Thursday, 28 December 2017

NHS hospitals made £174m from car park charges this year

NHS hospitals made £174m from car park charges this year NHS hospitals made a record £174m from charging patients, visitors and staff to park in 2016/17, up 6% on the previous year.

Data from 111 hospital trusts across England shows that as many as two-thirds are making more than £1m a year. More than half of trusts now charge disabled people to park.

Some trusts defended the charges, saying they were essential to pay for patient care. But opposition parties and patient support groups were critical, with one group saying they were “cynical” but blaming the state of NHS finances rather than the trusts themselves. The Guardian

Girls are facing a mental health crisis – and it’s not just because of Instagram | Katharine Sacks-Jones

Girls are facing a mental health crisis – and it’s not just because of Instagram | Katharine Sacks-Jones In 2017 there has been report after report of a growing gender divide in mental health, with rising rates of mental illness among girls and young women. There has been little action to tackle these. In 2018, we have an opportunity to get things right.

From the intervention of a senior judge in the case of Girl X to rising numbers of girls and young women undergoing mental health admissions, self harm and suicidal thoughts, there has been wide range of evidence over the last year showing that our girls are facing a mental health crisis.

The reasons given by commentators for the worrying deterioration in young women and girls’ mental health tend to be the same: pressures of social media, body image and school. These things are undoubtedly part of the picture. But they are not the full story. The Guardian

Why 2018 will be a very special year for the NHS - BBC News

Why 2018 will be a very special year for the NHS - BBC News This is a special year for the NHS - it marks its 70th birthday. So expect lots of anniversary events and stories celebrating the success of the health service over the past seven decades. There is much to celebrate. The NHS has played its part in eradicating diseases such as polio and diphtheria and pioneered new treatments including carrying out the first liver, heart and lung transplant.

And it is also the UK's largest employer with 1.5 million staff drawn from all over the world. But what else will the next 12 months hold? BBC News - Health

NHS cancer care has never been better with over two thousand more people surviving cancer every year

NHS cancer care has never been better with over two thousand more people surviving cancer every year Thanks to improved NHS cancer care, over two thousand more people are this year able to enjoy Christmas with their families. Survival rates have never been higher and the gap between the best and the worst areas is also closing.

Areas with historically lower survival rates are closing or have caught up with average survival, highlighting that work to improve cancer care is making a real difference to patients, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

New reports also show more people with lung and bowel cancer are having successful surgery and living longer. For men with prostate cancer, the news is also good, with less undergoing radical prostatectomy or receiving unnecessary treatment. NHS England

Keep your practice on the right side of the new data protection regulations

Keep your practice on the right side of the new data protection regulations All organisations need to be aware of the General Data Protection Regulations that come into force next May, though in reality organisations that already do a good job of complying with existing data protection rules have little to fear. NHS Networks

News story: Cold weather prompts further health warnings from PHE

News story: Cold weather prompts further health warnings from PHE  Arrival of cold weather across Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and North West of England that is due to spread across the rest of the country has prompted further warnings from Public Health England to look out for others and to take extra care during the cold, snowy conditions. Public Health England

Ambulance service sets up emergency care unit for Northampton's New Year revelers

Ambulance service sets up emergency care unit for Northampton's New Year revelers An emergency care centre will be stationed in Northampton town centre on New Year's Eve to take pressure off ambulances. It comes after the East Midlands Ambulance service received over 1,000 calls in the first six hours of 2017.

And while the service says many revellers will always "overdo it", a third of all calls did not need further treatment in hospital.

They are now asking Northampton people to start 2018 safe and well and use the stationed Dedicated Emergency Care Centre (DECC) unit in the town centre. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Friday, 22 December 2017

Health news over the Christmas week

We will be producing a single bumper edition of our health news service over the Christmas week. The service will return to normal on Tuesday the 2nd of January.

Wishing all our readers a very happy Christmas.

The Mental health of young women and girls: how to prevent a growing crisis

The Mental health of young women and girls: how to prevent a growing crisis The mental health of young women and girls is deteriorating, and the gap between men and women has widened over recent years. As the evidence section in this paper will show, the last 15 years have seen an unprecedented rise in reported mental health problems amongst young women and girls. We now see their needs reaching crisis levels. Mental Health Foundation

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Briefing on hospital pharmacy in England

Briefing on hospital pharmacy in England There are approximately 7,000 pharmacists in hospitals and 16,000 pharmacy staff whose practice is being transformed by the outcomes of the Carter review on hospital efficiencies and other NHS initiatives. Royal Pharmaceutical Society

NHS senior midwife says 2018 is year of opportunity to drive new continuity of carer standards for mums-to-be across England

NHS senior midwife says 2018 is year of opportunity to drive new continuity of carer standards for mums-to-be across England The NHS’s most senior midwife says 2018 will be a year of opportunity for promoting continuity of carer maternity standards for mums-to-be across England. NHS England has today published new guidance to help local areas to provide women with more consistent care and support, including a named midwife, before, during and after birth. NHS England

International recruitment quick guides updated

International recruitment quick guides updated NHS Employers has updated its range of quick guides on the subject of international recruitment.

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Making obesity everybody's business: a whole systems approach to obesity

Making obesity everybody's business: a whole systems approach to obesity This briefing, written in partnership with Public Health England and the Association of Directors of Public Health, focuses on the Whole Systems Obesity programme which will provide local authorities with a different approach to tackling obesity. The programme is exploring the evidence and local practice to develop guidance and tools to help councils set up a whole systems approach to obesity in their local area. Local Government Association

Health and care sectoral analyses

Health and care sectoral analyses The Exiting the European Union Committee has published 39 sectoral reports that contain analysis of the impact of Brexit on business and service sectors in the UK. House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee

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Hospitals to cancel ops to cope with winter surge

Hospitals to cancel ops to cope with winter surge Hospitals across England have been told to cancel non-emergency operations in the new year to prepare for a post-Christmas surge in patients.

The first weeks of January are often the busiest of the year with winter illnesses peaking, combined with the growing day-to-day demand in A&E.

So an emergency panel of NHS bosses is urging hospitals to cut back on their routine work, such as knee and hip ops.

They hope it will give hospitals some breathing space to cope. BBC News

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Shingles vaccine 'has cut cases by a third' in England

Shingles vaccine 'has cut cases by a third' in England Cases of shingles have reduced by 35% in England since a vaccine was offered to 70-year-olds, Public Health England says.

But it is urging more people in their 70s to get their free injection against the painful condition.

They are most at risk of shingles and more likely to develop complications, such as severe nerve pain.

Shingles is caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus and results in a nasty skin rash and fever.

The vaccine programme started in England in 2013 and 5.5m people were eligible for the free single injection over the first three years. BBC News

Gaming disorder is going to be named a mental health condition for the first time - The Independent

Gaming disorder is going to be named a mental health condition for the first time Gaming disorder is soon to be classified as a mental health condition for the very first time.

The International Classification of Diseases is a diagnostic manual that’s published by the World Health Organisation. It was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990.

The eleventh edition of the manual is due to be published in 2018, and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored. The Independent

NHS figures show sharp rise in patients waiting for A&E care

NHS figures show sharp rise in patients waiting for A&E care In week to 17 December 14,323 patients arriving by ambulance waited at least half an hour before they were handed over

Growing numbers of patients taken to hospital by ambulance are having to wait an hour or more before they are handed over to A&E staff for treatment, NHS England figures show.

In the week to last Sunday, 17 December, one in seven such patients faced a delay of at least 30 minutes in the back of an ambulance or an area of the hospital where the crew look after them, up from one in eight the week beforeContinue reading... The Guardian

Cases of the winter vomiting bug jump by 14% in one week

Cases of the winter vomiting bug jump by 14% in one week Cases of the winter vomiting bug are continuing to soar - causing 'mayhem' on the NHS, official statistics reveal.

Government figures show 1,887 people have been struck down with norovirus since July, compared to 1,649 last week - a 14 per cent jump.

Concerns have been raised that the 'nightmare situation' will only escalate further - with the winter pressures having only just begun.

It comes at time when the health service is already bracing itself for the dreaded 'Aussie flu', expected to be the 'worst outbreak in 50 years'.

They are expecting an aggressive strain of the virus to begin circulating within the next few weeks which mostly affects the elderly and young children. The Daily Mail

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Northampton nursing home criticised by watchdog after the service is found to be unsafe

Northampton nursing home criticised by watchdog after the service is found to be unsafe A Northampton care home, which provides personal care for up to 46 elderly people, has been rated as 'requires improvement' in four areas by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The CQC has carried out a comprehensive one-day inspection at Southfields House in Farmhill Road back in September after the watchdog had received a number of concerns over the management of medicine and how the service was being operated.

The report found breaches of four regulations of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Winter pressures on health: an alternative perspective

Winter pressures on health: an alternative perspective Anyone who has spent time working in the NHS will hear the term ‘winter pressures’ and immediately think of the whole range of challenges the service faces at this time of year: increased demand from flu and norovirus, cancelled operations, medical ‘outliers’, and staffing shortages. All of them making a job - demanding at the best of times - more challenging for NHS staff. The Health Foundation

Uses of the Mental Health Act: is the data fit for purpose?

Uses of the Mental Health Act: is the data fit for purpose? People generally seek health care services voluntarily. A singular exception is people with serious mental health problems who are assessed as posing a risk to themselves or others, and are compulsorily admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act. Given the necessary but exceptional powers under the Act to deprive people of their liberty and provide treatment without their consent, it is imperative that we understand how these powers are used. Yet, as a result of changes in the way data is collected, we do not have accurate figures on how often the Act is used. This is unacceptable. The King's Fund

Fear of legal action impacting on way GPs practise

Fear of legal action impacting on way GPs practise A significant number of GPs say the fear of being sued is a major factor in their decisions to order more tests, make more referrals or prescribe medication – according to survey results published by a leading medical protection organisation.

In the survey of over 1300 UK GPs by the Medical Protection Society (MPS), 87% said they are increasingly fearful of being sued. 84% said the fear of being sued has resulted in them ordering more tests or making more referrals and 41% said it has resulted in them prescribing medication when not clinically necessary.

The survey results follow research by Imperial College London showing that four in five doctors who have been the subject of a complaint also now practise more ‘defensively’. Medical Protection Society

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NHS England consults on freeing up 136 million to boost frontline NHS care by curbing prescription costs

NHS England consults on freeing up 136 million to boost frontline NHS care by curbing prescription costs NHS England has launched a public consultation on proposals to rein in prescriptions for some ‘over the counter’ products such as dandruff shampoo and drops for tired eyes, freeing-up up to £136 million to expand other treatments for major conditions such as cancer and mental health problems.

Ending routine prescribing for minor, short-term conditions, many of which will cure themselves or cause no long term effect on health, would free up NHS funds for frontline care.

The consultation does not affect prescribing of items for longer term or more complex conditions or where minor illnesses are symptomatic or a side effect of something more serious.

NHS diabetes prevention programme exceeds expectations and more than 110,000 people ‘at risk’ offered help

NHS diabetes prevention programme exceeds expectations and more than 110,000 people ‘at risk’ offered help A flagship NHS diabetes prevention scheme has succeeded in signing up significantly more people than expected according to a comprehensive progress report published today (20 December) in leading academic health journal, Diabetic Medicine.

The report which is co-authored by experts from NHS England, Public Heath England and the charity Diabetes UK, charts the positive impact made by the Healthier You: Diabetes Prevention Programme during the early phase of its roll-out.

Around 90 per cent of all people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes, which is closely linked to obesity and there is strong evidence to suggest it is preventable. A lack of exercise, poor diet and being overweight are all risk factors for developing the disease over time and the programme is designed to stop or delay onset through a range of personalised lifestyle interventions. NHS England

Maternity mistakes: 276,000 incidents logged in two years

Maternity mistakes: 276,000 incidents logged in two years Tens of thousands of mothers and babies in England were harmed by potential lapses in maternity care in the past two years, the BBC has learned.

More than 276,000 incidents were logged by worried hospital staff between April 2015 and March 2017 - the equivalent of one mistake for every five births.

Most were minor or near misses, but almost a quarter of the incidents led to the mother or baby being harmed - and in 288 cases there was a death.

Ministers said safety must be improved.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the BBC it was his "top priority". BBC News

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Help those who find decision-making difficult, urges NICE

Help those who find decision-making difficult, urges NICE Health and social care professionals should help those with the mental capacity to make decisions, but who find this difficult —even if you disagree with their choices, says new draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
People should not be assessed as lacking mental capacity because they make choices that professionals don’t recommend, the draft guidance says.

And health and social care services should also take all reasonable steps to help people who lack mental capacity to be involved in decisions made on their behalf. OnMedica

Rise in mental health patients sent hundreds of miles from home for treatment 'hugely concerning', experts say

Rise in mental health patients sent hundreds of miles from home for treatment 'hugely concerning', experts say Exclusive: NHS spends £83m treating people out of area.

Mental health groups have said a significant increase in the number of mental health patients being treated miles away from home is “hugely concerning”.

Patients who have spent birthdays and Christmas a five-hour drive from their loved ones told The Independent that it made the already “scary process” of being admitted even harder.

They added it was also a “totally counterproductive” use of NHS funds as private facilities are generally the only place with spare capacity. The Independent

‘Drugs are too expensive for the NHS – and people are paying with their lives’

‘Drugs are too expensive for the NHS – and people are paying with their lives’ Don’t blame the NHS for denying vital medication, say members of a new activist group, Just Treatment. Blame the pharma companies hooked on huge profits.

Arms aloft, activist and breast cancer patient Emma Robertson emerged from the UK headquarters of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer last month wearing a bright blue T-shirt. Emblazoned on the back in bold yellow letters were the words: “No drug should ever cost a life”.

We need to ensure the pressure is on the drug companies who set the prices as well as the system that allows them to do so Continue reading... The Guardian

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Plans submitted to build 400 en-suite rooms for nurses or students in Northampton

Plans submitted to build 400 en-suite rooms for nurses or students in Northampton An outline planning application submitted by a Northampton real estate firm to build hundreds of student or nursing bedrooms has been given the green light.

The masterplan for developers, Barwood Capital is to build on surplus land at the rear of Riverside House on Bedford Road to provide accommodation for up to 400 en-suite rooms over two or three blocks and up to six storeys. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

KGH given £2.6m to tackle winter pressures

KGH given £2.6m to tackle winter pressures Kettering General Hospital has been awarded £2.6 million in funding to respond to winter demand pressures.

The funding, part of an extra £350 million of national NHS money announced by the Chancellor Philip Hammond, will be used in a variety of ways. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Ageing UK population drove decision to direct more funds to adult care, says Northamptonshire County Council finance member

Ageing UK population drove decision to direct more funds to adult care, says Northamptonshire County Council finance member Northamptonshire County Council insists an increased demand for NHS services amid the UK's ageing population has added extra pressure on adult social care services in the county.

This, according to cabinet member for finance Councillor Robin Brown, has driven the decision to direct an extra £24.6m on adult social care as proposed in the 2018-19 draft budget released yesterday.

Bed-blocking and home care for the elderly were also cited as reasons to allocate the additional funds. Northamptonshire Telegraph

Innovation in housing, care and support

Innovation in housing, care and support With homelessness on the rise at an estimated cost to the public sector of £1 billion per year, as well pressures on mental health services, there is an emerging consensus that collaborations between organisations to provide care and support in residential settings have the potential to improve patient outcomes while also relieving pressures on public finances. This briefing contains four case studies on innovative support and care services delivered through collaborations between housing and healthcare providers. NHS Confederation

Framework for maximising the use of care homes and use of therapy-led units for patients medically fit for discharge

Framework for maximising the use of care homes and use of therapy-led units for patients medically fit for discharge This best practice framework aims to address two models and the implementation approach that needs to be taken by STPs and their provider organisations with ensuing threats to patient safety, during the winter months. NHS England

Good work, wellbeing and changes in performance outcomes: illustrating the effects of good people management practices with an analysis of the National Health Service

Good work, wellbeing and changes in performance outcomes: illustrating the effects of good people management practices with an analysis of the National Health Service This report illustrates the effect of good people management with an analysis of the NHS. It found Trusts that made the most extensive use of good people management practices were over three times more likely to have the lowest levels of staff sickness absence and at least four times more likely to have the most satisfied patients. They were also more than twice as likely to have staff with the highest levels of job satisfaction compared to NHS Trusts that made least use of these practices, and over three times more likely to have staff with the highest levels of engagement. What Works Centre for Wellbeing

UK's most googled health issue of 2017 revealed

UK's most googled health issue of 2017 revealed "What is cancer?" is the UK's most googled health question in 2017 (so far), data reveals.

According to experts at Google Trends, other pressing health issues searched for online by British people this year were diabetes, blood pressure and a condition called sepsis.

We've set out to answer some of these questions for you. BBC News

Contaminated blood report 'full of lies'

Contaminated blood report 'full of lies' Government officials have apologised for using a discredited report into the contaminated blood products scandal that left thousands of NHS patients infected with viruses including HIV.

Despite assurances that the "inadequate" document would be ditched, a health minister has referred to it this year, the BBC can reveal.

The government admits that the document was used for too long.

This week it will announce who will run its official inquiry into the scandal.

Critics say the whole process has taken far too long and have accused the government of a "whitewash". BBC News

Mum urges parents to talk about suicide

Mum urges parents to talk about suicide Gabrielle Joseph was 16 when she took her own life.

Her mother Julie Joseph, from Briton Ferry, Neath Port Talbot, said she "aches every day" for her daughter, who died seven years ago.

She also called for more parents to speak more directly with their children about suicide.

It comes as charities said more children and young people were calling their help lines about suicidal feelings. BBC News

NHS takes 40 days to diagnose patients with cancer, study finds

NHS takes 40 days to diagnose patients with cancer, study finds The average time for a patient in England to be diagnosed with cancer is 40 days, a new study suggests.

Health officials have set a target for all cancer patients to be diagnosed within 28 days by 2020.

The new study found that in 2014 the median number of days from first relevant presentation to the date of diagnosis was 40 days.

This ranged from 15 days to 86 days, according to the research published in the British Journal of General Practice. The Independent

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GP Amanda Doyle: ‘The NHS revamp isn’t a big bang, it’s a gradual transition’

GP Amanda Doyle: ‘The NHS revamp isn’t a big bang, it’s a gradual transition’ The Blackpool GP and head of the region’s controversial sustainability and transformation plan says she wants to make services better, not make cuts

With the festive season upon us, Amanda Doyle is braced for a lot of hard work. As chief officer of the region’s controversial sustainability and transformation plan (STP) and its fledgling accountable care organisation, she is responsible for improving health and social care in Lancashire and South Cumbria. If that were not enough, the 53-year-old GP is also the chief clinical officer for Blackpool clinical commissioning group and co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners, the national body representing CCGs.

Doyle denies that she has too much on her plate, although she concedes that the hours are long. But she has had to cut back on the amount of time seeing patients. “I’ve been a GP for 22 years, in the same practice. Since the beginning of this year, I’ve done one day a week of general practice:I’m very loth to give that up. It gives me credibility. There’s nothing like seeing patients every week for knowing what’s actually going on. I know exactly what the waiting times are because I’m doing it every week.” Continue reading... The Guardian

Blood stocks of TWO major types are running low

Blood stocks of TWO major types are running low Stocks of two major types of blood are running low because of the bad weather, concerned health officials have warned.

The NHS fears there won't be enough B negative and O negative blood to last this Christmas.

Bosses are now urging people to donate their blood - despite thousands having already been put off due to the cold temperatures.

The start of the flu season, which has seen a 39 per cent jump in cases in the past week, is also to blame for the lack of blood.

Jon Latham, of the NHS Blood and Transplant, revealed anyone with either blood type will be able to walk in and donate at any centre. The Daily Mail

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

New University of Northampton research is first step in cutting child deaths from treatable infections

New University of Northampton research is first step in cutting child deaths from treatable infections The UK has more childhood deaths from treatable infections than comparable European countries, and new research will investigate why fatal delays in hospitalisations occur.

Sweden and Italy both have better survival rates from conditions such as pneumonia and sepsis, and the hope is this project will identify ways to speed up admissions, and ultimately save lives.

The 18-month study - launched yesterday - will investigate concerns raised by Melissa Mead and Sue Morrish, who both lost sons to sepsis after high profile failures in the health system.

Led by the University of Northampton, the BeArH research project will examine in detail, incidents of serious infection in children under five years of age - from the moment a parent realises their child is ill, through contact with frontline health services, to their child’s subsequent admission to hospital. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

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Corby employers urged to train mental health first aiders

Corby employers urged to train mental health first aiders Health bosses in Corby have urged businesses in the town to train people in mental health first aid.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course, designed to teach people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis. Northamptonshire Telegraph

'Northamptonshire won't be able to fund some essential council services by 2019', finance member reveals

'Northamptonshire won't be able to fund some essential council services by 2019', finance member reveals Northamptonshire County Council has warned this may be the last budget where services to protect the likes of vulnerable children and the elderly remain untouched. Northamptonshire County Council has today (Monday) announced its full savings proposals of £34.3m for 2018/19 including the £9.6m of proposed budget savings which were announced in October. Northamptonshire Telegraph

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Learning from unintended consequences

Learning from unintended consequences The NHS is experimenting on increasingly large scales with new ways of delivering health care. With so much in motion, including sustainability and transformation partnerships and now accountable care systems, it is more important than ever to have ways of assessing the impact that these changes are having on quality and cost. The Health Foundation

NHS workforce 'at crunch point'

NHS workforce 'at crunch point' The UK’s medical profession is at ‘a crunch point’ and will suffer increasing pressure over the next 20 years unless action is taken, the General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) State of Medical Education and Practice report warns today.

The report, published annually, analyses data on the medical workforce across the UK. It identifies a raft of challenges facing the medical profession today against a backdrop of an increasing and older population, and highlights four priorities for the UK’s governments and agencies responsible for medical training and workforce planning.

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NHS welcomes “important improvements” for race equality in health service workforce

NHS welcomes “important improvements” for race equality in health service workforce The Chief Executive of NHS England has today welcomed signs of progress in tackling discrimination among health service staff, but warned of “hard work still ahead” in improving equality for all its workers.

Simon Stevens’ comments come as the NHS publishes today its latest annual report into race equality. The audit provides a comprehensive assessment of the experience of NHS employees from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, including whether or not they have equal access to career opportunities and receive fair treatment at work.

The 2017 Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) shows that an increasing proportion of senior nursing and midwifery posts is being filled by people from BME backgrounds, and that there has been a rise in senior BME leaders. The report confirms that an increasing number of trusts has more than one board member from a BME background, with 25 trusts being represented at board level by three or more people from BME communities.

NHS Digital publishes dementia and antipsychotic drug prescription data for first time

NHS Digital publishes dementia and antipsychotic drug prescription data for first time NHS Digital has published for the first-time data that shows the levels of prescribing antipsychotic drugs to dementia patients.

The data has been published as part of an expansion of the monthly Recorded Dementia Diagnoses report.
  • The figures include three new counts for patients with a diagnosis of dementia. They are:
  • Number of people with a prescription of antipsychotics in the last six weeks
  • Number of people with a prescription of antipsychotics in the last six weeks and a diagnosis of psychosis
  • Number of people with a prescription of antipsychotics in the last six weeks and without a diagnosis of psychosis
The statistics will contain two months of information and figures have been submitted by 98.8 per cent of GP practices.

The figures will be broken down to CCG, STP, sub-regional, regional and national level.

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NHS spending on mental health

NHS spending on mental health This is the increase in spending by CCGs on mental health compared to their overall core services budget allocation. The figures don’t account for inflation. Factoring that in, mental health spending went up by 3.9% over that time and overall CCG budgets went up by 1.5%. Full Fact

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Retaining your clinical staff: a practical improvement resource

Retaining your clinical staff: a practical improvement resource This improvement resource outlines key steps to improving retention of clinical staff. We have distilled advice from interviews with trust HR directors, directors of nursing and medical directors. NHS Improvement

Changes to data protection requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Changes to data protection requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) This factsheet, developed in conjunction with Capsticks, outlines the key changes that will affect the way that employers in NHS organisations carry out tasks involving personal data, particularly around employment checks and recruitment processes. NHS Employers

UK suicide rates at 20-year low

UK suicide rates at 20-year low Suicide rates in the UK have seen the largest decrease in 20 years, official figures reveal.

There were 3.6% fewer suicides registered in 2016 than in 2015 - a decrease by 223 deaths from 6,188, Office for National Statistics data shows.

Rates fell for both men and women, although men still account for three-quarters of cases.

Experts believe the drop shows suicide-prevention initiatives are helping. BBC News

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NHS hospitals unable to fill thousands of vacant posts, Labour says

NHS hospitals unable to fill thousands of vacant posts, Labour says Understaffing so acute almost one in four posts at some trusts in England are vacant, freedom of information requests show.

The NHS is short of more than 100,000 staff, and some hospitals are struggling to fill as many as 1,600 vacancies, according to new research that has sparked fresh fears about patient safety. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Slashing queues, helping new mothers: NHS explores apps for care in a digital age

Slashing queues, helping new mothers: NHS explores apps for care in a digital age Doctors, tech experts and scientists tested new ideas at a health ‘hackathon’ – now a fund aims to back the best with cash

Imagine if there were an app that reduced accident and emergency waiting times, ensured women are followed up after childbirth and even identified when hospital patients need to be transferred to intensive care.

These were some of the innovative ideas generated by more than 100 NHS doctors, dentists, technology developers, scientists and health economists at an unprecedented blue-sky thinking event that aimed to explore new possibilities in care in the digital age. Continue reading... The Guardian

Social care postcode gap widens for older people

Social care postcode gap widens for older people Council funding cuts have reduced help for the old in deprived areas, study shows

Older people in England’s most deprived areas are twice as likely to lack the help they need for basic acts, like using the toilet or taking medicine, compared with those in the richest neighbourhoods, according to figures that expose gross inequalities in access to social care.

The official analysis is another sign that years of cuts have damaged the ability of councils in poor areas to meet the growing demand for care, potentially putting significant pressure on the NHS. It comes on the back of the crisis over social care that is still unresolved. There have been a series of warnings about a multibillion-pound funding black hole and increasingly severe consequences for the health service. Continue reading... The Guardian

Britain’s most inspiring health worker

Britain’s most inspiring health worker When we asked readers to nominate their unsung champions of the NHS, we were overwhelmed by moving stories about staff from all parts of the health service. Last week our five finalists received their awards from the Prime Minister at Downing Street — here we tell the inspiring story of our overall winner. The Daily Mail

Monday, 18 December 2017

Depression: 'I kept my head down to survive the day at work'


Depression: 'I kept my head down to survive the day at work' For Natalie Hall, 36, the fear that she might lose her job or not be trusted in her day-to-day judgements was a barrier to talking openly to colleagues about her depression and anxiety disorder.

But this may not be uncommon as a survey suggests mental health problems remain a taboo in the workplace.The poll of 2,025 UK workers by the charity Time to Change found they would rather talk to colleagues about sex or money worries than a mental health issue. BBC News - Health

Combatting loneliness one conversation at a time: a call to action

Combatting loneliness one conversation at a time: a call to action This report outlines the findings of the Commission and how loneliness affects different groups of people within society. The report highlights the range of people that loneliness impacts on and shows how tackling loneliness can benefit individuals and communities. Kings Fund - Health Management and Policy Alert.

Alarm over sharp rise in ambulance patient deaths in England

Alarm over sharp rise in ambulance patient deaths in England A sharp rise in the number of patients dying unexpectedly while under the care of NHS ambulance staff has prompted warnings that the service is under “excessive pressure”.

NHS figures for England obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws show “serious incidents” resulting in the death of a patient more than doubled from 31 in 2012 to 72 in 2016, rising year on year. The Guardian

NHS to use 'sickness surveillance system' to predict pressure points this winter

NHS to use 'sickness surveillance system' to predict pressure points this winter he NHS is to use a "sickness surveillance system" to predict illnesses before they happen this winter in a bid to cope with crippling pressures.

The technology combines data gathered daily from GP surgeries, hospital emergency departments, the NHS 111 helpline and walk-in centres with Met Office weather alerts and is intended to give medics early warning of regional outbreaks of flu or other seasonal illnesses.

When it records a surge in any particular illness, it will provide the NHS with several days’ notice that hospitals in the same area are likely to see an influx of patients.

In turn, they will have the chance to reschedule planned surgery, free up beds and ensure that enough staff are on standby, it is hoped. The Telegraph

Northamptonshire family business raises over £32,000 for specialist baby incubator for NGH ward

Northamptonshire family business raises over £32,000 for specialist baby incubator for NGH ward A big-hearted family has raised thousands of pounds in a one year fundraising drive to buy a specialist premature baby incubator - a more accessible machine to allow parents to interact with their baby. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Friday, 15 December 2017

Government publishes new report on tackling social disadvantage

Government publishes new report on tackling social disadvantage The Department for Education has released a new strategy entitled Unlocking talent, fulfilling potential: a plan for improving social mobility through education. This plan draws attention to the importance of increasing participation and representation from across all parts of our diverse society into education and training, in order to improve social mobility.
The plan highlights a number actions which employers can take to tackle social disadvantage and advance social mobility NHS Employers

Parents giving children alcohol too young, researchers say

Parents giving children alcohol too young, researchers say  Parents could be storing up problems for their children by introducing them to alcohol too young and ordering takeaways too often, researchers warn.
Two universities found that one in six parents gives their children alcohol by the age of 14, when their body and brain are not yet fully developed.
Many parents may believe they are acting responsibly - but that's not backed up by research, experts said. Regular takeaways were a risk to the heart, a separate study said. BBC Health News

Up to one in 12 NHS hospitals were completely full at times last week

Up to one in 12 NHS hospitals were completely full at times last week The latest statistics on winter pressures facing NHS trusts come after GPonline revealed that GPs in parts of the country are being told to reduce hospital referrals, to avoid referrals altogether to some hospitals or to stop sending patients to specific departments within local hospitals. Patients waiting in A&E have also been bounced back to GP practices.
Data from NHS England show that across the country, the average bed occupancy rate in hospitals was 94.6% for the week from 4 December to 10 December - up from 94.5% the week before. This is well above the 85% target for hospitals, and reveals that hospitals are already under extreme pressure only a week into winter. GP Online

Significant boost to learning disability and mental health nurses needed, says HEE chief - Nursing Times

Significant boost to learning disability and mental health nurses needed, says HEE chief - Nursing Times Learning disability and mental health nursing will both require significant boosts to the workforce, as part of plans to create tens of thousands of additional clinical posts in the next 10 years, the head of the national workforce body has told Nursing Times.
In draft workforce plans unveiled yesterday by Health Education England, it was highlighted that, while the overall number of nurses working in the NHS had gone up in the past five years, the size of the NHS’s learning disability and mental health nursing workforce had decreased. Nursing Times

Major NHS trust turns away A&E patients 13 times in a week

Major NHS trust turns away A&E patients 13 times in a week As cold snap adds to pressure, Worcestershire trust is forced to divert patients from A&E at two hospitals. A major NHS hospital trust had to turn patients away from its A&E units 13 times last week – including four times in one day – as the snow left it facing “extremely challenging” conditions.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was forced to divert emergency patients away from the A&Es at two of the hospitals it runs, the Worcestershire Royal in Worcester and Alexandra in Redditch. Continue reading... Guardian

Lung experts 'deeply concerned' by low flu jab uptake in England

Lung experts 'deeply concerned' by low flu jab uptake in England Barely two in five people in at-risk groups have been vaccinated as NHS hospitals buckle under strain caused by cold snap

Fewer than half those eligible for a free winter flu jab have had one, despite high-profile warnings that this winter could bring the biggest flu outbreak in years, NHS figures reveal.

The low uptake, which will alarm NHS bosses, come as many hospitals showed clear signs of starting to buckle under the extra demand for care caused by the cold snap that began last week. Guardian

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Health Survey for England, 2016

Health Survey for England, 2016 The Health Survey for England series was designed to monitor trends in the nation's health; estimating the proportion of people in England who have specified health conditions, and the prevalence of risk factors and behaviours associated with these conditions. NHS Digital


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NHS in England told to reveal avoidable deaths data

NHS in England told to reveal avoidable deaths data The NHS in England is to become the first healthcare system in the world to publish figures on avoidable patient deaths, the health secretary has said.

By the end of 2017, some 170 out of 223 trusts will publish data on deaths they believe could have been prevented.

It is estimated there are up to 9,000 deaths in hospitals each year caused by failings in NHS care.

The Department for Health said it wanted to ensure the NHS learned lessons from every case.

There is no standard definition of an avoidable death and each hospital trust makes its own judgment. BBC News

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Surgeon Simon Bramhall marked initials on patients' livers

Surgeon Simon Bramhall marked initials on patients' livers A surgeon who marked his initials on the livers of two transplant patients has admitted assault by beating.

Simon Bramhall, 53, committed the offences at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in February and August 2013.

The liver, spleen and pancreas surgeon was suspended later that year.

He pleaded guilty to two charges at Birmingham Crown Court and will be sentenced at the same court on 12 January.

He denied the more serious charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm - a plea which was accepted by prosecutors. BBC News

More than 75000 sign petition calling for Richard Branson's Virgin Care to hand settlement money back to NHS - The Independent

More than 75000 sign petition calling for Richard Branson's Virgin Care to hand settlement money back to NHS More than 75,000 people have signed a petition calling for Richard Branson’s private healthcare company to return cash it was given by the NHS.

Anger has been growing at the payment after it was revealed just one local health service group reached a reported £328,000 settlement with Virgin Care.

Mr Branson’s company sued the NHS last year after it lost out on an £82m contract to provide children’s health services across Surrey, citing concerns over “serious flaws” in the way the contract was awarded. The Independent

I didn't train as a doctor to prop up a struggling NHS – so I quit

I didn't train as a doctor to prop up a struggling NHS – so I quit Inflexible training and the pressure to work longer hours to cover staff shortages left me little time for my young child and took a toll on my health

Almost a year ago, I sat in the office of a counsellor, the third in five years, in another attempt to “learn how to cope” with the working life of a junior doctor. I was ready to hang up my stethoscope, which had become a noose around my neck.

The storm had been brewing since my early days as a junior doctor. On paper, I was blossoming: I had spent five years at university and six in acute specialties, building a CV shining with national prizes and publications. However, a crumbling NHS forcing doctors to compromise care and the inflexible path for mothers in part-time training led to my departure. After battling both for six years, I faced burnout and was directed to a counsellor to help me, in the words of senior male colleagues, “toughen up and comply with the system”.

There were nights when if the patient wasn’t nearing cardiac arrest, they weren’t sick enough to be seen Continue reading... The Guardian

Millennials demanding shorter hours and gap years will fuel NHS workforce shortage, plans warn 

Millennials demanding shorter hours and gap years will fuel NHS workforce shortage, plans warn The NHS needs almost 200,000 more staff to cope with rising pressures as “millennial” workers increasingly demand career breaks and part-time roles, a new 10-year plan warns.

The health service strategy, published on Thursday, suggests the workforce will need to grow by close to a fifth unless productivity of the service improves, or decisive action is taken to prevent ill-health.

It says the NHS needs to adapt, to take account of the rising number of health professionals choosing to work part-time, seeing flexible working and career breaks “as a right”.

Prof Ian Cumming, chief executive of Health Education England, said the attitudes of millennials - those born in the 80s and early 90s - were very different to previous generations, with a much bigger focus on “work/life balance”. The Daily Telegraph

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Doctor shares post that reveals a day as a stretched GP

Doctor shares post that reveals a day as a stretched GP A TV doctor has shared an 'eye-opening' post on social media that reveals a single day working as an over-stretched GP – as she hit out at the 10-minute GP consultation period.

Dr Zoe Williams, who regularly appears on This Morning to dish out health advice, explained some of the complex cases she had to deal with in the allocated time slot.

Recent research by Cambridge University has highlighted the 10-minute consultation in Britain is among the shortest in Europe. The Daily Mail

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

'This should not happen': Son's reaction to disclosure of mother's medical information to mystery caller by Northampton General Hospital

'This should not happen': Son's reaction to disclosure of mother's medical information to mystery caller by Northampton General Hospital A son said it was “scary” to find that details about his mother’s condition while in Northampton General Hospital were disclosed to a mystery caller posing as her husband who has been dead for four years.

Raymond Hughes, 64, from Daventry, phoned the hospital in the days after his mother was admitted on October 10.

After speaking with a hospital worker over the phone it emerged they told someone other than the listed next of kin about her treatment, tests being carried out on her, as well as her general condition. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Nurses pay thanks to team who delivered end of life care to Northampton patients in the snow

Nurses pay thanks to team who delivered end of life care to Northampton patients in the snow A team of Northampton nurses have been praised by their seniors "as a credit" to the profession after they delivered care to sick people, even though some of them had a day off.

The bitter wintry weather has been causing extreme difficulties around Northampton, but nurses from St James Clinic have been out in full force working hard to treat over 200 poorly patients on Sunday and Monday.

One nurse managed to tackle snow and ice and walked from Hackleton to Hardingstone while another trudged through the snow from Ecton to Earls Barton to deliver care. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

The impact of redesigning urgent and emergency care in Northumberland

The impact of redesigning urgent and emergency care in Northumberland The Health Foundation has considered findings from analysis into the early impact of changes to urgent and emergency care services in Northumberland following the opening of the country’s first bespoke emergency hospital in 2015 – the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

The analysis was conducted by the Improvement Analytics Unit, a statistical evaluation unit run in partnership by NHS England and the Health Foundation that helps to inform decision-making at a local and national level and ultimately improve the delivery of health care. The work was conducted in collaboration with the Northumberland primary and acute care system vanguard, which includes Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The report highlights that reconfiguring NHS services takes time to generate the intended results and that robust, repeat evaluation can help to inform decisions and improvement.

Duty of care to prisoners needs urgent action

Duty of care to prisoners needs urgent action The Public Accounts Committee report says record levels of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm in prisons are a damning indictment.

Record high numbers of self-inflicted deaths and incidents of self-harm in prisons are a damning indictment of the current state of the mental health of those in prison and the prison environment overall.

More excuses are not good enough. The Ministry of Justice, HM Prison and Probation Service and NHS England have a duty of care to those in prison, yet do not know where they are starting from, how well they are doing or whether their current plans will be enough to succeed.

The current level of self-inflicted deaths and self-harm incidents in prisons is appalling and the system for improving the mental health of prisoners isn’t working as it should. Public Accounts Select Committee 

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Open consultation: Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England

Open consultation: Introducing ‘opt-out’ consent for organ and tissue donation in England We have launched a consultation about organ and tissue donation. The government wants to know what people think about proposed changes in which people are considered willing to be an organ donor after their death, unless they have ‘opted out’.

We want to find out what people think of how the changes to the system should be made, and what else they think the government needs to consider. Department of Health

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National Data Guardian for Health and Care 2017 report: impact and influence for patients and service users

National Data Guardian for Health and Care 2017 report: impact and influence for patients and service users This report looks back over the past three years since the creation of the National Data Guardian role and it describes future priorities. It sets out a case for the independent advice and challenges that the role provides to ensure that confidential data collected by the NHS and social care services is safeguarded and used appropriately to improve care. National Data Guardian

Horizon scanning future health and care demand for workforce skills in England

Horizon scanning future health and care demand for workforce skills in England This briefing outlines the findings of a horizon scanning exercise, carried out by the Department of Health, which has informed workforce planning for the future health and care workforce and the skills needed to keep pace with changing health needs. World Health Organization

Baby born with heart outside body 'doing well'

Baby born with heart outside body 'doing well' A baby born with her heart outside her body has survived after surgery at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

Vanellope Hope Wilkins, who has no breastbone, was delivered three weeks ago by Caesarean section.

She has had three operations to place her heart back in her chest.

The condition, ectopia cordis, is extremely rare, with only a few cases per million births, of which most are stillborn.

The hospital says it knows of no other case in the UK where the baby has survived. BBC News

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Cold weather and loneliness 'lethal in winter'

Cold weather and loneliness 'lethal in winter' The combination of cold weather and loneliness could be lethal in the coming months, England's most senior nurse is warning.

Prof Jane Cummings, NHS England's chief nursing officer, said cases of strokes and heart attacks tended to rise after a cold snap.

She said that, and the growing problem of loneliness, were a dangerous combination over winter.

She said "simple acts of companionship" could make all the difference.

This could include visiting elderly friends, family and neighbours more regularly, doing the shopping for them or picking up prescription medicines, Prof Cummings added. BBC News

'That's where the babies are suffering'

'That's where the babies are suffering' Should anti-abortion campaigners be banned from standing outside abortion centres and urging women to change their mind?

Leila Nathoo visits one clinic in London to hear whether the right to freedom of expression has crossed over into intimidation. BBC News

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Dementia victims stranded in hospital this Christmas

Dementia victims stranded in hospital this Christmas More than 1,400 dementia patients will be stranded in hospital on Christmas Day - despite being well enough to go home, a charity investigation has revealed.

The Alzheimer's Society has blamed a 'woefully inadequate' lack of social care funding, in the region of £2 billion, for 'turning wards into waiting rooms'.

Their damning investigation found dementia patients are becoming 'part of the furniture' and face delays up to 10 times as long as those without the disease.

Victims of dementia, which robs sufferers of their memory, rely on social care as drugs are unable to slow the progression of the incurable disease. The Daily Mail

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Award-winning initiative gives people the opportunity to shape their end of life care

Award-winning initiative gives people the opportunity to shape their end of life care Warrington CCG has landed a top prize in the HSJ Awards for their work to improve end of life care with personal health budgets.

Winning the 2017 “Compassionate patient care” award, Warrington is one of five areas across the country now giving people more of a say in the care they receive in their last weeks and months of life. Personal health budgets are part of a range of work being led by NHS England to improve end of life care. Hear patients, hospice staff and commissioners talk about the benefits of personal health budgets in Warrington in this short film. NHS England

Will change to organ donor rules mean more transplants?

Will change to organ donor rules mean more transplants? In an attempt to make more organs available for transplant, ministers are proposing a radical change by moving to a system of "presumed consent".

Current rules in England mean those willing to donate their organs, should they die, sign up to a donor register.

A consultation on the new system, which would see opting out of organ donation replacing opting in, starts on Tuesday.

Wales has already adopted an approach of presumed consent. Scotland plans to introduce a similar scheme. BBC News

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NHS trust treating brain-damaged boy gets anonymity over abuse fears

NHS trust treating brain-damaged boy gets anonymity over abuse fears Charlie Gard case sparks harassment concerns as doctors at unnamed trust in the Midlands seek to turn off life support

Bosses at an NHS hospital trust who wanted to stop providing life-support treatment to a brain-damaged baby boy recently won an anonymity fight after telling a high court judge that medics might be harassed by members of the public.

They feared a repeat of the abuse that staff at Great Ormond Street hospital in London received this year after a judge ruled that 11-month-old Charlie Gard should be allowed to die. Continue reading... The Guardian

NHS managers in England back Kerslake's underfunding claim

NHS managers in England back Kerslake's underfunding claim As King’s College hospital trust is put into special measures, NHS Confederation urges government to give service more funding

NHS managers have backed the claim by Bob Kerslake, the outgoing chairman of King’s College hospital, that the health service is being denied the money it needs to meet the rising demand for healthcare.

The NHS Confederation, which represents 85% of the NHS’s 240 trusts in England, urged the government to ditch its policy of giving the service small increases and instead realise that it deserved a greater share of national income. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Why is the NHS agreeing high prices for life-saving drugs?

Why is the NHS agreeing high prices for life-saving drugs? Sherri Coleman recently spent a week paralysed, imprisoned in her upstairs bedroom, because her doctors say they can’t give her the drug she needs.

‘If it hadn’t been for Violet, my 11-year-old daughter, and mum, Rose, bringing me drinks and food, I would have starved to death,’ she says in measured tones that belie the desperation of her condition.

Sherri, 41, was born with a rare form of muscular dystrophy, inherited from her father, that worsens with age, causing her body to become paralysed at random — the attacks may last anything from a few minutes to a number of days. The Daily Mail

Monday, 11 December 2017

NHS winter pressures: how well prepared is the NHS in England?

NHS winter pressures: how well prepared is the NHS in England? Hospitals’ attempts to cope in winter symbolise the wider problems facing the NHS and social care. Winter pressures shine a particularly harsh spotlight on the gap between rising demand and stagnating budgets. Last winter hospitals struggled, even without a flu outbreak or a prolonged cold spell. Headlines shouted of overflowing emergency departments, with ‘black alerts’ in some hospitals leading to diverted ambulances, cancelled operations and patients waiting on trolleys for hospital beds.

Planning for this winter began in the summer. NHS England and NHS Improvement proposed action in four interlinked areas to prepare as well as possible for the winter. In a series of four blogs, we will explore these plans and compare the NHS and social care system’s current winter preparedness with that of 2016. The Health Foundation

Reducing inequalities in children and young people’s mental health

Reducing inequalities in children and young people’s mental health When Theresa May stood on the steps of Downing Street to address the nation for the first time as Prime Minister, she identified several ‘burning injustices’, the first of which was that ‘if you’re born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others’.

She reiterated this in one of her first major speeches as Prime Minister, when she went on to set out a personal commitment to tackling the burning injustice of mental illness and promised to publish a Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health. Now that this has been published, how does it measure up in linking inequality and mental health? The King's Fund

Mental health services for post-16 students in England

Mental health services for post-16 students in England This briefing paper gives an outline of recent studies on the mental health of students, Government mental health policy for students, support in further and higher education providers, the legal duties of providers and discusses issues raised. It finds that young adults aged 16–24 today are more likely than previous generations of young adults to experience mental health issues and the numbers of students reporting mental ill health is increasing. House of Commons Library

Out in the cold: lung disease, the hidden driver of NHS winter pressure

Out in the cold: lung disease, the hidden driver of NHS winter pressure The report warns that a failure to address a predictable and obvious seasonal variation in respiratory admissions is at the heart of our A&E winter crisis. It's potentially causing patients needless harm.

Our analysis reveals that this annual fluctuation has consistently repeated over the last 7 years. Yet many hospitals have failed to adapt their services to cope with the surge in respiratory admissions. British Lung Foundation

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Vaginal mesh ban 'a retrograde step', surgeons say

Vaginal mesh ban 'a retrograde step', surgeons say Banning vaginal mesh implants would remove an important treatment for some women suffering from a prolapse, says the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Some women benefit from the implants and should have a choice, it said.

The health watchdog NICE is expected to recommend that the implants be banned.

Around 800 women are taking legal action against the NHS and mesh manufacturers, saying they have suffered from painful complications. BBC News

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Police reveal 'unlawful' mental health detentions

Police reveal 'unlawful' mental health detentions Police chiefs in England and Wales say they may be unlawfully detaining arrested people needing mental health care more than 2,000 times a year.

Some people have been held in police cells for several days because there is no hospital bed for them, the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) says.

It says an inquiry into such mental health provision is needed.

The government said the use of police custody for people detained under the Mental Health Act had fallen sharply. BBC News

Mental health: Jeremy Hunt says the NHS needs to 'be better' at dealing with crisis patients

Mental health: Jeremy Hunt says the NHS needs to 'be better' at dealing with crisis patients The health secretary says the NHS must be better at dealing with mental health crisis cases.

Jeremy Hunt, who's in charge of the health service in England, was speaking to Newsbeat about our iPlayer documentary My Mind and Me.

He watched Radio 1 listener Bex talk about failures when she needed urgent help after a mental health crisis.

Mr Hunt admits there's a "bottleneck in parts of the country" for mental health beds. BBC News

I'm a doctor, and in October I tried to commit suicide. I ended up as a patient on the very hospital wards I work on - The Independent

I'm a doctor, and in October I tried to commit suicide. I ended up as a patient on the very hospital wards I work on My time as an inpatient brought home to me, in a way no other experience ever could, the scale of the problem before us


Last weekend saw the walkout en masse of social mobility tsar Alan Milburn and all three of his fellow commissioners. In his resignation letter, Milburn, a former Labour cabinet minister, stated that the Government lacks “the necessary bandwidth to ensure the rhetoric of healing social division is matched with the reality”.

Sadly, much like the noble cause of improving social mobility, a gulf now exists in mental health care between the rhetoric and the reality of government policy. The Independent

I’m quitting as a hospital boss: dire NHS funding problems give me no choice | Bob Kerslake

I’m quitting as a hospital boss: dire NHS funding problems give me no choice | Bob Kerslake Our deficit at King’s College hospital, London, means we will be put into financial special measures, while what the NHS really needs is a fundamental rethink

I have this weekend decided to stand down from my role as chair of King’s College hospital, London.

This was not a decision that I took lightly. I love King’s and have the highest regard for the people who work there. But in the end I have concluded that the government and its regulator, NHS Improvement, are simply not facing up to the enormous challenges that the NHS is currently facing. This is especially true in London where the demands of a rapidly growing population are not being matched by the extra resources we need.

The right thing for me to do therefore is to step down and to do so publicly Continue reading... The Guardian

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Stephen Hawking joins lawsuit aimed at foiling Hunt's NHS shake-up

Stephen Hawking joins lawsuit aimed at foiling Hunt's NHS shake-up Physicist’s dispute with health secretary is reignited as he joins action against changes he fears could lead to more privatisation

Stephen Hawking has reignited his public dispute with Jeremy Hunt by joining a legal action aimed at scuppering an NHS shake-up that he fears will lead to greater privatisation and rationing of resources.

The physicist has become a party to a lawsuit that is seeking to stop the introduction of the first accountable care organisations (ACOs) into the NHS in England in April. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Rising numbers forced to take time off work to see a GP, poll finds

Rising numbers forced to take time off work to see a GP, poll finds Rising numbers of people are being forced to take time off work to see a GP, despite Government pledges to offer appointments 8am to 8pm, new polls suggest.

Ministers have promised to improve access to family doctors, with a target for all patients to be able to see GPs at evenings and weekends by 2019.

But the survey suggests the situation is deteriorating, amid a drop in the number of family doctors. The Daily Telegraph

Third of GPs plan to close surgeries to new patients

Third of GPs plan to close surgeries to new patients One three family doctors plan to close their surgeries to new patients, a survey found.

They claim that without drastic action they will be unable to give safe care to those already on their books.

One in ten GPs said they had already closed surgery lists to new patients temporarily within the past 12 months.

A further 28 per cent – nearly a third – admitted they were considering doing so. The Daily Mail

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Hospital tracks patients' movements via wristbands

Hospital tracks patients' movements via wristbands A hospital has become the first to issue all staff and patients with electronic 'wristbands' to track their movements through 'big brother' style technology.

In an NHS trial, the Countess of Chester Hospital, in Cheshire, has more than 4,000 infrared sensors above beds and doorways that read data chips on patients' and staff's wristbands to record where they are.

Findings reveal the time from a patient being discharged from the Cheshire hospital to their bed being ready for a new patient is less than two-and-a-half hours, down from approximately four hours as staff can automatically see when their bed becomes available.

The system, known as TeleTracking Technologies, also tells staff about patients' specific needs and helps them move efficiently around the hospital. The Daily Mail

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