Thursday, 31 May 2018

Survey into impact of mental health on services to be revealed by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Survey into impact of mental health on services to be revealed by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner A major consultation into the treatment of people with mental health concerns by the police and criminal justice system has found gaps in the support available and an inconsistent approach between the organisations.

The full results of the Time 2 Listen report will be revealed by Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold on June 5.

The consultation, believed to be the first of its kind ever held in the county, involved more than 1,200 people who have either mental illness, autism or ADHD, as well as more than 260 professionals working in health, policing, criminal justice and the voluntary sector. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Misconduct doctor's 'force made pregnant woman scream'

Misconduct doctor's 'force made pregnant woman scream' A doctor who continued to "quite forcefully" examine a pregnant woman despite her "screaming" for him to stop has been suspended for misconduct.

Locum registrar Dr Abdelkarim Mohamed who worked at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust continued until a midwife pulled his hand away in 2016.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard he also failed to comply with hand hygiene rules.

He was suspended for nine months in a case which involved two other woman. BBC Northampton

Five ways patient data is saving the NHS

Five ways patient data is saving the NHS On Friday, two major changes to the way the NHS handles patient data came into force: the national data opt-out and the General Data Protection Regulation. Our latest briefing details how these changes bolster safeguards for patient data, as well as flagging some of the potential implications of the changes. There are many ways that patient data is saving the NHS and here we explore five. For more examples Understanding Patient Data has a bank of case studies. The King's Fund

NHS met unprecedented patient demand last year

NHS met unprecedented patient demand last year Despite experiencing the worst winter in a decade, frontline NHS staff and managers have risen to the challenge and cared for more patients than ever before. However, this surge in demand has affected the NHS’s performance in key areas, such as waiting times and its reliance on temporary workers. NHS Improvement

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Numbers of GPs who want out within 5 years at all-time high, finds survey

Numbers of GPs who want out within 5 years at all-time high, finds survey The number of GPs who say they are likely to quit direct patient care within five years rose to 39% in 2017 from 35% in 2015, according to a new survey carried out by University of Manchester researchers.

The figure rose from 61% in 2015 to 62% in GPs over 50. Among this group, the majority said it was highly likely (47%) or considerably likely (15%).

In contrast, 13% of GPs under 50 said there was a considerable or high likelihood of leaving direct patient care within five years and 45% reported that there was no likelihood. Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System

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NHS workforce health and wellbeing framework

NHS workforce health and wellbeing framework NHS England, NHS Improvement and NHS Employers have developed an NHS workforce health and wellbeing framework for all NHS organisations.

NHS doctor told by Home Office to leave UK and apply for new visa stranded for months with career in jeopardy

NHS doctor told by Home Office to leave UK and apply for new visa stranded for months with career in jeopardy An NHS doctor’s career is in jeopardy because the Home Officehas rejected his application for a visa four times after telling him to leave the country and reapply for a work permit following the breakup of his marriage.

Dr Nnaemeka Chidumije has worked in the NHS in Newcastle since 2014 and was training to be a surgeon when he was told he would have to leave the country because his spousal visa had been curtailed. The Independent

Faith-based groups 'increasingly stepping in to plug gaps in NHS'

Faith-based groups 'increasingly stepping in to plug gaps in NHS' More than 3,500 churches and 200,000 volunteers are helping overstretched NHS, says study

Faith-based organisations are increasingly stepping in to support the overstretched NHS, research has found.

More than 3,500 churches and 200,000 volunteers are working on health and social care initiatives that are “plugging the gap” left by funding cuts and limited resources, according to the Cinnamon Network, a charity that connects faith-based organisations. Continue reading... The Guardian

'A&E is no place for a crisis': Bradford leads the way in mental health care

'A&E is no place for a crisis': Bradford leads the way in mental health care A 24-hour response team in West Yorkshire is easing the pressure on emergency services

One consequence of the closure of so many mental hospitals since the 1960s has been the increase in the number of people being sent far from their homes when they have needed a bed to receive treatment. However, a scheme in Bradford is showing that you can stop such out-of-area placements altogether by strengthening community-based care and support.

“You can live in Lancashire and have to go to Cornwall for a hospital bed,” says Chris Dixon, clinical manager of the First Response crisis scheme. “It’s hugely detrimental to people’s mental health because it’s harder to recover when you are hundreds of miles from home and don’t have family and friends around you.” Continue reading... The Guardian

Seven years on from Winterbourne View, why has nothing changed?

Seven years on from Winterbourne View, why has nothing changed? | Saba Salman People with learning disabilities are still at risk of being abused and dying unnecessarily in institutions. This is unacceptable

This week is the seventh anniversary of BBC Panorama’s exposure of the systematic abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View hospital in Gloucestershire.

The abuse viewers saw routinely taking place at the NHS-funded assessment and treatment unit (ATU), seemed like a watershed moment. A government investigation and official report promised that lessons would be learned and committed to transfer the 3,500 people in similar institutions across England to community-based care by June 2014. Yet the deadline was missed, and the programme described by the then care minister Norman Lamb, as an “abject failure”. Continue reading... The Guardian

Half of 999 patients to be assessed on scene amid rising hospital pressures

Half of 999 patients to be assessed on scene amid rising hospital pressures Half of 999 patients will be treated on the scene instead of taken to hospital, under NHS plans to save funds and reduce pressure on Accident & Emergency departments.

The measures by the country’s biggest ambulance service mean paramedics will use video to assess patients on the spot.

Images will be beamed to medics, to decide whether a visit to A&E is necessary, or if help could be provided by a GP or community service. The Daily Telegraph

NHS appeals for people with O and B negative blood to donate

NHS appeals for people with O and B negative blood to donate NHS Blood and Transplant today blamed low donations over the bank holiday weekend, as many chose to bask outdoors in the sizzling 86°F (30°C) temperatures instead. The Daily Mail

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Using data in the NHS: the implications of the opt-out and GDPR

Using data in the NHS: the implications of the opt-out and GDPR Patient data is not only vital for managing an individual’s care, it also plays an important role in other ways: planning health services, improving diagnosis and treatment and evaluating the effectiveness of policy. These ‘secondary uses’ of data offer significant opportunities to improve care, especially if advances in technology and data analysis can be harnessed. The King's Fund

Hypothecated funding for health and social care: how might it work?

Hypothecated funding for health and social care: how might it work? Hypothecated funding for health and social care is back on the political agenda. This paper sets out the problems hypothecation is meant to solve - and the conditions under which it might do so - and provides a brief history of hypothecation in the UK. The King's Fund

NHS England announces new £10 million fund to help retain GPs

NHS England announces new £10 million fund to help retain GPs NHS England is today announcing a new £10million fund to support and retain GPs. Some £7million will be made available through regional-based schemes to help GPs to stay in the workforce, by promoting new ways of working and by offering additional support through a new Local GP Retention Fund.

Transforming care: the challenges and solutions

Transforming care: the challenges and solutions This report outlines the challenges and solutions to moving people with learning disabilities, autism and/or mental health conditions out of long-stay inpatient care. It offers insight from a pilot project and provides recommendations for future steps. Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Childhood obesity is everyone’s business

Childhood obesity is everyone’s business The Government must change the narrative around childhood obesity to make it clear that this is everyone's business, say the Health and Social Care Committee in their report into childhood obesity.

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'Working in the NHS, my life-long dream'

'Working in the NHS, my life-long dream' In 1948 the British government carried out an ambitious shake-up of post-war society, establishing the foundations of a welfare state.

A cornerstone of this new vision was the creation of the National Health Service, the NHS, providing free universal health care for everyone in the UK.

Olive Belfield, 91, tells Witness about working as a nurse and health visitor in the early days of the NHS. BBC News

NHS must combat 'white privilege' and increase diversity, says trust executive

NHS must combat 'white privilege' and increase diversity, says trust executive The NHS needs to do more to tackle “white privilege” and increase black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) representation in leadership positions, a Trust chief executive has said.

Sarah-Jane Marsh, of the Birmingham Women’s & Children’s NHS Trust, told Sky News a lack of representation among senior managers and directors means the NHS is not as diverse as the communities it serves.

She said it means the NHS may not be getting the best possible staff. The Independent

Mental health care: have services really been transformed?

Mental health care: have services really been transformed? A sure sign that mental health had emerged from the shadows came when Prince Harry talked about his near-breakdown years after his mother’s death. Literally shut away from sight a few decades ago, mental illness has moved to the centre of public debate.

NHS services have also come a long way since their inheritance of lunatic asylums and a dubious arsenal of treatments such as insulin shock therapy, which was used to induce comas. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, produced by an independent task force for NHS England two years ago, spoke of a “transformation” in which the emphasis had already shifted to human rights. Continue reading... The Guardian

‘What good is advanced surgery if we can’t even offer proper homecare?’

‘What good is advanced surgery if we can’t even offer proper homecare?’ | Anna Bawden and Nicola Slawson A crisis in council funding is forcing domiciliary care firms to cancel contracts, leaving older people without vital support

Almost 1.2 million people aged over 65 do not receive the support they need with essential daily tasks such as getting washed and dressed or preparing meals, according to Age UK. The perilous state of the domiciliary care sector, which provides support in people’s own homes, is one of the main reasons for this, the charity says.

Related: NHS needs £2,000 in tax from every household to stay afloat – report

We can secure the NHS and social care for the future by asking everyone to contribute a little more Continue reading... The Guardian

Maternity services set for more change as the NHS hits 70

Maternity services set for more change as the NHS hits 70 Hospital births were once seen as the ideal in maternity services – now, women’s choice is driving policy

July is set to be a month of celebrations. Not only will it be the NHS’s birthday that month, but it will be the 40th birthday of Louise Brown, probably better known as the world’s first “test-tube baby”.

Louise’s arrival, by caesarian section shortly before midnight on 25 July 1978 at the Royal Oldham hospital, made headlines around the world, marking as it did the birth of the first human to be conceived using in-vitro fertilisation. Continue reading... The Guardian

The NHS vanguard schemes aiming to deliver quicker, better care

The NHS vanguard schemes aiming to deliver quicker, better care In England and Northern Ireland, prevention and early intervention are seen as key to transforming healthcare

The prevention of ill health, rather than just its cure, lies at the heart of moves to improve the NHS to make it fit for another 70 years. The message is the same across the UK.

In England, the way forward has been signalled by the work of a number of “vanguard” schemes, selected and funded to trial new models of care based on local partnerships between the NHS and council-run social care and public health. Continue reading... The Guardian

More than 1 million patients forced to get a new GP after seven-fold rise in practice closures 

More than 1 million patients forced to get a new GP after seven-fold rise in practice closures More than a million patients have been forced to get a new GP amid a seven-fold rise in practice closures, an investigation reveals.

Family doctors said elderly patients were being left to travel long distances, warning of a “timebomb” as shortages of GPs spread across the country.

Freedom of Information disclosures reveal the closure of 445 practices across the country in the last five years, including some which merged into “super surgeries”.

This included 134 closures last year - a seven-fold rise on the 18 practices which closed in 2013. The Daily Telegraph

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Woman killed herself after surgeon removed her ovaries during operation because ‘they were getting in the way’, inquest hears

Woman killed herself after surgeon removed her ovaries during operation because ‘they were getting in the way’, inquest hears A woman treated by one of Britain's best known surgeons killed herself after the doctor, who is under investigation by the NHS, removed her ovaries during an operation because "they were getting in the way".

Anthony Dixon, who built up an international reputation for using mesh to fix bowel problems, saw Lucinda Methuen-Campbell, 58, at a private hospital in 2016 regarding a bowel disorder.

Dr Dixon, who has been suspended from two hospitals in Bristol, allegedly told Mrs Methuen-Campbell that he removed her ovaries during the surgery "because they were in the way". The Daily Telegraph

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Northamptonshire County Council overspend 'may break law'

Northamptonshire County Council overspend 'may break law' A cash-strapped council may have broken the law by overspending by nearly £60m and failing to balance its books, an auditor has said.

In April government commissioners were sent in to run "failing" Northamptonshire County Council due to its financial problems.

It announced it had ended 2017-18 with a £12.7m overspend, which it met from reserves to balance the budget.

But auditors KPMG said it may have overspent by £58.9m. BBC  Northampton

Contract for uncertain respite care has been extended in Northamptonshire

Contract for uncertain respite care has been extended in Northamptonshire A family has spoken of their relief following the news that respite care will be funded until the next financial year.

Trudie and Malcolm Ray, receive respite at The Squirrels centre in Rushden one night a week and one weekend a month as part of the residential short breaks contract. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Advancing Dental Care: Education and Training Review

Advancing Dental Care: Education and Training Review Health Education England commissioned the Advancing Dental Care Education & Training Review to consider the skills and composition of the future dental workforce that will best meet future patient need, and the training structures and funding models that will deliver that workforce.

Review to 'eliminate gender pay gap among doctors'

Review to 'eliminate gender pay gap among doctors' The NHS in England is to review how much it pays male and female doctors in an effort to eliminate a gender pay gap of 15%.

A review announced by the health secretary will look at why male doctors are paid on average £10,000 more than female doctors, as the BBC reported.

Across the whole NHS, women are paid 23% less than men despite far more women being employed.

A leading female doctor is to lead the review into the reasons behind the gap.

Prof Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, will lead the independent review into gender pay inequality. BBC News

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How does your mental health diagnosis make you feel?

How does your mental health diagnosis make you feel? Is your mental health diagnosis good for your mental health? There are over 200 mental health diagnoses listed by the World Health Organization, and everyone feels differently about receiving their own.

So, is a diagnosis a lifeline or just a label? We asked six people to share their experiences. BBC News

Boots owner denies overcharging NHS for cancer mouthwash

Boots owner denies overcharging NHS for cancer mouthwash The owner of Boots has rejected claims it overcharged the NHS for a mouthwash used by cancer patients.

An investigation by the Times newspaper said the high street chemist charged the NHS £3,220 for the medicinal mouthwash, which can cost £93.

Walgreens Boots Alliance said its businesses complied with the law. BBC News

NHS deficit last year twice as high as expected, say sources

NHS deficit last year twice as high as expected, say sources Likely overspend will bolster calls for ministers to increase funding for health service.

Hospitals in England ended last year with twice as big a deficit as expected, according to sources, in another illustration of the NHS’s fragile finances.

NHS Improvement (NHSI), the health service’s financial regulator, will reveal the overspend when it releases full details on Thursday of how the NHS performed in 2017-18. Sources close to the publication of the annual health check confirmed NHS trusts ended 2017-18 “about £1bn” in the red. Continue reading... The Guardian

‘We need reform of the NHS to avoid a decade of misery’

‘We need reform of the NHS to avoid a decade of misery’ MPs from different parties urge cross-party approach to solve underfunding of healthcare

As a cross-party group of MPs who have come together to campaign for a new settlement for the NHS and social care, we welcomed last week’s report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the Health Foundation.

The next 15 years will see an extra four million people over the age of 65 in the UK. We believe that the task of meeting the health and care needs of our growing and ageing population is the greatest domestic challenge facing policymakers over the coming decades. There has been a failure to grasp the true scale of this responsibility or to plan for the number of people living with multiple long-term conditions and the escalating costs of treatment.

If we carry on as normal, political parties will continue to duck the challenges, shying away from bold solutions Continue reading... The Guardian

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Robots are better than doctors at diagnosing some cancers, major study finds

Robots are better than doctors at diagnosing some cancers, major study finds Artificial intelligence is better than doctors at diagnosing some cancers, research has shown.

The international study involved machines that were trained to detect signs of skin cancer before being tested against 58 dermatologists.

It comes after the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said extra funds for the NHS must be used to expand the use of artificial intelligence to diagnose patients. The Daily Telegraph

Britain's child obesity disgrace: Figures reveal 170,000 leave primary school overweight

Britain's child obesity disgrace: Figures reveal 170,000 leave primary school overweight More than 22,000 children leave primary school severely obese, figures reveal today.

They are twice as likely to be dangerously obese aged 11 as when they started in reception class aged four.

This is despite hundreds of millions being poured into healthier school meals, new PE equipment and extra sports coaches.

It is the first time the annual National Child Measurement Programme has released official data on ‘severe’ obesity. The Daily Mail

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Friday, 25 May 2018

Private meeting will go ahead in Northampton today to discuss crucial funding for respite care

Private meeting will go ahead in Northampton today to discuss crucial funding for respite care A Northamptonshire family are hoping for a last minute reprieve today as bodies are set to get together at County Hall to discuss the future of respite care.

The residential short breaks contract, which ends in July, to run The Squirrels centre was put up for tender in March and parents were told by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) that it didn't see a way it could safely look after the children within the restructured financial model.

Northamptonshire County Council said it will continue to provide £1.325 million per year but co-funders Nene and Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have reduced its share of funding in 2018/19. Northampton Chronicle and Echo

Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments

Under pressure: safely managing increased demand in emergency departments This report features practical solutions from staff. It identifies what needs to change to keep services safe when facing surges in demand. It calls for wider action for health and social care services to work together. It concludes that a joint approach will help the whole health and care system to manage capacity as demand grows. Care Quality Commission 

Breast screen error 'could have been spotted earlier'

Breast screen error 'could have been spotted earlier' Tens of thousands more women in England may have missed out on breast screening invitations dating back further than previously thought, according to a leading cancer expert.

Earlier this month, the health secretary said a 2009 computer failure may have shortened up to 270 lives.

But Prof Peter Sasieni said the problems go back to 2005, and could have been spotted earlier.

Public Health England said his analysis was "flawed". BBC News

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Why NHS costs just keep going up

Why NHS costs just keep going up The Institute for Fiscal Studies and Health Foundation suggests the NHS will need an extra 4% a year for the next 15 years, and that the only realistic to pay for this is tax rises.

The BBC's Health Correspondent Nick Triggle takes a look at why. BBC News

Small NHS funding rise would be 'disastrous'

Small NHS funding rise would be 'disastrous' Health committee chair Sarah Wollaston says a funding increase of 3% will "not be high enough" to protect the NHS in the future.

She was speaking after a warning from two think tanks that spending is going to have to rise very substantially on the NHS and that extra tax could be the only way to pay for it. BBC News

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Why were NHS hospital beds busier than they've ever been in winter?

Why were NHS hospital beds busier than they've ever been in winter? 'Government ministers should be ashamed that years of cuts to beds, cuts to social care and austerity have led to the worst bed occupancy rates on record'

Government cuts in the face of rising patient demand contributed to NHS beds being fuller than ever this winter, according to new analysis.

It also found thousands of cancelled operations were not enough to prevent bed crisis.

Between January and March this year bed occupancy across all NHS trusts averaged 92.6 per cent according the analysis by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) found. The Independent

Stop scrimping, Theresa May – or the NHS’s 70th birthday will be its last | Polly Toynbee

Stop scrimping, Theresa May – or the NHS’s 70th birthday will be its last | Polly Toynbee The NHS needs £2000 more per household to survive. But as long as they’re ahead in the polls, the Tories don’t seem to care

This is it. The bailiffs are at the door waving the red-ink bill. Pay up or else. For eight years the government has stuck the NHS bill behind the clock but now the crunch has come. Will July’s NHS 70th birthday be a celebration or a funeral? The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), grand truth-teller of fiscal facts, alongside the Health Foundation, an NHS pulse-taker, declare the service needs – absolutely, unequivocally needs – funds that add another £2000 a year per household in tax over the next 15 years.

In polls, people swear they would pay more for the NHS. But politicians fear tax-raisers get punished on election day Continue reading... The Guardian

How addiction took hold of the UK – and cost the NHS millions

How addiction took hold of the UK – and cost the NHS millions In 1975, there were thought to be 5,000 people using heroin in England. As the numbers grew, so did the health service’s bill

In 1948, the treatment of addiction was not a pressing issue for the fledgling NHS. Even in the 1970s, it was confined mainly to the treatment of a relatively small number of heroin addicts. But in the years that followed, a combination of social change and increased availability of drugs and alcohol meant that treatment became a key strand of the NHS’s work.

The latest report by the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System reveals that in 2016-17 some 279,793 people were in contact with drug and alcohol services in England. Just over half were opiate users. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Calls for junk food to have graphic cigarette-style warnings on packaging

Calls for junk food to have graphic cigarette-style warnings on packaging Graphic health warnings on food packets – similar to those used for cigarettes – could prompt people to abandon “hedonistic impulses” and choose healthier foods, a study suggests.

The study, by the University of Melbourne and Cancer Council Victoria, monitored the brain activity of 95 people as they were shown packages of 50 foods such as chips, chocolate bars, biscuits, nuts, fruits and vegetables. The Daily Telegraph

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s

Securing the future: funding health and social care to the 2030s A report that looks at how much health spending would need to rise to provide the level of service it does today and how much it would need to modernise and improve for the future.

These findings are the result of careful "bottom-up" modelling of supply and demand factors in the health and social care sectors including demographic change, population health and cost data. The research was carried out by researchers from the Health Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, in association with the NHS Confederation.

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The story of NHS England: the world’s biggest quango

The story of NHS England: the world’s biggest quango In this study, commissioned jointly by the Institute for Government and The King’s Fund, Nick Timmins explores the fate of one of the central provisions of the Health and Social Care Act, NHS England, established as a statutorily independent board with the aim of distancing politicians from the day-to-day running of the NHS.

'The World’s Biggest Quango' draws on extensive, often exclusive, interviews, with some of those most intimately involved in the first five years of NHS England.

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Public health consequences of e-cigarettes

Public health consequences of e-cigarettes This report looks at the evidence on the human health effects of e-cigarettes. Although the research base is limited given the relatively short time e-cigarettes have been used, the committee that conducted the study identified and examined over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies, reaching dozens of conclusions about a range of health impacts. It concludes that while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely to be less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Free registration is required to access this report. National Academy of Sciences

Citizen science: crowdsourcing for research

Citizen science: crowdsourcing for research This report explores citizen science in research and reveals the power of people to generate ideas, solve problems, and work together to deliver on scientific goals. It examines how people can get involved in scientific research, even if they’re not formally trained experts in the topic of study. It offers examples of practical applications of citizen science and includes advice for designing and implementing citizen science projects and provides a framework for evaluating success. THIS Institute

GP workforce falling 50% faster in deprived areas, official data show

GP workforce falling 50% faster in deprived areas, official data show The GP workforce has fallen 50% faster in the most deprived areas in England than in the wealthiest areas over the past decade, figures published by the government reveal. GPonline

Future-proofing the NHS: how the UK's largest workforce is gearing up

Future-proofing the NHS: how the UK's largest workforce is gearing up As the service responds to changing demand and medical advances, more staff – and new careers – are being developed

Seventy years ago the NHS launched with a workforce of around 144,000. Since then, the health service has grown to become the single biggest employer in the UK, with 1.7 million workers across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, making it the fifth-largest workforce in the world. It is probably the most diverse workforce in the UK – for instance, some 62,000 NHS staff in England are EU nationals. It’s not unusual to be treated by a nurse from the Philippines or India or seen by a doctor from Egypt, Korea or even Russia.

As the workforce demographic has changed there have also been huge advances in medicine. There has been a move towards more patient self-management in an integrated health and social care system, with more people looked after outside of hospital nearer home. At the same, time patient demand has soared, and it is anticipated that 190,000 more staff will be needed in England alone by 2027 if the current pressure on services continues apace. Continue reading... As the service responds to changing demand and medical advances, more staff – and new careers – are being developed

Seventy years ago the NHS launched with a workforce of around 144,000. Since then, the health service has grown to become the single biggest employer in the UK, with 1.7 million workers across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, making it the fifth-largest workforce in the world. It is probably the most diverse workforce in the UK – for instance, some 62,000 NHS staff in England are EU nationals. It’s not unusual to be treated by a nurse from the Philippines or India or seen by a doctor from Egypt, Korea or even Russia.

As the workforce demographic has changed there have also been huge advances in medicine. There has been a move towards more patient self-management in an integrated health and social care system, with more people looked after outside of hospital nearer home. At the same, time patient demand has soared, and it is anticipated that 190,000 more staff will be needed in England alone by 2027 if the current pressure on services continues apace. Continue reading...The Guardian

The NHS is suffering from repetitive change injury | André Spicer

The NHS is suffering from repetitive change injury | AndrĂ© Spicer It affects Swedish trains and US business. Now the poor British health system is catching another dose of reform mania

During the past few decades, people working in the NHS have noticed the rise of a puzzling yet dangerous new syndrome. It cannot be found in any medical textbook, but the symptoms are more obvious each year. They include delusional behaviour, stress, memory loss, anxiety. Unlike most syndromes in the NHS, this doesn’t infect individual patients. It contaminates entire organisations. The experts call it: repetitive change syndrome. Continue reading... The Guardian

All but 'urgent' patients turned away as pressure overwhelms GPs

All but 'urgent' patients turned away as pressure overwhelms GPs GPs are being forced to deny patients routine appointments and only accept “urgent” cases due to mounting pressure on practices, according to new research.

A survey of nearly 800 family doctors found more than one in six had been forced to turn away non-urgent patients over the past 12 months.

Some said that at times they had no available slots for more than four weeks and were using telephone triage to identify those who require consultation for an urgent matter. The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Emergency admissions in the NHS increase by almost half in a decade due to rise in sicker patients, new research shows

Emergency admissions in the NHS increase by almost half in a decade due to rise in sicker patients, new research shows New research published by the Health Foundation looks at trends in emergency admissions over the past decade. It finds that one in three patients admitted to hospital in England as an emergency in 2015-16 had five or more health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dehydration, hip fracture or dementia. This is up from one in ten admitted patients having five or more conditions in 2006-7.

The number of patients admitted urgently to hospital has increased by almost half over the past decade, up 42% - that's an average of 3.2% per annum. This exceeds growth in total number of people attending A&E departments, which is up by only 13% - just over 1% per annum. The Health Foundation

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New tool calculates NHS and social care costs of air pollution

New tool calculates NHS and social care costs of air pollution A tool calculating the potential costs of air pollution will provide councils with further impetus to act and improve air quality. Public Health England

RCN launches first ever protocol for animals in health care

RCN launches first ever protocol for animals in health care New guidance supports hospitals and other health care services to explore the use of animal therapy.

The RCN protocol provides evidence-based best practice criteria so that hospitals and other health settings can introduce animals into the care environment.

By following it, services will be able to ensure the safety of patients and health care staff as well as the animals and their owners, while allowing patients to reap the benefits that interaction with animals can bring. Royal College of Nursing

National campaign needed to tackle loneliness 'epidemic', says RCGP

National campaign needed to tackle loneliness 'epidemic', says RCGP The call is one of several in Tackling Loneliness: A Community Action Plan, which argues that a widespread campaign is essential to educating the public, and should also encourage people to talk to their neighbours and get involved in, or start local initiatives in a bid to build and strengthen social connections throughout communities.

The action plan has come out of the College's first-ever roundtable on loneliness; an event which saw charities, and community, voluntary and faith organisations come together to discuss how communities, including GPs, can tackle loneliness and social isolation in society. Royal College of General Practitioners 

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Ambitious new education standards will shape the future of nursing for next generation

Ambitious new education standards will shape the future of nursing for next generation The first nurses can begin training against the new standards as early as January 2019.

Last week we launched ambitious new standards that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses need. We also introduced a more modern and innovative approach to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives. The changes will allow greater independence of assessment, and greater innovation by placement providers. Nursing and Midwifery Council

Campaigners in court over NHS policy

Campaigners in court over NHS policy A judicial review by a group of campaigners challenging government health policy in England gets under way at the High Court later.

The group, which was backed by Prof Stephen Hawking before his death, is fighting the creation of accountable care organisations (ACOs).

These are to act as partnership bodies incorporating hospitals, community services and councils.

Campaigners say it risks privatisation, but this is denied by ministers. BBC News

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Interview: 'The NHS should stop trying to integrate GPs with hospitals'

Interview: 'The NHS should stop trying to integrate GPs with hospitals' Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage talks to GPonline about how the NHS needs to change to help alleviate pressure on practices and deliver improvements for patients.

NHS at 70: the health service is at a critical point in its lifetime

NHS at 70: the health service is at a critical point in its lifetime With warnings of year-round winter crises and funding under pressure, will the system continue to meet the public’s needs?

The Bible tells us our life span is “three score years and 10”. As the National Health Service prepares to pass that milestone, it seems paradoxically both held in higher regard and to be in greater danger than at any time since its founding on 5 July 1948.

Seventy years always looked a little on the optimistic side for the time of Moses in Psalm 90. Even in 1948, life expectancy for men was only 66 and for women 71. Today, though, it is 79 and almost 83 respectively, which tells you a lot about the problems the NHS faces in sustaining its founding principle of cradle-to-grave healthcare, free at the point of use. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Hospitals struggling to afford new equipment after NHS budget cuts

Hospitals struggling to afford new equipment after NHS budget cuts Bosses say lack of money for equipment and repairs is affecting quality of care

Hospitals can no longer afford the most modern scanners and surgical equipment to treat patients who have cancer and other diseases because of multibillion-pound cuts to the NHS’s capital budget, research reveals.

Staff are having to continue using vital diagnostic and treatment technology beyond its natural life because there are insufficient funds to replace it. Continue reading... The Guardian

Food industry in England fails to meet sugar reduction target

Food industry in England fails to meet sugar reduction target Only yoghurts, cereals and sweet spreads hit the 5% sugar reduction target, Public Health England says.

The food industry has failed to hit its target of cutting sugar by 5% over the past year, with experts describing the results as “hugely disappointing” and suggesting the government may be forced to introduce a tax, as with sugary drinks.

Public Health England had called for a cut of 20% of sugar in the products we buy to take home and eat in cafes by 2020, with 5% in the first year. In a massive new report, PHE shows food manufacturers and supermarkets have cut out 2% over the first 12 months, but much more has been achieved in some areas and by some companies than others. Continue reading... The Guardian

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Government pledges more than£30m to fight superbugs

Government pledges more than£30m to fight superbugs The UK government has given the fight against deadly superbugs a boost with a pledge of £31m for the development of new drugs and diagnostics.

New antibiotics are seen as vital in the battle to curb the rise in drug resistant infections, thought to be linked to around 700,000 deaths around the world every year, including 5,000 in the UK alone.

A report on the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance by former Goldman Sachs boss, Lord O'Neill, warned that, if left unchecked, superbugs could kill 10m people around the world by 2050. The Daily Telegraph

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London hospital is replacing doctors with AI technology to help tackle mounting A&E wait times

London hospital is replacing doctors with AI technology to help tackle mounting A&E wait times A major London hospital has unveiled plan to replace A&E doctors with robots.

From diagnosing cancers to prioritising patients, the AI technology aims to reduce waiting times and ensure critical cases are treated sooner.

University College London Hospital (UCLH), in Bloomsbury, London, will pioneer the technology in a bid 'to make services safer, quicker and more efficient.'

Professor Bryan Williams, director of research at UCLH's NHS Foundation Trust, claims AI could almost instantly assess a patient in A&E who is breathless and needs an X-ray.

This crucial time-saving step may allow patients in life-threatening conditions to be fast tracked for immediate treatment. The Daily Mail

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Hospital reconfiguration: if workforce is the problem, why is workforce not the solution?

Hospital reconfiguration: if workforce is the problem, why is workforce not the solution? With reducing numbers of hospital sites often the perceived solution to medical workforce problems, Candace Imison argues for caution when it comes to reconfiguration. Nuffield Trust

Strengthening your nursing supply case study

Strengthening your nursing supply case study Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has committed to strengthening its nursing supply, through the introduction of new roles, such as nursing apprenticeships, and mapping out career pathways so that staff can visually identify how they can develop their careers from apprentice through to chief nurse. The case study looks at how the trust has diversified its workforce and introduced new roles and education routes to support staff development and increase skills, staff experience and retention. NHS Employers

Measuring wellbeing inequality: what are appropriate indicators of wellbeing inequality?

Measuring wellbeing inequality: what are appropriate indicators of wellbeing inequality? This working paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of different measures of wellbeing inequality and to make a recommendation of a measure which could be reported by the Office for National Statistics alongside mean wellbeing. It also encourages researchers to reflect on which wellbeing inequality measure they choose and for a broader debate between key stakeholders on appropriate wellbeing inequality measures for different purposes. New Economics Foundation

Dementia-friendly rural communities guide

Dementia-friendly rural communities guide Rural communities have an important part to play in tackling the social and economic impact of dementia, by supporting people living with dementia to be part of their local community. This guide gives best practice advice on how to create a dementia-friendly community in rural areas and shares successful case studies from across the country. Alzheimer's Society

NHS reforms that could be on the way out

NHS reforms that could be on the way out The Lansley reforms, remember them? Those changes to the NHS that reorganised everything, cost lots and lots and lots of money, and really stretched David Cameron's perpetual efforts to show he loved the NHS? Well some elements of them might, just might be on the way out.

In 2012 the government, after months of arguments, brought in huge changes to the way the NHS in England is run.

The idea was to give GPs more power to spend the cash - the argument being they understand the needs of patients better, so would allocate cash more widely.

Six years later, that is not quite how it has come to pass, with the reforms criticised far and wide for being too complicated, too disruptive, and also too expensive. BBC News

We need to address the socioeconomic causes of mental health issues if we really want to tackle the problem

We need to address the socioeconomic causes of mental health issues if we really want to tackle the problem In 2018, mental health and psychological distress are high on the agenda. And this is great progress. The increased awareness of mental health issues and the willingness to discuss them that we are currently seeing is vital. It keeps pressure on policymakers to fulfil their promise to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health. The Independent

Government’s 'inadequate' air pollution strategy fails to tackle car and lorry emissions, warn campaigners

Government’s 'inadequate' air pollution strategy fails to tackle car and lorry emissions, warn campaigners The government’s plan to cut air pollution lacks concrete proposals to tackle the problem and fails to address the main source of illegal emissions in towns and cities: cars and lorries.

That is the view of green campaigners, who have warned that ministers’ “inadequate” proposals were shifting the responsibility to local government to tackle a public health crisis claiming 50,000 lives in the UK each year, without saying where the money would come from. The Independent

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The Guardian view on AI in the NHS: a good servant, when it’s not a bad master | Editorial

The Guardian view on AI in the NHS: a good servant, when it’s not a bad master | Editorial The NHS collects vast amounts of data. It must be used in imaginative ways that respect privacy and make life better for patients and health workers

Technology helps us live better and for longer; in fact it has been doing so since the birth of modern medicine. And as each new technology comes into use, it turns out to have medical uses, even though these are not always the ones that are sold hardest: in the 1920s the American press was full of advertisements for the health benefits of radium, which was then a mysterious and powerful substance just as artificial intelligence (AI) is today. AI won’t work miracles or make death unnecessary by letting people upload their minds into silicon, but it might catch cancers earlier. The prime minister on Monday said that 30,000 lives a year would be saved by 2030, mostly through earlier and more accurate diagnosis. This is about 10% of the annual cancer death rate in Britain. It is possible to object that the money would be better spent on less glamorous initiatives, such as hiring enough care workers, nurses and doctors and paying them all properly. But while that is certainly very urgent, there is no need to choose between the two approaches. We need both. Continue reading...

Monday, 21 May 2018

Northamptonshire Council Council: Grant bill may be £16m

Northamptonshire Council Council: Grant bill may be £16m A troubled council is facing a bigger bill over its use of ring-fenced public health money than previously thought.

Northamptonshire County Council has been under investigation over claims it spent the cash on other services.

An auditor's report has now revealed the figure was £16m - 60% more than previously reported.

A council spokesman said: "We have been working closely with Public Health England, providing evidence. We await the final outcome of the review." BBC Northampton

Time to end the neglect of community services

Health services overloaded despite support pledges, claims report A report by NHS Providers says promises to bring more patient care closer to home by prioritising NHS community services have fallen flat.

National strategies under successive governments have concluded that the NHS must do more to help people stay well in their own homes and communities, avoiding the need for hospital treatment, if the health service is going to be financially sustainable.

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End of life care in England: A briefing paper

End of life care in England: A briefing paper The purpose of this short briefing paper from the  Institute for Public Policy Research is to:
  • provide a brief summary of issues around end of life care, including an overview of evidence regarding the impact of location on the quality and cost of care
  • analyse data on the current location and cost of end of life care in England, how this compares at an international and sub-national level 
  • appraise the current policy agenda of the UK government and NHS England with regard to end of life care, and suggest key areas where improvements should be made
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Artificial intelligence can be weapon in cancer fight, PM to say

Artificial intelligence can be weapon in cancer fight, PM to say The diagnosis of cancer and other diseases in the UK can be transformed by using artificial intelligence, Theresa May is to say.

The NHS and technology companies should use AI as a "new weapon" in research, the PM will urge in a speech later.

Experts say it can be used to help prevent 22,000 cancer deaths a year by 2033 while aiding the fight against heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

High-skilled science jobs will also be created, Mrs May is to pledge. BBC News

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Patients lose hip replacement court case

Patients lose hip replacement court case Hundreds of patients have lost the first round of a legal battle for compensation at the High Court over allegedly "defective" hip implants.

A judge ruled that manufacturer DePuy was not liable to the 312 patients who claimed they had been injured by the implants. BBC News

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GMC to tell doctors how to avoid reflective notes being used against them

GMC to tell doctors how to avoid reflective notes being used against them Advice on how doctors can avoid reflective notes being used against them will be published this autumn jointly by the GMC and leading medical organisations, following the damaging Bawa-Garba case. GPonline

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    NHS warns patients they could lose text alerts as GDPR deluge continues

    NHS warns patients they could lose text alerts as GDPR deluge continues Health service joins UK firms in rushing to comply with new data protection rules.

    The National Health Service is texting patients to warn they could lose alerts about hospital and doctor appointments, joining the deluge of more than 1bn “GDPR” messages currently hitting personal inboxes to meet an EU deadline this week.

    GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, has been described as the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, and comes into force on Friday May 25. It gives all EU citizens the right to know what data is stored on them and to have it deleted, plus protect them from privacy and data breaches. If companies fail to comply, they can be hit with fines of up to €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of global turnover.

    The European Union's new stronger, unified data protection laws, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will come into force on 25 May 2018, after more than six years in the making. Continue reading... The Guardian

    Poor lose doctors as wealthy gain them, new figures reveal

    Poor lose doctors as wealthy gain them, new figures reveal Number of GPs opting to work in deprived areas is falling, despite £20k ‘golden hellos’

    Fewer GPs are choosing to work in poorer areas but more are joining surgeries that look after wealthier populations, new official figures reveal.

    The exodus, uncovered by Labour MP Frank Field, is exacerbating the existing “under-doctoring” of deprived populations – the lack of family doctors in places where poorer people live.

    We desperately need more GPs right across the country... People in deprived areas often need more access to GP services. Continue reading... The Guardian

    NHS to divert 'frequent flyers' to A&E with coffee and counselling 

    NHS to divert 'frequent flyers' to A&E with coffee and counselling  “Frequent flyers” to Accident and Emergency departments are being kept away under a new scheme to offer a coffee and counselling to those coming to casualty for the wrong reasons.

    The initiative, which is set to be rolled out nationwide, comes amid soaring emergency admissions to hospitals, which have risen 50 per cent in a decade.

    Paramedics in the North East are among those who have introduced schemes which attempt to identify those who repeatedly call 999 or turn to A&E - and get to the root of their problems. The Daily Telegraph

    Hospital staff disciplined after Ed Sheeran data breach

    Hospital staff disciplined after Ed Sheeran data breach One member of hospital staff has been sacked and another has been given a written warning for accessing Ed Sheeran’s personal details without authorisation, it has emerged.

    The singer was admitted to Ipswich Hospital on October 16 last year. Ipswich hospital said both staff members “accessed patient information without legitimate or clinical reason”, according to information obtained by the BBC using freedom of information laws. The Daily Telegraph

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    The battle to contain Ebola - experts scramble to prevent its international spread

    The battle to contain Ebola - experts scramble to prevent its international spread The Department of Health is deploying a UK rapid response team to the Democratic Republic of Congo in a bid to contain the Ebola outbreak in the country.

    The risk to health posed by the outbreak has also been raised to “very high” by the World Health Organization (WHO). The risk assessment is specific to DRC where a total of 45 Ebola cases have been reported in the last two weeks, including 25 deaths. The Daily Telegraph 

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    Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings

    Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings Diabetes testing kits are urgently recalled amid fears they give false readings and could put lives at risk.

    Patients have been advised to urgently stop using and return specific lots of Accu-Chek Aviva and Accu-Chek Performa test strips due to concerns they may give falsely high or low readings.

    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it is estimated that more than 260,000 packs have been affected. The Daily Mail

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    Friday, 18 May 2018

    What has the STP or ICS ever done for me?

    What has the STP or ICS ever done for me? Since they were introduced in 2016, sustainability and transformation plans, and the partnerships (STPs) that have evolved from them, have taken up a considerable amount of NHS leaders’ time. Those STPs assessed as being most advanced by NHS England have been designated as integrated care systems (ICSs), of which there are currently 10 in England. Others are expected to be announced soon. Over time, NHS England hopes that all STPs will progress to become ICSs, recognising that the geographical footprints they cover may change in the light of developing understanding of their role. The King's Fund

    #StatusOfMind Social media and young people's mental health and wellbeing

    #StatusOfMind Social media and young people's mental health and wellbeing A report examining the positive and negative effects of social media on young people’s health.

    The report includes a league table of social media platforms according to their impact on young people’s mental health. YouTube topped the table as the most positive, with Instagram and Snapchat coming out as the most detrimental to young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Royal Society for Public Health

    Guidance: Health and wellbeing of lesbian and bisexual women (LBWSW)

    Guidance: Health and wellbeing of lesbian and bisexual women (LBWSW) This report provides an overview of the evidence of health inequalities affecting lesbian and bisexual women and other women who have sex with women (LBWSW). It highlights a range of opportunities for action across the breadth of the public health system to improve the health of these women and reduce their burden of disease. Public Health England

    The fifteen steps for maternity- Quality from the perspective of people who use maternity services

    The fifteen steps for maternity - Quality from the perspective of people who use maternity services This document, focusing on maternity, is part of a suite of toolkits for the “Fifteen Steps Challenge”, which help to explore the experience of people who use maternity services and are a way of involving them in quality assurance processes. NHS England

    Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation

    Primary care home: community pharmacy integration and innovation This report aims to inspire further integration of community pharmacy within primary care homes to improve patients’ health and support them to manage their conditions. The paper concludes that by learning from those leading the way and exploring innovative ways of working together they could have a bigger impact on improving the health and care needs of their local population. National Association of Primary Care

    A&E statistics 'worse than reported'

    A&E statistics 'worse than reported' The official monthly accident and emergency figures in England for the final months of last year claim more than 85% of patients were treated or assessed within the four-hour target - but those figures are almost certainly wrong.

    Estimates by NHS England - taking account of factors that have since come to light - suggests December's figure was 84.9%.

    At the time, this would have been the worst on record, but February's figure was even lower. BBC News

    Exploring dementia through art and science

    Exploring dementia through art and science It is like watching an awakening. Baton in hand, an elderly resident of a care home in north London is "conducting" a trio of professional musicians, a broad smile on his face.

    Like the other residents in the room, he has advanced dementia. BBC News

    Growing resistance to antifungal drugs 'a global issue'

    Growing resistance to antifungal drugs 'a global issue' Scientists are warning that levels of resistance to treatments for fungal infections are growing, which could lead to more outbreaks of disease.

    Intensive-care and transplant patients and those with cancer are most at risk because their immune systems cannot fight off the infections.

    Writing in Science, researchers said new treatments were urgently needed.

    Fungal infections had some of the highest mortality rates of infectious diseases, an expert said. BBC News

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