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Found 51 results
  1. News Article
    Community clinics credited with easing pressure on A&E and GP practices nationally last winter have not yet been funded for this year, and many may not be able to open, HSJ has learned. Several local and regional sources said they were concerned no funding had been announced for acute respiratory hubs, despite respiratory illness already starting to rise. Last year national funding was announced in December and – despite the late notice – NHS England collected evidence showing that, once they were opened, ARI hubs reduced acute respiratory infection attendances by up to two-thirds, and released GP appointments. The hubs, normally held at community clinics, offer urgent same-day appointments for those with suspected ARI problems to patients referred in by other services. David Bramley, deputy director in NHSE’s NHS@Home team, said on a webinar on Tuesday: “This year, perhaps unsurprisingly, we are seeing ARI rates beginning to climb… but we’re also not expecting any additional funding for ARI hubs this year.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 November 2023
  2. Content Article
    Good practice guidance for integrated care boards (commissioners and providers) produced by NHS England. This community rehabilitation and reablement model, published alongside the intermediate care framework, aims to ensure that the individual (and their families) is at the centre of discussions and that any transition points will be as seamless as possible.
  3. News Article
    Fourteen patients with autism or learning disabilities have died since 2015 while detained in psychiatric facilities in Scotland, figures reveal. The statistics were released for the first time by Public Health Scotland (PHS) following a parliamentary question by Scottish Conservative MSP Alexander Burnett, who has campaigned to end the “national scandal” of otherwise healthy people being locked up for months or years due to a lack of community-based support. The PHS report does not detail the causes of death, but does show that seven of the deaths occurred in patients who had been resident at an inpatient psychiatric facility for between 91 and 365 days, with six (43%) in patients whose stay had exceeded at least one year. Rob Holland, acting director of the National Autistic Society Scotland, said the data was a “step forward in understanding the experience of autistic people and people with a learning disability within inpatient psychiatric facilities”. He added: “While it does not shine a light on the reasons for the deaths it does highlight how almost all of those that died had been within institutional care for more than 30 days with 6 people having been there for more than a year. “Hospitals are not homes and it adds further impetus to the Scottish Government’s ‘Coming Home’ strategy to reduce delayed discharge and support people to live in homes of their own choosing.” Read full story Source: The Herald, 18 May 2022
  4. News Article
    Ground breaking new data on community services appears to show enormous variation between areas in the number of referrals for a “two-hour urgent response” being recorded. NHS England has published new provisional data on the performance of urgent community response services against a key NHS long-term plan target of reaching at least 70% of patients referred to them within two hours by December 2022. It is the first time performance data has been published for community health services. It also includes the number of referrals made which are reported as “in scope” of the target, and the total number of service contacts. There is huge variation in both referrals and contacts, not accounted for by the size of areas or population need. The publication of the first national performance data for community services was described as “an important moment for community providers” by Siobhan Melia, chair of the Community Network, which is part of NHS Providers and the NHS Confederation. She added it would “raise the profile of community services, and shine a light on the important work taking place in the sector”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 21 June 2022
  5. News Article
    Manchester city council is setting up two special children’s homes to house the increasing number of vulnerable young people who end up stuck in hospital because no residential providers will take them. The homes, believed to be the first of their kind, aim to undercut private operators which sometimes demand tens of thousands of pounds each week to look after children with the most complex needs. Five Manchester children with complex emotional needs spent many weeks in hospital in 2022 because no children’s homes would take them because of their challenging behaviour, according to the city council’s director of children’s services. Manchester council has developed what it calls the Take a Breath model. Two houses are being renovated to house up to four children in total, with the first hopefully moving in by March. The idea is that when children first turn up at hospital – often at accident and emergency after a suicide attempt or self-harming incidents – once their injuries have been treated they can be discharged straight into the new homes rather than occupying a paediatric bed they do not need. Jointly commissioned by the council and the NHS, the two homes will cost £1.4m a year. Of that, MCC expects to spend £5,500 a week for each child. It represents a huge cost saving compared with some external placements. Last year the council was charged £16,550 a week by one private provider to look after a young profoundly autistic person with learning difficulties deemed a danger to themselves and to others. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 January 2023
  6. 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
  7. News Article
    Policymakers’ failure to tackle chronically underfunded social care has resulted in a “lost decade” and a system now at breaking point, according to a new report. A team led by Jon Glasby, a professor of health and social care at the University of Birmingham, says that without swift government intervention including urgent funding changes England’s adult social care system could quickly become unsustainable. Adult social care includes residential care homes and help with eating, washing, dressing and shopping. The paper says the impact has been particularly felt in services for older people. Those for working-age people have been less affected. It suggests that despite the legitimate needs of other groups “it is hard to interpret this other than as the product of ageist attitudes and assumptions about the role and needs of older people”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 August 2020
  8. News Article
    The first two coronavirus deaths among care workers in England were announced, as industry leaders hit out at chronic shortages of protective equipment and urged the government to start treating social care as “a second front line”. Carol Jamabo, 56, a community carer for Cherish Elderly Care in Bury in Greater Manchester, died last Wednesday. Another carer died in a home run by MHA, the UK’s largest charitable social care provider, which said it was unclear where she contracted the virus. The death of a West Dumbartonshire care worker that emerged on Sunday was also confirmed by the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The fatalities came amid rising concern that those working in social care still do not have the protection they need amid the Covid-19 pandemic and that, without testing for the virus, staff risk contaminating care homes where elderly people are supposed to be “shielded”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 6 April 2020
  9. News Article
    Adult social care services are to receive millions of personal protective equipment products following a national audit of personal protective equipment (PPE), HSJ can reveal. The government will deliver more than 30 million items to local resilience forums in the coming days, for distribution among social care and other front-line services, according to a letter seen by HSJ. The stock should not be sent to acute trusts or ambulance services, the letter, from health and social care secretary Matt Hancock and housing, communities and local government secretary Robert Jenrick, stated. Describing an “urgent need” for PPE in front-line services, Mr Hancock and Mr Jenrick asked local planners to distribute this latest batch of stock “only where there is a clear and pressing need”. Read full story Source: HSJ, 6 April 2020
  10. News Article
    Almost 400 care companies which provide home support across the UK have told the BBC they still do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE). Without protection, providers say they may not be able to care for people awaiting hospital discharge. Of 481 providers, 381 (80%) said they did not have enough PPE to be able to support older and vulnerable people. The government said it was working "around the clock" to give the sector the equipment it needs. The BBC sent questions to the nearly 3,000 members of the UK Homecare Association. About a quarter of respondents said they have either run out of masks or have less than a week's supply left. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  11. News Article
    On any normal day the Oak Springs Care home in Liverpool is a hive of activity, laughter ringing out as its elderly residents enjoy dancing, creative crafts and bingo. Yesterday it was quiet, the inhabitants confined to their bedrooms and stark notices on the door warning visitors against entering, as word spread that a third resident had died in hospital that morning after a corona-virus diagnosis. Of the 66 remaining residents, 52 are exhibiting symptoms. Four were put on end-of-life care plans this week, a situation described by Andrea Lyons, the general manager, as “our absolute worst nightmare”. She said: “These are people who we love, who we spend more time with than our families. It has been difficult beyond the worst you can imagine”. Read full story Source: The Times, 2 April 2020
  12. News Article
    Nurses caring for patients in the community have been spat at and called ‘disease spreaders’ by members of the public, according to England’s chief nurse and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN). The nursing union urged members of the public to support the UK’s “socially critical” nursing workforce during the coronavirus outbreak. The RCN said it had received anecdotal reports of community nurses receiving abuse while working in uniform. Separately, England’s Chief Nurse Ruth May said she had heard reports of nurses being spat at. Susan Masters, the RCN’s director of policy, said abuse of nurses was “abhorrent behaviour”. She said a number of nurses had raised concerns about abuse on forums used by members to talk confidentially. Describing one incident she told The Independent: “These were community nurses who had to go into people’s homes and were in uniform. Members of the public who saw them called out to them and said they were ‘disease spreaders’.” She added: “We don’t know how big this problem is, it is anecdotal, but it is absolutely unacceptable. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 March 2020
  13. News Article
    NHS England is commissioning a “COVID-19 home treatment service” of primary and community healthcare for self-secluding patients. It is introducing “urgent primary care services to patients diagnosed with COVID-19” who are self-secluded at home. The service will care for patients’ symptoms relating to COVID-19 as well as other conditions until they are discharged from home isolation and referred back to their GP. “There is likely to be a gradual handover of patients to CHMS providers as they come onstream to provide the service,” according to a letter from NHSE’s primary care directors sent to GPs today. “As soon as the new service is up and running in your area, your clinical commissioning group will be able to tell you who will be providing care for patients in your locality.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 11 March 2020
  14. News Article
    Sir Norman Lamb, chair of South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust and a former Liberal Democrat MP, has suggested the government would lose a legal challenge over its national programme for patients with learning disabilities and said the national Transforming Care programme was at the “very least a partial failure”. “I regard this as a human rights issue. We’re locking people up when we don’t need to lock them up. We’re subjecting them to force, when we shouldn’t do so, and this is how I think we need to frame it. If the government were challenged in court on this, I think there’s a very good chance, as an ex-lawyer, that they would lose.” Transforming Care was launched in 2011 following the Winterborne View scandal and aimed to discharge patients with learning disabilities and autism out of institutional inpatient units into the community. However, the most recent figures, from NHS Digital, show there were still more than 2,000 patients within inpatient units, ahead of the national programme’s expiration this month. Kevin Cleary, deputy chief inspector for hospitals and lead for learning disability and mental health services for the CQC, said: “We have allowed our patients to be placed within places like Whorlton Hall. I think the NHS provides very few services of this type, it has withdrawn from providing these services, and has become comfortable with providing that service, within the independent sector, several hundred miles away and that’s not right… absolutely not right." “We cannot say we are providing patient centred care or say we are placing the patient at the heart of everything we do and have that response from the system. We are all responsible for that.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 10 March 2020
  15. News Article
    Although community-based treatment can improve outcomes for people with eating disorders, it must not be at the expense of vital inpatient services, says Lorna Collins in an article today in the Guardian supporting Eating Disorders Awareness Week. No single treatment or approach works for every patient experiencing an eating disorder and it is extremely hard to get help; there is too little money in the system to provide enough care. "Speaking to patients, carers and clinicians, I am struck by the sheer desperation of so many people saying the system has failed them. Too many find that nothing is done until they are at death’s door. Others say no one talks about binge-eating disorder, which is still too often seen as a weakness or a problem that dieting can fix, rather than a real eating disorder," says Lorna. Clinicians, too, paint a gloomy picture of the state of services. Oxford-based eating disorder consultant Agnes Ayton, who chairs the faculty of eating disorders at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, is frank about the problems. She believes NHS eating disorder services are on their knees and desperately need more money after years of austerity. However, there are some encouraging signs. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, consultant psychiatrist William Rhys Jones, who works for the Connect community and inpatient eating disorders service, says he is seeing real change. Connect’s community outreach teams deliver home-based treatment for people with severe and enduring eating disorders. This is one of the NHSE new care models and Jones says results so far have been very positive. Clinical community services and early intervention result in a good prognosis, he says – and it is cost effective. While inpatient treatment costs about £434 a day, community treatment costs about £20 to £35 a day, with similar or even improved clinical outcomes. While there are concerns about limiting inpatient treatment and prioritising community treatment simply because it may be cheaper, positive examples like this can help hold the NHS to its promise to make treatment truly open to all who need it. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 March 2020
  16. News Article
    The NHS is currently rolling out services on NHS sites to test people for coronavirus, including a new service now in action in west London, offering ‘drive through’ coronavirus testing. The new service, provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust in Parsons Green, is only accessed through a referral from NHS 111, and means people worried about the virus can safely and quickly get checked close to home. The model is one of the ways in which community testing and home testing are being rolled out nationwide, with the NHS’ strategic incident director for coronavirus, asking health services in every part of England to set up home and community testing. After being referred through NHS 111, people are invited to an appointment in their car, during which two community nurses carry out a swab in the nose and mouth, which are checked and assessed within 72 hours. People are asked to self-isolate while checks are completed, to prevent any potential onward transmission of the virus. Dr Joanne Medhurst, medical director for Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Anyone who is worried about coronavirus should call NHS 111 for up to date advice. We’ve set up the ‘drive through’ service to make sure people in our community can get safe, convenient and quick checks for coronavirus, as part of NHS efforts to keep everyone safe." “It’s crucial that, as a community service, we help residents in our area to get accurate, timely advice while managing extra pressure on the NHS, and so far this week we’ve had good feedback from people that the swabbing service offers reassurance at what can be a difficult time.” Read full story Source: NHS England, 28 February 2020
  17. News Article
    Hundreds of elderly and vulnerable social care residents have allegedly been sexually assaulted in just three months, a shock new report from the care regulator has revealed. According to the Care Quality Commission there were 899 sexual incidents reported by social care homes between March and May 2018. Almost half were categorised as sexual assault. In 16% of the cases members of staff or visiting workers were accused of carrying out the abuse. The watchdog said it was notified of 47 cases of rape and told The Independent local authorities were informed and 37 cases were referred to police for investigation. Kate Terroni, Chief Inspector of adult social care at the regulator, said: “Supporting people as individuals means considering all aspects of a person’s needs, including sexuality and relationships. However, our report also shows all too starkly the other side of this – the times when people are harmed in the very place they should be kept safe. This is utterly devastating, both for the people directly affected and their loved ones." “It is not good enough to put this issue in a ‘too difficult to discuss’ box. It is particularly because these topics are sensitive and complex that they should not be ignored.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 February 2020
  18. News Article
    Dementia patients are being dumped in hospitals in England because of a lack of community care, a charity says. The Alzheimer's Society called for action, highlighting data showing one in 10 dementia patients spends over a month in hospital after being admitted. The figures also suggested the overall number of emergency admissions among people with dementia is rising - with some patients yo-yoing back and forth. Ministers said they were "determined" to tackle the problems. Central to this, the government said, would be plans for reforming the social care system, which encompasses care home places and support in people's homes. Alzheimer's Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes said people were falling through the "cracks of our broken social care system". "People with dementia are all too often being dumped in hospital and left there. Many are only admitted because there's no social care support to keep them safe at home. They are commonly spending more than twice as long in hospital as needed, confused and scared." Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 January 2020
  19. News Article
    Two patients have died as a result of NHS hospitals failing to heed warnings about the use of super-absorbent gel granules, which patients mistakenly eat thinking they are sweets or salt packets. A national patient safety alert has been issued by NHS bosses to all hospitals, ambulance trusts and care homes instructing them to stop using the granules unless in exceptional circumstances. An earlier alert in 2017 warned the granules, which are used to prevent liquid being spilled, had caused the death of one patient who choked to death after eating a sachet left in an empty urine bottle in their room. The 2017 alert warned hospitals there had been a total of 15 similar incidents over a six-year period between 2011 and 2017. The latest warning from NHS England says most hospitals concentrated on “raising awareness” rather than stopping the use of gel granules. Read alert Read full story Source: The Independent, 4 December 2019
  20. Content Article
    This guidance has been designed to support providers of care homes, premises based support services, school care accommodation, secure care and premises based offender accommodation to ensure they are appropriately assessing and providing staffing levels to meet the needs of people in their care, following the removal of staffing schedules. Inspectors may also refer to this guidance on inspection, for instance where intelligence may lead us to believe that staffing levels are not being appropriately assessed. Examples of this may be evidence of poor outcomes for people, an increase in incidents, number of complaints, staff absence, or a complaint investigation. 
  21. News Article
    A new community-based mental health facility is under construction in South West London. Set to open during 2022, the new facilities will provide high quality inpatient services that are designed to deliver the most modern mental health care in the country. The service will give people the best chance to recover in the best environment and will support Trust staff to deliver outstanding care. The new buildings will form part of the new ‘Springfield Village’, which will include a new 32-acre park at Springfield Hospital, as well as hundreds of new homes. Ian Garlington, Director for South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust’s Integrated Programme, which is delivering investments in NHS mental health services in South West London, said: “We are proud to be leading the way in breaking stigma by developing facilities that will sit at the heart of our Springfield Village, alongside a fantastic new 32-acre park, supporting the health and wellbeing of our whole community.” hub topic lead, Steve Turner, said: As a nurse who completed my registered nurse training at St George's Hospital and mental health nurse training at Springfield Hospital in the 1980s, I am very pleased to see this development on the site where I once worked and will be following progress with interest." Read full story Source: NHS South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust
  22. News Article
    A group of experts in nursing and infection prevention and control (IPC) is today warning against the use of IPC measures as a “rationale” for stopping safe and compassionate visits in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a new open letter published in Nursing Times, the specialists say that preventing people from visiting loved ones in social care settings in the name of IPC is a “misinterpretation and at times even abuse” of IPC principles. The letter is the brainchild of independent global health consultant and former Infection Prevention Society (IPS) president, Jules Storr. Among the signatories are five former IPC presidents, current president Pat Cattini as well as incoming president Jennie Wilson. Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, is also on the list, Helen Hughes, chief executive of Patient Safety Learning, as well as leading IPC nurse specialists, nurse academics, a GP and carers. Ms Storr, a nurse by background, and the hub topic lead, said she was motivated to take action after hearing “the most heart-breaking” stories from health professionals and relatives of residents about restricted visits in the UK in the wake of COVID-19. Some had not seen relatives for weeks or months, whilst others were only allowed to see their loved one once a week for 20 minutes at a distance, she said. One individual had told her how when their father had died only one family member was permitted in the home and they were not allowed to sit close enough to hold his hand. Ms Storr said these practices were “absolutely outrageous and wrong from an infection prevention point of view”. Read full story Source: Nursing Times, 16 October 2020
  23. News Article
    Government plans to cut off funding for hospital discharge at the end of March will slow down the NHS recovery of planned care, and threatens ‘distress’ for families asked to quickly take over patients’ care. Since the pandemic began the Department of Health and Social Care has funded measures to smooth discharge from hospital, to help free up capacity. From September last year this was via a £588m national pot for up to six weeks’ funded care and support after discharge. But a letter from NHS England director of community health Matthew Winn last week confirmed the funding will cease at the end of March, with local NHS organisations or councils liable for the continued funding of discharge packages in the 2021-22 financial year. Jennifer Burns, president of the British Geriatrics Society (BGS), which has previously written to the government to urge an extension of the scheme, told HSJ: “The BGS is incredibly concerned… The disappearance of funding for care in the six-week period after discharge creates a cliff edge in the very near future. We urge the government to reconsider this decision and commit to recurrent discharge funding in the upcoming Budget.” Miriam Deakin, NHS Providers director of policy and strategy, said the government’s funding had “played a crucial role in freeing up hospital beds [and] managing capacity”, despite the delays caused by other parts of the system during the coronavirus winter surge. Ms Deakin warned: “Trust leaders are keen to see this funding continue in the longer term. This new way of working does not come without a financial cost, particularly for community services and their staff who are now much more thinly stretched, supporting patients with a wider range of more complex needs at home and in other community settings. We would therefore urge government to continue discharge to assess funding from April 2021.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 February 2021
  24. News Article
    Tens of thousands of coronavirus survivors needing long-term care are heaping pressure on Britain’s stretched community services, threatening a crisis that experts warn could dwarf that seen in hospitals over the past 12 months. As many as 100,000 intensive care patients, including up to 15,000 Covid-19 survivors, will need long-term community nursing care after being discharged from hospitals during the past 12 months, The Independent has been told. This will be on top of an as yet unknown number of Covid patients from the 350,000 treated on general wards since the pandemic began, as well as tens of thousands of people who were sick without going to hospital but have been left with debilitating symptoms of long Covid. Labour’s shadow health minister Liz Kendall warned: “There will be huge pressures on community services as people who need long-term support are discharged back into their own homes. “Ministers have got to put in place a proper workforce strategy for the NHS and community care otherwise we will see people struggling to recover and the burden of care could also fall on their families." “This is one of the long-term consequences of Covid that we haven’t begun to even think through yet.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 February 2021
  25. News Article
    Community and mental health service providers have warned the ongoing fuel crisis and other traffic disruption is starting to impact the care of vulnerable patients. Warnings about a HGV drivers shortage have prompted the panic-buying of fuel, with many petrol stations running out or heavily congested. Julia Winkless, a senior social worker and approved mental health professional in Suffolk, told HSJ clinical visits had to be cancelled as people were unable to get to work. Ms Winkless said: “We work over a very rural area, none of these petrol stations where [staff] live have got any fuel and we don’t know when there is going to be deliveries. Today, there were four mental capacity assessments cancelled.” There is also disruption to patient transport. A senior source at a West Midlands patient transport provider which often conveys people to mental health services told HSJ: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare in all honesty. We turned down a request this morning for a patient going to London because of the fuel and because of the [climate protesters disrupting motorways]… ultimately those patients are either at home and distressed carrying a big risk in the community or [accident and emergency] departments which [are not] the right settings.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 28 September 2021
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