Prostate Cancer Awareness month: 1-31 March 2013

prostate_cancerMarch is Prostate Cancer Awareness month and listed below are a number of useful websites, where additional information and resources may be found.  If you require assistance with researching this or any other topics, please contact the Staff Library on 01625 66 1362 or by email to

eResources and websites:


Cancer Research UK  (Prostate Cancer)
The websites on cancer listed below are valuable sources of detailed information on cancer. This is an extract from Cancer Research UK

Prostate Cancer UK

Offers information and support to anyone with concerns about prostate cancer. Has a helpline and leaflets (send a large stamped addressed envelope please) and funds research into prostate cancer. Has a website with helpful information.

Helpline: 0800 074 8383

Prostate Cancer Support Federation
This organisation was set up by a group of men with prostate cancer in 1995. They run a helpline and a website and have local groups around the country. It use to be called Prostate Cancer Support Association (PSA).

Helpline: 0845 601 0766

Continue reading

pile of booksIf you’re planning to call in the Library next week please make sure you don’t leave it too late, especially if you need books for study.  Packing the stock will begin next week and the drop-in IT service will be disrupted.  Please note the Library will be closed from 9-12 March. We reopen in our new space on the 2nd floor of New Alderley House on Wednesday 13 March – please come along and see us. If you need to contact us, our email and telephone numbers remain the same. or 01625 661362


Vast majority of NHS services must go out to tender, health minister says

Extract from BMJ
The UK government has come under fire after publishing legislation this month that compels the new clinical commissioning groups in England to place the bulk of NHS services on the open market.

The new rules, due to come into effect from 1 April 2013, will require commissioners to allow all qualified providers of services—whether they are NHS, private, or voluntary providers—to bid for NHS contracts under competitive tender, except in certain limited circumstances.

But the UK Labour Party and the new National Health Action Party, which was set up by doctors opposed to the government’s changes to the NHS,1 said that the legislation contradicted previous assurances by Conservative ministers that commissioners would not be forced to open NHS services to the market, and they urged MPs to force a parliamentary debate to try to halt the process.  Read more

Extract From Abetternhsblog


… regulations were laid down on 13th February and will become law on 1 April unless all MPs who care about the NHS first insist on a debate and vote, and then vote them down. Over the next few days the political parties are going to be considering their next moves.

Please take time to

a) sign this petition to call for a full debate, vote and defeat

b) urgently email your local MP to ask them to ensure these regulations are debated, voted on and defeated in parliament.  Send them the Keep Our NHS Public briefing, attached  (or at this link: & use the bullet points in the briefing to help you explain to your MP why you are so concerned.  You can use if you don’t have your MP’s email address.

c) ask others to do the same!  please spread this message widely to friends, colleagues, any groups you are in, and write to the newspapers using the points in the attached briefing, along with your own experience.

Additional background available here: (subscriber only)


Patients to get better care from healthcare assistants


apronsandfeetA new independent review will look at how the training and support of healthcare and care assistants can be strengthened so they give better care to patients, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.

The review will be led by Times journalist Camilla Cavendish who will report back to Government at the end of May. It will look at how healthcare assistants can have the training and support they need to provide essential services to the highest standards. Ms Cavendish will also look at how recruitment can be strengthened to place the right people, with the right values and behaviours, in the right settings.

Read more →

Healthcare assistants – are you making the most of the resources available to you in The Staff Library?   Give us a call on 01625 661362 and find out how we can help you.

Better health outcomes for children and young people

Department of Health

GP_mother_and_child_380x150This pledge aims to make improvements to the health of children and young people and is part of the government’s response to the Children and Young People’s Health Outcomes Forum.
It commits signatories to put children, young people and families right at the heart of decision making and improve every aspect of health services – from pregnancy through to adolescence and beyond.

Asthma quality standard

The King’s Fund
This quality standard on the diagnosis and treatment of asthma in adults, young people and children aged 12 months and older argues that an integrated approach to services is vital. The new quality standard on asthma consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, quality, safety and experience of care for people with the condition.

Fertility: assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)

NICE have updated their guidelines on the treatment of infertility so that more women can receive appropriate and timely fertility treatment such as IVF. Under the updated recommendations, under certain criteria, women aged between 40 and 42 years should be offered one full cycle of IVF. It also recommends that IVF treatment should be made available for eligible women earlier than was previously recommended.

Video: Doctors’ English skills under scrutiny

Extract from BBC News

“Foreign doctors wanting to treat NHS patients in England will have to prove they have the necessary English skills, the government has confirmed.

Concerns were raised after a German doctor, Dr Daniel Ubani, gave a patient a fatal overdose on his first and only shift in the UK. He had earlier been rejected for work because of poor English skills.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter spoke to BBC Breakfast to explain more about the changes.

He said it was essential that medics’ English skills were “up to scratch” in order to ensure patients were treated safely.”

TAKE 10 from today


paedsbksTo help reduce the amount of book stock being moved to our new premises in March, we are encouraging our members to take out 10 or so books at a time as from today.


Please come along and see what we have available and also how we might be able to assist you in your studies or practice.

EXTRA BONUS:  To help those of you who take up this offer, we are giving away our latest jute bag which is just perfect for holding those extra books.


Introduction of tariffs for education and training

The details for the implementation of tariffs for education and training have been announced. By moving to a tariff based system for education and training, the Department of Health aim to enable a national approach to the funding of all clinical placements (both medical and non medical) and postgraduate medical programmes to support a level playing field between providers. Following this impact assessment, it has been agreed that the following will be implemented: tariffs for non medical placements and undergraduate medical placements in secondary care from 1 April 2013; tariffs for postgraduate medical training in secondary care from 1 April 2014.

This week in healthcare: 18 February 2013

As doctors call for pregnant women to be tested for alcohol intake, Channel 4 News has spoken to youngsters left permanently brain damaged by their mothers’ drinking. Tomorrow nearly 70 medical professionals and the FASD Trust will publish the first clear guidance into Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Whistleblowing legislation is to be overhauled and a government consultation held to investigate whether the Public Interest Disclosure Act (Pida) 1998 is failing to protect those who speak out from being victimised, harassed and even sacked by their employers.

Fizzy drink – what’s the cost?

In today’s news, the Guardian reports that the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has put forward a 10-point action plan to help end UK’s status as the ‘fat man of Europe’. Britain’s 220,000 doctors are demanding a 20% increase in the cost of sugary drinks, fewer fast food outlets near schools and a ban on unhealthy food in hospitals.

The Telegraph reports that baby formula milk should carry bigger cigarette packet-style warnings that breastfeeding would be better, Save the Children has claimed.Also on the Guardian, Staffordshire’s police and crime commissioner says detectives are examining ‘information not in the public domain’ in regards to the Mid Staffordshire scandal.


Elsewhere, health secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned NHS bosses against allowing a culture that is “legalistic and defensive” in dealing with staff who raise concerns over patient care, according to the BBC. Hunt says in the letter:

“I would ask you to pay very serious heed to the warning from Mid Staffordshire that a culture which is legalistic and defensive in responding to reasonable challenges and concerns can all too easily permit the persistence of poor and unacceptable care.”

Ten top tips for NHS tweeters

twitter-logoA regular tweeter and chief executive of a foundation trust shares his best tips for effectively engaging on Twitter

Dr Mark Newbold, Guardian Professional, Monday 18 February

In this article a doctor who is now a hospital chief executive, expands on the advantages of Twitter. He has  used it, along with his blog, for over a year in the course of his work .  In this article he offers his top 10  tips to current or aspiring NHS tweeters.

Go to:

Impact of the Increased Use of Preoperative Imaging and Laparoscopy on Appendicectomy Outcomes


The diagnosis of appendicitis is based on clinical picture. The aim of this retrospective study was to analyse variation of outcomes and impact of increasing use of radiological investigations and laparoscopy over a 5-year period. A retrospective audit of appendicectomies over the last 5 years (01 January 2007–31 December 2011) was conducted. The negative appendicectomy rate (NAR), perforation rate and complication rate were used as outcome endpoints. A statistical analysis was performed to evaluate the difference in outcomes with surgical approach and use of radiology. One thousand fifty-five appendicectomies were performed in this period. The NAR was 22.65 % (21 % for open and 28 % for laparoscopic) and perforation rate was 14 %. There was no statistically significant difference in NAR with the use of ultrasound (P 0.3814) but there was a significant reduction in NAR with the use of computed tomography (CT) (P <0.0001). Intra-abdominal abscess (2.3 %) and wound infection (1.4 %) were the common complications with the former being higher with laparoscopy and the latter with open appendicectomy. Over 5 years, there were no significant changes in appendicectomy outcomes. The impact of diagnostic imaging on NAR varies with age, gender and the use of CT. CT can significantly reduce the negative appendicectomy rate in equivocal presentations. Complication rates vary with surgical approach.

Five minutes with … a clinical librarian

An interesting article from The Guardian about Victoria Treadway who fell into her role ‘by accident’ but explains why she loves it – and the challenges that she faces

Don’t forget you can have 5 mins or more with our Outreach and Clinical Librarians – just contact us on with your request.

Free training opportunity from Skills for Health: Supporting people with dementia health logoCommon Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia: Bridging the skills gap.

This event is an interactive day to raise awareness of dementia, in support of the government’s Dementia Strategy. The day will help you ensure that your workforce have the right skills to provide a high quality service for people with dementia in accordance with the Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia.

In 2011, the Department of Health asked Skills for Health to work in partnership with Skills for Care to develop the Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia. The Common Core Principles were developed to support workforce development within health and social care settings and service. The Common Core Principles enhances the skills, confidence and communication of the workforce and provide the foundations for learning and development.

What is the aim of this event?

This workshop has been developed as a Train the Trainer event. It aims to guide trainers from across all health and social care settings through a range of selected learning resources, which they could use with staff in their organisation, to help embed the 8 Common Core Principles.

Who should attend this event?

The event is designed for anyone working in a Health Care setting or service, with a responsibility for staff development or working in a training role within their organisation.

What will be covered?

You will be taken through selected training resources that embed each of the Common Core Principles.

On completion of this workshop you will have:

  • Explored the Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia
  • Gained training resources to use with your organisation for workforce development
  • Identified dementia skills gaps within your organisation
  • Created an action plan to fill your dementia skills gap

What will you take away from this event?

Through attending this event you will gain access to a diverse range of training resources that you can use and adapt for your organisation to help embed the Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia. You will have begun to create an action plan of how to close the dementia skills gap identified within your organisation and will have a new network group to support you in developing the dementia care in your organisation.

These events are free to attend.  To register* for your place click here.

For more information contact Jade Duffy – 0191 229 3409.

* We expect demand to be high so places have been limited to no more than 2 per organisation.

Eyes on Evidence: Weight management during pregnancy

Feet on ScalePregnancy is thought to be an ideal time for health professionals to discuss weight management because women are motivated to make changes that will benefit themselves and their baby.   Across Europe and the USA, up to 40% of women gain more than the recommended weight in pregnancy (Thangaratinam and Jolly 2010). Excessive weight gain during pregnancy is associated with a number of serious health problems, including hypertension, gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia.
Current advice: There are no evidence-based UK guidelines on recommended weight-gain ranges during pregnancy. NICE recommends that weight loss programmes should not be used during pregnancy as they may harm the health of the unborn child. However, health professionals are advised to dispel any myths about what and how much to eat during pregnancy. For example, there is no need to ‘eat for 2’ or to drink full-fat milk. Energy needs do not change in the first 6 months of pregnancy and increase only slightly in the last 3 months (and then only by around 200 calories per day).
NICE advises that women stay active during pregnancy. Moderate-intensity physical activity will not harm a pregnant woman or her unborn child. At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity is recommended each day.

News from NICE

NICE recommends blood pressure device that can help prevent strokes

A new device that allows GPs and practice nurses to detect pulse irregularities and pick up cases of atrial fibrillation whilst measuring blood pressure has been recommended by NICE.   Atrial fibrillation (AF) causes the heart to beat with an irregular rhythm. It can be difficult to detect and subsequently diagnose as it is often asymptomatic and can be intermittent.

People with AF are at increased risk of developing blood clots and subsequent stroke, with 423,000 people aged 65 and over expected to have AF, of whom some will be will living with the condition yet are undiagnosed.

In its medical technology guidance on WatchBP Home A, NICE says the device reliably detects AF and may increase the rate of detection when used in primary care. This will consequently allow for preventative treatment to be given and to reduce the incidence of AF-related stroke.

Statement of collaboration between NICE and Public Heath England
NICE and Public Health England agreed to collaborate on future work.
February 8, 2013
Dementia, stroke and cancer among potential indicators for latest CCG Outcomes Indicator Set
Dementia, stroke, cancer, and end-of-life care are among 32 new indicators put forward for inclusion in the Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set (CCG OIS).
February 4, 2013
Have your say on NICE’s social care work 
The Department of Health has launched a 12 week consultation to gather views on the topics for NICE’s new quality standards and guidance for social care.
February 1, 2013

The long awaited Mid-Staffs Public Enquiry: Report published

The final report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry was published today, Wednesday 6 February 2013. Please use the links below to access the executive summary and a full copy of the report, along with the Chairman’s public statement on the day.

Read the report

Statement by the Chair of the Inquiry, Robert Francis QC.  This video content will be available shortly.

Key facts and figures

Download PDF

BMJ Clinical Review: Ulcerative colitis


BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 5 February 2013)

Summary points

  • Ulcerative colitis affects one in 200 people in developed nations

  • The condition commonly presents in young adults

  • Most people with ulcerative colitis will have a normal life expectancy

  • 5-aminosalicylates and thiopurines are effective at preventing relapse of disease activity

  • Patients are at increased risk of colorectal cancer and should undergo regular surveillance colonoscopy

  • Bone densitometry is recommended in patients who need repeated courses of glucocorticosteroids and those at high risk of osteoporosis

  • Most drugs used to treat ulcerative colitis are safe during pregnancy

NICE recommends use of ‘MUST’ tool for screening for malnutrition

Extract from Age Uk

On 21 January, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommended the use of BAPEN’s interactive e-learning resource on nutritional screening using the ‘Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool’ (‘MUST’) for staff working in hospitals, primary care and care homes to aid implementation on the new opens link in new window NICE Quality Standards for Nutritional Support of Adults.

The three ‘MUST’ modules explain the causes and consequences of malnutrition, the importance of nutritional screening and how to screen using ‘MUST’. Customised versions are available to purchase via opens link in new window the BAPEN website.

Dramatic variation in dementia diagnosis across UK

Extract from Age UKdementiamap

Figures released on 15 January by the Alzheimer’s Society reveal wide variations in how many people are receiving a diagnosis of dementia in the UK, with rates ranging from 31.6 per cent in East Riding of Yorkshire to 75.5 per cent in Belfast.

There has been a 3 per cent increase in the number of people in the UK that have been diagnosed with dementia raising the number of people who now have a formal diagnosis to 46 per cent. However, there are thought to be another 428,000 in the UK (54 per cent people) who are living with the condition but who are not diagnosed.

Results can be accessed via an opens link in new window interactive map which allows you to see the results for your area.