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Found 132 results
  1. Content Article
    The health needs of the population are changing as it ages. Health services, particularly in secondary care, have traditionally been designed to deal with patients with a single disease, but for a growing number this is no longer a suitable model of care. Primary care has been at the vanguard of delivering more person centred and whole-person care, but many of the existing policy measures and incentives within it are outdated and aimed at managing single diseases. This report by Future Health sets out a series of recommendations for developing the Major Conditions Strategy to encompass a wider range of long-term and multiple conditions, putting patients rather than specific conditions at the centre. It also provides new data on the rising challenge of long-term conditions and in particular multiple long-term conditions.
  2. News Article
    While the importance of translating evidence into policies and practices is widely acknowledged by evidence producers, intermediaries, users, and funders, there is much less agreement on suitable mechanisms for promoting effective evidence use. As a response, the World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated an extensive and inclusive research priority-setting exercise in Knowledge Translation (KT) and Evidence-informed Policy-making (EIP) through a series of technical consultations. This priority-setting initiative, coordinated by the Evidence to Policy and Impact Unit in WHO’s Science Division, involves national and international researchers, practitioners, and organizations across all WHO regions. Collectively, they will assess the evidence base for effective research utilization in decision-making. The overarching goal of this project is to maximize the impact of KT and EIP research to promote the translation of evidence into effective policies that enhance population health and well-being. Key objectives include: Efficiency and Synergy: Streamlining research efforts in KT and EIP. Strategic Funding: Directing research funding toward identified priority areas. Effective Approaches: Enhancing understanding of evidence use for policy-making. Collaboration: Promoting cross-sectoral collaboration in KT and EIP research. Awareness: Championing for evidence-informed policy-making at all levels. In the first half of the 2024, global experts – selected during an open call – are now actively participating in a series of consultations to identify gaps and opportunities in KT and EIP research. The consultations provide a pivotal opportunity for participants to discuss current research gaps, harmonize terminology and chart a course toward shared priorities. Read full story Source: WHO, 22 March 2024
  3. Content Article
    Evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) entails identifying, appraising, and mobilising the best available evidence for safe and effective health policy and programmes. EIDM is a mainstay of the World Health Organization’s science-based mandate, and a pivotal steppingstone towards achieving the Triple WHO’s triple billion targets and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This guide and associated tool repository provide WHO staff, Member States and partner organisations with vetted methods and tools to better leverage diverse forms of evidence for more effective policy and practice in the clinical, public health and health system fields. Introducing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary framework to plan and implement evidence-to-policy processes, the guide also aims to foster better collaboration and create synergies among actors and workstreams of the evidence ecosystem.
  4. Content Article
    The third action plan setting out how the Department of Health and Social Care and delivery partners will implement the UK Rare Diseases Framework in England.
  5. Content Article
    The Government plans to expand physician associate (PA) and anaesthesia associate (AA) roles and to establish the General Medical Council (GMC) as their statutory regulator. There has been concerted opposition to the plans by groups including the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) and the British Medical Association (BMA). Earlier this month, the House of Lords sent the draft legislation to the main chamber for proper scrutiny, stating that this was the procedure when an issue "is politically or legally important or gives rise to issues of public policy". In this Medscape article, Dr Sheena Meredith outlines the Government's proposals and why the issue has become so contentious.
  6. Event
    This conference brings together leading experts at the forefront of Martha’s Rule implementation and offers a comprehensive and practical guide for clinical staff to seamlessly integrate Martha’s Rule into their daily practice. The conference delves into the caregiver’s perspective, principles and implications of Martha’s Rule, legal and patient safety considerations, effective communication strategies, and the use of technology in the adoption of Martha’s Rule. Throughout the day, there will be interactive sessions, small breakout groups, and collaborative exercises, fostering a dynamic learning experience. For further information and to book your place visit https://www.healthcareconferencesuk.co.uk/virtual-online-courses/marthas-rule-patient-safety or email aman@hc-uk.org.uk hub members receive a 20% discount. Email info@pslhub.org for discount code.
  7. Content Article
    In 2021 in New South Wales (NSW) there were 41,619 people over 65 who were hospitalised due to a fall at home or in the community. This number increased by 60% in a decade from 25,982 in 2010 and the incidence of falls is set to increase further as the population ages. In 2021 the cost to the NSW health system from falls by older people in the community was around $752 million. These costs are projected to grow to $1.09 billion by 2041 – the result of around 60,300 hospitalised falls projected for that year. There is robust evidence that falls can be prevented. Fall prevention is a complex area as there are multiple risk factors that may contribute as to why a person may fall. A systems thinking approach acknowledges the complexity of fall prevention, seeks to understand the interactions between components, and identifies what interventions work best.
  8. Content Article
    NHS-funded dental services in England are in near-terminal decline: nearly six million fewer courses of NHS dental treatment were provided last year than in the pre-pandemic year; funding in 2021/22 was over £500m lower in real terms than in 2014/15; and there are widespread problems in accessing a dentist. So what is to be done? This major new policy briefing from the Nuffield Trust proposes a series of short-term actions relating to appointment recall intervals, commissioning and the workforce. It also sets out two approaches for longer-term action, which involve improving the current dental model or adjusting the NHS offer.
  9. Content Article
    This advocacy brief aims to raise awareness and calls for action to step up patient engagement in healthcare, in line with the objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2023. Its content was structured to follow the outline of the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030, which defines and makes recommendations to stakeholder groups.
  10. News Article
    Campaigners have written to the chief constables of Norfolk and Suffolk to request an investigation into thousands of mental health deaths in those areas. They say coroners are raising safety issues but no improvements are being made. A report by independent auditors found as many as 8,440 patients had died unexpectedly over three years. Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust said it had started a review of patient deaths. Coroners worried about the risk of future deaths highlight unsafe practices in prevention of future deaths reports (PFDs). And authorities are required by law to respond with an action plan within 56 days. The Norfolk and Suffolk trust said it had responded to all PFDs and was working to ensure recommendations and actions were implemented. But Mark Harrison, from the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "There's a criminal case to answer. And we want the police to investigate, where the same mistakes have been repeated time and time again." He said coroners were repeatedly warning of risks such as delays to treatment, lack of patient follow-ups, chaotic record keeping and disorganised communication between teams. Mr Harrison said: "The mental health trust always responds saying they've learned lessons, they are changing policy and practices. "But then what we're seeing in analysing the orders from the coroner are repeat circumstances where other people have died in similar circumstances to a previous prevention-of-future-deaths notice." Read full story Source: BBC News, 12 December 2023
  11. News Article
    The under delivery of intravenous antibiotics in some NHS hospitals due to lack of polices and compliance may be contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), according to a parliamentary report. Findings in the report indicated that many health service organisations do not have policies in place to reduce the risk of under delivery and those that do can struggle to comply fully with them. The report’s authors warned that the residual volume of antibiotic remaining in the line of the IV administration set can result in under delivery of up to 30% of the prescribed dose. They said that, as a result, this could be leading to possible resistance within patients, owing to the accumulative effect. Nurses involved with compiling the document have called for action. Based on the findings, the report recommended that all NHS organisations implement line flushing policies by late 2024, with support from the Department for Health and Social Care. Read full story (paywalled) Source: Nursing Times, 9 December 2023 Further reading on the hub: Short-term intermittent IV antibiotics – Understanding the issue of under delivery Understanding the importance of accurate antibiotic administration through an IV administration set (drip): A patient’s guide Top picks: 10 key resources on antimicrobial resistance
  12. Content Article
    Cancer affects one in two people in the UK and the incidence is set to increase. The NHS is facing major workforce deficits and cancer services have struggled to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, with waiting times for cancer care becoming the worst on record. There are severe and widening disparities across the country and survival rates remain unacceptably poor for many cancers. This is at a time when cancer care has become increasingly complex, specialised, and expensive. The current crisis has deep historic roots, and to be reversed, the scale of the challenge must be acknowledged and a fundamental reset is required. The loss of a dedicated National Cancer Control Plan in England and Wales, poor operationalisation of plans elsewhere in the UK, and the closure of the National Cancer Research Institute have all added to a sense of strategic misdirection. The UK finds itself at a crossroads, where the political decisions of governments, the cancer community, and research funders will determine whether we can, together, achieve equitable, affordable, and high-quality cancer care for patients that is commensurate with our wealth, and position our outcomes among the best in the world. In this Policy Review, published in the Lancet, Aggarwal et al. describe the challenges and opportunities that are needed to develop radical, yet sustainable plans, which are comprehensive, evidence-based, integrated, patient-outcome focused, and deliver value for money.
  13. News Article
    NHS England ‘lacks a clear vision’ on a key part of its health inequalities agenda and is not holding trusts to account for delivering an ‘inclusive recovery’, a study by the King’s Fund has concluded. The think-tank’s report, which represents one of the most comprehensive analyses on the subject to date, said system leaders had not made the case for change “strongly or clearly enough to convince clinicians and other staff to consider inequalities” when tackling elective backlogs. The think-tank said it had undertaken the research to investigate to what extent local NHS organisations had taken an “inclusive approach” to managing waiting lists, as NHS England had ordered them to do in August 2020. The research team said in a statement alongside the report: “There has been a lack of a clear vision from national leaders on why inclusive recovery is important for delivering better and fairer services for patients and the public. “The report calls on the government to pay greater attention to inclusive recovery to ensure progress is made so that patients can be treated fairly, no matter their background.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 8 November 2023
  14. 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.
  15. Content Article
    This report published by the 99% Organisation, takes a non-partisan, citizen-focussed, data-driven, and strategic view and asks: "...is there evidence that changing the fundamental business model of the NHS – e.g. introducing insurance-based funding or breaking the NHS up into smaller units which can be privatised – could be effective as ways of tackling the current issues?"
  16. News Article
    NHS England has warned the decision by police forces to respond to far fewer incidents involving people in mental distress could pose ‘risks’ to both patients and a service “already under enormous pressure”. National mental health director Claire Murdoch has written to integrated care board leaders and mental health trust CEOs about the possible impact of the “right care, right person” policing model which is being rolled out across England. In July, policing minister Chris Philp gave all forces the green light to implement the RCRP model. The approach was first trialled in Humberside and involves officers only attending mental health calls where there is a risk to life or serious harm. Now, in a letter seen by HSJ, Ms Murdoch has admitted the new model is a “major change for services already under enormous pressure” and warns that implementing all of the actions set out in the national partnership agreement may take time between the police and the NHS. This took three years in Humberside, she notes. Ms Murdoch wrote: “I know you will all be doing your best to make this work, but I am so mindful of the risks to services and people with mental health problems, as I am sure you are too.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 15 September 2023
  17. News Article
    Two national reviews are taking place into hospital discharge policy, it has emerged, amid major changes to funding and legislation. One review, led by the Department of Health and Social Care, is developing discharge policy for once the Health and Care Bill comes into force; and a second is reviewing the “clinical criteria to reside”. Delayed discharge has been a major problem in the acute and emergency care system this winter, with the number of long-staying patients significantly up on previous years. It has been blamed for long patient waits for ambulances, to get into emergency departments, and to be admitted; and for interrupting elective care recovery. An NHSE letter confirmed that the government’s national “discharge taskforce” was developing “best practice in improving discharge processes and addressing barriers to timely discharge”, in preparation for the new system. It went on: “This includes improving hospital processes to support discharge; minimising delays in the transfer of care from an acute hospital on to follow-up care services; minimising long lengths of stay in rehabilitation at home or in bedded care and ensuring social care services are available at the right time for people with ongoing care requirements. Further resources and support will be shared as learning from these systems becomes clear.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 28 March 2022
  18. News Article
    The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has called for the immediate suspension of charging for NHS maternity care for migrant women because members say this government policy is harming the health of pregnant women and their babies. It is the first time the health professionals’ body has issued a position statement on this issue. The charity Maternity Action and the Royal College of Midwives have long expressed concern about the impact of NHS charging on this group of women. Charging forms a key plank of the Home Office’s hostile environment for migrants. The government says the charging policy is in place to deter health tourism but medics treating migrant pregnant women say there is little evidence that previously free NHS maternity care for all attracted health tourists. According to the 2019 MBRRACE-UK confidential inquiry into maternal deaths, three women were found to have died between 2015 and 2017 who may have been reluctant to access maternity care due to fears about charging and impact on their immigration status. Dr Brenda Kelly, an NHS consultant obstetrician working in Oxford, treats many pregnant migrant women. She is calling for the barriers to them accessing maternity care to be removed urgently. She described the case of one migrant woman who arrived in A&E shortly before delivering a stillborn baby. The woman had been fearful of coming forward for antenatal care although she was suffering from multiple, pregnancy-related health problems. “I hope I never have to hear cries like that woman’s cries ever again,” said Kelly. “The way to safeguard these women is to build up trust. If they are landed with a bill of several thousand pounds they will disengage. They are not health tourists, they are desperate. The commitment to maternal health equity means ending charges for maternity care. The time for action is now.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 March 2022
  19. News Article
    Police forces in parts of the UK have stopped answering urgent calls related to mental health even before alternative support is available to people, under a policy designed to free up officers’ time, MPs were told last week. The move means many vulnerable people are being left without help in areas where the necessary services and arrangements with other agencies are not yet in place, warned Sarah Hughes, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind. Giving evidence to the House of Commons health select committee on Tuesday 19 September, Hughes said, “We know of local Mind and local trust partners who are already experiencing people having no response because the police are saying they no longer respond to mental health calls.” The policy, Right Care, Right Person, which was developed by Humberside Police over nearly three years, is being rolled out in England and Wales from the end of October at varying speeds. Backed by the government and police representative bodies, it aims to ensure that patients in a mental health crisis are treated by the most appropriate agency, rather than have police act as default responder, when they may not be best suited to help. But the Royal College of Psychiatrists is among the organisations to have raised concerns over the levels of preparation and resourcing for the policy and the absence of evaluation of clinical outcomes or benefits and harms to the population. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 25 September 2023
  20. News Article
    NHS boards have been told to obtain extra assurance around the risks to unsafe concrete beams in their estate, following the sudden closure of school buildings. HSJ understands there was a call between national leaders and trust bosses yesterday, to ensure there are additional assessments of the risks around “reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete” in the NHS estate. As part of this, trusts which have already identified the beams in their buildings have been told to plan for potential “RAAC failure, including the decant of patients and services where RAAC panels are present in clinical areas”, and to note the learnings from an “evacuation plan” that was tested in the East of England. Around 40 hospital buildings across 23 trusts are currently understood to be affected by these lightweight panels, which can be on roofs, floors and walls. Trust estates’ teams will already have undertaken assessments and have plans to mitigate the risks, with the government already providing a £700m fund to mitigate immediate safety risks until 2025. But in light of fresh concerns around RAAC planks in school buildings, national leaders have asked for additional assurances to be obtained. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 September 2023
  21. News Article
    Adult mental health patients in England have spent more than 200,000 days being treated in “inappropriate” out-of-area placements – at a cost to the NHS of £102m – in the year since the government pledged to end the practice. The Royal College of Psychiatrists, which carried out the analysis, says such placements, in which mental health patients can be sent hundreds of miles from home, are a shameful and dangerous practice that must stop. The government said it would end such placements by April last year but, in the 12 months since, 205,990 days were spent inappropriately out of area, at a cost equivalent to the annual salaries of more than 900 consultant psychiatrists, the college found. Dr Adrian James, the college’s president, said: “The failure to eliminate inappropriate out-of-area placements is a scandal. It is inhumane and is costing the NHS millions of pounds each year that could be spent helping patients get better. “No one with a mental illness should have to travel hundreds of miles away from home to get the treatment they desperately need.” He said investment was needed in local, properly staffed beds, alternatives to admission, and follow-up care in the community as well as government backing “to address the workforce crisis that continues to plague mental health services”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 June 2022
  22. Content Article
    This policy provides a national framework for health and disability providers in New Zealand to continually improve the quality and safety of services for consumers, whānau and healthcare workers. It provides a consistent way to understand and improve through reporting, reviewing and learning from all types of harm. The policy will guide the process for reporting to the Health Quality & Safety Commission in New Zealand and for using the information gathered from learning reviews, along with quality improvement approaches, to strengthen system safety.
  23. Content Article
    This document outlines NHS England's approach to learning from safety culture best practice. It covers: Safety culture context within the NHS patient safety strategy Leadership Continuous learning and improvement Measurement and systems Teamwork and communication Psychological safety Inclusion, diversity and narrowing healthcare inequalities Case studies
  24. Content Article
    In this review piece Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst at The Kings Fund, looks back at 2022. Reflecting through a health policy lens, Siva uses statistics and graphics to illustrate the activity month-by-month. He concludes that it was a year "dominated by yet more political change at the top of government, a cost-of-living crisis, a looming winter of strike action, growing fears of a two-tier health system based on ability to pay, and the continued second-class citizenship of an adult social care system that saw its charging reforms delayed once again."
  25. Content Article
    How have the numbers of doctors in the NHS who come from the EU and the European Free Trade Association changed since the Brexit referendum in 2016? And do certain specialties face particular problems? Martha McCarey and Mark Dayan take a closer look at what’s happened since the vote.
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