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Found 152 results
  1. Content Article
    The Falls and Fragility Fractures Audit Programme (FFFAP) is looking to recruit new members to their award-winning Patient and Carer Panel. FFFAP is a national clinical audit run by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership on behalf of NHS England and the Welsh Government. Their work aims to improve the care that patients with fragility fractures receive in hospital and after discharge and to reduce inpatient falls. 
  2. Content Article
    An action-oriented and radically hopeful field guide to the underground, patient-led revolution for better health and healthcare. Anyone who has fallen off the conveyer belt of mainstream health care and into the shadowy corners of illness knows what a dark place it is to land. Where is the infrastructure, the information, the guidance? What should you do next? In Rebel Health, Susannah Fox draws on twenty years of tracking the expert networks of patients, survivors, and caregivers who have come of age between the cracks of the health care system to offer a way forward. Covering everything from diabetes to ALS to Moebius Syndrome to chronic disease management, Fox taps into the wisdom of these individuals, learns their ways, and fuels the rebel alliance that is building up our collective capacity for better health. Rebel Health shows how the next wave of health innovation will come from the front lines of this patient-led revolution. Fox identifies and describes four archetypes of this revolution: seekers, networkers, solvers, and champions. Each chapter includes tips, such as picking a proxy to help you navigate the relevant online communities, or learning how to pitch new ideas to investors and partners or new treatments to the FDA. On a personal level, anyone who wants to navigate the health care maze faster will want to become a health rebel or recruit some to their team. On a systemic level, it is a competitive advantage for businesses, governments, and organizations to understand and leverage the power of connection among patients, survivors, and caregivers.
  3. News Article
    More than 100 families looking after severely disabled adults and children outside hospital, have told the BBC that the NHS is failing to provide enough vital support. The NHS says help is based on individual needs and guidelines ensure consistency across England and Wales. However, some families describe the system as adversarial. Only those living outside hospital with life-limiting conditions, or at risk of severe harm if they don't have significant support, get this help from the NHS. It is provided through a scheme called Continuing Healthcare (CHC) for adults, and its equivalent for under-18s, Children and Young People's Continuing Care. Cases in England are decided by NHS Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) - panels responsible for planning local health and care services. In Wales, they are overseen by local health boards. The BBC has heard from 105 families who described serious concerns with how the two schemes are working - with most calling for reform. One young man with 24-hour needs hasn't received any CHC help despite being eligible since February 2023 - his parents, who first applied for support on his behalf nearly two years ago, currently provide round-the-clock care Another family were told overnight care for their teenage child - who is non-verbal, has severe mobility issues and requires 24/7 support - would be reduced from seven down to three nights a week, without a reason being given. Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 February 2024
  4. Content Article
    In my 15 years focusing on developing drink thickening solutions for dysphagia patients, the intersection of dysphagia management and patient safety has become increasingly apparent. Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, presents not only as a significant health challenge but also as a critical patient safety issue. The condition's underdiagnosis, particularly in vulnerable populations, heightens the risk of severe complications, including choking, aspiration pneumonia, dehydration and the profound fear of choking that can lead to malnutrition.
  5. News Article
    Unregulated healthcare workers are a risk to the most vulnerable patients, a former victim’s commissioner has warned after The Independent and Sky News uncovered a “horrifying” sexual abuse scandal within NHS mental health services. Dame Vera Baird called for a formal framework for healthcare assistants and support workers, who do not have a mandatory professional register like doctors and nurses and can “come in and go out from one hospital to another” without the same thorough checks. Dame Vera told The Independent that the setup did not lead to a “very safe way of working” because healthcare assistants are “in an environment where they are responsible for vulnerable people”. “If there has been abuse from mental health care assistants who are also agency staff who are coming in and going out from one hospital to another, that needs to be looked at,” she said. “This is not a very safe way of working. Some kind of framework around agency staff seems to be very important [to have].” She warned that sexual predators may go into mental health services and work in units where patients can be “highly sexualised”, prompting a “dreadful combination”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 30 January 2024
  6. Content Article
    Poor health literacy can inhibit patient or caregiver understanding of care instructions and threaten patient safety. This cross-sectional study from Selzer et al. of medically complex children treated at one academic hospital in Austria reveals that despite high levels of satisfaction with care, many caregivers do not understand medication management instructions at discharge. Misunderstandings were more likely to occur with higher numbers and/or new prescriptions, poor medication-related communication, and language or literacy barriers.
  7. News Article
    Four carers who were convicted of abusing patients at a secure hospital have been given suspended sentences. An undercover BBC Panorama investigation showed patients being mocked by staff at Whorlton Hall in County Durham between 2018 and 2019. The four former staff, who are all men, were sentenced on Friday after being convicted by a jury last year. Judge Chris Smith said Whorlton Hall was an "unpredictable and inherently frightening place to live". The specialist hospital for people with complex needs was privately run by Cygnet, but funded by the NHS. It has since closed. Judge Smith said Whorlton Hall had a "malign culture" and was an "unpredictable and inherently frightening place to live." He added: "Each of you failed those patients and their families. It was a fundamental breach of trust." Read full story Source: BBC New, 20 January 2024
  8. Content Article
    A new report published by Carers Scotland shows the devasting impact the health and social care crisis is having on the health of Scotland’s 800,000 unpaid carers. 
  9. News Article
    A third of carers with poor mental health have considered suicide or self-harm, data shows. Figures given to the Liberal Democrats by Carers UK reveal that many of the UK’s millions of carers who look after relatives have bad mental health, with some “at breaking point”. In a survey of nearly 11,000 unpaid carers, the vast majority said they were stressed or anxious, while half felt depressed and lonely. More than a quarter said they had bad or very bad mental health. Of these, more than a third said that they had thoughts related to self-harm or suicide, while nearly three-quarters of those felt they were at breaking point. Helen Walker, the chief executive of Carers UK, said: “Unpaid carers make an enormous contribution to society, but far too regularly feel unseen, undervalued and completely forgotten by services that are supposed to be there to support them. “Not being able to take breaks from caring, being able to prioritise their own health or earn enough money to make ends meet is causing many to hit rock bottom.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 November 2023
  10. Content Article
    An estimated 90,000 people are living with dementia in Scotland, with that number expected to increase to 164,000 by 2036. These national clinical guidelines from Health Improvement Scotland, the first to be published in nearly 20 years, provide recommendations on the assessment, treatment and support of adults living with dementia. It calls for greater awareness of pre-death grief for people with dementia, their carers and their loved ones, as they fear the loss of the person they know. To accompany the guidelines, a podcast has been produced by Health Improvement Scotland speaking to professionals, including Dr Adam Daly, Chair of Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Guideline Development Group and a Consultant in old age psychiatry, and Jacqueline Thompson, a nurse consultant and the lead on pre-grief death for the guideline. We also hear from Marion Ritchie, a carer who experienced pre-death grief while caring for her husband.
  11. Content Article
    The BMJ’s new “practical prescribing” series aims to improve decision making Prescribing is one of the most fundamental parts of medicine and one of the most common interventions in health care. In the UK, the British National Formulary lists more than 1600 drugs. The number of prescriptions dispensed in the community in England grew by 66% from 686 million prescriptions in 2004 to 1.14 billion prescriptions in 2021-22.34 Polypharmacy has also increased, with around 15% of people in England taking five or more medicines a day and 7% taking eight or more medicines a day. The BMJ in conjunction with the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin has commissioned a series of articles on practical prescribing. These articles will highlight important issues for prescribers to consider and prompts for shared decision making between prescribers, patients, and their carers. The series—targeted at all medical and non-medical prescribers, particularly doctors in training—will cover medicines commonly prescribed in primary and secondary care. The format is designed to help readers recall their understanding of a medication through a series of questions, exploring up-to-date evidence, and reviewing accessible information not readily found in prescribing texts.
  12. Content Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) State of Care is an annual assessment of health care and social care in England. The report looks at the trends, shares examples of good and outstanding care, and highlights where care needs to improve.
  13. Content Article
    This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the adult social care workforce in England and the characteristics of the 1.52 million people working in it. Topics covered include: recent trends in workforce supply and demand, employment overview, recruitment and retention, demographics, pay, qualification rates, and future workforce projections.
  14. Content Article
    This joint manifesto has been produced by the charities Sue Ryder, Marie Curie, Together for Short Lives, National Bereavement Alliance and Hospice UK. Ahead of the next General Election, they are calling upon all political parties and candidates to commit to policies that ensure everyone affected by dying, death and bereavement receives the best possible care and support, both now and in the future. The manifesto calls for the new Government to: Deliver a new funding solution for hospices and palliative and end of life care to end the postcode lottery in access Introduce a national delivery plan for palliative and end of life are in every nation to support delivery of local services Guarantee that palliative and end of life care services meet each individual’s needs, including those of people dying at home Act to ensure that nobody dies in poverty and tackle inequalities in palliative and end of life care Improve support for families and carers of people with a terminal illness
  15. Content Article
    Allergic reactions vary in severity. People with food allergy tend to have reactions which affect the skin or gut, but around one third of reactions involve the breathing: these more serious allergic reactions are known as anaphylaxis. Very rarely, anaphylaxis can be severe and therefore life-threatening. This leaflet created by Allergy UK and Anaphylaxis UK explains how you can reduce the risk of this happening. Anaphylaxis is unpredictable and can occur in people who have never had this type of reaction before, but most people will recover fully. 
  16. News Article
    “Smart socks” that track sweat levels, heart rate and motion are being given to dementia patients to alert carers if they are becoming distressed. The unintrusive technology was developed by Dr Zeke Steer, of Bristol Universit. Dr Steer wanted to find a way to spot the early warning signs of distress, so carers or relatives could intervene with calming techniques to de-escalate the situation. The hi-tech hosiery - which look and feel like normal socks - use e-textiles to transmit data in real time to an app, which alerts carers when stress levels are rising. The socks are now being trialled among mid to late stage dementia patients. Researchers think they will also help people with autism and other conditions that affect communication. Fran Ashby, manager from Garden House Care Home, in Bristol, said: “We were really impressed at the potential of assisted technology to predict impending agitation and help alert staff to intervene before it can escalate into distressed behaviours. “Using modern assistive technology examples, like smart socks, can help enable people living with dementia to retain their dignity and have better quality outcomes for their day to day life.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 9 May 2022
  17. News Article
    The carer who admitted the manslaughter of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith, who had cerebral palsy, has been jailed for at least five years and three months for her criminal neglect. Sentencing Rosa Maria Maione in the Supreme Court, Justice Anne Bampton said the 70-year-old was grossly negligent, with her care for Smith falling well short of the standard expected. “You did not mobilise her from the chair in which she was found. You did not toilet her properly and you did not clean her properly,” she told Maione on Friday. “You did not feed her a nutritional diet or monitor her intake. You knew you were not capable of properly supporting her and you did not seek assistance in providing for Ms Smith’s needs." “Despite the deterioration in Ms Smith’s health, you did not seek assistance from your supervisor or medical professionals until it was too late.” Justice Bampton said Maione had absolutely no insight into Smith’s physical condition leading up to her death. “Your incompetence, lack of training, lack of assertiveness and lack of supervision produced an environment where you failed to provide appropriate care,” she said. “Every person living with a disability, every person who requires support, every parent, carer and support worker of persons living with a disability, I have no doubt shudders with fear when they hear of the utter lack of care and human dignity afforded to Ms Smith in those last months of her life.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 March 2022
  18. News Article
    Hundreds of thousands of older people in England are having to endure chronic pain, anxiety and unmet support needs owing to the worsening shortage of social care staff and care home beds. Age UK has said older people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure are increasingly struggling with living in their own homes because of a lack of help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing and eating. The decline in the amount of support and care provided to older people is piling pressure on families and carers and leaving the NHS in constant crisis mode, contributing heavily to ambulance queues outside A&E departments, the charity said in a new report It warned that there would be a repeat of the NHS crisis this winter – in which rising numbers of elderly people have been unnecessarily stuck in hospital because of an acute lack of social care – without a shift to preventing unnecessary admissions. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 February 2023
  19. News Article
    Care providers are demanding double the usual fees to look after thousands of people who need to be discharged from hospitals to ease the crisis in the NHS. Care England, which represents the largest private care home providers, said on Sunday it wanted the government to pay them £1,500 a week per person, citing the need to pay care workers more and hire rehabilitation specialists so people languishing in hospital can eventually be sent home. The rate is about double what most local authorities currently pay for care home beds, an amount Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, described as “inadequate”. The demand comes as the health secretary, Steve Barclay promised “urgent action” with up to £250m in new funding for the NHS to buy care beds to clear wards of medically fit patients. The money will be used to buy beds in care homes, hospices and hotels where people are looked after by homecare providers, as well as pay for hospital upgrades. Stays will be no longer than four weeks until the end of March. The use of hotels as care homes began during the pandemic and has been controversial, with reports of problems with hygiene and supplies of specialist equipment. The charity Age UK last week criticised their renewed use as “not an appropriate place to provide high-quality care for older people in need of support to recuperate after a spell in hospital”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 January 2023
  20. News Article
    Care workers are taking as little as three minutes to help vulnerable people in their own homes, the social care ombudsman has found, after discovering a council was allocating extremely short visits to hundreds of people. Amid chronic staff shortages and rising unmet care needs nationwide, a homecare worker commissioned by Warrington borough council sometimes stayed for just three minutes, despite the family paying for the full visit. The council was found to have allocated 15-minute care calls to more than 300 people in the region, despite national guidance stressing these were “not usually appropriate”. The Homecare Association, which represents care providers, said the number of short calls being commissioned was increasing more widely and said “15-minute visits are inappropriately short”, result in inadequate care and are stressful for workers placed under “unfair pressure”. The case that triggered the investigation involved a woman with dementia who was paying the full costs of her care under a plan devised by the council. In 15 minutes two agency care workers were expected to wake her, prepare a meal and a drink, ensure she ate and drank, administer her medication, change her incontinence pad, administer any personal care and tidy the kitchen. Electronic monitoring showed they regularly stayed less than 15 minutes and the ombudsman said it was probable her care needs were not met and her care was not dignified. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 5 January 2023
  21. News Article
    Many care home staff worked extra hours without extra pay to prop up the system during the pandemic, a study suggests. Public money helped stabilise UK care homes during the first wave of Covid-19 but it was withdrawn too soon and not focused on staff, says the research, led by Warwick Business School. The researchers studied the accounts of more than 4,000 UK care home companies, from just before the pandemic and during the first year of the health crisis. They found nearly two thirds (60%) of care homes were already financially fragile as the pandemic took hold. The report concludes: "The decision by government to end financial support for care home companies after the peak of the pandemic had passed has likely contributed to the current financial and operational difficulties experienced by the sector." It states the financial plight of many staff and the immense pressure they were under "means it is not surprising the care home sector has struggled to both recruit and retain staff once lockdown restrictions were removed and the wider economy re-opened". Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 April 2023
  22. News Article
    Funding promised to develop the social care workforce in England has been halved, the government has confirmed. In 2021 the government pledged "at least" £500 million for reforms, to be spent on training places and technology over three years. But that figure is now £250 million, according to the Department of Health. A coalition of charities said this cut is "just the latest in a long series of disappointments" over social care. The government said its reforms would give care "the status it deserves" but some organisations in the sector say they fall short of what is needed. Caroline Abrahams, co-chair of the Care and Support Alliance - which represents more than 70 charities - and charity director of Age UK, said the measures "aren't remotely enough to transform social care". Millions of older and disabled people and their carers "needed something far bigger, bolder and more genuinely strategic to give them hope for the future", she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 April 2023
  23. Content Article
    A new in-depth report from the Charity Age UK, ‘Fixing the Foundations’, reveals how our under-funded and overstretched NHS and social care system is struggling and sometimes failing to cope with the needs of older people.  The report provides a first-hand account of older people’s difficulties in getting the good, joined up health and social care they need to manage at home, leaving them at risk of crisis which often results in being admitted to hospital. Yet the evidence is clear that with the right care at the right time many of these admissions could have been avoided. The report also includes perspectives from professionals and unpaid carers. It also shows how living with multiple long-term health conditions, as a significant proportion of older people do, including more than two-thirds of those aged over 85, makes it especially hard to navigate health services which are still usually organised around individual illnesses and diseases. Meanwhile social care was often inadequate or absent in these older people’s lives. Age UK estimates that astonishingly, over 1.6 million older people have some level of fundamental care and support need, such as help to get dressed, washed or getting out of bed, that is not being fully addressed.
  24. Content Article
    Providing an overview of the work of the Group and its key findings, the Report of the Strategic Workforce Advisory Group on Home Carers and Nursing Home Health Care Assistants presents a suite of 16 recommendations spanning the areas of areas of recruitment, pay and conditions of employment, barriers to employment, training and professional development, sectoral reform, and monitoring and implementation.
  25. Content Article
    This PowerPoint presentation summarises the research approach taken by Sarah Balchin, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Experience and Chief Nurse at Solent NHS Trust, for a study into the experience of family carers. The interpretative phenomenological analysis looked at the lived experience of family carers who adopted the role abruptly after a sudden change in the physical health care needs of a family member.
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