Improving hospital admission and discharge: for people who are homeless

This report indicates that more than 70% of homeless people are being discharged from hospital back onto the streets, damaging their health and costing the NHS money. It found that NHS staff can improve health outcomes for homeless people and save the NHS money by ensuring all patients have somewhere appropriate to stay when they are discharged from hospital.

The National Patient Safety Agency (Amendment) Directions 2012

The National Patient Safety Agency (Amendment) Directions 2012
The Department has published two directions to local authorities which came into force on 1st April 2012. The Directions to the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) have been amended to reflect the transfer of  the operational delivery of the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) from NPSA to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICHT) with NPSA retaining an oversight role. Directions are given to ICHT to undertake the NRLS function in accordance with the memorandum of understanding included as annex to the Directions.

AQuA – June issue

AQuA News
Latest AQuA News. Issue 19: June 2012 
Inside this edition you will find some of the following: 

– AQuA Launches Learning Set for Shared Decision Making
– Don’t miss AQuA’s Annual General Meeting
– This year’s Clinical Leaders Network/AQuA Steve Henderson Award Winner Announced
– Launch of the AQuA Mental Health ‘Harmfree’care Programme
– Blackpool shows how it is Advancing Quality in Heart Failure Care
Link to full details…

Continue reading

Virtual surgery: dissecting a digital cadaver

In this BBC video at St Mary’s Hospital in London you can see the recently purchased digital anatomy table, the first of its kind in Europe.

The same length and size as a normal dissection table, the “cadaver” on the screen of the Anatomage table is a virtual body, created using a mixture of graphics and real CT scans of the body.

Surgeon Aimee Di Marco demonstrated how it is changing the way surgeons teach anatomy, and even plan real operations.

Evidence updates: Cancer

‘Improving outcomes in head and neck cancers: Evidence Update May 2012’ focuses on a summary of selected new evidence relevant to NICE cancer services guidance ‘Improving outcomes in head and neck cancers’ (2004).

‘Familial breast cancer: Evidence Update May 2012’ ( focuses on a summary of selected new evidence relevant to NICE clinical guideline 41 ‘The classification and care of women at risk of familial breast cancer in primary, secondary and tertiary care’ (2006).

In producing the Evidence Updates almost 4,000 pieces of evidence were identified. An Evidence Update Advisory Group, comprised of subject experts, has reviewed the prioritised evidence and provided a commentary.

By producing Evidence Updates, NHS Evidence seeks to reduce the need for individuals, managers and commissioners to search for new evidence and to inform guidance developers of new evidence in their field.

BMJ Best Practice update

Best Practice will soon include a new symptom search feature  to provide a list of differential diagnoses based on a patient’s presenting symptoms, age and gender.  Search results will link you directly to the relevant condition in Best Practice – helping you to consider a wider range of differentials as part of the patient consultation process.

Due out in June, the search box will appear at the top of every Best Practice screen.

Featured updated topic: Renal artery stenosis

Renal artery stenosis is typically due to atherosclerotic disease or fibromuscular dysplasia. It often presents with accelerated or difficult-to-control hypertension. Worsening kidney function, especially after initiation of renin-angiotensin blockade, and recurrent flash pulmonary oedema are common features. Renal artery stenosis, renovascular hypertension, and ischaemic nephropathy are various manifestations of this process. Definitive diagnosis is with imaging. Patients may already be receiving treatment with multiple antihypertensive medications; therapy of this disorder includes additions to and adjustments of antihypertensive agents in order to achieve target control of blood pressure.  Secondary prevention measures such as aspirin, a statin, or smoking cessation may be required. This topic also discusses the role of non-medical therapy (e.g., percutaneous intervention) for renal artery stenosis.  “

New ejournal coming soon

The Staff Library is currently engaged in ordering Paediatrics and Child Health which should be on our virtual shelves in a few weeks time. It is the continuously updated review of paediatrics and child health (formerly Current Paediatrics).  Look out for future announcements when it becomes available online.

“Paediatrics and Child Health is an authoritative and comprehensive resource that provides all paediatricians and child health care specialists with up-to-date reviews on all aspects of hospital/community paediatrics and neonatology, including investigations and technical procedures in a 4-year cycle of 48 issues. The emphasis of the journal is on the clear, concise presentation of information of direct clinical relevance to both hospital and community-based paediatricians. Contributors are chosen for their recognized knowledge of the subject. “

Liberating the NHS: no decision about me, without me

Published by DoH
This consultation proposes a model of shared decision-making along the patient pathway. The model indicates where patients would be expected to have more say in decisions about their care in primary care; before a diagnosis; at referral to secondary care; and after a diagnosis had been made. The consultation welcomes views from patients, the wider public, organisations, health professionals and the NHS and closes on 20th July 2012.

The NHS Information Strategy

This information strategy from the Department of Health sets a ten-year framework for transforming information for the NHS, public health and social care. One of the key commitments is that you will be able to view your GP record online by 2015.

View the easy read version of the information strategy or go to for a wider perspective.



Dementia Awareness Survey

Dementia awareness survey  Extract from the Alzheimer’s Society website

Dementia a massive worry for many of us

Published 21 May 2012

A man in a blue short and a hat

Dementia worries nearly two thirds of us according to a joint poll commissioned by Alzheimer’s Society and Saga Homecare.

The YouGov survey – released to mark Dementia Awareness Week™ – found that 63 per cent of people say they are worried about dementia in some way. The majority of people (61 per cent) are worried about either themselves or someone they know developing dementia in later life. Yet despite their fears less than a fifth (16 per cent) of people want to know more about the condition, with 18-24 year olds the most keen to learn more (25 per cent) in comparison to only 15 per cent of over 55 year olds.



Dept of Health: End of Life Care newsletter

National end of life care programme newsletter – Issue 45, May 2012

In this issue:

  • Focus on housing
  • A housing association pilot project to help people at the end of life stay in their own home
  • New modelling tools for commissioners which give a better understanding of local needs, workforce and cost implications.
  • Medical, nursing and social work students at Warwick and Coventry Universities learning about end of life care across professional boundaries.

Dept of Health: AHP Bulletin – May 2012

Allied health professionals bulletin – May 2012

The May edition of the AHP bulletin is now online- packed with the latest news and information for allied health professionals across the NHS.

In this month’s issue, Chief Health Professions Officer Karen Middleton revisits the Big Conversation in the aftermath of the SHA cluster AHP conferences, and encourage all AHPs to keep up the fantastic response received so far.

Leadership is a key theme this month, looking at the work of the new NHS Leadership Academy, encourage AHPs to apply for the latest round of Clinical Leadership Fellowships and meet current fellow Sally Greensmith, who shares her experiences of the programme so far.

Skills for Care: Supporting dementia workers

Supporting dementia workers: a case study-based manager’s guide to good practice in learning and development for social care workers supporting people with dementia
This guide supports leaders and managers in developing their workforces to enable them to provide the highest quality of care for people with dementia. It considers how workforce planning and development can best improve the outcomes for people with dementia, supporting managers to work in the most effective way with training providers to deliver service outcomes and implement the Common Core Principles to Support People with Dementia.

Changes to the community pharmacy Medicines Use Review (MUR) service

From 1st July 2012, new data capture requirements for the community pharmacy MUR service will be implemented. There are also planned changes to the requirement to inform the patient’s GP that an MUR has taken place but the implementation of these changes is subject to the amendment of the relevant Directions.

Community News

Visit our Community News page at http://

There’s something for community nurses, health visitors, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dental teams, and those who work in mental health areas and with drug and alcohol patients.

Steve Collman is the Community Outreach Librarian so please contact him if you have any literature search requests or would like some training in this area.  Steve can be reached by email at

If you feel there are any topics that could be added to this page please let us know. You can add your comments at the foot of this post.

Atrial fibrillation (stroke prevention) – Rivaroxaban

Rivaroxaban for the prevention of stroke and systemic embolism in people with atrial fibrillation.  (Full Guidance (PDF))

Technology appraisals, TA256 – Issued: May 2012

NICE recommends rivaroxaban as a possible treatment to prevent stroke and systemic embolism in some people with atrial fibrillation (see below).

Who can have rivaroxaban?

You should be able to have rivaroxaban if you have atrial fibrillation without underlying heart valve disease and at least one of the following applies:

  • you have congestive heart failure (when the heart doesn’t pump blood as well as it should)
  • you have high blood pressure
  • you are 75 or older
  • you have diabetes
  • you have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (mini stroke) in the past.

via Atrial fibrillation (stroke prevention) – rivaroxaban.

RCN: New technology guides for nursing staff

RCN launches new technology guides
These guides are aimed at helping nursing staff utilise technology to complement their clinical practice. The guides cover: using technology to complement nursing practice, using telephone advice for patients with long-term conditions, using text messaging services, developing and using websites and using telehealth to monitor patients remotely.

Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

RCN launches new technology guides
These guides are aimed at helping nursing staff utilise technology to complement their clinical practice. The guides cover: using technology to complement nursing practice, using telephone advice for patients with long-term conditions, using text messaging services, developing and using websites and using telehealth to monitor patients remotely.

The King’s Fund: Delivering the NHS Safety Thermometer CQUIN

2012/13: a preliminary guide to measuring ‘harm free’ care
This guidance is intended to support the NHS in implementing the NHS Safety Thermometer. The NHS Safety Thermometer gives nurses a template to check basic levels of care, identify where things are going wrong and take action. It is being used by frontline healthcare workers to measure and track the proportion of patients in their care. NHS organisations are being encouraged to use the NHS Safety Thermometer in 2012/13 using a CQUIN incentive payment that rewards them if they collect data on the safety of the care they provide.