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…

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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.  “