News from NICE

Help with identifying meningitis in children and young people
NICE?s latest quality standard on bacterial meningitis in children and young people can help GPs and other primary care professionals spot early signs and symptoms of the condition.
July 25, 2012
New treatment for blood clots approved by NICE
Patients with blood clots can be now be offered rivaroxaban as an alternative to warfarin for the treatment of blood clots following latest guidance from NICE.
July 25, 2012
First set of local government briefings launch
Tobacco, physical activity and workplace health are the topics covered in NICE?s first set of local government public health briefings.
July 25, 2012
NICE to assess high cost drugs for rare conditions
NICE will take on the role of assessing very high cost drugs for people who suffer with rare conditions, under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
July 20, 2012
Healthy diet and exercise key to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes
Simple lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity or eating more healthily, can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, says NICE.
July 12, 2012

Focus on National Health Executive (NHE)

Visiting the NHE website provides access to a wide variety of news media, resources and information.

Choose from interviews, featured articles, jobs, blogs, videos, news categories and health service focus.

Registration is free if you want to access all areas but you don’t need to do this in order to subscribe to a newsletter or individual news feeds.

An interesting and easy to navigate site.  http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/Home

NEWS system to provide a ‘step-change’ in patient safety

Extract courtesy of http://www.nationalhealthexecutive.com/

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has launched a new National Early Warning Score (NEWS), to recognise very sick patients

A report on NEWS was produced by a multidisciplinary working group and clinical observation charts and e-learning materials have been provided by the NEWS educational programme, funded by the RCP, Royal College of Nurses (RCN), National Outreach Forum and NHS Training for Innovation.

On each acute hospital bed, a chart records patients’ pulse rate, blood pressure and temperature, but different NHS trusts use different types of chart, leading to a lack of consistency in the detection and response to acutely ill patients.

The NEWS system allocates a score to six physiological measurements; respiratory rate, oxygen saturations, temperature, systolic blood pressure, pulse rate and level of consciousness.

The more measurements vary from what would be expected, the higher the resultant score. These six scores are then aggregated into one overall score which, if high, will alert the medical or nursing team of the need to escalate a patient’s care.

RCP believes this provides the basis for a unified approach to assessment and continuous tracking of patients’ clinical care, standardised training of all staff and standardised data on regional variations in illness severity.

NEWS also provides detailed recommendations on actions for each score, and the e-learning materials aim to help trusts with implementation. NEWS has been evaluated against existing systems and proved to be as good as, or better, with greater sensitivity when triggering alerts.

A recent study of 1,000 adults dying in acute hospitals in England estimated that around one in 20 deaths in hospital, or 11,859, were preventable by improved clinical monitoring, fewer diagnostic errors and good drug or fluid management. Professor Bryan Williams, chair of the working party, estimated that around 50% of these deaths, 6,000, could have been prevented by using NEWS.

He said: “This new National Early Warning Score has the potential to transform patient safety in our hospitals and improve patient outcomes, it is hugely important.”

Professor Derek Bell, chair of the NEWS educational subgroup, said adopting NEWS would be “one of the most significant developments in health care in the next decade”.

And RCN director of nursing and service delivery, Janet Davies said: “There is nothing nurses and doctors should prioritise more than patient safety, and this system, if implemented across the board, will be a great leap forward for patient care.

“I hope that every Trust will read this report and adopt this system as soon as possible, as countless lives could be saved in the future by adopting this simple process.”

www.rcplondon.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/national-early-warning-score-standardising-assessment-acute-illness-severity-nhs.pdf

Future app predicted to save NHS more than £3.6m

An application or “app” that has been developed after doctors joined forces with software developers in the first ever NHS “hack day” is set to bring a much needed technology boost to the “bits of paper” handover system currently used by most hospitals when doctors change shifts.

Colin Brown, the doctor on the team that took first prize at the hack day at the end of May, said that he had been pondering the idea for an electronic means of exchanging information at handover for a while. He was keen to take part in the day because getting together with experts in computer technology seemed like a logical step, he said.

“At the moment handover relies on lots of bits of paper on which doctors write notes or instructions about tasks and then juniors stuffing them in their back pockets. Then there are patient lists that juniors have to update in an Excel spreadsheet or in Word. There is no way to generate this electronically,” said Brown, currently an NHS fellow at the Health Protection Agency during a year out from his job as academic fellow in infectious diseases at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

“The first part of our task on the hack day was to explain the current system to the software developers, and we had to keep re-explaining it because they were so incredulous at the systems used by most trusts.”

The app, which can be downloaded onto computers as well as mobile phones, uses a feed from the hospital’s electronic medical records to provide doctors with a list of all their patients and allows them to create task lists and update patients’ records.

Login to BMJ with your Athens account to read the full story at http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e5162?ath_user=nhsreadj&ath_ttok=%3CUBZOuKNp69nMxsA2Jw%3E

 

NICE: Patient experience online training resources

Online training resources for patient experience themes

A range of online training resources covering various patient experience themes, such as dignity, pain management, communication and social inclusion and equality, have now been added to the support for commissioners’ tools for the guidelines on: