District Nurse numbers falling

The number of district nurses in England fell by 39 per cent between 2002 and 2012, while preventable emergency admissions rose by 40 per cent over the same period.

Extract from RCN website

“Short sighted cuts to the nursing workforce are still taking place across the NHS despite being identified as an important factor in the catastrophic failings at Mid Staffordshire, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

Today the RCN urged the Government to take immediate action to tackle warning signs across the health service, including staff cuts, an ageing workforce, and soaring patient demand, which if ignored could be disastrous for the health service.”

PHE welcomes changes to the UK vaccination programme

The Department of Health, Public Health England (PHE) and NHS
England has today announced a series of changes to the current vaccination schedule to include three new vaccination programmes, which protect against flu, shingles and rotavirus, as well as updating the current meningitis C vaccine schedule.

The rotavirus vaccination programme will start on 01 July 2013 when children under 4 months will be routinely vaccinated against this highly infectious illness, which is the most common cause of vomiting and diarrhoea (gastroenteritis) in infants and young children. Nearly every child will develop gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus by the time they are 5 years old.In children younger than five years in the UK, this infection is responsible for around 140,000 GP visits and 14,000 hospitalisations every year. The vaccine will be administered as a droplet into babies’ mouths during their 2- and 3-month vaccination appointments.In addition, children aged 2 years (around 650,000 in total) will also be offered a nasal flu vaccine from September 2013 as part of a number of pilot programmes to vaccinate primary and pre-school aged children against seasonal flu. The pilot programmes will ensure the NHS is appropriately geared up to roll out the programme in full to all pre-school and primary school children in 2014.

There will also be a shingles vaccination programme introduced for people aged 70, with a catch-up programme for those aged up to, and including, 79 years. Shingles is an infection of a nerve that causes pain and a rash along a band of skin by the affected nerve. Continue reading

NICE produce a guide to guidance

Using NICE guidance and quality standards to improve practice

Click to read the full article

This guide aims to help and support health and social care provider organisations to implement National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance and use NICE quality standards to achieve improved quality of care in their local settings. It aims to support health and social care professionals and managers in providing care of the highest quality and the best value for money. The guide suggests what an organisation can put in place, and what staff can do to use NICE evidence-based guidance and quality standards to improve practice.

The guide explains ways to assess the extent to which your organisation is implementing NICE guidance and using quality standards, and how to address any gaps if you find out it is not. It includes helpful tips, links to other resources and shared learning examples of ways other people have used NICE guidance and quality standards to improve the quality of health and social care.

Kings Fund: Statistics for March/April

The hospital complaints system: a case for urgent treatment?

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

This report highlights systemic problems leading to missed opportunities to learn from mistakes and make NHS hospitals better. A 2012-13 analysis of the main reasons why patients, their families and carers brought their complaint to the ombudsman after their hospital has failed to deal with it include poor explanations, no acknowledgement of mistakes, inadequate financial remedy and unnecessary delays.

News from AQuA

For all the topics below go to:


• AQuA and Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) are real ‘Stars’!

• Deep Dive Into:

• Quality Improvement for Finance, Cohort 4

• Robert Francis master class

• AQuA’s Lean Network

• Hold the dates for September programmes

• AQuA’s Integrated Care poster wins prize at Berlin conference

• AQuA Team Challenge – Live Below the (Poverty) Line

• AQuA offers leadership coaching

• AQuA’s 2013-14 Work Programme now available

• Academic Health Science Networks evening seminar

• AQuA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

• Transforming Health & Care event

• Tweet all about it! Are you following AQuA on Twitter?

• Where there’s a will, there’s a way – Shared Decision Making case study

• Visit AQuA at this year’s NHS Confederation Conference and Exhibition

• How to be a more intelligent clinical commissioner