NHS launches next step of urgent care review

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NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the NHS Five Year Forward View partners announced on Friday eight new vanguards that will launch the transformation of urgent and emergency care for more than nine million people.

This comes as NHS England also revealed the success of Regional Major Trauma Networks which, after they were set up just three years ago, have seen a remarkable 50 percent increase in the odds of survival for trauma patients revealed in a new independent audit by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN)

Primary care road map grounded in patients’ and providers’ needs

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Constant talk of a crisis in primary care will be consigned to the past if the recommendations of an independent commission on the future of primary care are implemented – several of which reflect proposals put forward by the NHS Confederation and National Association of Primary Care (NAPC) on behalf of members.

This is the conclusion of Health Education England’s Primary Care Workforce Commission, which last Wednesday (22 July) set out recommendations for a patient-centred, population-based model for primary care.

The art of the possible community health services role in new care models

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New, joined up models of care being developed by the NHS risk overlooking the full potential of community health services which are vital for their success, according to a discussion paper launched 21 July by the NHS Confederation Community Health Services Forum.

Community health covers a broad range of ‘cradle to grave’ services including community and district nursing, health visiting, speech and language therapy, public health and school nursing. These services are essential if the NHS is to care well for the millions of people who have long-term conditions, the paper highlights.

Library annual survey extended for a week

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If you haven’t yet completed the Library and Knowledge Service’s annual survey, you still have time! We’ve extended the closing date for a week, so the new closing date is now 5pm on the 31st July 2015.

We’d like to hear any and all feedback from you on what you think of library services, how we can improve them and what resources you think are most useful to you.

Remember, our services are driven by you, the user, and without your help we can’t make them the best possible!

Cognitive decline after heart surgery is uncommon, review finds

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Cognitive impairment after cardiovascular surgery is uncommon in older people, a systematic evidence review published in the Annals of Internal Medicine has concluded. However, the researchers said that the evidence was limited and that the individual study quality was low.

Debate surrounds the possible relation between cardiovascular interventions and subsequent cognitive outcomes in older patients. Some early studies reported a high prevalence of cognitive impairment after coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs), for example, but later studies have suggested that any such decline predated the procedure.

Think tanks echo Confed call for transformation fund

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The health service in England needs a dedicated fund to finance and drive forward essential changes to services, a new Health Foundation and King’s Fund report has concluded, echoing long-standing calls by the NHS Confederation for such a measure.

In a detailed report published on Wednesday (22 July), the think tanks say a transformation fund would support and accelerate a shift to new models of care, as per the Forward View, and help to unlock efficiency savings.

Statins for people at low risk

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Statins are the UK’s most commonly prescribed drugs and are among the most widely prescribed drugs globally. Though their use in people at high risk of stroke and heart disease is uncontroversial, recent recommendations to treat much larger numbers of people at low risk have caused a storm of controversy. Most hotly debated are the nature and frequency of side effects of statins and whether arguably small gains in life expectancy are worth the risk.

Hospitals send patients home without confirming home situation is adequate, report says

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Vulnerable patients are being discharged from hospital unsafely and sent home to situations where they have inadequate support because of lack of coordination between health, social care, and community services, an investigation by the healthcare consumer organisation Healthwatch England has found.

The investigation was based on the experiences of discharge of 3230 people considered as vulnerable (elderly people, homeless people, and people with mental health conditions) and on information gathered from trusts through freedom of information legislation and from surveys of patients.

Healthwatch calls for change to discharge process

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Healthwatch England has called for national change to the process of discharging people from health and care settings, following a special inquiry which has underscored the human and financial cost of poor and unsafe discharges from health services.

With more than one million emergency readmissions within 30 days of discharge in 2012/13 alone, costing an estimated £2.4 billion, the organisation said on Tuesday that the time has come for “concerted action and coordinated national leadership to ensure the discharge process meets people’s needs.”

Library and Knowledge Service annual survey now open!

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The annual survey for the Library and Knowledge Service is now open – if you want to take part follow this link and complete as much as you can. It should take no more than ten minutes, and would help to provide us with information that we can use to improve library services.

Remember, we can only do this through your help: your feedback guides our service!

The survey is open until 5pm on the 24th of July.

Lack of leadership was at heart of hospitals’ failings, report says

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Poor leadership among senior medical staff and hospital management was at the heart of recent failings in the NHS in England and Scotland, says a report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in Scotland.

A working group looked at a series of recent reports into failings at hospitals, including Staffordshire Hospital and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Its report said that the problems were predominantly caused by the failure of senior clinical staff and NHS management to work together.

Life-saving app scoops top prize at digital awards

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An online app that can help save the life of a person experiencing cardiac arrest won the top prize at the People Driven Digital unAwards, sponsored by the NHS Confederation, on 3 July.

The app, known as Lifesaver, acts as an interactive crisis simulator which uses live-action film to teach the user how to perform CPR and use an automated defibrillator.

Smoking cigarettes may increase risk of schizophrenia, study shows

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Smoking may increase the risk of developing schizophrenia, an analysis by a team from King’s College, London has found.

An association between cigarettes and psychotic symptoms has been reported before, but it has been generally assumed that this arises because people with the symptoms take up smoking as a way to relieve distress, counteract the symptoms, or manage the side effects of drugs used to treat them.

Gene therapy trial for cystic fibrosis shows modest benefits

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A gene therapy trial has shown a small but notable health benefit in people with cystic fibrosis—proof of principle that, after a long wait, hopes of effective treatments for inherited diseases may one day be realised.

In a trial involving 136 cystic fibrosis patients aged over 12 who used nebulisers to inhale the correct gene wrapped in an envelope of fat, modest benefits were observed over a range of measurements when compared with patients inhaling a placebo. The main aim was to show that the treatment, given monthly for a year, would improve lung function measured by the volume of air the patients could expel in one second.

Community health services explained

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With out-of-hospital care needing to become “a much larger part of what the NHS does,” according to the Five Year Forward View, the NHS Confederation’s new quick guide answers the simple question, ‘what are community health services?

Providing an overview of what community health services are, what they do and the staff that make up its workforce, the handy guide provides a picture of the role these services play in supporting and caring for people up and down the country.

Patients across the country set to benefit from the roll out of proven healthcare innovations

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NHS England’s Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh will today (Monday 6 July) announce the successful applicants of a scheme to make evidenced healthcare innovations more widely available to patients.

Seventeen healthcare pioneers from the UK and abroad have been identified to receive national support to roll out their technologies, processes and models of care to patients, hospitals and GP practices throughout England.

Bariatric surgery is linked to more diabetes remission than lifestyle intervention alone, study finds

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Two thirds of obese patients with type 2 diabetes who had a gastric bypass did not need any diabetes drugs three years after their operation, a US study published in JAMA Surgery has shown. The research also found that a third of patients who had less invasive gastric banding showed remission of their diabetes.