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Found 108 results
  1. Content Article
    He looks at the following claims: “The NHS has has plenty of money pumped into it by this Government and well above inflation.” “We are funded as well, if not better than many/most systems now, so resource is not an excuse” "This Government has recruited X thousand additional nurses and Y thousand additional doctors” “We need to move towards a European style social insurance based model as those systems have better outcomes and no other country has copied the NHS” “The NHS wastes far too much money on useless, overpaid managers and people in non-jobs” “People should take more responsibility for their own health so we can become a wellness service not an illness service" The NHS is in need of root and branch reform but always resists it." Ten point plan to tackle the problems faced by the NHS Train enough staff at home to meet future workforce needs Have a proper short, medium and long term workforce plan for health and social care Treat existing staff better and more flexibly to help retention and morale Use ethical immigration policy to attract and keep key workforce groups who trained overseas or come here for lower paid but vital care work Reverse the cuts in bed capacity and invest more in capital expenditure on buildings, facilities, equipment and functioning IT Come up with a long term sustainable plan for social care funding and provision, reverse the cuts and plan for future rises in care needs Invest properly in public health and prevention policy – addressing wider determinants of preventable ill health across the life course, health inequalities and inequalities in access to healthcare and ensure that health is a key part of all public policy making Accept that this focus on prevention does involve state intervention in key areas around housing, education, food, drink, obesity, smoking and mental health. Level with the public about what can realistically be expected in terms of access, wait time, staffing and the time it will take to recover from the disruption caused by covid. Better to under promise and over deliver rather than vice versa Restore annual funding increases to the NHS to at least the historic average
  2. Content Article
    Key recommendations Positively engaging DSCR providers not currently on the assured provider list A standard to ensure the inclusion and consultation of end-users at every stage of the design, production, and implementation process of any new technology A new forum for social care providers, end users, and technology providers to discuss digital solutions for the sector A call for financial support for digital inclusion among people in receipt of adult social care services Mandatory digital training for staff
  3. News Article
    More and more older people are being “warehoused” in inappropriate care beds, condemned unnecessarily to long-term care, and “lost” to health and care services, due to the rush to discharge from full hospitals and a lack of community rehab services, leaders have warned. Several senior figures in community and social care have raised the issue with HSJ, warning it has been a growing concern over the past 18 months of severe system pressure following on from acute covid peaks. The Health and Safety Investigation Branch has also raised the issue, telling HSJ inappropriate care placements are leading to harm and readmissions, while a major accountability gap remained over the safety of discharges. The average length of hospital stay has increased compared to pre-Covid, with a big jump in those staying more than three weeks. Many in the NHS put this down to a lack of social care capacity meaning more medically fit people are stuck in hospital. Senior staff in community health and social care services told HSJ hospitals were increasingly demanding rapid discharges, often as part of “surge” measures when they are very full and under pressure to reduce ambulance queues. Homecare cannot be organised, and with suitable step-down and care beds also full, trusts are instead “spot purchasing” space in unsuitable homes which may be a long journey from the person’s home area, and in a different council area. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 January 2023 Further reading HSIB interim bulletin - Harm caused by delays in transferring patients to the right place of care
  4. News Article
    Thousands of NHS patients in England will be moved into care homes as part of the government's plan to ease unprecedented pressure on hospitals. The NHS is being given £250m to buy thousands of beds in care homes and upgrade hospitals amid a winter crisis. The move aims to free up hospital beds so patients can be admitted more quickly from A&E to hospital wards. The plans will be included in an emergency package to be unveiled by Health Secretary Steve Barclay. Helen Whately, minister for care, said, "Getting people out of hospital on time is more important than ever. It's good for patients and it helps hospitals make space for those who need urgent care." Read full story Source: BBC News
  5. News Article
    NHS hospitals are discharging patients into a hotel in a bid to ease demand for beds. Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire trusts are using the hotel for patients who no longer need urgent treatment but need social care. The Integrated Care Board (ICB) for the three trusts has booked the "hotel care facility" for up to 30 patients. A spokesperson for the ICB said care services were "under significant pressure". "This temporary care facility delivered at a local hotel will help us to improve the flow of patients through our hospitals by ensuring more people can be discharged as soon as they are medically fit to leave hospital," they said. The hotel care facility was introduced in late November 2022 and will run until the end of March. It is being provided by CQC-registered homecare company Abicare. The service is being delivered by live-in care workers on a 24/7 basis with visiting clinical teams providing rehabilitation and primary care support, the ICB said. Nadra Ahmed OBE, chair of the National Care Association (NCA), told BBC Radio 4 Today she is concerned about the quality of care in a hotel setting. "This is a short-term solution- what we really need is a robust, sustainable and well-invested social care sector," she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 January 2022
  6. News Article
    Technology that accurately predicts when patients will be ready to leave hospital upon their arrival in A&E is being introduced to solve the NHS bed-blocking crisis. The artificial intelligence (AI) software analyses data including age, medical conditions and previous hospital stays to estimate how long a patient will need to remain. Hospital managers can then alert social care services in advance about the date when patients are expected to be discharged, allowing care home beds or community care packages to be prepared. Nurses said the technology had “revolutionised” their ability to discharge patients on time, meaning people who would otherwise have been stuck in hospital had got home for Christmas. The new technology, developed by the British AI company Faculty, is being tested at four NHS hospitals in Wales belonging to the Hywel Dda health board. Analysis suggests that the tool will save NHS trusts 3,000 bed days and £1.4 million a year by speeding up discharges, which in turn frees beds for elective procedures such as hip replacements. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 26 December 2022
  7. News Article
    Increasing numbers of emotionally troubled children have been taken into care while waiting long periods for NHS treatment because their condition deteriorated to the point where their parents could no longer cope with their behaviour, child protection bosses have revealed. Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) president Steve Crocker said that since the pandemic, youngsters with complex emotional needs had become a significant factor in rising child protection referrals. “We are seeing children in the social care system because they have not been supported in the [NHS] mental health system,” he said. Crocker urged ministers to “do better” for children facing “unacceptable” delays in NHS mental health treatment, adding that it was not uncommon for waiting lists to involve waits of over a year. Councils were “filling gaps” in NHS provision but struggling to find placements for children with severe behavioural problems, and when they did, typically paid “untenable” fees of tens of thousands of pounds a week. He accused private children’s residential care providers and their “rapacious” hedge fund backers of “profiteering” from the care crisis, and urged the government to intervene to cap typical profit margins that were currently about 20%. “We do not see how this can be allowed to continue,” he said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 December 2022
  8. News Article
    As the pressures of winter and the Covid treatment backlog grow, the NHS is struggling. In Manchester, one organisation is pioneering a new way to care for people that tries to reduce the burden on the health service. It's the first call-out of the day for nurse Manju and pharmacist Kara in north Manchester. They are on their way to see Steven, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and had a fall the previous night. This might have led to a call-out for an ambulance crew and a visit to A&E. But instead the Manchester Local Care Organisation (LCO) stepped in. Once at Steven's house, Manju makes sure he hasn't been harmed by his fall, while Kara checks his medication. Manju notes that Steven's tablets could have contributed to his fall. Manju asks Steven how he copes going up and down the stairs. "I'm OK, just about," he says. But when he has a go at coming down the stairs, Manju spots he could use an extra grab rail and says she will sort one out. This intervention by the team has not only avoided Steven ending up in A&E, but also ensures he can continue to live independently in his own home. That's a key part of the LCO mission, according to Lana McEwan, one of the team leaders in north Manchester. "We would consider ourselves to be an admission-avoidance service, so we're trying to prevent ambulances being called in the first instance. "When an ambulance has been called, we're taking referrals directly from the ambulance service and responding within a one or two-hour response depending on need, and that's an alternative to A&E." Local neighbourhood teams are made up of nurses, social workers, pharmacists and doctors, all working together to keep people out of hospital. Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 December 2022
  9. News Article
    A former chief executive of the NHS has said most data collected about hospital discharges by NHS England is ‘useless’ and biased against social care. Sir David Nicholson, who was chief executive of the NHS from 2006 to 2013, and of NHS England until 2014, has said “almost all” of the data around delayed discharges “is designed to show how bad social care is”. Sir David, who is now chair of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust and Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust, added that data on the number of patients with the “right to reside” in hospital is “wholly useless” when trying to improve discharge rates. NHSE publishes figures on the numbers of patients who “no longer meet the criteria to reside” in hospital – and during the winter months will publish this every week. NHSE has said the data collected on discharges helps to improve patient care and flow. In an interview with HSJ editor, Sir David said: “The problem we have with a lot of the data we collect [is that] it is designed for accountability reasons, not operational reasons. “And if you want a good example of that, have a look at the debate around discharge at the moment. There is a myriad of data, almost all of it is useless […] and almost all of it is designed to show how bad social care is. It’s extraordinary". Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 November 2022
  10. News Article
    Hospital doctors failed to share with child protection services a list of "significant" injuries a five-year-old boy suffered 11 months before he was murdered, a case review has found. Logan Mwangi had a broken arm and multiple bruises across his body when he was taken to A&E in August 2020. But a paediatric consultant said these injuries were accidental and did not make a child protection referral. Logan, from Bridgend, was murdered by his mother, stepfather and a teenager. A Child Practice Review (CPR) has looked at how different agencies were involved with Logan's family in the 17 months before his death. Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board said it welcomed the commissioning of an independent review into how it identifies and investigates non-accidental injuries. The report said that if the injuries had been shared with social services, appropriate action could have been taken to safeguard Logan. Jan Pickles, the independent chair of the review panel, said it was a "a significant missed opportunity". She added: "Had further information from health been shared it most likely, though we cannot say for sure because of hindsight bias, would have triggered a child protection assessment in line with the joint agreed guidelines, as the nature of those injuries clearly met the threshold." Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 November 2022
  11. News Article
    The government has been urged to protect “catastrophically” under-resourced mental health social services after a vulnerable man was discharged from a hospital into a Travelodge. Will Mann, a 42-year-old with long-term mental health illness, was “abandoned” by social care services after he was discharged from an NHS hospital, his mother Jackie has said. Speaking with The Independent, Jackie Mann, explained how Will, who had to declare himself homeless before his discharge this year, was told the only available housing accommodation for him was a Travelodge. Mr Manns story has sparked warnings over the state of the shortage of social care and supported accommodation for those with severe mental illness, from the charity Rethink Mental Illness, which warned: “This is another reminder of how the crisis engulfing social care is impacting people’s lives, and why the government must protect mental health in the upcoming budget.” In an interview with The Independent, Jackie Mann, Mr Mann’s mother said: “He had to go straight from there to a Travelodge in Christchurch, which was a very unsuitable place because it was just a room, no cooking facilities. “During the time he was there, nobody came to visit him, he was just sort of abandoned there and during his time there, he was told he had to leave the Travelodge and go to another one because that Travelodge was overbooked.” According to our major charity Rethink, the shortage of “appropriate accommodation” is one of the biggest drivers of delayed discharges for mental health patients. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 November 2022
  12. Content Article
    The IIAC recommends the following prescription should be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. This applies to workers in hospitals and other healthcare settings and care home/home care workers working in proximity to patients in the two weeks prior to infection: Persisting pneumonitis or lung fibrosis following acute Covid-19 pneumonitis. Persisting pulmonary hypertension caused by a pulmonary embolism developing between 3 days before and 90 days after a diagnosis of Covid-19. Ischaemic stroke developing within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis. Myocardial infarction developing within 28 days of a Covid-19 diagnosis. Symptoms of Post Intensive Care Syndrome following ventilatory support treatment for Covid-19.
  13. News Article
    A policy change to speed up hospital discharge could save the NHS more than £7bn over a decade, according to a government evaluation – but ministers have not funded it. A Department of Health and Social Care impact assessment of the Health and Care Act, passed earlier this year, says that wider use of discharge to assess could free up as many as 6,000 hospital beds and save the NHS £7bn by 2031, the equivalent of £800m a year. It adds: “The overall societal benefits of this would likely be higher as beds could be allocated to patients with more urgent health care needs.” The “discharge to assess” approach, which has been used on a temporary basis for several years and more widely during the pandemic – with government funding to back it – sees patients discharged more quickly, and provided with support at home while their long-term care needs are assessed. It was credited with significant reductions in the amount of time patients spent in hospital. Changes in the Health and Care Act were intended to remove legal obstacles to the approach, by revoking a requirement for an assessments be carried out before discharge, which often leads to delays in the patient leaving hospital. Read full story (paywalled) Source: 15 November 2022
  14. News Article
    One of the country’s most senior doctors has said he is “desperate” to keep his elderly parents out of hospital, which he said are like “lobster traps”. Dr Adrian Boyle, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said hospitals are easy to get into but hard to get out of. His comments come after figures showed the number of patients in hospital beds in England who no longer need to be there has reached a new monthly high. An average of 13,613 beds per day were occupied by people ready to be discharged from hospital in October. That was up from 13,305 in September and the highest monthly figure since comparable data began in December 2021, according to analysis by the PA news agency. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Dr Boyle said: “Hospitals are like lobster traps – they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of. “If social care was able to do its job in the way we want it to, these poor people wouldn’t be stranded in hospital. “I have elderly parents and I’m desperate to keep them out of hospital. “For someone who is frail, hospital is often a bad place for them. They’re being harmed by being in hospital.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 14 November 2022
  15. News Article
    A Guardian analysis has found that as many as one in three hospital beds in parts of England are occupied by patients who are well enough to be discharged, with a chronic lack of social care meaning many do not have suitable places to go. Barry Long's 91-year-old mother has Alzheimer’s and was admitted to Worthing hospital on 30 May after a minor fall. She was a bit confused but otherwise unhurt, just a bit shaken. Whilst in hospital, she caught Covid and had to be isolated, which she found distressing, and became increasingly disoriented. She was declared medically fit to be discharged but no residential bed could be found for her. Then, in August, she was left unsupervised and fell over trying to get to the toilet and she fractured her hip, which required surgery. Her hip was just about healed when she caught her shin between the side bars and the frame of the bed, cutting her shin so badly that she is being reviewed by a plastic surgeon to see if it needs a skin graft. "Since the operation, my mum is pretty much bedbound and lives in a state of confusion and anxiety", says Barry. "Her physical health and mental wellbeing have deteriorated considerably in the almost five months she has spent in the care of the NHS. She spends all day practically trapped in bed, staring into space or with her eyes shut, just rocking to and fro. She has little mental stimulation." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 November 2022
  16. Content Article
    The report shows that projected 3.4% per year average budget increases set out in the 2021 spending review have fallen – due to inflation and higher than anticipated pay awards – to 1.5%, which is unlikely to be enough to meet growing demands and deal with the aftermath of Covid in most services. At the same time long-term staff shortages are set to worsen due to below-inflation pay rises and the cost-of-living crisis. It finds that: Spending increases in schools is not enough to recover the pandemic-induced lost learning. Hospital spending is not enough to unwind Covid backlogs. New demand in prisons and courts is set to exceed even generous spending settlements. The spending settlement for local government is no longer sufficient to meet demand in adult social care, children’s social care and neighbourhood services. The NHS wage bill will increase by approximately £2bn in 2022/23, unfunded money which the NHS will have to find in its existing settlement - meaning cuts elsewhere in the service. The report also sets out the historically high backlogs in both hospitals and courts: A record 6.8 million people were waiting for elective treatment as of July 2022. In the crown court, the backlog stood at 59,700 in June 2022, slightly below the peak of over 60,000 in June 2021 but higher than at any point since at least 2000. Recommendations The report recommends: The prime minister should commit to publishing regular reports on existing and anticipated workforce shortages, with plans for how shortages will be addressed, for all of the services covered in this publication. The government should publish updated plans for how each service will tackle backlogs and unmet need, which include key milestones and assessments of the workforce and estate. The government should build on the processes used in the 2021 spending review to align spending with priority outcomes, using cross departmental outcomes to foster greater collaboration between departments and ensure that spending decisions are not siloed. The government should improve the range and quality of the data it collects on public services, with particular focus given to adult social care data.
  17. News Article
    Unpaid carers in Northern Ireland are suffering from "shocking levels of poor health", according to the charity Carers NI. In a survey of more than 1,600 unpaid carers across Northern Ireland, more than a quarter of respondents described their mental health as bad or very bad. One in five carers said the same about their physical health. The survey also found some 40% had not had a break from caring during the previous year and 23% said support services in their area did not meet their needs. Tracey Gililand, from Portadown, cares for her two disabled sons and said families like hers have been all but forgotten since the beginning of the pandemic. "Carers are still having to ask for the full return of much-needed day care and respite services and it feels like we've been left to paddle our own canoes with no help," she said. "No one knows our struggles, the many sleepless nights and exhaustion during the day. The impact on carers' mental health. The isolation that families like us experience that no one else sees," Ms Gililand explained. Carers NI said it has called for a legal right to social care support for all unpaid carers, the appointment of an independent carers' champion to advocate for carers to government, and wider transformation of the health system. Craig Harrison from the charity said carers had been "driving themselves into the ground", and were physically exhausted and in a state of constant anxiety. Read full story Source: BBC News, 8 November 2022
  18. News Article
    The state of social care in England has “never been so bad”, the country’s leading social services chief has said, with half a million people now waiting for help. Sarah McClinton, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), told a conference of council care bosses in Manchester: “The shocking situation is that we have more people requesting help from councils, more older and disabled with complex needs, yet social care capacity has reduced and we have 50,000 fewer paid carers.” Over 400,000 people rely on care homes in England and more than 800,000 receive care at home. But care services are struggling with 160,000 staff vacancies, rising demand and already tight funding for social care that is being squeezed by soaring food and energy inflation. About a third of care providers report that inability to recruit staff has negatively affected their service and many have stopped admitting new residents as a result. Last month the Care Quality Commission warned of a “tsunami of unmet care” and said England’s health and social care system was “gridlocked”. Problems in social care make it harder to free up beds in hospitals, slowing down the delivery of elective care. “The scale of how many people are either not getting the care and support they need, or are getting the wrong kind of help, at the wrong time and in the wrong place is staggering,” said McClinton, who is also director for health and adult services in Greenwich. “It is also adding to the endless pressures we see with ambulances and hospitals, and adding to the pressures we see in our communities, more people requesting help with mental health and domestic abuse.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 November 2022