Map of Medicine – how can it help your practice?

Respiratory viruses during winter can strain the NHS with an influx of patients, as well as more staff illness. In most cases, rest, increased fluid intake, and paracetamol are sufficient. However, winter can be much more serious for people with pre-existing conditions, such as COPD.  Total excess winter mortality is between 20,000 and 50,000 annually in England and Wales, principally from respiratory, cardiovascular or cerebrovascular diseases.  Older age, female gender and a history of respiratory disease confer greater vulnerability.
Optimising management of chronic conditions is a process, not an event, and clinicians can be supported in this by using the Map of Medicine.   The following care maps are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and offer evidence-based, practice-informed guidance for the on-going management of chronic conditions:

  • ‘Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)’ – covers management in both primary and secondary care, and includes treatment of acute exacerbations of breathlessness, which can occur in response to viral infection
  • ‘Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk management’ – gives information on primary and secondary prevention of cardiac disease
  • ‘Stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA)’ – includes information on the secondary prevention of cerebrovascular events

The Map and the RCP bring together evidence and practice to support clinical decisions at the point of care. The Map can be customised to reflect local needs by clinicians looking to support clinical decision-making. Over 150 organisations have ‘localised’ more than 1,300 care pathways. Local additions to the care maps for these chronic conditions range from signposting services, for example local telehealth initiatives and social care packages, to providing information on topics such as factors to consider when deciding where exacerbations of COPD should be managed, and which teams are responsible for delivering care.

Click here to see how the Map could help your organisation.

Summary of news from Health and Social Care News

Young people have hospital only mentality
Twenty five per cent admit they would call an ambulance when a trip to the doctor would suffice

NHS trusts to spend on new IT systems
50 per cent of trusts are looking to invest in either an electronic patient record or portal solution

Darlington care home fined for medication
A care provider that failed to comply with national standards has been fined £4,000 by the Care Quality Commission

Emergency ambulances ”use first-aiders”
Medical staff with basic first-aid training are being used instead of fully-trained paramedics

New SEN legislation ”needs improving”
Government must consult more with parents and young people on its new programme for children with special educational needs

A force for revolution 
Does the NHS Commissioning Board have what it takes to break down resistance to NHS reforms? Matthew D’Arcy reports from Public Service Events’ Digital by Default conference

Pilot projects focus on severe mental illness
The government wants to prioritise mental health ”like never before”, says Norman Lamb

”Give people surgeon performance data”
The public should get greater access to data on the performance of individual surgeons working in the NHS

NHS must be a seven days a week service
”We have got outpatient departments that are empty, operating theatres that lie fallow,” says Sir Bruce Keogh

£500m Tamiflu spend to be investigated
MPs asked Public Accounts Committee chair Margaret Hodge to look into if the NHS got it wrong

Burnham slams coalition’s record on NHS
We’re losing the NHS and that’s why we will keep stepping up the fight for it, says shadow health secretary

Cash for research – patients will be the real winners
Patients are set to benefit from more efficient delivery of highly effective new therapies tailored to their needs, writes Hilda Kalap, Technology Strategy Board communications manager

Dobson R.; Tweddle E.; Scott M.; Cubukcu; BMJ Case Report; 2012

left atriumThis case report on Large left atrial myxoma with an unusual origin was published in Sept 2012 by BMJ Case Reports.    Congratulations to the authors :

  • Rebecca Dobson – Endocrinology Dept, University of Liverpool
  • Emma Tweddle – Cardiology Dept, MDGH
  • Martha Scott – Cardiology Dept, MDGH
  • Arzu Cubukcu – Cardiology Dept, MDGH

BMJ Case Reports Published 24 September 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006782

Primary Care Commissioning: News, events and elearning opportunities

primary care commissionExtract from the website of Primary Care Commissioning (PCC) … “provides trusted, practical support to commissioners and providers of health and care services including training, development and expert advice.

Our events, elearning and information services enable better value for the NHS, better business processes, better informed healthcare strategies and better outcomes.

We are a community interest company, a form of not-for-profit social enterprise.”

Happy New Year!


Wishing all staff and students across East Cheshire a happy and healthy New Year.  

If you struggled last year with references, research or simply something good to read, make sure you come and visit us in 2013 – we can help with all of the above and probably more besides!

Although we are closed on New Year’s Day, from 2 January we will be open as usual with complimentary tea and coffee, books, journals, computers and assistance with literature searches.  Whether you’re based in the community or onsite, we have someone who can help you. Why not call in and see what we can do for you?

Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday: 08.30 – 5:00pm  and Friday from 08:30 – 4.30pm


Cancer services coming of age

Learning from the improving cancer treatment assessment and support for older people project
This report summarises a series of pilots that tested whether appropriate assessment of older cancer patients would result in improved access to appropriate cancer treatment, based on need and not age. It also tested whether action, as a result of an age appropriate assessment, improved the scope for older people to benefit from treatment.



Cancer Statistics from The King’s Fund

New version of end of life care quality assessment tool launched


Extract from National End of Life Care Programme website

endoflifeThe National End of Life Care Intelligence Network (NEoLCIN) has released the new version of its End of Life Care Quality Assessment (ELCQuA) tool, which is now structured around the NICE quality standard for end of life care for adults.

ELCQuA is a free, online self-assessment tool designed to support local service improvement and the commissioning of end of life care services. It can be used by any organisation caring for people at the end of life, across the health, social care, voluntary and private sectors. This includes commissioners, local authorities, acute hospitals, primary care, community, palliative care and ambulance services.

Read more about it by following the link at the top of this post.

New modules from BMJ Learning

Some emergency medicine modules are now available for you to complete. They give an important update on a range of common dilemmas.



NICE News in December

    NICE local formularies guide will “reduce variation in prescribing”

    December 17, 2012

    NHS should offer early pregnancy services seven days a week

    December 12, 2012

    Greater awareness of hepatitis B and C needed

    December 12, 2012

    Recent press releases: Dec 18 2012

    AQuA News: Improving outcomes in Asthma – 1hr web training

    11 Jan 2013
    WebEx – Improving Outcomes in Asthma (part of Events and WebExs)
    Our Improving outcomes pack for asthma was launched 30th November 2012. Would you like to know more about the pack? A WebEx has been organised for Friday 11 January 2013 from 1 – 2pm.

    Latest Edition of AQuA News | Issue 24 December 2012 

    In this edition you will find: North West health improvement programme reduces mortality View AQuA’s newly enhanced external website Shared Decision Making ‘Train the Trainer’ resource launched Mersey Care bespoke work update Launch event ‘Don’t…