't improve health - and could be harmful

Fitness apps don't improve health - and could be harmful They are the latest health and fitness ‘revolution’, beloved of the fad dieters and the pilates obsessives – not to mention some of our leading politicians.The Independent

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