Think again: action needed to reduce missed appointments

NHS hospitals should make more use of innovative solutions to tackle the number of people who miss their appointments, Health Minister Simon Burns urged today.

Good progress was made last year to reduce the number of missed outpatient appointments by over 250,000 against a background of rising demand. Over 800,000 more patients had an appointment last year.

However, during 2011/12 there were still around 5.5 million missed appointments in the NHS. Overall the NHS carried out nearly 53 million outpatient appointments – meaning more than one in ten appointments were did-not-attends.  Read the full story

also from the Guardian

The Department of Health announced this week that hospital trusts have been using innovative methods, including text messaging and Skype to reduce the number of missed appointments. The department says the number of missed outpatient appointments fell by more than 250,000 last year. The DH also reminded parents and pupils of the school nursing service as schools prepare for the new term.

Other items in the news:

• FT [subscription]: Hospitals face funding cuts as NHS feels pressure
• Telegraph: Doubts raised over safety of ‘doctor by broadband’
• Independent: 20,000 NHS staff sign petition in protest over pay threat
• BBC: Bullying rise at Medway NHS hospital trust
• eHealthInsider: South London website hacked

 

Patients to get the latest drugs and treatments more quickly

courtesy of  Dept of Health – Media Centre

The NHS will have to comply with NICE guidance on new drugs and treatments or explain to patients why there is a delay, under a new scheme announced today.

This will help end the unfair practice where some parts of the NHS delay offering new treatment while other areas make them available straight away.

This regime, expected to be fully implemented by the Autumn, will be made up of three different parts:

  • Publishing an ‘innovation scorecard’ which will allow patients and the public to see which organisations are quickly adopting the latest NICE-approved drugs and treatments;
  • The NHS will have no excuse not to provide the latest NICE-approved drugs and treatments. They will be automatically added onto lists of what drugs are available in local areas, which will be published for all to see. This means new drugs and treatments will be automatically made available for doctors to prescribe across the NHS; and
  • Making uptake of new drugs and treatments quicker by helping the NHS overcome any barriers, by setting up a new group to help local NHS organisations implement NICE guidelines. New drugs and treatments can mean the NHS has to make big changes to the way they provide services, which can be a complicated process. The new group will help spread best practice and make uptake by the NHS quicker for patients.

 

News round-up from National Health Executive

August News from National Health Executive

NHS receives over 3,000 complaints a week
Written complaints are on the rise in the NHS, new data shows. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) reported that over 3,000 written complaints a week were made against the NHS in 2011-12.

This resulted in just over 162,100 complaints for the year, an 8% rise on the previous year. However, the HSCIC cautioned that the comparison was affected by 23 FTs submitting data in 2011-12 but not for 2010-11.

Comparing the 501 NHS organisations who reported for both years, the rise was just over 1%, from 148,900 to 150,900.

The report present information from NHS hospitals and community health services, as well as from family health services by PCT area.

Grim NHS spending forecasts mean free services may have to go. Some free NHS services may need to become paid-for or the public will have to have their taxes hiked to pay for them, according to a detailed investigation into future health and social care spending.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies and Nuffield Trust plots future spending scenarios for the NHS inEnglandand examines their consequences for other public service spending and for taxation.

Report co-author Carl Emmerson, deputy director of the IFS, said: “The current spending plans that run to March 2015 are tighter for the NHS than any delivered in the last fifty years, and the outlook for spending on public services beyond this suggests that, if it grows at all, NHS spending is not likely to keep pace with the amount that it has been estimated it needs to keep pace with the costs of an ageing population.

Better, Together
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was the overall winner at the QIPP Awards and Conference in Manchester on June 28, chaired by Sir Muir Gray, for its ‘Better Together’ collaboration initiative. Here, Nick Hodson, head of service improvement and programme assurance at the trust, describes its work with the independent sector.

Sir Muir Gray absolutely pinpointed the reason why we have been so successful here at Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in delivering efficiencies.

Delivering efficiencies sustainably requires an underpinning assurance process which embeds QIPP (Quality, Innovation, Productivity, Performance) as business as usual, and not some transient initiative that will eventually go away.

‘Better Together’, our trust’s offering, describes how we minimised risk and maximised opportunity through working with the independent sector.

RCN Stroke Care conference: 19 September

Stroke is one of the top three causes of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the UK; rising numbers of people who are morbidly obese with Type 2 diabetes brings additional risk of an increasing number of people who will have a stroke.

These events are aimed at all health care professionals who are involved in stroke management and rehabilitation.

Speakers will discuss their experiences and offer suggestions as to how you can help your patients regain skills, make adjustments to living with the long-term conditions of stoke and adapt to a different way of life.

More information from http://www.rcn.org.uk/newsevents/event_details/rcn_eventsms/rcn_stroke_care_-_birmingham_2012