Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sustainability and Transformation Plans: How serious are the proposals? A critical review

Sustainability and Transformation Plans: How serious are the proposals? A critical review This report critically reviews each of the 44 STPs in terms of how they stand as serious, coherent and achievable plans. Each was subject to the levels of rigorous appraisal you would expect for ant set of NHS planning documents. The researchers were looking for clear expert evidence, how the plans matched population needs, the resources required, the key assumptions in the overall approach, and how local accountability operates across the footprint. Overall the report finds that the STPs are not ready for implementation, with the plans lacking a secure grounding in the current situation, and a robust evidence base to the changes proposed. Significant developments in the relationship between the NHS and Local Government are required and this will take time. The emphasis on reducing acute beds and A&E attendance will require local consultation. Legislative change is also required to free health and care from the constraints of the market to provide integrated quality care for local populations. Finally there is a significant funding shortfall, and a need for clear and robust workforce plans. London Southbank University

Action needed to prevent confusion over medicines

Action needed to prevent confusion over medicines Only about a third (37%) of the public trust evidence from medical research, compared to approximately two-thirds (65%) who trust the experiences of their friends and family*, according to a report launched today.

The new report highlights the significant difficulties patients and some healthcare professionals face in using evidence from research to judge the benefits and harms of medicines, and calls for concerted action to improve the information patients receive.

The report was instigated following public debate around the benefits and harms of treatments such as statins, hormone replacement therapy and Tamiflu. It calls for a range of actions including significant improvements to patient information leaflets, better use of medical appointments and a bigger role for NHS Choices as the ‘go to’ source of trusted information online for patients and carers, as well as healthcare professionals. The Academy of Medical Sciences

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Where next for commissioning?

Where next for commissioning? This report is the first in a series which promotes the views of leaders from a range of trusts and other parts of the service on some of the key issues facing the NHS today. The report includes eight interviews that address concerns including the role of STPs and accountable care systems, the challenge of integrating health and care commissioning, and the future of the purchaser-provider split. Contributors include leaders of hospital, mental health and community trusts and ambulance services, with additional perspectives from a CCG and local government. NHS Providers

Long-stay rehabilitation services

Long-stay rehabilitation services This briefing reviews evidence from Care Quality Commission inspection reports of inpatient rehabilitation services in England. It finds that while many people receive high quality care close to home from rehabilitation services, a minority spend periods of many months and sometimes years in hospital. Some are placed far from home in locked wards and become isolated from their families and dislocated from their local health and care services. It calls on the government and the NHS to provide clear direction for the development and improvement of local community and hospital services for people with complex mental health needs. It also calls on NHS providers and CCGs to ensure they offer local services to people requiring rehabilitation support and that they maintain contact with people admitted to hospitals out of their local area. Centre for Mental Health

Sleep disorder tests carried out by NHS doubles

Sleep disorder tests carried out by NHS doubles The number of tests carried out by the NHS to diagnose people with sleep disorders across England has doubled in the past decade, figures reveal.

NHS data shows that 147,610 sleep diagnostic tests were carried out last year - compared with 69,919 in 2007-08.

The tests are designed to identify sleep apnoea, a condition that causes people to stop breathing during sleep.

One patient told the BBC the problem was so acute it had driven her to contemplate suicide. BBC News

GP workforce crisis should concern hospitals as much as CCGs, warns NHS chief

GP workforce crisis should concern hospitals as much as CCGs, warns NHS chief The chief executive of NHS England has told hospital trust leaders they should be as concerned about resolving the GP workforce crisis as primary care organisations such as CCGs or GP consortia. GPonline

Bupa has betrayed care home residents, says CQC

Bupa has betrayed care home residents, says CQC Bupa has betrayed the residents of its care homes whom it is paid to look after, and failed to make good on promises to address concerns previously raised by the Care Quality Commission, the regulator has warned. The CQC was responding to “shocking evidence” of understaffing, bad practice and poor care portrayed in Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, aired last night. Bupa said it does not accept some of the accusations, but is “taking this very seriously” and has launched its own investigation.

For Bupa Care Homes Undercover, Dispatches reporters went undercover to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect at specialist dementia care homes. The CQC reacted forcefully to the revelations made by the Dispatches team. Andrea Sutcliffe, the regulator’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “The examples of poor care and a culture of inappropriate, institutionalised practice highlighted by this programme are wholly unacceptable.” OnMedica

NHS deficit shrinks by two thirds in a year, latest performance data show

NHS deficit shrinks by two thirds in a year, latest performance data show The NHS deficit has shrunk by two thirds in the past year – from £2.4 billion to £791 million – the figures on financial performance for the last quarter of 2016-17 show.

This represents an improvement of £1.7 billion, driven by savings of over £3.1 billion (3.7%), with over £700 million saved on locum and agency use during the year, says NHS Improvement.

This is against a backdrop of rising demand and a significant increase in delayed transfers of care: providers experienced a 24.5% increase in delayed days in 2016-17 compared with 2015-16, it says.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said the NHS had achieved “the impossible” over the past year. OnMedica

More students are dropping out of university because of mental health problems

More students are dropping out of university because of mental health problems The UK student population has doubled in the last 20 years to almost two million. During this time, higher tuition fees have placed increased pressure on students – with a recent survey finding that 75 per cent of students who receive a maintenance loan feel stressed about their debt.

It may not be a total surprise then that a 2015 NUS survey revealed that 78 per cent of students experienced mental health issues during the previous year. And for 33 per cent of those questioned, this included suicidal thoughts.

The situation has been described as a “mental health crisis” – with student support services struggling to meet demand. ONS data on the issue also shows student suicides are at a 10-year high. The Independent

As a psychologist for NHS staff I saw how hospital work takes its toll

As a psychologist for NHS staff I saw how hospital work takes its toll I was struck by their terrible experiences – the doctor who kept seeing a dead child and the person with an alcohol problem

When I began working as a psychologist at a large London teaching hospital I was fascinated and – a little overwhelmed – by the challenge of developing a new psychology service. I was employed solely for the 5,000 staff working in the hospital. Absolutely anyone could come and see me for psychological support, from the porters to the medical consultants. And they did. Over a 12-year period I saw many NHS staff.

Sometimes they were sent by managers who were worried about them. About their behaviour or their distress or the impact of a very traumatic event they had witnessed, for example. Others referred themselves in secret and hoped that no one would know they were coming. When they left they were always polite and thanked me but usually said that they hoped they would never see me again.

It sometimes felt like there was hope that staff could disappear for a bit and emerge intact and ready to work Continue reading... The Guardian

NHS launches urgent appeal for black people to donate blood

NHS launches urgent appeal for black people to donate blood Call prompted by demand for Ro subtype, more common among black people, to treat conditions such as sickle cell disease

Health officials have launched an urgent plea for more black people to give blood.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said that 40,000 more donors were needed to meet growing demand for Ro blood, a subtype that is more common among black people. Continue reading. The Guardian