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Found 100 results
  1. Content Article
    In the letter. Professor Tim Kendall, National Clinical Director for Mental Health outlines NHS England's position that SIM or similar models must no longer be used in NHS mental health services. More specifically, the following three elements, which were all included within SIM but were not exclusive to it, must be eradicated from mental health services: Police involvement in the delivery of therapeutic interventions in planned, non-emergency, community mental health care (this is not the same as saying all joint work with the police must stop). The use of sanctions (criminal or otherwise), withholding care and otherwise punitive approaches, as clarified in National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance. Discriminatory practices and attitudes towards patients who express self-harm behaviours, suicidality and/or those who are deemed ‘high intensity users’.
  2. News Article
    Brexit has worsened the UK’s acute shortage of doctors in key areas of care and led to more than 4,000 European doctors choosing not to work in the NHS, research reveals. The disclosure comes as growing numbers of medics quit in disillusionment at their relentlessly busy working lives in the increasingly overstretched health service. Official figures show the NHS in England alone has vacancies for 10,582 physicians. Britain has 4,285 fewer European doctors than if the rising numbers who were coming before the Brexit vote in 2016 had been maintained since then, according to analysis by the Nuffield Trust. In 2021, a total of 37,035 medics from the EU and European free trade area (EFTA) were working in the UK. However, there would have been 41,320 – or 4,285 more – if the decision to leave the EU had not triggered a “slowdown” in medical recruitment from the EU and the EFTA quartet of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. The dropoff has left four major types of medical specialities that have longstanding doctor shortages – anaesthetics, children, psychiatry, and heart and lung treatment – failing to keep up with a demand for care heightened by Covid and an ageing population. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 November 2022
  3. Content Article
    Recommendations All healthcare organisations should introduce flexible working arrangements for individual clinicians, with policies and procedures to ensure those affected can seek support – such as making reasonable workplace adjustments, taking breaks or taking time off when needed – without fear of adverse impacts on their career or professional reputation. Managers and senior leaders in the NHS/HSE and in private healthcare settings must be trained in the topic of the menopause, including the impact the symptoms can have on working females and their teams. Anyone who is suffering with menopause symptoms needs to be supported by their managers, to discuss any necessary changes to working arrangements. Occupational health teams should be involved in a proactive way in planning and supporting clinicians going through the menopause in a proactive way to avoid them leaving the profession. This should include support for mental health and wellbeing. We support the recommendation from the Health and Social Care Select Committee that all new doctors joining the profession should be trained on the menopause, however we would like to see this extended to currently practising doctors. Primary care providers should consider staff with menopause expertise, when hiring new team members, as this will benefit patients, clinicians and practice staff. Healthcare professionals working in the NHS/HSE or in private practice who are struggling with menopause symptoms themselves should seek support and professional advice on potential treatments and lifestyle measures. MPS also has a role to play – we listen to and care for members, including offering support with their wellbeing and we have made our 24/7 confidential counselling service available for those struggling with the menopause.
  4. News Article
    The “social prescribing” of gardening, singing and art classes is a waste of NHS money, a study suggests. Experts found that sending patients to community activity groups had “little to no impact” on improving health or reducing demand on GP services. The research calls into question a major drive from the NHS and Department of Health to increase social prescribing as a solution to the shortage of doctors and medical staff. In 2019 the NHS set a target of referring 900,000 patients for such activities via their GP surgeries within five years. Projects receiving government funding include football to support mental health, art for dementia, community gardening and singing classes to help patients to recover from Covid. However, the study, published in the journal BMJ Open, said there was “scant evidence” to support the mass rollout of so-called “social prescribing link workers”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 18 October 2022
  5. Content Article
    Recommendations Make sure that all partners’ strategic documents are aligned across the system. Strategic priorities and the documents that are set out to govern how organisations collaborate are crucial. They are not the end point, but along with trust and transparency in conversations between partners, these documents can be the basis of system-wide change. Getting the strategy right and making sure it is aligned is essential. Work closely with citizens. The shift from structures to relationships should go hand in hand with a shift from services to people. The population should be the starting point. Listening to citizens is also a crucial tool for understanding the impact that interventions have across the public realm. They can provide crucial evidence for or against policy decisions, and direct experience of how different parts of the system connect, or how they don’t. Balance risk. It is important for commissioners to develop the right balance between risk aversion and risk acceptance. There can be good reasons for risk aversion, particularly as councils often cannot afford mitigation, or there may be strong evidence against risk. Yet this should be balanced with the need to try new approaches and to collaborate with partners, which can present the risk of getting things wrong. Create the conditions for behaviour change. We often talk about behaviour change being the solution to many policy problems. But it won’t happen by itself. Within organisations, such as local authorities, leaders need to provide the right framework and incentives for staff to behave in certain ways. They need to create the conditions for trust and collaboration, aligning incentives and performance indicators accordingly so that staff feel safe enough to look around them, taking a system-wide view of the work that they do. This also requires a set of skills that may not be widespread or recognised, such as listening. System-wide budgeting. Funding should be provided specifically for the coordination of strategic priorities across the system. Various models of single pot place-based financing, going back to Total Place, have been tried and shown to have positive impacts. Build capacity. Capacity is already stretched in local government and in the NHS. Additional responsibilities for long-term strategy and partnership building should not impose greater demand on local authorities without decent and reliable support. System change cannot be done on a shoestring.
  6. News Article
    Scotland’s health services are failing to tackle a mental health crisis affecting thousands of people with drug or alcohol problems because the right policies are not being followed, an expert body has found. The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, a statutory body founded to protect the human rights of people with mental illness, said only a minority of health professionals were using the correct strategies and plans for at-risk patients. Dr Arun Chopra, its medical director, said there had been a “collective failure” to act: few local services were using the correct procedures despite so much evidence about the scale of Scotland’s drugs and alcohol problems. Nearly four in five of those professionals said their patients were not given the documented care plans required by national policy. Of the 89 family doctors interviewed, 90% had experienced difficulties referring patients to mental health services or addiction services. In some cases, mental health services then rejected patients because they were addicts, without helping them find the right support. The commission recommended far clearer policies, protocols, auditing and monitoring by health boards and the Scottish government, with better training for professionals. Health workers needed to stop stigmatising patients and see patients as people affected by trauma. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 September 2022
  7. Content Article
    The letter cites examples of recent tragedies where women have given birth in prisons. On the 22 September 2019, an 18-year-old woman remanded in HMP Bronzefield gave birth in her cell alone. Despite requesting help she did not receive any medical assistance. After giving birth alone, she bit through the umbilical cord to free her baby. She was found in her cell the following morning; paramedics called to the scene were unable to resuscitate the child. In June 2020, a pregnant woman in HMP Styal, Louise Powell, also gave birth without medical assistance, to a baby named Brooke that died. These two preventable baby deaths should have been the catalyst for real change in the sentencing and remand of pregnant women, yet the latest data from the Ministry of Justice shows that little has changed. In the past year alone, and in the wake of the deaths of Baby A and Baby Brooke, 50 births took place in prisons, on the average week 29 pregnant women were held in prison, and 40 babies have been held in prison with their mothers. The data also shows that birth outcomes are worse than previously reported. Facts on pregnancy in UK prisons: Pregnant women in prison are five times more likely to suffer a stillbirth than women in the community. Pregnant women in prison are almost twice as likely to give birth prematurely as women in the general population, which puts both the mothers and their babies at risk. One in ten pregnant women in prison give birth in-cell or on the way to hospital. At least two babies have died in women’s prisons in the past three years.
  8. Content Article
    The involvement and understanding of the end user is pivotal to the success of any digital health solution, intervention and initiative. Healthcare companies and start ups can improve adoption by engaging members of the healthcare community and the public in creating better digital healthcare systems that will improve access to care, are more inclusive, augment existing systems and address the real immediate issues. Integrate technology into the overall patient journey, focus on improving the existing system and address the immediate challenges. Ensure relevance and suitability by co-designing the systems with the users, patients, care teams, and the other stakeholders if they will be involved in the care delivery process. Focus on the clinical specification of the disease while designing the tools. Develop an inclusive design with the help of the consumers to ensure all the pain points are addressed. Minimise selection bias by including marginalised community segments to ensure inclusivity. Implement comprehensive training and provide continuous technical support and improvement. Extend patient education beyond digital literacy to include health literacy to promote and encourage healthy behaviour in society. Incorporate training of caregivers and family members to promote better disease management. Include care teams and clinicians in the training and support programmes to ensure that key player understands how best to use the tools and data-driven systems. Ensure health data is stored and shared securely and ethically Include transparent data policies in the overall project guidelines that are available to the patients. Educate the patients so they understand when and how to give consent to information sharing. Develop comprehensive, transparent, and inclusive policies and guidelines promoting equal access. Encourage reimbursement schemes of digital tools and virtual care. Built-in flexible financial and payment models to reduce the cost of care.
  9. Content Article
    Morris et al. concluded that the current state of knowledge of time lags is of limited use to those responsible for R&D and knowledge transfer who face difficulties in knowing what they should or can do to reduce time lags. This effectively ‘blindfolds’ investment decisions and risks wasting effort. The study concludes that understanding lags first requires agreeing models, definitions and measures, which can be applied in practice. A second task would be to develop a process by which to gather these data. Further reading: Patient Safety Learning - Mind the implementation gap: The persistence of avoidable harm in the NHS
  10. Content Article
    The 6-point plan Within the next 10 years, the Women’s Health Strategy for England will have: boosted health outcomes for all women and girls radically improved the way in which the health and care system engages and listens to all women and girls. It will achieve this by: taking a life course approach focusing on women’s health policy and services throughout their lives embedding hybrid and wrap-around services as best practice boosting the representation of women’s voices and experiences in policy-making, and at all levels of the health and care system. It will bring together everyone across the healthcare system to act as the catalyst for the long-term change we all want to see. The strategy builds on 'Our Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England', which was published in December 2021, and sets out ambitions for improving the health and wellbeing of women and girls in England based on the life course approach, and resetting how the health and care system listens to women. This strategy sets out how it will go further with the 6-point long-term plan for transformational change: Ensuring women’s voices are heard – tackling taboos and stigmas, ensuring women are listened to by healthcare professionals, and increasing representation of women at all levels of the health and care system. Improving access to services – ensuring women can access services that meet their reproductive health needs across their lives, and prioritising services for women’s conditions such as endometriosis. Ensuring conditions that affect both men and women, such as autism or dementia, consider women’s needs by default, and being clear on how conditions affect men and women differently. Addressing disparities in outcomes among women – ensuring that a woman’s age, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or where she is from does not impact upon her ability to access services, or the treatment she receives. Better information and education – enabling women and wider society to easily equip themselves with accurate information about women’s health, and healthcare professionals to have the initial and ongoing training they need to treat their patients knowledgably and empathetically. Greater understanding of how women’s health affects their experience in the workplace – normalising conversations on taboo topics, such as periods and the menopause, to ensure women can remain productive and be supported in the workplace, and highlighting the many examples of good practice by employers. Supporting more research, improving the evidence base and spearheading the drive for better data – addressing the lack of research into women’s health conditions, improving the representation of women of all demographics in research, and plugging the data gap and ensuring existing data is broken down by sex. The strategy goes on to set out its approach to priority areas related to specific conditions or areas of health where the call for evidence highlighted particular issues or opportunities: menstrual health and gynaecological conditions fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and postnatal support menopause mental health and wellbeing cancers the health impacts of violence against women and girls healthy ageing and long-term conditions.
  11. Event
    The NHS Long Term Plan 2021 conference will set out the main commitments in the plan and provide a view of what they might mean, highlighting the opportunities and challenges for the health and care system as it moves to put the plan into practice post COVID-19. This conference will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear from key speakers on the NHS’s priorities for care quality and outcomes improvement for the decade ahead. The programme will inform and educate delegates on subjects that affect their everyday life all of which will help contribute both to patients and the UK economy. Confirmed speakers include: Matthew Taylor - Chief Executive, NHS Confederation Chris Hopson - Chief Executive, NHS Providers Professor Matthew Cripps - Director of Sustainable Healthcare, NHS England & Improvement Lisa Hollins - Director of Innovation Delivery, NHSX Further information and registration 10 fully funded (no charge) places are currently available exclusively to members of the hub and are limited on a first come first served basis. Email info@pslhub.org for a code.
  12. Event
    More than 1,900 delegates have attended Health and care explained, ranging from chief executives of charities to NHS leaders, students and representatives from government bodies. Returning for its ninth run, The King Fund's conference gives you the opportunity to interact with our policy experts, who will guide you through the latest health and social care data and explain how the system in England really works. You will hear balanced and honest views about the pressures and opportunities facing the system in 2021. Register