Monday, 23 April 2018

NHS70 – can you love something too much?

NHS70 – can you love something too much? With less than three months to go until the NHS turns 70 years old, preparations are being made across the country to celebrate the big day – from tea parties to special 10p coins to ceremonies at Westminster Abbey and York Minster.

It is, of course, a wonderful opportunity to thank NHS staff and volunteers for their tremendous work caring for patients, especially in particularly tough times for the NHS. And it’s an opportunity to pause and learn more about the history of the thing that makes us most proud to be British.

But once the candles have been blown out and the bunting put away, what do we want to be the longer-term impact of marking 70 years of the NHS? And how can we measure our success? The King's Fund

Resistant gonorrhoea case demonstrates importance of safe sex

Resistant gonorrhoea case demonstrates importance of safe sex Public Health England (PHE) has been investigating a UK case of Neisseria gonorrhoeae acquired in South East Asia which had high-level resistance to the 2 antibiotics, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, which are currently recommended for first-line treatment. The case has now been successfully treated with another antibiotic, ertapenem.

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New support to help children living with alcohol-dependent parents

New support to help children living with alcohol-dependent parents New plans announced today by Health and Social Care Secretary Jeremy Hunt will help identify at-risk children more quickly, and provide them with rapid access to support and advice.

The package of measures is backed by £6 million in joint funding from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Work and Pensions. It is designed to help an estimated 200,000 children in England living with alcohol-dependent parents.

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Paying for IAPT case studies

Paying for IAPT case studies NHS England has published case studies based on the experience of five organisations (three CCGs and two providers) on developing and implementing a new payment approach for improving access to psychological therapies services, which link a component of payment to quality and outcome-measures.

Accountability in modern government: what are the issues?

Accountability in modern government: what are the issues? This report argues that weak accountability increases the risk of failure of public services – whether through financial mismanagement, chronic underperformance or the collapse of services. At the same time, the report says there is a tendency to overemphasise blame when something goes wrong. Instead of frank conversations about what would be needed to improve the situation, the tendency is to obscure the facts. Institute for Government

Jeremy Hunt threatens social media with new child-protection laws

Jeremy Hunt threatens social media with new child-protection laws Social media firms are being threatened with new laws if they don't do more to protect children online.

In a letter to companies including Facebook and Google, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt accuses them of "turning a blind eye" to their impact on children.

He gives them until the end of April to outline action on cutting underage use, preventing cyber bullying, and promoting healthy screen time.

Google and Facebook say they share Mr Hunt's commitment to safety.

The age requirement to sign up to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat is 13. To use WhatsApp or to have a YouTube account, you must also be at least 13. BBC News

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Allied Healthcare: Home care provider seeks rescue plan

Allied Healthcare: Home care provider seeks rescue plan One of the biggest providers of UK home care is in financial difficulty.

Allied Healthcare, which cares for 13,500 elderly and vulnerable patients across the UK, is set to file for protection from its creditors due to a "highly challenging environment".

The company said it would continue to provide care and there would be no redundancies.

"Councils have robust contingency plans" to manage care, the Local Government Association said.

Allied employs 8,700 people and is owned by a private equity firm.

The home care visits it arranges help people live independently and can include cooking and cleaning, managing medication and overnight stays. BBC News

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Gestational diabetes an 'epidemic'

Gestational diabetes an 'epidemic' Experts say more screening is needed to tackle the disease, which affects pregnant women. BBC News

NHS spending hundreds of millions on care for women with vaginal mesh implants which can cause 'horrifying complications'

NHS spending hundreds of millions on care for women with vaginal mesh implants which can cause 'horrifying complications' The NHS spent “at least” £245m on follow-up hospital appointments and aftercare for women who have had vaginal mesh implants, which can cause “horrific” complications.

An analysis by academics at the Oxford University Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) concluded that the true costs, when accounting for lost quality of life, was likely to be far higher.

At a Commons debate on the impacts of mesh this week, MPs shared accounts from constituents about the implants, used to treat incontinence and organ prolapse, which can deform and cut into the flesh, causing agony and permanent disability. The Independent

I am a burnt out doctor. This is why it matters

I am a burnt out doctor. This is why it matters The shocking number of physician suicides indicates a culture and system that fails to value the profession.

The clinic is running late. My last patient walks in. Her scan report, printed in front of me – bad news. The cancer has grown. I’m experienced at this, I take it slowly. I use the “right” words. She crumples, her eyes fill. The specialist nurse reaches out, takes her hand. In this maelstrom of intense emotion, I feel … nothing. No tears, no heartbreak. I gently explain the next steps, desperately hoping she cannot detect the emptiness behind my words.

This is burnout. A deadening of emotion, a feeling of detachment. I recognise it in myself. I hear it in my colleague’s dark humour, or another doctor wondering aloud how many people’s day she has ruined. Over half of young oncologists working in northern Europe exhibit signs of burnout, a strikingly high number. What causes this level of burnout in young, talented, empathetic doctors? Continue reading... The Guardian

Ambulance staff face rise in physical and verbal sexual assaults

Ambulance staff face rise in physical and verbal sexual assaults Number of annual incidents in England has almost trebled over last six years, NHS figures show

Growing numbers of frontline ambulance staff are being sexually assaulted at work or having lewd comments made to them, NHS figures reveal.

The number of such incidents involving ambulance workers in England has almost trebled from 52 in 2012-13 to 145 in 2017-18. Figures from eight of the 10 NHS regional ambulance services in England show a total of 662 physical and verbal sexual assaults between April 2012 and February 2018, with the annual number rising year on year over that period. Continue reading... The Guardian

Dementia patients restrained with controversial techniques – report

Dementia patients restrained with controversial techniques – report Methods such as raising bed bars and putting walking aids out of reach leave elderly people stressed, says government-funded research

Hospital staff are sometimes confining patients with dementia to bed through controversial “containment and restraint” techniques, new government-funded research reveals.

The findings, paid for by the National Institute for Health Research, reveal that nurses and healthcare assistants are raising the siderails of beds and tucking bedsheets tightly around patients with dementia, reducing their mobility. Others are prevented from getting up by their walking frames being put out of reach or by being sedated with drugs. The techniques are used, say the researchers, because of an exaggerated fear that patients will fall if left to move around wards freely. The study says the tactics lead to the “dehumanisation” of patients, leaving them angry and highly stressed and worsening their already poor health.

Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, health spending increased by an average of 1.2% above inflation and increases are due to continue in real terms at a similar rate until the end of this parliament. This is far below the annual inflation-proof growth rate that the NHS enjoyed before 2010 of almost 4% stretching back to the 1950s. As budgets tighten, NHS organisations have been struggling to live within their means. In the financial year 2015-16, acute trusts recorded a deficit of £2.6bn. This was reduced to £800m last year, though only after a £1.8bn bung from the Department of Health, which shows the deficit remained the same year on year. Continue reading... The Guardian

Elderly and disabled at risk in inadequate housing, human rights watchdog finds

Elderly and disabled at risk in inadequate housing, human rights watchdog finds Britain's planning rules are fueling a housing "crisis" for the elderly and disabled which is forcing the frail to live in dangerous conditions, a leaked report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission seen by the Telegraph has found.

The Commission’s report, due to be released next month, found a "severe shortage of accessible and adaptable housing" with only seven per cent of homes in England offering minimal accessibility features.

It warns that local councils are failing to build enough accessible homes to meet demand and were not taking action against developers who failed to comply with regulations. The Daily Telegraph

Measles alert issued after holidaymakers return from Europe with bug

Measles alert issued after holidaymakers return from Europe with bug A measles health alert has been issued after unvaccinated holidaymakers returning from Europe lead to a surge in cases.

Public Health England have urged people to protect themselves from the viral illness after more than 250 cases have been reported since the start of the year.

A further 90 laboratory tests are also underway, meaning the number could be higher. Last year, just 243 cases were reported.

Health officials suspect the rise can be attributed to holidaymakers returning from the continent. In Europe, there has been a large outbreak in measles this year. The Daily Telegraph