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Found 498 results
  1. News Article
    NHS England has issued a national alert to all trusts providing maternity services after faults were discovered in IT software that could pose “potential serious risks to patient safety”. According to the alert, the Euroking electronic patient record provided by Magentus Software could be displaying incorrect patient information to clinicians. The Euroking EPR is used in the maternity departments of at least 15 trusts according to information held by HSJ. These organisations have been asked to “consider if Euroking meets their maternity service’s needs” and to “ensure their local configuration is safe”. Trusts with different maternity EPR providers have also been asked to reassess the clinical safety of their solutions. The potential “serious risks” relate to a fault in the Euroking EPR which allows new patient information to overwrite previously recorded information, which could lead to “incorrect management of the pregnancy and subsequent harm”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 8 December 2023
  2. Content Article
    The health service is facing workforce shortages and growing backlogs of care, as well as future increases in demand. In response, policymakers and providers are looking to advances in health technologies and data to improve quality and efficiency and reshape services to better meet future needs – most recently with the announcement of £100m to advance the use of artificial intelligence in health care. Ensuring new uses of health technologies or data have the backing of the public is critical if these are to become business as usual. As seen with the care.data scheme and the General Practice Data for Planning and Research programme, lack of public support can significantly constrain innovation and service transformation. So how does the UK public feel about the use of health technologies and health data? To explore this further, in March 2023 the Nuffield Trust commissioned a nationally representative public survey to investigate attitudes towards health technology and data uses and the key factors affecting these views.
  3. Content Article
    Potential serious risks to patient safety have been identified with the use of Magentus Software Limited’s Euroking maternity information system. These concern specific data fields: certain new patient information, recorded during a patient contact, can overwrite ('back copy') information previously recorded in the patient’s pregnancy record. certain pregnancy-level data (information relevant only to a specific pregnancy event) can be saved at a patient level (where information relevant throughout a person's life is recorded), causing new information to overwrite (‘back copy’) previously recorded data across an entire patient record. certain recorded pregnancy-level data can pre-populate into new pregnancy records (‘forward copy’), which can mean clinicians will see incorrect patient information, and attempts to correct this can result in the issue described at (ii) above.
  4. Content Article
    The NHS’s deal with the US tech company Palantir raises privacy concerns, but a unified database could be a medical gamechanger writes Martha Gill in an article for the Observer. Governments have been trying to stitch together our patchwork system for decades. Billions have been lost in these attempts. However, they always run up against the same problem: people just don’t want to share their medical data, even when assured it will be anonymised. When the government aimed to build a collection of anonymous GP health records, around a million patients opted out. The latest of these attempts has closed a loophole: patients cannot now opt out. But this has enraged civil liberties groups, which are concerned about the company chosen to merge, clean and provide tools for sorting through the data.
  5. Event
    Learn how the SIRO, CG and DPO should work together to ensure that organisational and technical measures are in place to protect the privacy of patient and service user data. Data Protection and Information Security measures and associated risk are considered risks mitigated where appropriate and reasonable. How legislation impacts on each of the roles. We will look at the roles and how they should work together and not in isolation. These 3 roles are referenced in the NHS Data Security & Protection Toolkit each having responsibility & accountability but there is synergy in the roles. These are important roles in assessing overall risks and issues of information sharing internally and externally. It will be beneficial for all three from an organisation to attend the course (although individual roles can attend) Register
  6. Event
    Learn how the SIRO, CG and DPO should work together to ensure that organisational and technical measures are in place to protect the privacy of patient and service user data. Data Protection and Information Security measures and associated risk are considered risks mitigated where appropriate and reasonable. How legislation impacts on each of the roles. We will look at the roles and how they should work together and not in isolation. These 3 roles are referenced in the NHS Data Security & Protection Toolkit each having responsibility & accountability but there is synergy in the roles. These are important roles in assessing overall risks and issues of information sharing internally and externally. It will be beneficial for all three from an organisation to attend the course (although individual roles can attend) Register
  7. News Article
    Newborn babies could be at a higher risk of a deadly bacterial infection carried by their mothers than previously thought. Group B Strep or GBS is a common bacteria found in the vagina and rectum which is usually harmless. However, it can be passed on from mothers to their newborn babies leading to complications such as meningitis and sepsis. NHS England says that GBS rarely causes problems and 1 in 1,750 babies fall ill after contracting the infection. However, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that the likelihood of newborn babies falling ill could be far greater. They claim one in 200 newborns are admitted to neonatal units with sepsis caused by GBS. Pregnant women are not routinely screened for GBS in the UK and only usually discover they are carriers if they have other complications or risk factors. Jane Plumb, co-founded charity Group B Strep Support with her husband Robert after losing their middle child to the infection in 1996. She said: “This important study highlights the extent of the devastating impact group B Strep has on newborn babies, and how important it is to measure accurately the number of these infections. “Inadequate data collected on group B Strep is why we recently urged the Government to make group B Strep a notifiable disease, ensuring cases would have to be reported. “Without understanding the true number of infections, we may not implement appropriate prevention strategies and are unable to measure their true effectiveness.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 29 November 2023 Further reading on the hub: Leading for safety: A conversation with Jane Plumb, Founder of Group B Strep Support
  8. News Article
    The NHS has been accused of “breaking the law” by creating a massive data platform that will share information about patients. Four organisations are bringing a lawsuit against NHS England claiming that there is no legal basis for its setting up of the Federated Data Platform (FDP). They plan to seek a judicial review of its decision. NHS England sparked controversy last week when it handed the £330m contract to establish and operate the FDP for seven years from next spring to Palantir, the US spytech company. The platform involves software that will allow health service trusts and also integrated care systems, or regional groupings of trusts, to share information much more easily in order to improve care. Rosa Curling, director of Foxglove, a campaign group that monitors big tech and which is co-ordinating the lawsuit, said: “The government has gambled £330m on overhauling how NHS data is handled but bizarrely seems to have left off the bit where they make sure their system is lawful. NHS England says the platform will help hospitals tackle the 7.8m-strong backlog of care they are facing and enable them to discharge sooner patients who are medically fit to leave. But this may be the first in a series of legal actions prompted by fears that the FDP could lead to breaches of sensitive patient health information, and to data ultimately being sold. “You can’t just massively expand access to confidential patient data without making sure you also follow the law.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 30 November 2023
  9. Content Article
    Digital health inequality, observed as differential utilisation of digital tools between population groups, has not previously been quantified in the NHS. But recent developments in universal digital health interventions, including a national smartphone app and online primary care services, allow measurement of digital inequality across a nation. This study in BMJ Health & Care Informatics aimed to measure population factors associated with digital utilisation across 6356 primary care providers serving the population of England. The authors concluded that the study results are concerning for technologically driven widening of healthcare inequalities. They highlight the need for targeted incentives to digital in order to prevent digital disparity from becoming health outcomes disparity.
  10. News Article
    Almost 8,000 people were harmed and 112 died last year as a direct result of enduring long waits for an ambulance or surgery, prompting warnings that NHS care delays are “a disaster”. The fatalities included a man who died of a cardiac arrest after waiting 18 minutes for his 999 call to be answered by the ambulance service and was dead by the time the crew arrived. The figures are the first time NHS England has disclosed how often doctors and nurses file a patient safety report after someone suffers harm while waiting for help. They show that patient deaths arising directly from care delays have risen more than fivefold over the last three years, from 21 in 2019 to 112 last year, as the NHS has come under huge strain. The number of people who came to “severe harm” has also jumped from 96 to 152 during that period. “These data are alarming and show quite clearly the human impact the crisis in the NHS is having on individual patients,” said Rachel Power, the chief executive of the Patients Association. “We have been watching a disaster unfolding across the NHS and have repeatedly warned about the threat to patient safety because of it.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 November 2023
  11. Content Article
    The Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme (SSNAP) measures the quality and organisation of stroke care across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The overall aim of SSNAP is to provide timely information to clinicians, commissioners, patients and the public on how well stroke care is being delivered. Processes of care are measured against evidence-based quality standards referring to the interventions that any patient may be expected to receive. This report presents data from more than 91,000 patients admitted to hospitals between April 2022 and March 2023 and submitted to the audit, representing over 90% of all admitted strokes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This data is summarised in key messages for both those who provide and those who commission stroke care in hospitals and the community, and presented in tables and charts.
  12. Content Article
    This report published by the National Audit of Inpatient Falls (NAIF) includes information on multi-factorial risk assessments and post fall management, and contains five recommendations as well as resources to support improvement.
  13. Content Article
    This report published by the National Vascular Registry (NVR) contains information on emergency (non-elective) and elective procedures for the following patient groups: patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) who undergo either (a) lower limb angioplasty/stent, (b) lower limb bypass surgery, or (c) lower limb amputation patients who have a repair procedure for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) patients who undergo carotid endarterectomy or carotid stenting.
  14. News Article
    Several trusts are failing to admit their sickest emergency patients in a timely fashion, despite performing well in official waiting time statistics, HSJ can reveal. The internal NHS England data, obtained via a Freedom of Information request, reveals 12 trusts which have performed above the average against the four-hour accident and emergency target are delivering relatively poor waiting times for patients who require admission, as opposed to those who, for example, can be discharged after being seen. The unpublished provisional data shows an average of just 30% of admitted patients in England spend four hours or less in A&E against the 95% target. But many trusts are falling significantly below this – including those trusts at or around NHSE’s interim target of 76% for four hours performance for all patients by March 2024. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 November 2023
  15. News Article
    The trusts with the most patients waiting at least a week after they are ‘ready’ to be discharged can be identified for the first time, following publication of new NHS England data. The new collection shows how long patients are spending in hospital after being deemed fit for discharge, with around 3.7% of all patients in England waiting a week or longer in hospital following their “discharge ready” date — although about half trusts have so far failed to report accurate data. However, there is considerable variation across the country, with six trusts recording more than double the national average in terms of the proportion of patients declared medically fit for discharge being delayed by a week or more. Sarah-Jane Marsh, NHSE’s national director for urgent and emergency care, told HSJ in February that NHSE would aim to set a “baseline” for the discharge-ready data. HSJ understands NHSE will revisit the idea of a new target based on how long patients wait for discharge after they are “ready”, using the new collection, when more trusts are publishing data. It is also planning to publish data based on responsible local authority in future, given councils’ major role coordinating social care support for some people awaiting discharge. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 November 2023
  16. News Article
    The NHS has sparked controversy by handing the US spy tech company Palantir a £330m contract to create a huge new data platform, leading to privacy concerns around patients’ medical details. The move immediately prompted concerns about the security and privacy of patient medical records and the suitability of Palantir to be given access to and oversight of such sensitive material. NHS England has given Palantir and four partners including Accenture a five-year contract to set up and operate the “federated data platform” (FDP). The British Medical Association, which had previously voiced concern about the NHS’s alleged lack of scrutiny of bidders on “ethical” grounds, said Palantir’s winning bid was “deeply worrying”. NHS England sought to allay such concerns. It stressed that none of the companies in the winning consortium would be able to access health and care data without its explicit consent; that it would retain control of all data within the platform; and that it would not include GP data. It said the new software would be protected by the highest possible standards of security through the deployment of “privacy enhancing technology”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 November 2023
  17. Content Article
    The UK’s healthcare systems are experiencing a prolonged period of high pressure, with industrial action, backlogs in elective care persisting, and a shortage of doctors that ongoing high vacancy rates evidence. This report by the GMC analyses trends in the medical workforce across the UK. It uses a variety of sources to provide insights for policymakers and workforce planners, as well as offering deeper analysis on specific themes.
  18. News Article
    The number of child deaths has hit record levels, with hundreds more children dying since the pandemic, shocking new figures show. More than 3,700 children died in England between April 2022 and March 2023, including those who died as a result of abuse and neglect, suicide, perinatal and neonatal events and surgery, new data from the National Child Mortality Database has revealed – with more than a third of the deaths considered avoidable. Children in poorer areas were twice as likely to die as those in the richest, while 15 per cent of those who died were known to social services. The UK’s top children’s doctor, Dr Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, hit out at the government for failing to act to tackle child poverty, which she said was driving the “unforgivable” and “avoidable” deaths. The report said: “Whilst the death rate in the least deprived neighbourhoods decreased slightly from the previous year, the death rate for the most deprived areas continued to rise, demonstrating widening inequalities.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 November 2023
  19. Content Article
    The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) was launched on 1 April 2019 and collates data collected by Child Death Overview Panels (CDOPs) in England from reviews of all children who die at any time after birth and before their 18th birthday. There is a statutory requirement for CDOPs to collect this data and to provide it to NCMD, as outlined in the Child Death Review statutory and operational guidance. The guidance requires all Child Death Review (CDR) Partners to gather information from every agency that has had contact with the child, during their life and after their death, including health and social care services, law enforcement, and education services. This is done using a set of statutory CDR forms and the information is then submitted to NCMD. The data in this report summarise the number of child deaths up to 31 March 2023 and the number of reviews of children whose death was reviewed by a CDOP before 31 March 2023.
  20. News Article
    Black babies in England are almost three times more likely to die than white babies after death rates surged in the last year, according to figures that have led to warnings that racism, poverty and pressure on the NHS must be tackled to prevent future fatalities. The death rate for white infants has stayed steady at about three per 1,000 live births since 2020, but for black and black British babies it has risen from just under six to almost nine per 1,000, according to figures from the National Child Mortality Database, which gathers standardised data on the circumstances of children’s deaths. Infant death rates in the poorest neighbourhood rose to double those in the richest areas, where death rates fell. The mortality for Asian and Asian British babies also rose, by 17%. The annual data shows overall child mortality increased again between 2022 and 2023, with widening inequalities between rich and poor areas and white and black communities. Most deaths of infants under one year of age were due to premature births. Karen Luyt, the programme lead for the database and a professor of neonatal medicine at Bristol University, said many black and minority ethnic women were not registering their pregnancies early enough and the “system needs to reach them in a better way”. “There’s an element of racism and there’s a language barrier,” Luyt said. “Minority women often do not feel welcome. There’s cultural incompetence and our clinical teams do not have the skills to understand different cultures.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 November 2023
  21. News Article
    Long waits in A&E departments may have caused around 30,000 ‘excess deaths’ last year, according to new estimates. Using a methodology backed by experts, HSJ analysis of official data has produced an estimate of 29,145 ‘excess deaths’ related to long accident and emergency delays in 2022-23, up from 22,175 in 2021-22, and 9,783 related deaths in 2020-21. For the first time, the analysis has also produced estimates of excess mortality related to long A&E delays for every acute trust. The data suggests the rate of excess deaths from 2022-23 has so far continued into 2023-24. The analysis followed a methodology used in a peer-reviewed study published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, which found delays to hospital admission for patients of more than five hours from time of arrival at A&E were associated with an increase in all-cause mortality within 30 days. Data scientist Steve Black, one of the authors of the EMJ study, said: “Long waits in A&E should never happen and 12-hour waits should be something like a never event. They should be intolerable anywhere. If we want to fix them it’s helpful to know which trusts have the worst problems with long waits.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 November 2023
  22. Content Article
    Structural, economic and social factors can lead to inequalities in the length of time people wait for NHS planned hospital care – such as hip or knee operations – and their experience while they wait. In 2020, after the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS England asked NHS trusts and systems to take an inclusive approach to tackling waiting lists by disaggregating waiting times by ethnicity and deprivation to identify inequalities and to take action in response. This was an important change to how NHS organisations were asked to manage waiting lists – embedding work to tackle health inequalities into the process. Between December 2022 and June 2023, the King’s Fund undertook qualitative case studies about the implementation of this policy in three NHS trusts and their main integrated care boards (ICBs), and interviewed a range of other people about using artificial intelligence (AI) to help prioritise care. It also reviewed literature, NHS board papers and national waiting times data. The aim was to understand how the policy was being interpreted and implemented locally, and to extract learning from this. It found work was at an early stage, although there were examples of effective interventions that made appointments easier to attend, and prioritised treatment and support while waiting. Reasons for the lack of progress included a lack of clarity about the case for change, operational challenges such as poor data, cultural issues including different views about a fair approach, and a lack of accountability for the inclusive part of elective recovery. Taking an inclusive approach to tackling waiting lists should be a core part of effective waiting list management and can contribute to a more equitable health system and healthier communities. Tackling inequalities on waiting lists is also an important part of the NHS’s wider ambitions to address persistent health inequalities. But to improve the slow progress to date, NHS England, ICBs and trusts need to work with partners to make the case for change, take action and hold each other to account.
  23. Content Article
    Health at a Glance provides a comprehensive set of indicators on population health and health system performance across OECD members and key emerging economies. These cover health status, risk factors for health, access to and quality of healthcare, and health system resources. Analysis draws from the latest comparable official national statistics and other sources. Alongside indicator-by-indicator analysis, an overview chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries and major trends. This edition also has a special focus on digital health, which measures the digital readiness of OECD countries’ health systems, and outlines what countries need to do accelerate the digital health transformation.
  24. Content Article
    This report documents a meeting held in September 2022 that explored how Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) surveys shed light on disparities in patient experience and how improved measurement can advance healthcare equity in the US. Over 600 CAHPS survey users, researchers, healthcare organisation leaders, patient advocates, policymakers, Federal partners and the CAHPS Consortium attended.
  25. Content Article
    The importance of big health data is recognised worldwide. Most UK National Health Service (NHS) care interactions are recorded in electronic health records, resulting in an unmatched potential for population-level datasets. However, policy reviews have highlighted challenges from a complex data-sharing landscape relating to transparency, privacy, and analysis capabilities. In response, authors of this study, published in The Lancet Digital Health, used public information sources to map all electronic patient data flows across England, from providers to more than 460 subsequent academic, commercial, and public data consumers. Although NHS data support a global research ecosystem, they found that multistage data flow chains limit transparency and risk public trust, most data interactions do not fulfil recommended best practices for safe data access, and existing infrastructure produces aggregation of duplicate data assets, thus limiting diversity of data and added value to end users. They provide recommendations to support data infrastructure transformation and have produced a website to promote transparency and showcase NHS data assets.
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