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:

Coming soon … JuniorDr Magazine

JuniorDr is the UK’s only magazine dedicated to Medical Students, Foundation Year Doctors, Specialist Trainees, GP Trainees and Specialist Registrars. Copies are distributed free every quarter through the doctor’s mess, postgraduate centres, GP training scheme, libraries and medical schools throughout the UK. As an organisation run entirely by junior doctors we rely upon hospitals, training centres and libraries to help us get copies to junior doctors. We’re constantly looking for new sites to help us distribute each issue.”

25 copies have been ordered for the Staff Library, so look out for it next time you visit us.The readership and your feedback will determine whether this publication is stocked on a regular basis.

Click to see the JuniorDr website or to read the current issue online.

 

What healthcare professionals should know about hepatitis C

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY    –    28 July 2012

What healthcare professionals should know about hepatitis C

Jul 27, 2012 4:11 PM – Extract from The Guardian Show original item

Partnership between Addaction and the Hepatitis C Trust aims to ensure 2,000 at risk of contracting the virus are screened

World Hepatitis Day typically slips by without much fanfare, fitting for a disease which is rarely, if ever, spoken about.

That, in itself, is a real problem. The annual Health Protection Agency (HPA) report on hepatitis C, released this week, highlights how the hepatitis C burden continues to grow. Hepatitis C-related hospital admissions, liver cancer, deaths and registrations for liver transplants are all increasing.

Hepatitis C is much more infectious than HIV. In fact, despite being both preventable and treatable, it is the most prevalent blood-borne virus in the UK. It slowly destroys your liver and is the second most popular cause for a liver transplant after alcohol. And, as it’s an asymptomatic disease, without detection you won’t know you’ve got the virus until things have reached this stage and for many is too late.

If someone doesn’t know they have hepatitis C, they can unwittingly pass it onto someone else, something that happens most in marginalised groups such as intravenous drug users. If we leave that and similar situations unchecked, the picture is bleak. In fact, the HPA has predicted a 41% increase in the number of people with hepatitis C-related, “end stage” liver disease by 2015.

But the news is not all bad. If we improve upon the diagnosis and treatment we’re currently providing, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say we could effectively eradicate hepatitis C.

To do that, we need to raise awareness of the disease among the people we work with, and we as health professionals need to ensure that hepatitis C is firmly on our radar.

Addaction is one of the UK’s leading drug and alcohol treatment charities. Earlier this year, we joined forces with the Hepatitis C Trust to increase awareness and strengthen care pathways from diagnosis through to treatment.

The way this happens is simple. A staff member from the trust has been seconded to Addaction and, through our network of services across England and Scotland, they are delivering a nationwide training programme to more than 600 frontline staff. We estimate that at least 2,000 people at risk of the virus will be screened and those testing positive will be referred to specialist secondary care.

We’re committed to tackling hepatitis C, as in our experience it is a major barrier to the full recovery of people with a history of drug use. As an example, we’ve seen people who’ve beaten heroin addiction only to go on and develop severe problems with their liver later in life. That needs to change.

We’re certain the partnership we’re undertaking with the trust is incredibly important. It provides us with an enormous opportunity, to help thousands of people who really need it. It will lead to an evidence base that can be used by the whole of the healthcare sector and, most importantly of all, it could help us get rid of hepatitis C altogether.

David Badcock is head of research and development with Addaction

Improving communication between GPs and palliative care patients

The ACA training programme to improve communication between general practitioners and their palliative care patients: development and applicability

Source: BMC Palliative Care June 2012

Follow this link for the full text

Publication type: Web article

In a nutshell:  This article describes the development of a new training programme on GP-patient communication in palliative care, and the applicability to GPs and GP Trainees. This ‘ACA training programme’ focuses on Availability of the GP for the patient, Current issues that should be raised by the GP, and Anticipating various scenarios. Evaluation results indicate the ACA training programme to be applicable to GPs and GP Trainees. The ACA checklist was appreciated by GPs as useful both in practice and as a learning tool, whereas GP Trainees mainly appreciated the list for use in practice.

Length of publication: 16 pages

Map of Medicine News

Improving care in diabetes

Since 2005, there has been a 50% increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes. Prevalence in England is expected to rise….

Read more about this story ….
UK | 23 Jul 12

Leeds Clinical Commissioning groups launch MSK care maps

The three newly-formed clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Leeds have launched an ambitious project to improve the quality of referrals by adding local pathways….

Read more on Leeds….
UK | 23 Jul 12

Map of Medicine | Leeds Clinical Commissioning groups launch MSK care maps

Map of Medicine | Leeds Clinical Commissioning groups launch MSK care mapsThe three newly-formed clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Leeds have launched an ambitious project to improve the quality of referrals by adding local pathways to the Map of Medicine. Leeds West CCG, Leeds North CCG, and Leeds South and East CCG, with a combined patient population of over 810,000 spread over 113 GP practices, aim to ensure all GPs use the care maps when making musculoskeletal referrals.

Having agreed the pathways for six musculoskeletal topics locally, the Leeds project team used Map Transform, a package of care maps and services, to establish their pathways on the Leeds ‘view’. This package supports clinically-led service improvement, and enables cross-service communication via easy online access to the agreed local pathways for all stakeholders. The topics Leeds chose were:

  • Hip pain
  • Hand/wrist pain
  • Spinal pain
  • Knee pain
  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Shoulder pain

The care maps display referral criteria at specific points within the pathways, with information that guides the user to the appropriate local referral form. The overarching aim of these care maps is to standardise and improve the quality of referrals from primary care to community MSK and secondary services. While a triage service for all MSK referrals was in place, and effective at ensuring good conversion rates for surgery following onward referral to secondary care, it was felt that GPs could perform some of the functions of triage, with the patient pathway being streamlined. The care maps are intended to expand GPs’ knowledge of MSK conditions, and also promote patient self- management.

read more via Map of Medicine | Leeds Clinical Commissioning groups launch MSK care maps.