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Found 185 results
  1. News Article
    Ministers have effectively ditched NHS England’s planned new bundle of A&E targets and want trusts to be firmly regulated on the existing four-hour standard and 12-hour breaches, HSJ understands. Multiple senior figures familiar with the process, from inside the NHS and government, said the performance focus for the next two years will be on the two existing accident and emergency waiting time measures, as well as ambulance handover delays. For the last three years, NHS England has been lobbying government to scrap the headline four-hour target, and replace it with a bundle of measures which have been trialled at around a dozen providers. This work has been led by medical director Steve Powis. HSJ understands the decision to continue using the existing four-hour target was driven by concerns among ministers and senior NHS figures that the bundle of measures was too confusing, both for patients and as a means for government to hold the service to account. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 November 2022
  2. Event
    Developing a culture of continuous improvement is an imperative as healthcare organisations face unprecedented challenges and strive for sustainability. Join an executive leadership panel for a virtual roundtable discussion and learn about crucial lessons from Warwick Business School's recently published independent study of the NHS-VMI partnership. The research reveals the effectiveness of applying a systems approach to learning and improvement across five NHS trusts in partnership with NHS Improvement. It will explore crucial lessons for leaders as they work to improve patient outcomes, population health, access, equity, and the overall patient experience, even during disruptions like the Covid pandemic. This includes: Leadership models, behaviours and practices that were observed to be essential components of leading change in organisations. How to enable “partnership” ways of working through practices and mechanisms that foster and maintain collaborative ways of working. Cultural elements necessary for the successful adoption of an organisation-wide improvement programme. Register
  3. Content Article
    The report shows that projected 3.4% per year average budget increases set out in the 2021 spending review have fallen – due to inflation and higher than anticipated pay awards – to 1.5%, which is unlikely to be enough to meet growing demands and deal with the aftermath of Covid in most services. At the same time long-term staff shortages are set to worsen due to below-inflation pay rises and the cost-of-living crisis. It finds that: Spending increases in schools is not enough to recover the pandemic-induced lost learning. Hospital spending is not enough to unwind Covid backlogs. New demand in prisons and courts is set to exceed even generous spending settlements. The spending settlement for local government is no longer sufficient to meet demand in adult social care, children’s social care and neighbourhood services. The NHS wage bill will increase by approximately £2bn in 2022/23, unfunded money which the NHS will have to find in its existing settlement - meaning cuts elsewhere in the service. The report also sets out the historically high backlogs in both hospitals and courts: A record 6.8 million people were waiting for elective treatment as of July 2022. In the crown court, the backlog stood at 59,700 in June 2022, slightly below the peak of over 60,000 in June 2021 but higher than at any point since at least 2000. Recommendations The report recommends: The prime minister should commit to publishing regular reports on existing and anticipated workforce shortages, with plans for how shortages will be addressed, for all of the services covered in this publication. The government should publish updated plans for how each service will tackle backlogs and unmet need, which include key milestones and assessments of the workforce and estate. The government should build on the processes used in the 2021 spending review to align spending with priority outcomes, using cross departmental outcomes to foster greater collaboration between departments and ensure that spending decisions are not siloed. The government should improve the range and quality of the data it collects on public services, with particular focus given to adult social care data.
  4. News Article
    A quarter of services the Care Quality Commission has recently inspected required enforcement action from the regulator, its chief executive has revealed. Speaking at the launch of the regulator’s annual State of Care report, Ian Trenholm called for a “long-term, sustainable funding solution” from the government to aid a service that was ”genuinely struggling to cope”. Mr Trenholm said “about a quarter of the services” the CQC has inspected in 2022 had resulted in it having to take “enforcement action”. Examples of action taken against NHS trusts in the last year included enforcement measures placed on Nottingham University Hospitals, University Hospitals Sussex, and Princess Alexandra Hospital. In response to a question from HSJ about the robustness of the CQC’s inspection regime following further care quality and safety scandals, Mr Trenholm said observers should not focus solely on the ratings given to trusts by the CQC as there was a lot ”work going on in the background, whether that’s enforcement or otherwise”. He added the CQC had significantly increased the amount of information it was gathering in relation to concerns about services. Read full story Source: HSJ, 21 October 2022
  5. Event
    The NHS Patient Safety Conference, in partnership with Patient Safety Learning, is a long-standing virtual and in-person event series that has welcomed over 1500 NHS professionals through its doors. In February 2021, further updates and changes were made to the NHS Patient Safety Strategy. The most significant strategy update is the new commitment to address patient safety inequalities, with a new objective added to the safety system strand of the strategy. This event series provides a timely platform to discuss these changes. Key event topics are run across 3 key pillars: Insight Adopt and promote fundamental safety measurement principles and use culture metrics to better understand how safe care is. Use new digital technologies to support learning from what does and does not go well, by replacing the National Reporting and Learning System with a new safety learning system. Introduce the Patient Safety Incident Response Framework to improve the response to an investigation of incidents and implement a new medical examiner system to scrutinise deaths. Improve the response to new and emerging risks, supported by the new National Patient Safety Alerts Committee Share an insight from litigation to prevent harm. Involvement Establish principles and expectations for the involvement of patients, families, carers, and other lay people in providing safer care. Create the first system-wide and consistent patient safety syllabus, training, and education framework for the NHS. Establish patient safety specialists to lead safety improvement across the system. Ensure people are equipped to learn from what goes well as well as to respond appropriately to things going wrong. Ensure the whole healthcare system is involved in the safety agenda. Improvement Deliver the National Patient Safety Improvement Programme, building on the existing focus on preventing avoidable deterioration and adopting and spreading safety interventions. Deliver the Maternity and Neonatal Safety Improvement Programme to support a reduction in stillbirth, neonatal and maternal death, and neonatal asphyxia brain injury by 50% by 2025. Develop the Medicines Safety Improvement Programme to increase the safety of those areas of medication use currently considered the highest risk. Deliver a Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme to tackle priority areas, including restrictive practice and sexual safety. Work with partners across the NHS to support safety improvement in priority areas such as the safety of older people, the safety of those with learning disabilities and the continuing threat of antimicrobial resistance. Work to ensure research and innovation support safety improvement. All organisations are committed to patient safety, but how do leaders ensure that they’re doing all they can to deliver safe and effective care? Join Dr Sanjiv Sharma, Executive Medical Director at Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children, and Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning for a presentation at 9.05am. Dr Sharma will outline their ambitious patient safety transformation journey, how they are designing and delivering an innovative safety systems approach. Embedding Patient Safety Learning’s new standards for patient safety, hear how GOSH’s self assessment has informed the development of prioritised action plans, strengthened governance and leadership engagement and cross organisation collaboration. Helen Hughes, Chief Executive of Patient Safety Learning, will outline why a standards based approach to patient safety is needed and the benefits it can bring. Register
  6. News Article
    An air ambulance service has been praised by inspectors for providing an "outstanding level of care". The Care Quality Commission (CQC) carried out checks on the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) in August and September. The report said patients felt "truly respected and valued as individuals" and described teamwork as "exemplary". Ben Myer, EHAAT head of clinical delivery, said "everyone worked so hard to make the desired result a reality". The service provides emergency care and transport in Essex and Hertfordshire, and surrounding areas when needed. As well as being rated outstanding overall, the charity was also rated outstanding for being safe, effective, caring, responsive to people's needs - and being well-led. Jane Gurney, EHAAT chief executive, thanked the local community for supporting the service, and issued a personal thank you to "each team member across the charity, whatever their role, all of whom work so hard every day to uphold these high standards". Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 October 2022
  7. News Article
    An MP who has just become a ministerial assistant in the Department of Health and Social Care has called for ‘underperforming’ NHS managers to be ‘sacked’, claiming some executives in the health service earn up to £500,000 per year. James Sunderland, who was made a Department of Health and Social Care parliamentary private secretary just days ago, told a Conservative party conference fringe event that money spent on executives should be reinvested into the coal face. Mr Sunderland, MP for Bracknell since 2019, also said the NHS is “better funded now than at any time in its history”. He said: “The solution is not more money, it’s better managers. We need to get to grips with the senior management of the NHS. People not performing need to be sacked. “We need to reinvest money spent on executives and management into the coalface. It’s about efficiency in how we do business.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 3 October 2022
  8. News Article
    Several ambulance trusts have moved to the highest level of alert in the wake of severe pressure on emergency services in recent days. Internal data seen by HSJ suggests ambulance response times have deteriorated dramatically, while the average time for call handlers to answer 999 calls has increased to almost two minutes in some areas. Staff across the country have been sounding the alarm over the pressures, with one senior source saying the situation was “really dire” again, after a period in which pressures had eased in August and September. The internal data showed ambulance trusts in the South West, East of England, London and the West Midlands had all declared the highest level of alert, known as REAP 4. More are expected to follow. The average response time for category 2 calls in the South West – including suspected heart attacks and strokes – was 1 hour 24 minutes, with 10% of these calls responded to in more than 3 hours 11 minutes. The target is 18 minutes. Emergency departments have also faced severe pressure. An emergency care consultant in Plymouth tweeted that patients were facing 70-hour waits to be admitted to wards, with some waiting 18 hours to be handed over by ambulance staff. Fionna Lowe added: “I have taken to asking families to feed their relatives. It has never been this bad.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 October 2022
  9. News Article
    Underperforming hospitals face special measures before what ministers warn will be one of the worst winters in the history of the NHS. Thérèse Coffey, the health secretary, told a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference that there was too much “variation in what patients experience” as her department plans to impose closer control on failing hospitals. Robert Jenrick, the NHS minister, said that the government “shouldn’t be tolerant of those parts of the NHS which are underperforming” and had demanded quicker improvement from more than a dozen hospitals. He acknowledged that NHS staff were overstretched in the aftermath of the pandemic, saying that he wanted to “put boosterism to one side” and accept that the shortage of doctors and nurses was the biggest problem facing the health service. However, he also questioned why some hospitals were doing so poorly when other nearby hospitals with similar problems were seeing much shorter waits. “A very striking dynamic is the variability that we see within the NHS and I think this is where we as Conservatives have a message, which is that we shouldn’t be tolerant of those parts of the NHS which are underperforming.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 4 October 2022
  10. Event
    This one day masterclass is part of a series of masterclasses focusing on how to use Human Factors in your workplace. Leadership in the NHS is the responsibility of all staff. Understanding human factors will allow healthcare to enhance performance, culture and organisation. These masterclasses have been re-designed in line with the new Patient Safety Syllabus. It will look at why things go wrong and how to implement change to prevent it from happening again or mitigate the risks. This masterclass will focus on non-technical skills to improve patient safety. Key learning objectives: Task analysis Cognitive overload Reliability Non-technical skills Examples Register
  11. News Article
    NHS England has issued a new deadline to treat patients who have been waiting more than two years for treatment, a month after saying it had ‘virtually eliminated’ the longest waits, it has emerged. The goal of no-one waiting more than 104 weeks for treatment by July this year was one of the first milestones in the elective recovery plan hammered out between NHSE and ministers. They were not eliminated by the end of July, but the number was reduced to 3,000, having stood at 22,000 in January. The remaining group consisted of nearly 1,600 patients who had been offered faster treatment elsewhere but did not want to travel, 1,000 who required complex treatment and could not be transferred to another provider and 168 who were not treated by the deadline, according to information issued in the summer by NHSE. Now integrated care systems have been told there is a new “national expectation” to treat the remaining, final two-year waiters by the end of September. HSJ was told the goal has been framed as an ambition rather than a target because it includes patients who have chosen to wait longer. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 September 2022
  12. News Article
    The global response to the first two years of the Covid-19 outbreak failed to control a pandemic that has led to an estimated 17.7 million deaths to date, a major review has concluded. The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the Covid-19 pandemic, produced by 28 world leading experts and 100 contributors, cites widespread failures regarding prevention, transparency, rationality, standard public health practice, operational coordination, and global solidarity. It concludes that multilateral cooperation must improve to end the pandemic and manage future global health threats effectively. The commission’s chair, Jeffrey Sachs, who is a professor at Columbia University and president of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, said, “The staggering human toll of the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic is a profound tragedy and a massive societal failure at multiple levels.”In its report, which used data from the first two years of the pandemic and new epidemiological and financial analyses, the commission concludes that government responses lacked preparedness, were too slow, paid too little attention to vulnerable groups, and were hampered by misinformation.Read full story Source: BMJ, 14 September 2022
  13. Content Article
    At the start of last summer, Merope Mills' 13-year-old daughter Martha was busy with life. She’d meet her friends in the park, make silly videos on her phone and play “kiss, marry, kill”. Her days were filled with books and memorising song lyrics. She’d wonder aloud if she might become an author, an engineer or a film director. Her future was brimming with promise, crowded with plans. By the end of the summer she was dead, after shocking mistakes were made at one of the UK’s leading hospitals. "Her preventable death is an example of what a hospital official described to us, in a barbarous phrase, as a 'poor outcome'. I will spend decades asking: why was my child the one to suffer such an unlikely fate?", writes Merope. Further reading Prevention of Future Deaths Report: Martha Mills
  14. Content Article
    Key points Harm caused by health care affects every health system in the world; the NHS is no exception. Research from the UK suggests that around 8-12% of admissions to hospitals will involve an adverse event, resulting in harm to the patient. Between half and one third of these adverse events are thought to be preventable. Similar figures are reported in international studies. The NHS has made great progress in tackling some specific causes of harm in hospitals. The number of people developing infections such as MRSA as a result of their care has remained low during this parliament. The proportion of patients receiving care that is free of four common adverse events, including pressure ulcers, has increased from 91% in July 2012 to 94% in February 2015. Staff reporting of hospital safety incidents continues to improve. There has been a sustained increase in the reporting of incidents during this parliament, while the percentage of staff saying they have witnessed an incident has remained roughly the same. This suggests that the proportion of hospital incidents going unreported has declined. Some warning signs are emerging among the NHS workforce. During this parliament, the percentage of staff who say there is a blame culture in their organisation has risen, as has the percentage of staff who have reported feeling unwell because of work-related stress. Around 40% of patients feel there aren’t always enough nurses on duty to care for them. We don’t know how safe health care services are outside of hospital. There is little published evidence from which to draw conclusions about levels of harm in primary and community care. Less than 1% of all reported incidents are in primary care, despite 90% of all patient contact taking place there, suggesting significant underreporting of harm in this care setting.