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  1. Yesterday
  2. Content Article
    Key findings To better support unpaid carers locally, commissioners and services need to develop and maintain a good understanding of their populations. This can be facilitated by supporting local professionals to identify and point carers to available services, meaningfully measuring the impact of support and engaging with local carers. Local support offers should be built on this understanding. Commissioners and providers of services for unpaid carers need to actively develop awareness of their local support offers among unpaid carers, at the same time ensuring support is appropriate and accessible, as well as inclusive of diverse populations. Carers are a hugely diverse group, both in terms of who they are and who they care for, but policy and services don’t always reflect this diversity. Awareness of carers needs to be embedded in strategic level and commissioning decisions. Professionals who ‘get it’ and advocate consistently are vital. But the work can’t just rely on a few committed individuals—system-level carers’ partnerships and strategies have a key role in advocating and embedding the carers agenda. The impact of wider health and care issues on carers cannot be ignored. The impacts of ongoing funding issues and the health and social care workforce crises on carers and local support services were highlighted multiple times in our research. Workforce shortages in particular are directly impacting on carers health and wellbeing because they are the ones left to fill in the gaps.
  3. News Article
    Community diagnostic centres (CDCs) — the government’s flagship policy for recovering cancer testing after Covid — will have up to 6,500 fewer staff than they need by 2025, according to NHS England projections seen by HSJ. The workforce “gap analysis” modelling highlights large and sustained staffing shortfalls across most professional groups required to run the CDCs until at least 2025. It was released after a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Health and Social Care, which said it was given the analysis by NHSE. The total gap between demand and supply for the programme by 2025 is estimated at 6,663, out of a total demand of 61,152 (about 1 in 10 staff). Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 8 June 2023
  4. News Article
    Many media stories about ketamine as a treatment for psychiatric disorders such as depression “go well beyond the evidence base” by exaggerating the efficacy, safety and longevity of the drug or by overstating the risks, an analysis has found. Researchers examined 119 articles about ketamine and mental illness published by major print media in Australia, the US and UK over a five-year period. They found articles peaked in 2019, when the US Food and Drug Administration approved a ketamine-derived nasal spray known as esketamine for treatment-resistant depression. Researchers found 37% of articles contained inaccurate information, largely related to efficacy, safety information and the longevity of the effect of the treatment. Ketamine treatment was portrayed in an “extremely positive light” in 69% of articles, the review found. “Overly optimistic statements from medical professionals regarding efficacy or safety may encourage patients to seek treatments that may not be clinically appropriate,” says the paper, published in the journal BJPsych Open. “Disconcertingly, some articles included strong statements about treatment efficacy that went well beyond the evidence base. Conversely, exaggeration of the risks may discourage patients from pursuing a treatment that may be suitable for them.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 June 2023
  5. News Article
    Many people with Long Covid have a lower health-related quality of life than people with some advanced cancers, research suggests. Fatigue is the symptom with the greatest impact on the daily lives of Long Covid patients, according to a study led by researchers at University College London (UCL) and the University of Exeter. They found that many were seriously ill and had fatigue scores worse than or similar to people with cancer-related anaemia or severe kidney disease. Their health-related quality of life scores were also lower than those of people with advanced metastatic cancers, such as stage 4 lung cancer. Overall, the impact of long Covid on the daily activities of patients was worse than that for stroke patients and comparable to people with Parkinson’s disease. The study co-author Prof William Henley, of Exeter University medical school, said: “Long Covid is an invisible condition, and many people are left trying to manage significant changes to how they can function. “Shockingly, our research has revealed that Long Covid can leave people with worse fatigue and quality of life than some cancers, yet the support and understanding is not at the same level. We urgently need more research to enable the development of evidence-based services to support people trying to manage this debilitating new condition.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 June 2023
  6. News Article
    The government has failed to change ‘restrictive’ legislation which would enable primary care reform – despite repeated announcements – a pharmacy leader has said. Currently, pharmacy technicians cannot take on dispensing tasks without supervision from a pharmacist but the government promised in 2019 to look at how legislation can be updated to allow pharmacy technicians to take more of a role in dispensing, as part of the current five-year Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework, which ends next year. The government has repeatedly announced and reannounced over the past five years that it wants to remove restrictions to give community pharmacy an expanded role. But in a new report shared exclusively with HSJ, the Company Chemists’ Association – the trade body with members including Asda, Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy and Superdrug – highlights that government has failed to make progress. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 June 2023
  7. News Article
    The Royal College of Radiologists is warning that all four UK nations are facing "chronic staff shortages", with cancer patients waiting too long for vital tests and treatments. Half of all cancer units are now reporting frequent delays for both radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Ministers say a workforce strategy for the NHS in England is due shortly. The plan, which is meant to spell out how the government will plug staffing gaps over the next 15 years, has been repeatedly delayed, to the frustration of some in the health service. In June 2022, Carol Fletcher, from South Wales, finally had her routine screening appointment for breast cancer, which was itself overdue. "It took another eight weeks after my mammogram before I was told there might be something wrong," she said. Since her cancer diagnosis, there have been more waits - for scans, tests, surgery and then chemo. "I was told that I might not get results back [quickly] after my mastectomy because they haven't got enough pathologists, so there was another eight-week delay for chemotherapy," she said. "I can't plan for the future and it's had a huge impact on my family." Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 June 2023
  8. Community Post
    Hi Jo, I completely agree - if we we better at diagnosing and supporting children with ADHD, it would make an immense difference. Thanks for sharing your daughter's experience, it must be very hard having additional diagnoses. I really hope she can get some answers and appropriate support quickly.
  9. Last week
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