The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), in its final draft guidance issued this week, has recommended ixekizumab, an antibody that inhibits interleukin-17A, as an option for treating adults with severe plaque psoriasis that doesn’t respond to standard therapies.
Children and young people can have a wide range of life limiting conditions and may sometimes live with such conditions for many years. This guideline recommends that end of life care be managed as a long term process that begins at the time of diagnosis of a life limiting condition and entails planning for the future. Sometimes it may begin before the child’s birth. It is part of the overall care of the child or young person and runs in parallel with other active treatments for the underlying condition itself. Finally, it includes those aspects related to the care of the dying.
Two drugs currently provided under the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) should cease to be available because they are not cost effective, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has concluded.
Everolimus for breast cancer (Afinitor, Novartis) and ibrutinib for mantle cell lymphoma (Imbruvica, Janssen) do not meet the grade, says NICE in draft guidance now open for consultation.
“Think sepsis” in any person with suspected infection
Sepsis may present with non-specific symptoms and signs and without fever
Have a high index of suspicion of sepsis in those who are aged <1 year or >75 years, pregnant, or immunocompromised, and those who have a device or line in situ or have had recent surgery
Use risk factors and any indicators of clinical concern to decide if full assessment is required
Offer people at high risk of sepsis broad spectrum antibiotics and intravenous fluids in hospital
Coeliac disease is a common autoimmune condition, in which the ingestion of gluten (present in wheat, barley, and rye) activates an abnormal immune response, leading to chronic inflammation of the small intestine and malabsorption of nutrients. It affects about 1% of the UK population.
NICE recommendations are based on systematic reviews of the best available evidence and explicit consideration of cost effectiveness.
The 2015 Heatwave Plan for England has now taken effect, and the Met Office will be issuing Heatwave Alerts from 1 June to 15 September 2015.
The Heatwave plan for England remains a central part of the Department of Health’s support to the NHS, social care and local authorities, providing guidance on how to prepare for and respond to a heatwave which can affect everybody’s health, but particularly the most vulnerable people in society.
A diet that simply encourages people to eat 30 g or more of fibre a day may be a good alternative to a far more complex weight loss regimen recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), a US study has shown.
Doctors in the United Kingdom have been urged to encourage patients to take small amounts of regular exercise and told that they have a leading role to play in reversing the growing contribution of sedentary lifestyles to chronic ill health.
NICE has published new guidance for ‘red flag events’ where nurses in charge of shifts must act immediately to ensure they have enough staff to meet the needs of patients on that ward.
The guide includes information on:
- why we are here
- how we operate
- what we believe in
- how we are organised
- how we are governed
It also looks at our relationships with partner organisations and their roles in the new health and care system.
The following topics are included in this month’s alerts from NICE
Using NICE guidance and quality standards to improve practice
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.
NHS institutions can now purchase journals, books and databases to support patient care and safety at competitive rates, thanks to a new Framework Agreement launched by NICE.
The NICE Electronic and Print Content Framework Agreement allows NHS and partner organisations in England and Wales to buy a range of print and electronic content, from 14 approved providers, such as BMJ Publishing, Oxford University Press, Pharmaceutical Press and Waterstones.
The Framework is compliant with the Official Journal of the European Community purchasing route, meaning that it will not be necessary for purchasers to take part in full competitive tendering. Read the full article here
New guidance has been published to help doctors and health professionals navigate the world of social media. The Royal College of GPs had produced the Social Media Highway Code, with advice to help and encourage health professionals to communicate effectively using social media.
The support is built around ten guidelines, which include recognising that the personal and the professional can’t always be separated, the need to engage with the public and show your human side, but maintain professional boundaries and respect the privacy of patients.
The guide was published in draft form last October, in collaboration with Doctors.net.uk and Lime Green Media. It has since been updated to include suggestions and information from a range of health expertise around the world.
Dr Ben Riley, lead-author of the Code and Curriculum Director for the RCGP said: “The interest and feedback we have received from healthcare professionals across the globe has been fantastic. There are many opportunities for GPs and other healthcare professionals to take the lead in developing how social media can be used to improve healthcare.
“At the same time healthcare professionals need to protect their patients and support each other with using these new ways of communicating. The Code has a practical focus and addresses a number of the challenging areas that GPs and other healthcare professionals have been asking about for some time.”
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.
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.”
Estates and facilities alert
This alert relates to window restrictors that may be inadequate in preventing a determined effort to force a window open beyond the 100mm restriction. This follows an incident in which a patient died following a fall from a second floor hospital window. All healthcare organisations are asked to review the guidance.
Care in local communities: a new vision and model for district nursing
This vision and service model builds on ‘Compassion in practice’, the national vision for nurses, midwives and care staff. It was developed by a strategic partnership of the Department of Health, NHS Commissioning Board Authority, The Queen’s Nursing Institute, alongside district nurse leaders and practitioners. It sets out the foundations of district nursing services, the developments and innovations that ensure services can meet current and future needs, and the district nurse-led team contribution to providing care and support in the community, including peoples’ homes. It aims to be a resource for those designing and providing local community health services, including nurse leaders, health and wellbeing boards, clinical commissioning groups, and others with an interest in developing integrated care for older people.
Supporting apprentices in the workplace
This leaflet provides advice and information for RCN representatives supporting apprentices in the workplace, and identifies areas for concern, such as pay below the legal minimum, poor quality training and ‘pre-employment apprenticeships’ with no pay. It also defines an apprenticeship framework and looks at the employment of apprenticeships in health care among young workers and established older workers.
Delegating record keeping and countersigning records: guidance for nursing staff
This guidance draws on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code to clarify issues of delegating record keeping and countersigning records for nursing staff and employers.
A health visiting career
This guidance aims to promote understanding of the current picture, identifies areas of good practice, and suggests ways that these can be shared and enhanced. It gives an overview of the novice to expert journey and the pathway for newly qualified health visitors in their first two years. It was published for commissioners, practice educators, line managers, service leads and newly qualified health visitors, including all those who have responsibility for the skills, support and experiences of newly qualified health visitors.
Continuing professional development: guidance for all doctors
This guidance was published to help doctors across the UK keep their knowledge and skills up to date throughout their working life. It is aimed at helping doctors as they reflect on their practice, prepare for their annual appraisal, and ultimately for their revalidation. It was developed in co-operation with doctors, medical Royal Colleges, employers, patients and the public, following widespread public consultation earlier this year and emphasises that doctors must take account of the needs of their patients and their healthcare teams when considering the learning they may need to undertake.
Advice for RCN members during British Medical Association (BMA) industrial action
This guidance is for nursing staff who may be affected when members of the BMA take industrial action on Thursday 21st June. The RCN is not involved in the dispute and members will be working as normal on that day.
This national information standard specifies the core record content to support the provision of high-quality co-ordinated care at the end of life. The standard facilitates consistent recording of information by health and social care agencies and, with the consent of the individual, supports safe and effective management and sharing of information.
Leadership and management for all doctors
This guidance sets out the wider management and leadership responsibilities of all doctors in the workplace, including: responsibilities relating to employment issues; teaching and training; planning, using and managing resources; raising and acting on concerns; and helping to develop and improve services. It comes into effect on 12 March 2012.