Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Award for Northamptonshire’s lifesaving vehicles

Award for Northamptonshire’s lifesaving vehicles An award has been given to East Midlands Ambulance Service for the the way it looks after its fleet of vehicles. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Exploring how available NHS data can be used to show the inequality gap in mental healthcare

Exploring how available NHS data can be used to show the inequality gap in mental healthcare This report collated publicly available data and banded CCGs based on the experiences of mental health service users in their area. The data found specifies in greater detail the differing quality as and outcome of life for those with poor mental health. The report also found across the country that those with mental illnesses are more likely to die earlier and more like to get treated differently by health care professionals. Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Supplying the demand for nurses: the need to end the rationing of nurse training places

Supplying the demand for nurses: the need to end the rationing of nurse training places This paper proposes reforming the present financing of nurse education, under which tuition fees and living bursaries are paid up front, and replacing it with a system whereby nursing undergraduates would take out student loans as with any other course. The NHS would then pay back the loan for nursing graduates if they work for the organisation after qualification. The paper argues that this reform would remove the need for a limit on nurse numbers. Nurses who work in the private sector are likely to similarly have their student debt repaid as companies compete with the NHS to recruit nurses. Civitas

Psychological therapy: big differences in recovery rates across England

Psychological therapy: big differences in recovery rates across England Recovery rates for patients treated for mental health disorders are published today, highlighting markedly different outcomes across the country. Health and Social Care Information Centre

See also:

Loneliness 'may affect the immune system'

Loneliness 'may affect the immune system'"Being lonely won't just make you miserable; it could also suppress your immune system and knock years of your life," the Daily Mail reports.

This headline was prompted by a laboratory study in humans and rhesus macaque monkeys, which aimed to investigate if there were biological mechanisms associated with isolation that could also be associated with the risk of chronic disease or early death.

The findings suggest increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system – responsible for the "fight or flight" response – may overstimulate development of inflammatory white blood cells in the bone marrow. At the same time it may decrease the production of antiviral proteins, reducing the body's ability to fight infections.

However, at this stage this is still just a hypothesis. The study has not directly demonstrated that people who are socially isolated are more likely to become ill or die earlier and the immune system played a key role. NHS Choices

Weekend births 'pose higher death risk'

GPs urged to report unfit drivers

GPs urged to report unfit drivers Family doctors must tell the DVLA about any patients who continue to drive when they are medically unfit to do so, says the General Medical Council. BBC News

See also:

Has Alaska found holy grail of cutting costs and improving healthcare?

Has Alaska found holy grail of cutting costs and improving healthcare? Not-for-profit organisation delivering health services for Alaska Native people has tackled waiting times and improved outcomes. What can the NHS learn?

Truly innovative leaders and organisations look far and wide for inspiration – and often find it in unexpected places; think of Alexander Fleming’s accidental discovery of penicillin. The NHS urgently needs a eureka moment, with primary care and hospital services close to breaking point and waiting times spiralling out of control.

An unexpected inspiration for the NHS might be Southcentral Foundation, the not-for-profit organisation delivering primary, community and mental health services for Alaska Native people in Southcentral Alaska. In the mid-1990s, Southcentral faced many of the challenges crippling NHS services today: four-week waits for routine primary care appointments and GPs coping with 40 or more appointments every day. Continue reading... The Guardian

Simon Stevens won his extra NHS cash. Now for the hard bit

Simon Stevens won his extra NHS cash. Now for the hard bit The NHS boss used all his powers of persuasion to get George Osborne to hand over £3.8bn upfront next year. But can he deliver on transforming care?

So, well played, Simon Stevens. Spectacularly well played, in fact. To have somehow got George Osborne to stump up £3.8bn extra for the NHS next year, at a time when the cash-strapped chancellor had to fix his tax credits problem, as well as finding extra money for security and counter-terrorism, demonstrates that NHS England’s chief executive has persuasive skills of a very high order. To have won the argument, that a sizeable chunk of the extra £8bn ministers had pledged to deliver by 2020 had to come next year, is a real coup. Until as recently as Monday, most NHS leaders were pessimistically saying that the Treasury was being inflexible and remained very unpersuaded of the need for a significant upfront downpayment of the £8bn. Stevens’s refusal to accept Osborne’s preference, to phase in the £8bn over time in equal amounts, shows real backbone and an admirable certainty of purpose. Continue reading... The Guardian

See also:

Devolution bill poses a serious threat to the NHS

Devolution bill poses a serious threat to the NHS The little discussed and barely comprehended bill has reached committee stage in the Commons, and has significant implications for the health service.

The penny is beginning to drop within the NHS world at last. The seemingly marginal cities and local government devolution bill, now in its Commons committee stage, has major implications for the NHS that have been little discussed and barely comprehended. It all began with Greater Manchester combined authority securing control of its £6bn NHS budget earlier this year, and now several other devolution bids to the Treasury are seeking some NHS remit.

The problem here is not so much that the idea is necessarily wrong in principle, but rather that it hasn’t been thought through. Regions seeking such powers need to meet the Treasury’s requirement of securing “a financially sustainable health and social care system” by 2020. Typically they will claim to be able to do so by developing community-based models of care that focus on preventing expensive hospital treatment. In reality there is little evidence to suggest this model will work.

... ones which achieve or exceed their initial goals in such a way that they become embedded; able to survive a change of government; represent a starting point for subsequent policy development or remove the issue from the immediate policy agenda. Continue reading... The Guardian