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2013 Q4 October-December

Health and Wellbeing Policy Update – October-December 2013

31st December 2013

A call from leading NHS organisations for a less critical, more balanced approach to the NHS, has been made in a letter to the Guardian by the leaders of 10 NHS front line organisations. They call for a new approach, after excessive criticism in 2013.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/31/healthcare-leaders-end-criticism-nhs-letter 

(The letter) http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/31/new-year-herald-new-start-nhs 

(1st Jan 2014) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25565581 

30th December 2013

Public Health England is launching a £3m anti-smoking campaign to coincide with people’s new year resolutions.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2013/dec/30/new-year-ad-campaign-targets-smokers-health 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25505491

Overseas visitors and migrants are to be charged for using A&E in England it has been ‘re-announced’ after a public consultation, with higher charges for prescriptions, optical and dental care.  GP and nurse consultations will remain free.  Full details are to be published in March.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/30/tourists-migrants-to-be-charged-emergency-care-nhs 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25529636

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2530918/Migrants-charged-NHS-Foreigners-emergency-treatment-billed-clampdown-health-tourism.html 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extended-nhs-charging-for-visitors-and-migrants

28th December 2013

Sexual health services are in danger as a result of the services being put to tender according to the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (Bashh) and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) who have written to all local authorities, (which since April commission these services), asking them not to expose them to competition.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/28/sexual-health-clinics-doctors-fear-future-private 

Brief review of the year for the NHS including a list of the various reports that have been produced.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25428847 

27th December 2013

Some pregnant women from overseas are avoiding maternity care because they cannot afford it according to those working with them.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/27/nhs-charges-pregnant-migrant-women-danger 

There has been an increase in the number of doctors trained in the UK but now working in A&E in Australia from 285 in 2008 to 481 last year, equivalent to two year’s A&E intake.  However, this is in the context of 36% of the 260k doctors registered with the GMC to practice here being from overseas including 1,969 from Australia.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/27/exodus-nhs-doctors-australia 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/27/nhs-emergency-medicine-doctors

There appears to be an increasing problem of damp in social housing with consequent health implications.  A survey of housing maintenance staff found 90% had noted increased reports of condensation dampness.  One housing association experienced a tripling of complaints about damp from 22 in November 2012 to 76 in the same month this year.  The increase is thought to be due to inability to pay for heating following welfare cuts.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/27/damp-social-housing-residents-heating-energy-bills 

NHS England is recruiting 4 additional patient and carer members to its Clinical Reference Groups on congenital heart services, neurosciences, chemotherapy and PET-CT.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/27/patient-voice-crgs/ 

24th December 2013

The number of people having to wait for more than a week to see a GP has risen by 10% in the last year, from 14% to 15%, according to analysis by the Royal College of GPs of the most recent GP patient survey, with 26 million people waiting at least a week.

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/news/2013/december/27m-patients-to-wait-week-or-more-to-see-gp-in-2014.aspx 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/24/longer-waits-to-see-doctor-revealed 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25494943 

The risk of heart attack and stroke is better judged by build up of calcium in the arteries than cholesterol levels and blood pressure, according to US research on over 7,000 people studied for seven years.  The test for calcium tends not to be used in the NHS because of its cost.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2528727/The-test-tell-REALLY-risk-heart-attack-stroke-Calcium-arteries-key-indicator-say-doctors.html 

A rather nice collection of festive health statistics from HSCIC

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3798/Twas-the-night-before-Christmas 

23rd December 2013

Culturally specific and family centred support helps families of Indian and Pakistani origin to lose weight and reduce the risk of diabetes in a study of 171 people in Scotland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-25462391 

NHS Trust Development Authority publishes guidance for trusts to help their long term planning.

http://www.ntda.nhs.uk/blog/2013/12/23/planning-guidance/ 

The annual plan review guidance for 2014/15 published by Monitor.

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/node/5552 

21st December 2013

What is claimed to be the world’s first artificial heart has been implanted into a patient in France.  Artificial hearts are used for temporary support until a donor can be found, but this device is intended to replace the heart on a longer term basis.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2527492/Pioneering-French-surgeons-perform-worlds-artificial-heart-transplant.html 

20th December 2013

NHS England publishes a guidance framework for commissioners, setting out its vision for ‘transformed, integrated and more convenient services’ in the context of significant financial challenge.  The document is, ‘Everyone Counts: Planning for patients 2014/15 to 2018/19.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/20/planning-guidance/ 

Funding allocations to CCGs for the next two years are published

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/20/ccg-allocations/ 

Guidance published on the Better Care Fund (previously known as the Integration Transformation Fund).

http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/health-wellbeing-and-adult-social-care/-/journal_content/56/10180/4096799/ARTICLE 

https://www.gov.uk/government 

Letter to local authorities: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/better-care-fund 

Guidance on the need for all NHS providers to have a licence from April 2014 from Monitor and exemptions that apply.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-licence-requirements 

Meeting the needs of patients: improving strategic planning in NHS Foundation Trusts,

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/node/5492 

Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 49

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/20/bulletin-for-ccgs-issue-49-19-december-2013/ 

PHE Bulletin

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phe-bulletin-20-december-2013 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

20th December 2013

NHS England is to provide £50m for at least nine pilots on improving access to GP appointments.  There is to be at least one in each region of England.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/20/access-to-services/ 

19th December 2013

29% of disabled people affected by the bedroom tax have been refused discretionary housing payments (DHPs) in the six months from April 2013, according to a survey by the National Housing Federation.  The Government has argued that access to this fund means the bedroom tax does not discriminate against disabled people.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/19/bedroom-tax-disabled-applicants-refused-emergency-grants

(20th December) Government statistics on use of discretionary housing payments: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/use-of-discretionary-housing-payments

A number of children’s charities are protesting at ONS proposals to stop producing child mortality statistics.

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/12/19/charities-attack-plans-to-stop-producing-child-mortality-data 

Lung cancer one-year survival rates have improved with twice as many patients alive after 12 months in 2011 as 1990 according to PHE’s National Cancer Intelligence Network.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25430669 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/survival-improving-for-lung-cancer-but-the-number-of-women-diagnosed-continues-to-rise 

PHE publication: ‘Health and Care Integration: making the case from a public health perspective’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-care-integration-making-the-case-from-a-public-health-perspective 

Briefing from the Health Foundation on how the Government’s response to the Francis enquiry should be implemented, in ‘Hard Truths: Essential Actions’.

http://www.health.org.uk/publications/hard-truths-essential-actions 

18th December 2013

Government funding for local authorities is to be cut by 8.5% in the provisional local government finance settlement for 2014-15.  The cut is 15.9% for districts since they will not benefit from the Better Care Fund (the new name for the Integration Transformation Fund) which transfers funding from CCGs to local government.  There will be an overall reduction of 2.9% in councils’ total spending power.

http://www.lgcplus.com/news/updated-funding-settlement-unveiled/5066571.article?blocktitle=Most-commented&contentID=-1 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25429562 

http://www.localgov.co.uk/Brandon-Lewis-accused-of-living-in-cloud-cuckoo-land/35263 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-local-government-finance-report-2014-to-2015 

Spreadsheet of allocations: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/breakdown-of-settlement-funding-assessment 

NHS England has rejected DH proposals for funding allocations based on age which would have penalised poorer areas.  The new funding formula takes into account population growth, deprivation and the impact of an ageing population.  All CCGs will receive increases at least matching inflation over the next two years, with more going to those with the fastest growing populations and that were previously underfunded.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/18/tackle-health-inequalities/ 

The funding allocations: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/18/ccg-fund-allocs/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/17/poorest-areas-extra-nhs-money-tackle-ill-health 

Not as bad as expected but Yorkshire fares worst: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/yorkshire-gets-worst-deal-as-nhs-cash-goes-south-1-6322309 

The 2012 Health Survey finds that only 16% of girls and 21% of boys aged 2-15 get the recommended one hour’s exercise a day.  Of those over sixteen, 67% of men and 55% of women got the recommended two and a half hours of exercise a week.  One in five men and one in eight women drink twice the recommended daily alcohol limit.  The survey, published by HSCIC involved 8,000 adults and 2,000 children.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/18/olympics-fail-create-healthier-active-health-survey-of-england 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2526134/Half-women-suffer-long-term-health-problem-Alarming-report-reveals-millions-suffering-depression-constant-pain-officially-inactive.html 

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13218 

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3781/Alcohol-Just-over-one-in-five-men-and-one-in-eight-women-drink-twice-the-recommended-daily-limit 

Deaths from cancer have fallen by more than a fifth in the last two decades from 220 to 170 per 100k since 1990 according to Cancer Research UK.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/18/uk-cancer-death-rates-fall 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2525328/Deaths-cancer-dropped-20-20-years.html

The Government is to pay £755m to councils to provide 15 hours a week free child care to the most disadvantaged two year olds from next September.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/755-million-to-double-free-childcare-offer-for-2-year-olds 

1.55m children will be entitled to a free school meal from next September.  The entitlement will apply to reception years 1 and 2 in state schools.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nick-clegg-announces-155-million-more-children-to-receive-a-free-school-meal 

The Trust Special Administrator has recommended that the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust should be dissolved.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-25428077 

Standards for reconfiguring women’s services are published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

http://www.rcog.org.uk/news/rcog-release-new-paper-outlines-high-quality-standards-needed-when-reconfiguring-women%E2%80%99s-servic 

The Guardian’s assessment of how austerity has impacted on public services over the last year.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/18/review-of-year-cuts-nhs-welfare-charities 

17th December 2013

Alcohol consumption continues to fall, according to figures from ONS, although they advise caution as these are self-reported figures.  There was a fall between 2005 and 2012 from 72% to 64% of men who said they had drunk alcohol in the last week, while the figure for women was 57% to 52%.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/17/three-in-five-adults-drank-alcohol-past-week 

Nearly 12% of girls and 5% of boys were terrified of getting fat according to interviews with parents of over 7,000 13 year olds in a study by UCL and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  52% of girls and nearly a third of boys were a little worried about getting fat.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25403304 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2524933/Two-13-year-old-girls-afraid-getting-fat.html 

The numbers receiving emergency food aid in the South East have risen from about 1,000 to 45,000 between 2006 and 2012, according to research for an MEP.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2013/dec/17/food-banks-which-poor-deserve-charity-food-parcels 

The number of people receiving support from social services in 2012-13 fell by 9% compared to the previous year and by 25% compared to 2007-8, according to figures from HSCIC.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3776/Number-of-people-receiving-social-services-support-down-by-nine-per-cent 

(18th December) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25415305 

New rules for paying for NHS funded services are published by Monitor and NHS England, providing more scope for local flexibility.

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/home/news-events-publications/latest-press-releases/monitor-and-nhs-england-publish-new-rules-the-2014/15-nhs-payment-system 

HEE publishes first ever national workforce plan, for spending from September 2014.

http://hee.nhs.uk/2013/12/17/hees-first-national-workforce-plan-published-today/ 

16th December 2013

The equivalent of 483,000 fewer elderly and disabled people have received care in the five years since the crash, according to estimates by the Personal Social Services Research Unit on behalf of the Care and Support Alliance, a group of 75 organisations.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/16/cuts-care-funding-austerity 

http://careandsupportalliance.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/press-release-lse-research/

Labour press NHS England not to change the funding formula from poorer to older areas which lead to a reduction of almost £1bn to the north and London.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/16/nhs-shift-funding-plan-health-older-people 

The BMA urge the government not to give Trust Special Administrators powers affecting successful hospitals.

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/12/16/government-must-rethink-plans-to-reconfigure-nhs-via-the-backdoor 

(18th December) Concern over Clause 118 of the Care Bill: http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2013/dec/18/care-bill-clause-118-threatens-hospitals 

15th December 2013

NHS England outlines plans for 7 day working, with consultants possibly losing the right to refuse to work at weekends, diagnostic tests to be made available and hospitals facing sanctions for not providing the same level of service on Saturdays and Sundays. Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, NHSE’s Medical Director, set out 10 new clinical standards.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/15/sir-bruce-keogh-7ds/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/15/nhs-bruce-keogh-doctors-work-weekends-hospitals 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25381319 

Interesting letter providing a different perspective on the risks.  You are 16% more likely to die within 30 days if you go into hospital on a Sunday compared to a Wednesday.  But if you go in on a Wednesday you have a 98% chance of being alive in 30 days, while if you go in on a Sunday the chance is 97.68%. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/16/round-the-clock-consultant-care

(17th December) report on the cost implications of seven day working: http://www.hfma.org.uk/publications-and-guidance/publications.htm?sort=3&keyword=&categories=pub_2%7Cpub_5%7Cinfo_10%7Cinfo_16%7Cinfo_8%7Cinfo_9%7Cinfo_15%7Cinfo_14 

More needs to be done to meet the health needs of vulnerable groups according to commissioning guidance from the Royal College of GPs.

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/news/2013/december/urgent-action-needed-for-sex-workers-gypsies-and-travellers.aspx 

14th December 2013

Increasing levels of obesity have led to a five fold increase in liver disease over the last decade, in addition to the other problems obesity can cause.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/14/obesity-tidal-wave-cirrhosis 

13th December 2013

Ofsted consultation on the regulatory framework for inspecting children’s homes.  The Consultation runs until 21st February 2014.

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/no-less-good-for-childrens-homes-demands-ofsted-0 

NHSE’s annual GP survey finds that 92% of patients say making an appointment with their GP is convenient.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/access/patients-overwhelmingly-satisfied-with-access-to-gp-appointments/20005346.article 

A series of briefing notes on integrated approaches to improving public health are published by the Faculty of Public Health.

http://www.fph.org.uk/integrated_approach_needed_to_improve_health 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

13th December 2013

There has been a 26% increase in eviction notices by social landlords in the last year, according to an Inside Housing survey of 113 social landlords.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/tenancies/eviction-notices-surge-by-26/6529938.article 

Winterbourne View progress report

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/winterbourne-view-progress-report 

One in five in-patients with learning disabilities is being treated more than 100km away from home, according to the HSCIC.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3771/One-in-five-inpatients-with-learning-disabilities-is-being-treated-100km-or-more-away-from-home 

Serco is pulling out of health contracts in Cornwall and Braintree.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/13/serco-lose-contract-gp-services-nhs-outsourcing 

Councils need more information to champion mental health according to a briefing from the Centre for Mental Health, which publishes ten questions for councillors to ask their public health teams.

http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/news/2013_10questionsforyourcouncil.aspx 

The NAO says DCLG “must improve its understanding of how funding changes and wider welfare reform will combine to affect local authorities” in a report on the localisation of council tax benefit.

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/12/nao-urges-dclg-to-measure-impact-of-council-cuts/ 

Public Health grants to local authorities and grant conditions

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ring-fenced-public-health-grants-to-local-authorities-2013-14-and-2014-15 

NHS News: Issue 37

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/13/nhs-news-13-dec/

12th December 2013

A CQC survey is reported as finding maternity services as being ‘just not good enough’.  The survey of 23,000 women who gave birth in February follows a similar one in 2010.  Around a quarter of women had been left alone at some point in the labour or delivery that worried them: a slight rise since 2010.  About a quarter said they did not receive pain relief quickly enough or in a strong enough dose.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/12/nhs-maternity-care-shocking-regulator

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25337909 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2522540/Appalling-treatment-mothers-maternity-units.html 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/publications/surveys/maternity-services-survey-2013?cqc 

‘Many people’ receive good quality GP care, but 34% of practices failed at least one of the required standards in 1,000 inspections since April, according to the CQC.  However the initial inspections were targeted at high risk practices and less than 1% of the practices inspected were subject to enforcement.  The CQC was announcing its new approach to the regulation of GPs.  Inspection teams are to include a GP, a practice manager or nurse and a trainee GP.  The aim is to visit every CCG area six monthly, inspecting a quarter of GP practices each time.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/media/new-chief-inspector-general-practice-sets-out-his-new-approach-inspection-and-regulation-gps-a 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/12/gp-surgeries-patients-at-risk

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25337908 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/regulation/cqc/cqc-threatens-to-send-ofsted-style-letters-to-patients-in-poor-practices-as-field-unveils-findings-from-first-1000-inspections/20005321.article

Funding for mental health has fallen by more than 2% real terms over the past two years, according to information from foi requests by Community Care and BBC News.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/12/12/firefighting-mental-health-funding-shortage-thats-hitting-frontline-care/#.UqsA3I31yz5 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25331644

Government reduces councils’ data reporting, cutting the ‘single data list’ by a third, in what it says is a slashing of town hall red tape.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/town-hall-red-tape-slashed-by-a-third 

Government increases councils’ data reporting, requiring councils to publish spending in a range of categories, hailed as a new wave of town hall transparency.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eric-pickles-champions-open-government-with-new-wave-of-town-hall-transparency 

Further cuts to universal credit recipients, not immediately apparent in the Autumn statement which could leave working families several hundreds of pounds a year worse off have been uncovered by the Resolution Foundation.  The cuts arise because universal credit work allowances are to stay at the same level for three years from April 2014.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/12/osborne-working-families-reduced-allowances-2017 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/12/stealth-cuts-universal-credit-working-poor 

CCGs are accountable to too many different bodies according to a report in BMJ Open.

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/12/12/clinical-commissioning-groups-accountable-to-too-many-masters 

There were 148 ‘never events’ in the six months from April to September, a similar rate as the previous year.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/12/nhs-mistakes-patients-harmed-never-events-wrong-surgery 

Since taking over public health, councils are starting to change priorities but this is not always reflected in spending according to a report, ‘Healthy Dialogues: embedding health in local government’ by the NLGN.

http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/2013/healthy-dialogues-embedding-health-in-local-government/ 

‘Improving the Public’s Health: a resource for local authorities’ published by the King’s Fund.

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/improving-publics-health 

Mental health outcomes information is now published in one place.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mental-health-measuring-progress-against-the-strategy 

Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 48

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/12/bulletin-for-ccgs-issue-48-12-december-2013/ 

11th December 2013

David Cameron has said the Government will increase its funding for dementia research from £52 to £66m between 2012-13 and 2015 with an ambition to double public, commercial and charitable research in the ten years to 2025.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/g8-dementia-pm-calls-for-uk-to-lead-world-in-research 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/11/dementia-research-doubled-david-cameron-alzheimers-nhs 

‘State of Maternity Services’ report published by the Royal College of Midwives

http://www.rcm.org.uk/college/about/media-centre/press-releases/opportunity-on-midwife-shortage-despite-another-record-breaking-year-for-births/ 

‘Our Place’, the neighbourhood budget programme, is to be extended to at least 100 more areas, following a pilot in 12 areas.

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/12/neighbourhood-budgets-extended-100-new-communities/ 

Background information on ‘Our Place’ and neighbourhood community budgets: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/community-budgets/-/journal_content/56/10180/3691921/ARTICLE 

The number of obese and overweight year 6 pupils has fallen slightly in the last year from 33.9% to 33.3%, according to figures from the HSCIC, although it is not clear whether this is a blip or a trend.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3766/First-drop-in-obesity-prevalence-among-final-year-primary-school-children-in-England 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/latest-phe-national-child-measurement-programme-figures-available 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25331997 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/11/obesity-rates-england-primary-schoolchildren-fall

The Government is changing the law to allow it to reconfigure successful hospitals, rather than just a failing hospital, without the support of CCGs.  This follows the High Court decision against Jeremy Hunt when he tried to downgrade Lewisham A&E. The change comes through an amendment in the Care Bill which is due to have its second reading in the Commons next week.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning-news/new-bill-will-allow-government-to-reconfigure-successful-hospitals-without-gp-commissioners-support/20005326.article 

House of Commons Library briefing on the Care Bill: http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/RP13-71/care-bill-hl 

King’s Fund briefing on the Care Bill: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/articles/briefing-care-bill-second-reading-house-commons 

10th December 2013

A fifth of people on intravenous drops have problems because of being given the wrong amount of fluid according to NICE which has produced new guidance.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/12December/Pages/NICE-issues-warning-over-dangerous-IV-drip-use.aspx 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25298855 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/10/nice-warning-risk-patients-hospitals-ignorance-intravenous-drips 

Survival from cancer has increased by 10% over 15 years but rates are much higher in the home counties than the north, according to ONS figures.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10508681/Cancer-sufferers-fare-best-in-Home-Counties.html 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2521438/Cancer-survival-rates-England-improving–Southerners-better-chance-North.html 

Progress on implementing Cancer Outcomes Strategy: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/10/canc-out-strat/

Children of itinerant families are entitled to support, even when they move outside a council’s boundaries, according to a high court ruling, in a case brought on behalf of a three year old boy with Down’s Syndrome against Worcestershire County Council.  The family travels around in the summer providing fair ground rides but stays in one place through the winter.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/travellers-rights-high-court-ruling-funfairs 

EHRC welcomes the judgement: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2013/december/high-court-rules-local-authority-must-consider-funding-for-a-traveller-child-when-travelling/ 

WHO launches MiNDbank, a database about mental health, laws, strategies and service standards in different countries.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2013/mindbank-20131210/en/index.html 

NHS News: Issue 36

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/10/nhs-news-2-dec-2013/ 

9th December 2013

Harm from air pollution can happen at levels below EU prescribed safe levels according to new research.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/eu-air-quality-rules-are-still-too-lax-to-protect-us-from-pollution-study-finds-8991858.html 

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/12December/Pages/Safe-levels-of-air-pollution-could-still-be-harmful.aspx 

The maximum waiting time in an ambulance at A&E is several hours in many areas, whereas the target time is 15 minutes, according to information obtained by the BBC under foi.  However, NHSE said that while there were 4,500 delays a week of more than 30 minutes, this was down on last year.  In Wales, one ambulance was left waiting for more than 6 hours, but the average waiting time was 20 minutes.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25268451 

An audit of the ‘big society’ finds it is suffering from cuts, widening social inequalities and declining levels of trust, according to the think tank Civil Exchange.  It says it is working better in more affluent areas than in deprived communities.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/dec/09/big-society-deprived-david-cameron-charitable-wealthy

Workers on low and middle incomes are experiencing the biggest fall in their living standards since the mid-19th century when records began, according to a report by the new economics foundation.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-poorest-pay-the-price-for-austerity-workers-face-biggest-fall-in-living-standards-since-victorian-era-8991842.html 

8th December 2013

Alcohol and drug related problems are costing the NHS £607m a year according to the latest hospital admission data published by Dr Foster, with middle aged people constituting a substantial proportion of cases.  While there are problems in all socio-economic groups, they were greatest amongst the most deprived income group.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/08/middle-aged-drink-drug-abusers-nhs-hospital-admissions 

There are more working families in poverty than non-working ones for the first time, according to a report, Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2013 by the New Policy Institute published by JRF.

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-and-social-exclusion-2013 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/08/poverty-report_n_4407666.html 

7th December 2013

Only a minority of patients are fast-tracked for investigation by cancer specialists according to a survey of 4,000 GP practices.  In about half of the practices less than half of patients were seen in the NHS target of two weeks.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/07/cancer-referrals-not-quick-enough-report 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2519727/GPs-denying-urgent-cancer-tests-thousands-patients-Referring-fewer-half-victims-fast-track-appointment.html 

6th December 2013

ONS analysis of the census figures shows a rise in over 85 olds of 25% in a decade.  There are twice as many women as men in this age group, with 13% of women still married, but 49% of men.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/dec/06/ons-census-elderly-quarter-rise-aged-85 

Seven new pilots on the use of personal budgets for mental health are being set up.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/06/personal-health-budget/ 

Report on the NHS Constitution by the Patients Association on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Patient and Public Involvement in Health and Social Care.

http://www.patients-association.com/Default.aspx?tabid=80&Id=1133 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

6th December 2013

Dr Foster annual Hospital Guide published.  Knee and hip replacements and cataract removals fall to the lowest level in five years, it is suspected to save money.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/05/nhs-savings-target-elderly-knee-hip-cataract 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25219008

Map of changes in hips, knees and cataract operations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25185356

16 NHS hospital trusts have higher than expected mortality rates: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/06/death-rates-nhs-hospital-trusts-report 

5th December 2013

Autumn statement.

  • £3bn cut to Government budgets in the next two years.  No additional cuts to local government and the NHS budget to rise in line with inflation.
  • Welfare budget (excluding unemployment and pensions) to be capped, set at the start of each parliament.
  • Continuation of pooled health and social care funding beyond 2015-16.
  • Plans to reduce the size of the state to its smallest since 1948.
  • Climate change and longer term health: fuel duty freeze; tax relief for shale gas; reducing energy companies’ obligation; energy efficiency grant for future home buyers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/autumn-statement-2013-key-announcements 

LGA briefing (links to pdf): http://www.local.gov.uk/documents/10180/11309/On+the+day+briefing+Autumn+Statement+2013/a212669a-41c0-4214-aa7c-c5087070f2e6 

Key points for local government: http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2013/dec/05/george-osborne-autumn-statement-2013-local-government-council-tax-freeze 

Nuffield Trust says finding 4% real terms savings in the NHS up till 2019 will probably not be possible: http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/nuffield-trust-autumn-statement-confirms-decade-austerity-lies-ahead-nhs 

Colin Talbot blog: http://blog.policy.manchester.ac.uk/featured/2013/12/never-letting-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste-george-osbornes-plans-to-permanently-roll-back-the-state/ 

Blog, why not link the rise in the pension age to reducing health inequalities: http://www.community-links.org/linksuk/?p=4145

New maternity statistics show teenage pregnancies at their lowest since 1969.  Teenage pregnancies fell 8% in a year and 28% since 2007-8.

The figures from HSCIC show twice as many births generally in deprived areas compared to the least deprived, but for teenagers the difference was tenfold, with 31.1 per thousand in the most deprived areas but only 3.6 per thousand in the least deprived.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3751/Maternity-Twice-as-many-hospital-deliveries-to-women-living-in-the-most-deprived-areas-of-England

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/12/05/teenage-pregnancies_n_4390765.html?utm_hp_ref=uk 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25232098 

Under-treatment of cancer amongst retirees is seen as a key reason why the UK performs worse than some other European countries.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cancer-survival-improving-in-england-but-more-to-do 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/05/health-chiefs-raise-awareness-cancer-old-people 

Cancer survival rates lag behind other European countries: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2518498/UKs-survival-rates-worse-European-average-9-10-cancers.html 

New research suggests that 207,000 11-15 year olds start smoking in the UK each year.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-equivalent-of-20-classroomsfull-of-children-take-up-smoking-every-day-in-the-uk-according-to-research-8983775.html 

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/12December/Pages/20-classrooms-of-kids-a-day-take-up-smoking.aspx 

The work capability assessment disadvantages people with learning difficulties, mental health problems and autism according to a ruling from the court of appeal, upholding an early ruling which had been challenged by DWP.  Three charities called on the Government to stop using the ‘flawed assessment’.  The Government said the judgement would have ‘no effect on day-to-day business.’

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/05/call-halt-fitness-for-work-test-disabled 

38% of managers in health and social care are considered ineffective by their staff, according to a report from the Chartered Management Institute.

http://www.managers.org.uk/news/almost-half-health-sector-senior-managers-deemed-%E2%80%98ineffective%E2%80%99-0 

23% of elderly people who had had an overnight hospital stay said they felt very vulnerable on returning home, according to a report by RVS, which also reports on its scheme in Leicestershire to support people leaving hospital and reduce readmissions.

http://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/news-and-events/news/lack-of-support-after-hospital-stays-are-leaving-older-people-vulnerable-to-readmission 

Survey of CCGs shows generally good relationships with NHS England.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/05/ways-of-working-2/

4th December 2013

Young workers have been particularly hard hit by the recession according to a report from the Resolution Foundation which found that 22-29 year olds’ hourly pay had fallen by 11.7% in the three years following 2008 compared to a fall of 8.1% for all workers.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/04/young-workers-pay-financial-crash-resolution-foundation 

Young people are to be allowed to stay in foster care until they are 21.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/04/young-people-allowed-foster-care-21 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/children-to-stay-with-foster-families-until-21

Children and young people’s mental health is being overlooked by local authorities according to a report by the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition.

http://mentalhealth.org.uk/our-news/news-archive/2013-news-archive/211826/ 

http://www.cypmhc.org.uk/resources/overlooked_and_forgotten_press_release/ 

Food poverty has reached the level of a public health emergency according to doctors and academics who have written to the BMJ, noting that a Government report has been delayed.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/food-poverty-in-uk-has-reached-level-of-public-health-emergency-warn-experts-8981051.html 

(5th December) What councils can do about the food poverty crisis: http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2013/dec/05/food-poverty-local-authorities-council 

Kent Leader withdraws county council report linking food poverty to the welfare system.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/patrick-butler-cuts-blog/2013/dec/04/suppressed-tory-report-welfare-reform-link-to-foodbanks-homelessness 

Older people are suffering more alcohol related health problems with alcohol related hospital admissions amongst those in their 60s having tripled in a decade: described by the Telegraph as baby boomers suffering the effects of more liberal attitudes to alcohol.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10495822/Britains-baby-boomer-generation-suffering-ill-effects-of-years-of-hard-living.html 

The 1,000 or so Health Trainers in England are improving health and reducing health inequalities according to a report from the Royal Society of Public Health.

http://www.rsph.org.uk/en/about-us/latest-news/press-releases/press-release1.cfm/pid/D402B8FC-98E3-44A7-9CAD8D979C061D80 

3rd December 2013

The numbers using A&E have risen by 11% in 4 years according to ‘Focus on Accident and Emergency December 2013’ published by HSIC.  Charities blamed cuts to social care.  The BMA blamed NHS111.  Labour said the Government were ignoring the problem.  The Government blamed increased demand from an ageing society and Labour’s 2004 change to the GPs’ contract.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13040 

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3749/HSCIC-publishes-new-report-to-help-shed-light-on-AE-activity 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/03/accident-emergency-hospital-visits-rise-steeply-nhs-coalition-government 

Half of A&E attendees only needed advice at most: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10491795/Half-of-AandE-arrivals-sent-home-without-treatment.html 

April-June is the busiest time, not winter, and more young people than over 70’s use A&E: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/april-to-june-is-busiest-time-of-year-for-ae–not-winter-reveals-report-8981083.html 

Small but significant shift in older people going to A&E: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25201754

The NAO says troubled families programmes are underperforming because of poor co-ordination between DWP and DCLG.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25190026 

http://www.nao.org.uk/press-releases/programmes-help-families-facing-multiple-challenges/ 

Social workers do not have the capacity to concentrate on safeguarding vulnerable young people according to a report by the British Association of Social Workers for the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Social Work.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/12/03/cross-party-group-mps-reports-pressures-facing-social-workers/#.UqCqRWRdXg0 

The report (pdf): http://cdn.basw.co.uk/upload/basw_90352-5.pdf 

(5th December) http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/dec/05/overwhelming-demands-social-workers-report

Self-employed workers have seen their incomes drop dramatically with incomes for those earning between £2k-£100k have dropped by 31% in the last twelve years.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/03/self-employed-earnings-slump-third 

2nd December 2013

Disabled people are being given false hope that the ‘spare bedroom benefit cuts’ do not apply to them, according to 18 Charities who have written to the Prime Minister after he said “what we have done is to exempt disabled people who need a spare room” which they say does not “reflect the reality of the Government’s policy.”

http://news.sky.com/story/1176312/charities-turn-bedroom-tax-attack-on-pm

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bedroom-tax-prime-minister-david-2874744

Towards Whole Person Care published by IPPR, recommending single point of contact for all care needs; access to peer support; online access to personal health and care records; personal care plan; the option of a personal budget.

http://www.ippr.org/publication/55/11518/towards-whole-person-care 

Just over 200 people a year are dying of malnutrition or dehydration while in a hospital or care home according to figures published by ONS.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/02/dehydration-malnutrition-care-homes-hospitals 

Issues to be covered in local Healthwatch annual reports is set out in new directions.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-healthwatch-annual-reports-directions-2013 

NHS News: Issue 35

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/12/02/nhs-news-28-november-2013/ 

1st December 2013

Andy Burnham, calls for a series of patient rights to be added to the NHS Constitution including to have a single health and care co-ordinator; patients owning the care records which would be accessible online; a personalised care plan; access to peer support.  He was responding to an IPPR report (2nd December).

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/01/nhs-patients-right-records-online-andy-burnham 

29th November 2013

A survey by Tesco found that a quarter of people struggled to buy as much healthy and nutritious food as they did a year ago while the Trussell Trust says foodbank usage has tripled over the last year as a Christmas charity food drive starts which is said to be the largest since the second world war.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/29/uk-biggest-food-drive-second-world-war-poverty-welfare 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

29th November 2013

All specialist mental healthcare services are to be inspected by 2015

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/29/mental-health-inspections-ratings-cqc 

http://www.cqc.org.uk/about-us/services-we-regulate/mental-health 

GPs are urged to refer elderly patients with anxiety or depression to talking therapies after a survey showed that only 6% of service users were over 65s, despite the group constituting about 21% of the population with such problems.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/mental-health/gps-urged-to-refer-elderly-for-talking-therapies/20005201.article 

Half of dementia sufferers are not formally diagnosed, with wide variations round the country, according to a Government report.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/29/half-of-dementia-sufferers-not-diagnosed 

http://dementiachallenge.dh.gov.uk/map/ 

28th November 2013

Councils may have to cut many discretionary services, such as libraries, arts and playgrounds, completely because of funding cuts over the next few years according to a JRF report.  It says that spending power has been cut by £100 per head more in northern and midland councils than in more affluent areas, with cuts bigger in Labour than Tory or Lib-Dem areas.  Another report by the Audit Commission warns that one in ten councils are at risk of going bust.  It also notes that poorer areas have shouldered a larger proportion of cuts.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/28/local-council-funding-cuts-arts 

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/coping-with-cuts 

http://www.audit-commission.gov.uk/2013/11/councils-show-financial-resilience-but-must-continue-adapting/

Sir Merrick Cockell says the local government funding system is broken: http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/11/council-funding-system-broken-cockell-claims/ 

Government accuses councils of “amassing secret stockpiles” of financial reserves.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/councils-amassing-secret-stockpiles-of-taxpayer-money-says-local-government-secretary 

54% of those who had tried to access counselling and talking therapies had to wait more than three months and 12% had to wait more than a year, according to a survey of 1,600 people by Mind.  The ‘We Need to Talk’ coalition of mental health groups in England says people should have access to help within 28 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25118970 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/28/charities-attack-treatment-delays-mental-health

http://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/people-with-mental-health-problems-still-waiting-over-a-year-for-talking-treatments/

The Government is to commission an independent review into cigarette packaging in England.  The review is to be led by paediatrician Sir Cyril Chantler.  The Government put off a decision on plain packaging in July, saying it wanted to wait for evidence of the Australian experience.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25126673 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/27/review-plain-packaging-cigarettes-2015

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/independent-review-of-standardised-packaging-for-tobacco

Latest Friends and Families test results are published

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/28/fft-comp/ 

NHS England is to set up a patient feedback website allowing patients to post comments and for hospitals to respond.  [This will presumably replace the current NHS Choices website which offers a similar facility.  Patient Opinion, a social enterprise also performs a similar function.]

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/28/nhs-launch-tripadvisor-style-website 

28% of admissions to hospital for heart disease involve diabetes patients, and patients with diabetes are 38% more likely to die prematurely, according to figures from HSIC.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3737/More-than-one-in-four-hospital-admissions-for-heart-failure-are-for-patients-with-diabetes 

NHS England sets out its assurance process for CCGs and its own direct commissioning functions

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/28/ass-frmwk/ 

Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 47

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/28/bulletin-for-ccgs-issue-47-28-november-2013/ 

27th November 2013

Councils in the North East will lose £665 per person compared to £305 in the South East, on average from cuts to local government spending by 2017-18 according to analysis by SIGOMA, the LGA special interest group of municipal authorities.  The Government said that northern councils had more spending power per household than southern ones.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/nov/27/local-government-cuts-unfair-to-north-east 

http://www.sigoma.gov.uk/Docs/sigomareports/A%20Fair%20Future%20or%20a%20Growing%20Divide_SIGOMA%20Updated%20Figures.pdf 

NHS England appeals for ‘winter friends’ asking people to sign an electronic pledge to say they will look out for an elderly friend or neighbour this winter.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/27/samaritans-for-winter/ 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10477205/NHS-wants-samaritan-army-to-help-elderly.html

NICE is proposing to ban patients from smoking outside hospitals and NHS staff from smoking at all at work or while in uniform.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/27/ban-patients-staff-smoking-hospitals-nice 

The financial cost of cancer to sufferers averages £700 in the first year alone according to a report from Demos.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25117991 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2514411/Cancer-costs-families-7-000-year-lost-income-travel-costs–the-average-mortgage.html

The National Association of Primary Care is to join the NHS Confederation as its primary care provider network.

http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/NAPC_%20primary_care_provider_network_NHSConfederation.aspx 

NHS News: Issue 34

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/27/nhs-news-issue-34/

25th November 2013

NHS England is to call on commissioners to reduce the mortality gap for people with mental health issues which means their life expectancy is ten years less than the rest of population.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/25/nhs-mental-illness-mortality-rate-gap 

A DH programme aiming to provide telehealth to 100,000 people in seven pilot areas called ‘3million lives’ has changed to one which aims to work with areas where there is already ‘energy’ for it, to reach 3 million people by 2017, since the programme was taken over by NHS England in April.

(Free subscription) http://www.gponline.com/News/article/1222218/nhs-england-abandons-health-secretarys-pledge-telehealth/ 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/telehealth-/nhs-england-drops-plan-to-have-100000-telehealth-users-this-year/20005150.article 

http://www.ehi.co.uk/news/EHI/9070/3ml-pathfinder-project-put-out-of-misery

A new free phone line has been set up to help combat loneliness in older people.  The ‘Sliver Line’ service is chaired by Esther Rantzen and offers friendship, information and advice from volunteers.  The number is 0800 4 70 80 90.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25056351 

Data on progress of the troubled families programme

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/troubled-families-progress-information-at-september-2013-and-families-turned-around-at-october-2013 

(Press release) https://www.gov.uk/government/news/troubled-families-programme-on-track-at-half-way-stage 

Widespread use of the NHS number to identify people is key to integration of health and social care according to NHS Director of Patients and Information, Tim Kelsey.

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/11/25/kelsey-nhs-number-key-to-health-social-care-integration 

PHE Bulletin

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phe-bulletin-25-november-2013

23rd November 2013

Bed blocking in October was the highest since August 2010 when the monthly figures were first published.  There were 78,424 hospital bed days lost through delayed discharges in October, up almost 8,000 on the same month last year.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25059887 

22nd November 2013

A £75m Big Lottery programme will help tackle child mental health issues as schools in twelve areas will provide resilience lessons to 10-14 year olds.

http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1140669/gbp75m-fund-tackle-child-mental-health-issues 

The NHS Alliance has developed a nine-question version of the friends and families test for GPs which it hopes will be widely adopted (there is a requirement only to ask one mandated question and one locally chosen one).

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/regulation/nhs-alliance-develops-nine-question-version-of-friends-and-family-test/20005145.article 

Morrisons is the first supermarket change to ban the sale of high caffeine drinks to children under 16.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/22/morrisons-bans-high-energy-drinks-children 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/25052241 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

21st November 2013

The CQC says hospitals have made no improvement in patient safety, treating patients with dignity and respect or monitoring and assessing the quality of care over the last year despite a number of reports following the Mid-Staffordshire scandal, according to its annual ‘State of Care’ review.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/21/cqc-report-hospital-care-mid-staffs1 

More elderly people are being admitted as emergencies for preventable conditions, the report says:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25015594 

Half a million avoidable admissions: http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/11/21/rate-of-elderly-hospital-patients-with-avoidable-conditions-increases 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/hospital-aes-swamped-by-500000-elderly-victims-of-neglect-8955399.html 

Nursing homes still the worst performing social sector: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/11/21/nursing-homes-still-worst-performing-social-care-sector-despite-improvements-says-cqc/#.Uo9pMiSYv1s

http://www.cqc.org.uk/media/cqc-publishes-fourth-state-care-report

An OECD study finds Britain’s cancer survival rates are unacceptable, when compared with other developed countries.  Matching the average survival rates across European countries would save 10,000 lives a year.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/21/britain-cancer-survival-rates 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2510941/Britains-cancer-shame-UK-lower-survival-rate-cervical-cases-Slovenia-Czech-Republic.html

Volunteers play an important role in hospitals with 500 in the average trust, creating £11 in value for every £1 invested in them, according to study by the King’s Fund.

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-releases/value-volunteers 

A strategy on liver disease promised two years ago has still not appeared, says charity the British Liver Trust, while deaths from liver disease are increasing, the only major cause of death for which that is the case.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/21/government-dithering-liver-disease-strategy 

Electronic prescribing in NHS hospitals is patchy, with 69% of 101 surveyed hospitals using some form of electronic prescribing but with wide variety in the systems used, according to research published in Plos One.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25018136 

20th November 2013

An additional £150m for A&E’s is to be provided from an NHS England underspend, adding to the £250m announced in September.  The £250m was for just 53 hospital trusts, but others will be able to apply for the new money.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/20/nhs-england-accident-emergency-winter-funds 

Long term increases in personal debt, with the average per household having risen to £54k from £29k a decade ago, is having a severe effect on mental health and wellbeing according to ‘Maxed Out’, a report from the Centre for Social Justice, the think tank that Iain Duncan Smith helped set up.  The report also notes that consumer debt has trebled since 1993.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/nov/20/personal-debt-mental-health-report 

Children’s basic human rights are being denied by government cuts and reforms, according to a report, ‘The State of Children’s Rights’ from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, a group of 60 charities. Many more children are living in poverty, and inequalities of health and education continue, it says.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/austerity-is-being-exploited-and-children-denied-basic-rights–report-8950143.html 

Children’s fitness has been gradually decreasing by about 5% a decade when measured in terms of how far children can run in a set time, according to Australian led research based on data on 25 million children in 28 countries over 46 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24998497 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/20/children-unable-run-fast-parents-heart-fitness

The use of anti-depressants in rich countries has risen over the last decade, not matched by increases in diagnoses of depression, according to the OECD in a report ‘Health at a Glance.’

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/20/antidepressant-use-rise-world-oecd 

(21st November) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2511186/Pill-popping-Britain-UK-takes-anti-depressants-Europe.html 

OECD ‘Health at a Glance’

http://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/health-at-a-glance.htm 

(19th November) the position in Scotland: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/mental-health/patients-presenting-with-depression-halves-in-ten-years-while-anti-depressant-prescriptions-increase/20005103.article#.Uo9wWWTfz4g 

Five fundamental ‘disconnects’ between policy and practice have been identified in research initiated by the Institute for Government and the Big Lottery, which paired 15 civil servants with15 people from the voluntary sector.

http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/16450/big-funded_research_programme_finds_big_gap_between_policy_and_practice 

Sir Bruce Keogh rescues Cyberman.  [Doesn’t he know they’re the bad guys?]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/doctor-who/10463938/NHS-chief-called-in-to-treat-ill-Cyberman-on-BBC-set.html 

19th November 2013

In the Government’s response to the Francis enquiry, Jeremy Hunt announces a series of measures to increase safety.  They include a requirement to publish ward staffing levels, a legal duty of candour to be honest about mistakes that cause death or serious harm, a criminal offence of wilful neglect and a quarterly report by hospitals on how they are handling complaints.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25005669 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/19/hospitals-mistakes-jeremy-hunt

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/19/nhs-hospitals-penalties-mistakes-midstaffs-scandal-hunt 

NHS Confederation response: http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/Response-to-the-Francis-report.aspx 

Response from Nicholas Timmins on Institute for Government blog: http://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/blog/6857/will-the-response-to-francis-really-make-things-better/ 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mid-staffordshire-nhs-ft-public-inquiry-government-response

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-era-for-patients-and-nhs-as-government-accepts-recommendations-of-mid-staffordshire-inquiry 

What NHS England is already doing in response to the Francis report: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/19/patient-safety/

New guidance on staffing levels for nursing, midwifery and care are published by the National Quality Board.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/19/staff-guidance/ 

‘Challenging Bureaucracy’ report from the NHS Confederation.

http://www.nhsconfed.org/Publications/reports/Pages/challenging-bureaucracy.aspx 

What private health providers think of the NHS and privatisation.  Results of a survey of 110 industry leaders by HealthInvestor magazine.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/19/nhs-privatisation-independent-providers-mood-private-sector

The UK Council for Psychotherapy’s voluntary register has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

http://notsobigsociety.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/professional-standards-authority-formally-announces-ukcp-accreditation/ 

18th November 2013

21 Trusts could be putting patients at risk by performing vascular surgery when they do not do enough operations to have the necessary expertise according to Dr Foster.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/18/vascular-surgery-warning-hospital-trusts 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

16th November 2013

Doctors, nurses and NHS managers could face criminal prosecution for wilful neglect or mistreatment of patients, with the possibility of five years in jail, under a proposed change to the law to be announced by Jeremy Hunt.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/16/doctors-face-jail-if-patients-mistreated 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24967230 

15th November 2013

The Government agrees a new contract with GPs including changing conditions introduced last year that it is argued caused more red tape.  Patients over 75 and those with long term health needs are to have a named GP.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/15/new-gp-contract-patients-jeremy-hunt-a-and-e 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/15/new-gp-contract-what-does-it-mean

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24945134 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24959626 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/home/gp-contract-2014/15/-gps-to-oversee-all-vulnerable-patients-under-emergency-admissions-des-/20005073.article

King’s Fund comment: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2013/11/new-gp-contract-small-step-towards-better-future-primary-care 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/personalised-gp-care-will-bring-back-old-fashioned-family-doctors

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/November/Pages/The-return-of-the-proper-family-doctor.aspx

New rules allowing the testing of European doctors’ language skills, as well as other safety measures for nurses and health professionals, have been agreed by EU ministers.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/15/eu-patient-safety-test-doctors-english-daniel-ubani

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24962494 

http://www.gmc-uk.org/news/23549.asp

NHS England urges people with existing conditions to seek help early rather than going to A&E.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/15/ill-people-help-a-and-e-crisis 

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/15/wint-ad/ 

Children, Families and Maternity e-bulletin, November

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-families-and-maternity-e-bulletin-november-2013

14th November 2013

50,000 disabled people could lose their jobs if changes to their support from the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) go ahead, according to the Disability Benefits Consortium, a national coalition of over 50 charities.

http://disabilitybenefitsconsortium.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/over-50000-disabled-people-could-lose-jobs-as-vital-support-is-cut/ 

NHS News: Issue 33

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/14/nhs-news-issue-33/

Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 46

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/13/ccg-bull-14-11-13/ 

13th November 2013

Keogh Review on urgent and emergency care published.  It recommends keeping all 140 A&Es but concentrating expertise in about 40-70 of them.  There are also proposals for reducing the number of people taken to A&E.

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/keogh-review/Pages/urgent-and-emergency-care-review.aspx

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/13/keogh-urgent-emergency/ 

Sir Bruce Keogh explains the changes: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/13/bruce-keogh/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/plan-a-and-e-crisis 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24914385 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2504507/Cure-A-E-crisis–just-sticking-plaster-Two-tier-casualty-units-speed-care-111-service-gets-doctors-shake-health-care.html

A revamp of NHS 111 will mean call handlers having access to patient records and more clinical support.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/urgent-care/nhs-111-overhaul-to-ensure-service-definitively-manages-calls/20005031.article 

An evaluation of NHS 111 pilots found they increased the number of emergency ambulance incidents by just under 3%, but NHS England said things had changed since NHS 111 was introduced and that attendances in areas with 111 had decreased by 0.2% compared to the previous 12 months.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/nhs-111-helpline-accident-emergency 

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/14/sheff-111/ 

More than 522,000 housing benefit claimants were subject to the bedroom tax in August, with benefits reduced by £14.50 a week, according to figures from DWP.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/bedroom-tax-figures-august 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/housing-benefit-data-published-on-reforms-to-restore-fairness

Funding for maternity care has been cut in half of English regions despite a record high birth rate, according to figures obtained by a Lib-Dem MP in a parliamentary question.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/13/maternity-care-funding-nhs-cuts 

New Government scheme to encourage people to use the stairs in public offices by labelling the number of calories used.  A new app, ‘StepJockey’ is backed by DH and funded by the Small Business Research Initiative.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10447405/Calorie-labels-fitted-to-staircases.html 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24933090 

Briefing from PHE on obesity and the environment, increasing physical activity and active travel.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/obesity-and-the-environment-briefing-increasing-physical-activity-and-active-travel 

NHS News: Issue 32

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/13/nhs-news-issue-32/

12th November 2013

David Cameron defends a smaller state, rather than cutting just to reduce the deficit.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/11/david-cameron-policy-shift-leaner-efficient-state 

Four big outsourcing firms were paid £4bn last year for public service contracts according to an NAO report commissioned by the Public Accounts Committee.  The four groups made £1.05bn profit worldwide last year but paid between £75m and £81m in UK corporation tax.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/12/public-sector-paid-outsourcing-firms-4-billion-pounds 

Young people in care do not get all the support they are legally entitled to and many are not aware of their rights according to a report by The Who Cares Trust, on behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers.

http://www.thewhocarestrust.org.uk/news.php/363/children-in-care-do-not-get-the-support-they-have-a-legal-right-to 

There is a shortage of 20,000 nurses according to the RCN, based on foi responses received from 61 of the 162 trusts.  The NHS Confederation is reported as noting the context of 347,000 qualified nurses in the NHS with 10,000 recruited every month through natural turnover.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24874326 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/nursing-cuts-putting-nhs-patients-at-risk

http://www.rcn.org.uk/newsevents/news/article/uk/a_hidden_workforce_crisis_in_the_nhs 

A revised NHS mandate is published by the Government.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-mandate

The NHS Confederation welcomes requirements having been taken out of an earlier consultation draft: http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/Refreshed_mandate_resists_temptation_shopping_list.aspx 

NHS England response: http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/11/12/mandate-response/ 

Michael Gove says he wants to radically reform social work, taking the dogma out of training.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/michael-gove-reform-social-work 

Article suggesting the main problem for social workers is lack of time and resources: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/12/gove-social-workers-compassion-intellect-time 

Interview with Maureen Baker who takes over from Clare Gerada as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners on Saturday 16th November.  She would like to make it easier for GPs who have left the NHS (such as to have children) to return.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/gps-not-second-class-citizens-maureen-baker 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/12/cut-red-tape-returning-gps-doctors 

An experiment will offer new mothers up to £200 in shopping vouchers to encourage them to breastfeed their babies for at least six months.  The pilot is targeting areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire and is being funded through a collaboration between the government and medical research sector.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24900650 

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/12/researchers-offer-shopping-vouchers-breastfeed

Only 35% of people would tell their employer if they had schizophrenia according to a YouGov poll of more than 2,000 people, for the charity Rethink Mental Illness, suggesting a continuing stigma about admitting mental illness.

http://www.rethink.org/news-views/2013/11/would-you-tell-report 

http://www.rethink.org/news-views/2013/11/attitudes-to-mental-illness 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/24898547 

The problem of the ageing population is not as great as has been claimed, according to analysis by Edinburgh academics published in the BMJ.  Noting that elderly people may be healthy and working age people may be dependent, they calculate an alternative ratio of the number of people in their last 15 years of life divided by the number of people of any age in employment, which they say has been improving over the last four decades.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24921171 

Depression increases the ageing process in cells (reducing telomere length) length according to Dutch research on more than 2,000 people.  Depression is already known to increase premature mortality, but this is partly down to behavioural issues such as drug and alcohol use and inactivity.  However another expert is reported as saying only severe depression affects telomere length which anyway doesn’t consistently predict risk of death.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24897247 

The new CE of the NHS Confederation is to be Rob Webster, replacing Mike Farrar.

http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/nhs-confed-new-chief-executive-and-deputy-chair.aspx 

The NHS Outcomes Framework for 2014-15.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-outcomes-framework-2014-to-2015 

Annual update to Public Health Outcomes Framework

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/healthy-lives-healthy-people-improving-outcomes-and-supporting-transparency

11th November 2013

53 of 238 Walk in Centres have closed over the last three years, leaving 185, according to Monitor, warning that the centres are popular with patients whose needs should be fully considered.  Some patients are already registered with GPs meaning the CCG is effectively paying twice.  [By way of context, there are about 8,000 GP practices in England.  There is a map showing the location of the centres on p.22 of Monitor’s document.]

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/home/news-events-publications/latest-press-releases-1

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/11/nhs-walk-in-centres-quarter-closed 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24852768 

A comparison website for adult social care has been launched by the Government.  It uses 21 indicators from the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework, already published by HSCIC, but makes them more accessible to the public, allowing comparisons between areas.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3694/New-website-helps-public-see-how-local-social-services-are-performing 

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/11/11/website-launched-to-compare-adult-social-care-performance-between-council-areas/#.UoSK5ySYv1t 

Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-social-care-outcomes-framework-2014-to-2015

10th November 2013

52 out of 152 Directors of Children’s Services left their position in the twelve months to July 2013 according to the Independent on Sunday.  Thirteen authorities have had four directors in the last five years.  Only 25 authorities have had the same DCS since 2008.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/social-work-bosses-merrygoround-puts-children-at-greater-risk-8930950.html 

8th November 2013

A third of hospitals could face major financial difficulties in the next few months, with the numbers involved larger than the system is currently designed to address, according to the Nuffield Trust.  The DH is quoted as saying “The NHS is in good financial health.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/08/nhs-cuts-hospitals-financial-crisis-squeeze 

After losing an Appeal Court ruling, the DWP has said it will reconsider the abolition of the Independent Living Fund.  The judges said the Government had not properly complied with the public sector equality duty to assess the effects of the closure of the scheme.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/08/disabled-people-win-living-fund 

Charges on temporary visitors for use of the NHS should not be applied to vulnerable people such as refugees and victims of trafficking, the Home Affairs Select Committee has told the Government.

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/11/nhs-charge-for-migrants-could-hit-the-vulnerable/ 

Survey on public involvement in the appraisal and governance of doctors. The survey is aimed at those involved in patient and public involvement and closes on 22 November.

http://www.revalidationsupport.co.uk/news_media/news-article.php?id=39 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

8th November 2013

Maternity units are increasingly overstretched with a shortage of 2,300 midwives and the highest level of births for 40 years according to a report from the NAO.

http://www.nao.org.uk/report/maternity-services-england/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/08/nhs-maternity-services-overstretched-watchdog 

The NHS spends £700 insurance cover for every birth: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24856772

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/11/08/government-midwifery-strategy-failed-to-meet-future-care-demand

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nao-report-on-maternity-services

54% of people agree it is fair that people of working age who live in social housing should receive less housing benefit if they have more bedrooms than they need according to research by Ipsos MORI.  When given more information, 44% supported and 31% opposed the 14% benefit reduction for an additional bedroom.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/regulation/dwp-poll-finds-public-opinion-split-on-bedroom-tax/6529427.article 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/poll-shows-support-for-removal-of-spare-room-subsidy 

The Government has said it will review food standards in hospitals after evidence that one in three elderly patients who need help to eat, do not receive it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10434197/Review-of-hospitals-promised-after-one-in-three-elderly-patients-left-without-help-to-eat.html 

Infographic from ONS on the health gap between demographic groups.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census-analysis/health-gaps-by-socio-economic-position-of-occupations-in-england–wales–english-regions-and-local-authorities–2011/info-health-gap.html

7th November 2013

Middle aged men are more likely to be fat but to do nothing about it, according to research on 10,000 people born in 1970.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24837463 

6th November 2013

The NHS is 600 consultants short of the 2,000 needed for A&E care that is available 16 hours a day, according to the College of Emergency Medicine.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/06/accident-emergency-overcrowding-costs-lives-doctors 

Back pain, followed by depression are the biggest causes of disability worldwide, according to Australian research.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24818048 

(8th October) http://www.theguardian.com/society/datablog/2013/nov/08/where-world-people-most-depressed 

The pharmaceutical industry has agreed to cap drug costs at £12bn over the next two years and pay any extra costs itself.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24835193 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/06/drug-industry-nhs-cap 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-breakthrough-drug-pricing-deal-with-pharmaceutical-firms

Report, “icare: Information, Communication and Technology in the NHS” published by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges with seven key recommendations on patient records and other data.

http://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/update/medical-profession-sets-nhs-information-challenge 

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/11/06/radical-overhaul-of-nhs-technology-required-to-improve-care

5th November 2013

Pressure on A&E departments is to be eased by moving staff to seven day a week working and transferring treatments to the private sector according to Prof Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director of NHS England.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/05/nhs-chief-action-winter-pressure-a-and-e 

Britain’s happiness levels rose by 1% between 2007 and 2011 putting it in the top 20% of countries, while those countries badly hit by the recession saw falls in happiness levels according to the OECD.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24773201 

http://www.oecd.org/statistics/howslife.htm 

90% of GPs think patients would benefit from social prescriptions but only 9% of the public have received them, according to survey results published by Nesta and the Innovation Unit.

http://www.nesta.org.uk/press_releases/assets/features/social_prescriptions_should_be_available_from_gp_surgeries_say_four_in_five_gps

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/05/social-prescribing-fishing-group-doctor-ordered

Hospital admissions have risen by nearly 13% in five years according to figures from the HSIC.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/05/hospital-admissions-england-nhs-up-figures

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3674/41500-patients-admitted-to-hospital-every-day-in-England—up-nearly-13-per-cent-in-five-years 

Quarterly update of Public Health Outcomes Framework indicators published.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-outcomes-framework-quarterly-update-published 

 

4th November 2013

A quarter of doctors registered with the GMC were trained outside of Europe saving the NHS billions of pounds according to a report by Health Poverty Action.

(1st November) http://www.healthpovertyaction.org/news/new-report-health-worker-shortage/ 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/britains-reliance-on-foreign-health-staff-blamed-for-crisis-in-poor-countries-8919980.html 

Any future attempts to reverse increased private sector involvement in health could be prevented, alongside other reforms, as a result of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which allows disputes between corporations and governments to be resolved by panels of corporate lawyers which do not meet in public.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/us-trade-deal-full-frontal-assault-on-democracy 

We are buying fewer calories but less healthy foods and doing less exercise according to two studies of Britain’s food expenditure published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/6922 

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/November/Pages/Recession-may-lead-to-unhealthy-diet.aspx 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24773201 

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/04/british-eating-habits-troubling-trends-surveys 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/04/expenditure-food-nutritional-obesity 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2486892/Couch-potato-lifestyle-means-Britons-obese-Europe.html 

But it is suggested the findings may reflect people under-reporting the food they have eaten: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/05/consumers-fibs-may-explain-diet-paradox

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-briefing-paper-explores-inequalities-in-diet-and-physical-activity 

Those suffering from cancer in well off areas are a third more likely to survive than those in poorer areas according to analysis of NHS figures by Macmillan Cancer Support and the National Cancer Intelligence Network.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10423512/Poor-penalised-in-cancer-survival-gap-study.html 

More people died at home or care homes than in hospital than four years ago, reflecting people’s wish to die at home.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/04/people-dying-place-of-choice 

http://www.endoflifecare-intelligence.org.uk/resources/publications/what_we_know_now_2013

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-report-from-phe-shows-improvements-in-end-of-life-care

Ofsted toughens the rules on inspection of pre-schools, in line with changes already made for schools and colleges.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2486896/Nurseries-face-closure-Ofsted-gets-tough-New-rules-mean-pre-schools-rated-good-outstanding.html 

3rd November 2013

It is reported that the NHS has approached private equity companies about taking over commissioning support units.

http://www.nationalhealthaction.org.uk/dracula-in-charge-of-the-blood-bank/

1.96 million children lived in families where the parents or guardians earned less than the living wage last year, an increase of 8% from 1.82m the previous year, according to research by the Children’s Society.

http://blogs.savethechildren.org.uk/2013/11/nearly-two-million-uk-children-live-in-below-living-wage-households/ 

2nd November 2013

Research has suggested that more poorer women are dying from breast cancer than others, with 450 such deaths a year associated with poverty.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24777347 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/02/breast-cancer-450-poor-women-die-needlessly

Senior A&E doctors warn that a crisis is brewing this year in emergency care, with a rise of 43% in the numbers waiting more than 4 hours compared with two years ago.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/02/winter-hospitals-crisis-nhs-warning

1st November 2013

Fourteen ‘Integration Pioneers’ have been announced, which will pilot collaborative working between health and social care.  The areas will receive support but no additional funding.  The 14 areas are: Barnsley; Cheshire; Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly; Greenwich; Islington; Leeds; Kent; North West London; North Staffordshire; South Devon and Torbay; Southend; South Tyneside; Waltham Forest and East London and City; Worcestershire.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/integration-pioneers-leading-the-way-for-health-and-care-reform–2 

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/11/01/lamb-unveils-the-14-health-and-social-care-integration-pioneers/#.UneXnySYv1t 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning-news/fourteen-areas-gain-integration-pioneer-status/20004910.article 

House of Commons briefing note on the reformed health system in England

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06749/the-reformed-health-service-and-commissioning-arrnagements-in-england

31st October 2013

Labour promises a right to counselling for mental health problems in the NHS constitution.  The Government has not commissioned a 2012-13 national survey of spending on adult mental health and figures for such spending are no longer available.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/31/mental-health-counselling-nhs-burnham 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/mental-health/labour-pledges-to-give-right-to-psychological-therapies-on-nhs/20004911.article 

The NAO says there are too many urgent admissions to hospitals in England, noting that the numbers have been steadily rising and a higher proportion of those attending are being admitted to hospital.  They estimate that a fifth of those admitted could be dealt with outside hospital.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24749434 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/31/hospitals-admit-too-many-through-accident-emergency 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/revealed-how-nhs-targets-make-the-ae-crisis-far-worse-8913933.html 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10416312/Elderly-AandE-crisis-caused-by-doctors-refusal-to-do-weekends.html 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/emergency-admissions/increase-in-emergency-attendances-not-the-major-factor-for-ae-crisis-watchdog-finds/20004907.article http://www.nao.org.uk/press-releases/emergency-admissions-hospital-managing-demand/

Friends and Family test results for September are published.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/31/sept-fft/ 

Blog: four ideas for how social action and co-production could reduce the pressure on A&E: http://rozdavies.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/social-determinants-of-ae-2/

Review of Health and Wellbeing Boards, one year on by the King’s Fund: ‘Side Show or System Leader?’

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-releases/future-health-and-wellbeing-boards-side-show-or-system-leader 

Publication of data on the performance of medical consultants is to be extended to 10 more areas and is to include feedback from patients.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/31/drive-transparency-nhs-treatment-extended

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/31/op-trans/ 

The health risks from fracking are low as long as operations are well run according to PHE, such as ensuring cracks in the well wall do not lead to water contamination.  However the report looked only at the risks of direct emission of chemical and radioactive materials, not issues such as noise, odours, sustainable water use or climate change.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/31/fracking-emissions-low-health-risk-shale-gas 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24761980 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/shale-gas-extraction-emissions-are-a-low-risk-to-public-health 

http://www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/Environment/PHECRCEReportSeries/1310Reviewofthepotentialhealthimpactsshalegas/ 

NHS News: Issue 31

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/31/nhs-news-issue-31/ 

The Quarter: Q4 2012-13 – quarterly NHS performance information.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-quarter-quarter-1-2012-13 

30th October 2013

The 1 million plus NEETs in this country are a ‘public health time bomb waiting to explode’ according to a WHO report.  The health impacts are likely to be felt in 10-20 years time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24744474 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/30/britain-inequality-public-health-timebomb-marmot

Interactive map: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/30/public-health-uk-europe-poverty-neets-marmot

Elderly and disabled people are unhappy with the homecare they receive, with 39% saying the local authority assessment and organisation of care was poor or very poor, with 17% saying it was good or very good, according to a DH and Guardian survey of 1440 people.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/30/homecare-cuts-home-visits-older-disabled-people 

Detailed results: http://static.guim.co.uk/interactivestore/2013/10/29/1383062116529/42722/index4.html

The implementation of ‘Payment by Results’ has been seriously flawed with contracts often not recognising the complexity of the situation and introduced as the ‘political flavour of the month’ rather than as part of a coherent strategy, according to a review for the NCVO.

http://www.ncvo.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/479-payment-by-results-implementation-seriously-flawed-new-report 

http://www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16037:ncvo-report-attacks-crude-implementation-of-payment-by-results-contracts&catid=1:latest-stories 

http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/news/1218639/payment-results-seriously-flawed-report-says/ 

More than half of English CCGs are considering longer GP opening hours, with a quarter actively planning them, according to foi responses from 129 CCGs obtained by Pulse.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning-news/revealed-more-than-half-of-ccgs-considering-plans-for-gp-extended-hours/20004868.article 

Ofsted publishes response to consultation on inspection of children’s services.

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/responses-ofsteds-consultation-inspection-of-services-for-children-need-of-help-and-protection-child 

http://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed95416 

The number of people trying to quite smoking through the NHS by setting a ‘quit date’ has fallen by 11% from 816,000 to 724,000 according to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre.  However smoking rates are at their lowest, at 19.5%.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24744474 

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3670/Fewer-smokers-trying-to-kick-the-habit-with-NHS-help 

Statistics on workplace accidents, deaths and work related illness from the Health and Safety Executive.  There is long term improvement in the figures, with Britain being the third best in Europe, but there are still 13,000 work related deaths each year (many due to previous problems) with an annual social cost of £13.8bn.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/2013/oct/30/occupational-hazards-health-and-safety-death-statistics

The final Remploy factories, providing sheltered employment for disabled, people are closed, with the end of government subsidy.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/30/disabled-jobs-last-remply-factories-shut

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/30/remploy-factories-close-disabled-workers 

Annual reporting of use of the Mental Health Act 2003 from HSCIC.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB12503 

http://www.fabians.org.uk/are-mental-health-services-in-crisis/?utm_source=feedly 

29th October 2013

The Court of Appeal rules that Jeremy Hunt did not have the power to implement cuts at Lewisham Hospital, confirming an earlier judgement.  However amendments being made to the Care Bill will provide those powers in future.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24729477 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/29/lewisham-hospital-jeremy-hunt-unlawful 

Just over half (53%) of children in poor families said their homes were too cold last year, according to a survey of 2,000 10-17 year olds published by The Children’s Society.  The Society is setting up The Children’s Commission on Poverty to explore the issue further.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/29/uk-child-poverty-cold-damp-homes-finances 

http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/news-views/press-release/commission-reveals-huge-number-poor-children-live-cold-damp-homes

Government launches strategy on young people leaving care.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-cross-government-support-strategy-for-care-leavers 

Increasing numbers are using children’s centres with two thirds of disadvantaged families using them, but budgets have been cut in 66% of them, according to a census by 4Children.

http://www.4children.org.uk/News/Detail/One-million-families-using-Childrens-Centres-as-record-numbers-seek-help-in-tough-times 

http://news.sky.com/story/1161198/childrens-centres-warn-of-fewer-services 

(Free subscription) http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/clinical-zones/childrens-nursing/charity-fears-for-future-of-childrens-centres/5064770.article 

Active hobbies such as gardening cut the risk of death among older people by 30% according to a Swedish study of nearly 4,000 sixty year olds over twelve years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2478609/Gardening-DIY-cut-risk-dying-30–Active-hobbies-reduce-chance-heart-attack-stroke.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24710089 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/28/gardening-exercise-cutting-heart-attack-risk-diy-60-plus

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/10October/Pages/Can-DIY-and-gardening-help-you-live-longer.aspx 

Well designed exercise programmes can reduce falls, according to a review by French researchers published in the BMJ and covering 17 studies with a total of 2195 participants.

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/10/29/exercise-programmes-like-tai-chi-could-prevent-falls-and-related-injuries 

The Shape of Training Review recommends that training should equip doctors to provide general care in broad speciality areas across a range of settings in order to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape.

http://www.shapeoftraining.co.uk/1739.asp 

NHS Confederation response: http://www.nhsemployers.org/Aboutus/PressReleases/2013/Pages/response-to-the-shape-of-training-review-final-report.aspx

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10413154/Major-changes-to-doctors-training-proposed.html

Obesity and Social Care: discussion paper from the LGA.

http://www.local.gov.uk/publications/-/journal_content/56/10180/5610298/PUBLICATION 

28th October 2013

Ann Clwyd’s review of the NHS complaints system has reported, with twelve key organisations having pledged to make improvements.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24669382 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/28/nhs-complaints-review-ann-clwyd

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-needs-complaints-handling-revolution 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-hospitals-complaints-system-review

Jeremy Hunt criticises the size of senior NHS manager salaries.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/28/jeremy-hunt-crackdown-excessive-pay-health-bosses 

Nearly three quarters of cancer patients who die in hospital would have preferred to die at home according to estimates by Macmillan Cancer Support which has issued a report with recommendations for improved end of life care including making social care free for everyone in their last few weeks of life.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/28/most-cancer-patients-want-to-die-at-home 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2478089/Most-cancer-patients-died-hospital-wanted-end-lives-comfort-homes.html 

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Aboutus/News/Latest_News/36,000cancerpatientsdeniedtheirlastwishtodieathome.aspx

27th October 2013

The BMA is welcoming full seven days a week access to the NHS in an apparent reversal of their previous position.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/27/doctors-seven-day-nhs-service-plan 

http://bma.org.uk/working-for-change/the-changing-nhs/nhs-culture/seven-day-services 

26th October 2013

Food companies pledge to reduce the proportion of saturated fat in their products as part of the ‘responsibility deal’ but Prof John Ashton, president of the Faculty of Public Health calls it a drop in the ocean and says the approach lacks credibility.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-tonnes-of-saturated-fat-to-be-taken-out-of-the-nations-diet 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24668937 

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/26/saturated-fat-cut-pledge 

25th October 2013

The introduction of PIP (Personal Independence Payments) is being delayed, to be rolled out gradually across the country, as the claiming process is taking longer than expected.  The change from the DLA (Disability Living Allowance) has been widely criticised as being more restrictive (e.g. tightening the distance you can walk from 50m to 20m) and creating more uncertainty. The change was announced in a written statement to Parliament.

(21st October) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131021/wmstext/131021m0001.htm 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/25/personal-independence-payments-postponed 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/government-delays-disability-welfare-payment-changes-8905920.html 

(29th October, Analysis and comment, Polly Toynbee): http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/29/tory-disability-benefits-ideology-idiocy 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

25th October 2013

Spreadsheet organogram of DH senior posts.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dh-organogram-on-1-april-2013

24th October 2013

Simon Stevens is to take over from Sir David Nicholson as Chief Executive of NHS England.  Stevens is a senior executive in US health firm United Healthcare, a former adviser to Labour and sometime NHS manager.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/24/simon-stevens-appoint/ 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24626969 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/blair-adviser-head-nhs-england

A quarter of hospitals in England are at risk of providing poor care according to a CQC review of statistical data, part of a screening process for its inspection programme.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24635887 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/nhs-watchdog-care-safety-hospitals-england

Staff from 74% of hospitals (119 of the 161 acute trusts) have privately raised concerns about patient safety with the CQC.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/patient-safety-under-threat-say-staff-english-nhs-hospitals

http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/news/more-hospital-inspections-announced

A report on ‘Co-ordinated Care for People with Complex Chronic Conditions’ is published by the King’s Fund, drawing the lessons from five UK based programmes.

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/co-ordinated-care-people-complex-chronic-conditions 

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/10/24/gps-must-play-a-stronger-role-in-the-co-ordination-of-patient-care

NHS Direct in England is to be closed down next year.  (The NHS Group in Wales will continue).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24651402 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2474921/NHS-Direct-England-close-patient-services-affected.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/nhs-direct-to-close-in-2014

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/nhs-direct-closure-111

England chief medical officer, Prof Dame Sally Davies, has said in her annual report that all children under five should be offered vitamin supplements.  There are claims that 25% of children are vitamin D deficient which has led to a rise in rickets.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chief-medical-officers-annual-report-2012-our-children-deserve-better-prevention-pays

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24641796 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2474534/Babies-young-children-given-free-vitamins-ward-rickets.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/free-vitamins-chief-medical-rickets-officer

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/10/24/investment-needed-to-tackle-rising-levels-of-child-poverty-and-obesity

Children with long term conditions should have a named GP co-ordinating their care: http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/mental-health/named-gps-should-co-ordinate-care-for-sick-children-says-cmo/20004818.article#.UmpvFyQrf1s 

Failure of the existing scheme to provide vitamins: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/25/childhood-rickets-vitamin-d

The IAPT talking therapies programme is struggling to meet its targets with long waiting times in many areas.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/clinical/therapy-areas/mental-health/iapt-programme-struggling-to-achieve-targets/20004817.article#.UmqALyQrf1s

23rd October 2013

Northern Ireland is the happiest place in the UK, and personal wellbeing generally in the UK improved slightly between 2011-12 and 2012-13 according to new data from the ONS.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/wellbeing/measuring-national-well-being/personal-well-being-across-the-uk–2012-13/sb—personal-well-being-across-the-uk–2012-13.html 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24635183 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/you-live-happiest-place-uk-2486099

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/23/happiness-across-the-uk-interactive-map-ons

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/oct/23/britons-more-happy-wellbeing-anxiety

DCLG analysis: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-differences-in-life-satisfaction-between-local-authority-areas

Deaths from heart disease and strokes halved between 2001 and 2012 but the numbers dying from cancer rose and now outnumber those from circulatory disease according to new data from ONS.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/23/heart-attack-deaths-halve-ons-cancer 

However, another report says that the incidence of strokes is increasing amongst younger people globally and is higher in poorer areas: (24th October) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/world-faces-looming-stroke-epidemic-health-experts-warn-8899862.html

Diagram showing mortality so far in the 21st century: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/24/how-people-died-21st-century 

NICE produces guidance on reducing obesity in children.  It includes recommending children keep a record of the time in front of tv and computer screens as part of becoming more active.  Family support is critical.

http://www.nice.org.uk/newsroom/news/FamiliesNeedSupportToHelpTackleChildObesityTimebomb.jsp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24626969 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2473093/Overweight-children-watch-TV-Health-watchdog-urges-parents-cut-screen-time.html

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/23/obesity-timebomb-warning-parents 

The benefit cap is failing to save money or force unemployed people to get a job according to research in Haringey by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

http://www.cih.org/news-article/display/vpathDCR/templatedata/cih/news-article/data/Benefit_cap_struggling_to_meet_its_aims_CIH_research_shows 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/23/benefit-cap-failing-achieve-aims 

The Government criticises the study but has no evidence of its own: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/23/effect-benefit-cap-work-pensions-welfare-official-figures 

Map showing how the benefit cap restricts where people can afford to live in London: http://www.londonspovertyprofile.org.uk/indicators/topics/receiving-non-work-benefits/national-benefit-caps/ 

The new GP role as named clinician proactively caring for elderly people is likely to be written into new GP contracts next year according to a speech given by Jeremy Hunt.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/finance-and-practice-life-news/hunt-contract-reforms-next-year-will-mean-fundamental-change-to-the-role-of-gps/20004805.article#.UmpTFyQrf1s 

The Government should be doing more to support community budgets, according to a report from the House of Commons Community and Local Government Committee.

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/communities-and-local-government-committee/news/cb-report-substantive/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/local-government-network/2013/oct/23/community-budgets-pilot-government 

Essex Leader says they have not received enough support from Government departments: http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=111420

22nd October 2013

People from overseas cost the NHS between £1.5bn-1.9bn a year, of which £500m could be recovered according to research for the Government.  The Government says it intends to set up a new unit to collect the money owed by foreign governments as well as charging a £200 levy on migrants from outside the European Economic Area staying for between six months and five years.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-report-shows-the-nhs-could-raise-up-to-500-million-from-better-charging-of-overseas-visitors 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24616801 

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/22/temporary-migrants-nhs-cost-study 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/10395533/Jeremy-Hunt-NHS-could-employ-4000-doctors-if-it-charged-foreign-patients.html 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/home-office-government-to-press-on-with-200-migrant-tax-despite-public-opposition-8896765.html 

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/10/22/health-tourism-data-fails-to-back-immigration-bill 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/24/medical-tourism-generates-millions-nhs-health 

‘Reality check’: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2013/oct/22/health-tourists-costing-nhs-2bn 

NHS Confederation response, expressing concern and arguing for a more targeted approach to the issue: http://www.nhsemployers.org/RecruitmentAndRetention/InternationalRecruitment/imigrationrulesnews/Pages/Migrant-access-to-health-services-NHS-Employers%27-response.aspx 

The Refugee Council response says the plans will be counterproductive, costly and increase health inequalities: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/3813_new_government_health_proposals_will_increase_inequalities

Money makes a difference to children’s outcomes according to a review of research which found that children in low income households tend to have poorer outcomes, such as in education and health.  The research was undertaken by the LSE for JRF.

http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/does-money-affect-childrens-outcomes 

HMRC is said to be investigating 120 care companies who may be finding ways round paying the minimum wage.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/22/council-funding-cuts-care-homes-minimum-wage 

NHS England is to approve fewer than the current number of Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) under a new framework agreement, expected to be finalised by 2015.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/commissioning-news/nhs-england-to-approve-ccg-support-units-under-new-proposals/20004803.article 

SCIE with TLAP have launched a guide to co-production.

http://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/News/PersonalisationNewsItem/?cid=9790 

http://www.scie.org.uk/publications/ataglance/ataglance64.asp 

21st October 2013

The Government is accused of a u-turn on 15 minute care visits as a result of its proposals to limit the power of the CQC to review commissioners’ decisions.  The Government’s amendments to the Care Bill would mean that the CQC could only comment on the quality of care not the commissioning that produces it.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/21/u-turn-care-15-minute-visits 

David Behan (CQC CE) says the debate on this isn’t over: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2013/10/21/debate-not-over-on-whether-council-adult-services-should-be-inspected-says-cqc-chief 

(22nd October) Government response: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ending-15-minute-care-department-of-health-response 

The Government has rejected the majority public response on its proposals for mobility support for disabled people. It is sticking to the reduction from 50m to 20m the distance you need to be able to walk to get support under the new PIP (Personal Independence Payment) arrangements.  914 out of 1142 responses disagreed with the government’s position and no organisation’s supported the Government’s proposals.

Blog with detailed explanation: http://janeyoung.me.uk/category/benefits/dla-pip/

The Government’s official response: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-pip-assessment-moving-around-activity 

(22nd October) http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/22/disabled-people-isolated-mobility-payment-crackdown

Schools are to be given a legal duty to support children with long-term health conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy and asthma, the Government has said.  The duty is to be introduced through an amendment to the Children and Families Bill.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24611455 

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/21/teachers-trained-health-emergencies

A number of publicly funded care companies are avoiding tax by paying back loans to parent companies according to research by the Independent.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tax-special-investigation-firms-running-nhs-care-services-avoiding-millions-in-tax-8892925.html 

NHS News: Issue 29

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/21/nhs-news-issue-29/

20th October 2013

Jeremy Hunt says hospitals have to respond to all complaints, after it was found that some were refusing to respond if complaints were taking legal action or even just exploring it.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/20/hospitals-investigate-all-patient-complaints-possible-lawsuit 

(21st October) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2469755/Jeremy-Hunt-NHS-hospitals-told-probe-ALL-complaints.html 

18th October 2013

Doctors says plans for GP surgeries to open 8am to 8pm seven days a week are unachievable because of the extra number of doctors and extra funding required.  A survey finds that currently 15% of surgeries open for at least part of Saturday.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/18/gps-condemn-cameron-surgeries-plan 

Government announces new innovation programme for Children’s Services.

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/oct/18/innovation-programme-childrens-services-edward-timpson 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

18th October 2013

The gap between rich and poor is causing thousands of unnecessary deaths according to NHS Scotland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-24572946 

Bulletin for CCGS: Issue 44

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/18/ccgs-issue-44-181013/ 

17th October 2013

The Competition Commission has intervened in the NHS for the first time, blocking the merger of two Foundation Trusts on the grounds that it would damage patients’ interests by eliminating competition and choice.  The Commission intervened, following a referral from the Office of Fair Trading, on the basis that the Trusts are independent hospitals and can be treated as ‘enterprises’ under European law.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-24559766 

The NHS Confederation says the decision is a body blow for change in the NHS: http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Pages/Responseto.aspx

The King’s Fund response notes that the Government promised that Monitor rather than competition bodies would play the biggest role in health regulation: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/press/press-releases/our-response-competition-commissions-decision-proposed-merger-between

King’s Fund blog on the case: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2013/10/nhs-mergers-learning-lessons-bournemouth-and-poole 

An amendment to the Care Bill would enhance the Government’s powers to authorise the closure of wards and hospitals.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-sneaks-out-hospital-reform-while-england-qualified-for-world-cup-8887474.html 

The working poor are bearing the brunt of the cuts according to the Government’s Commission on Social Mobility chaired by Alan Milburn, and a redistribution from older to younger may be necessary to increase social mobility.

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/social-mobility-and-child-poverty-commission 

(16th October) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10384331/Make-elderly-pay-to-help-the-young-Government-report-to-say.html 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/17/social-mobility-tsar-work-route-poverty 

WHO has classified air pollution as a leading environmental cause of cancer for the first time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24564446 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/17/air-pollution-causes-cancer-world-health-organisation-who 

CQC response to public consultation on how it regulates and inspects care services

http://www.cqc.org.uk/media/clear-public-support-inspection-changes 

The Government is to order a review into 15 minute care visits.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/17/care-review-15-minute-visits 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/care-minister-announces-proposals-to-deal-with-rushed-care-visits

The EU has ruled that food manufacturers can make a health claim if sufficient fructose is used in them, although obesity experts say it can lead to weight gain.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/17/obesity-experts-appalled-eu-fructose-health-claim-approval 

Rumination, or dwelling on negative thoughts is an even bigger contributor to stress and mental ill health than previously thought, according to a study by the BBC and Liverpool University based on a study of over 32,000 people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24444431 

http://news.liv.ac.uk/2013/10/17/dwelling-on-negative-events-biggest-cause-of-stress/ 

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0076564 

NICE provides guidance on treating obesity and suggests health staff should use non-blaming language.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24563374 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2463073/Dont-nasty-fat-people-NICE-tells-doctors-respect-obese-patients.html 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/16/dont-blame-patients-overweight-doctors-told 

http://www.nice.org.uk/newsroom/pressreleases/NewDraftGuidanceLifestyleWeightManagementServices.jsp 

Nuffield Trust publication: ‘Managing financial difficulties in health economies: lessons for Clinical Commissioning Groups’.  Looks at why, in the past, some areas have been able to balance the books while others haven’t.

http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/managing-financial-difficulties-health-economies-lessons-clinical-commissioning-groups 

16th October 2013

There has been a reduction in mental health beds of 9% or 1,711 bed closures, according to information from foi requests obtained from 46 of the 58 mental health trusts in England, by BBC News and Community Care Magazine.  The Care Minister, Norman Lamb said the situation was unacceptable and must improve.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24537304 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/16/warning-crisis-nhs-mental-health 

The Trussell Trust reports a tripling of food bank use in a year and has called on the Government to set up an official enquiry into the causes of food poverty.  The charity said that the increase was driven by benefit delays, welfare reform and low pay.  Oxfam has started to invest money in the Trussell Trust food banks.  The DWP said there was no robust evidence that welfare reforms are linked to the increase use of food banks.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/16/charity-inquiry-food-bank-use-triples 

The Fabian Society’s ‘2030 Vision’ report makes recommendations for public spending for the Government elected in 2015 and makes proposals for accountability and better decision making on public spending.

http://www.fabians.org.uk/2030-vision/

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/15/labour-public-spending-election-fabian-society-commission 

An evaluation of the Welsh Government’s ‘Flying Start’ programme, which helps children in the most deprived areas of the country, shows a positive response from parents.

http://wales.gov.uk/newsroom/childrenandyoungpeople/2013/131016-flying-start-evaluation-report/?lang=en 

The number of complaints against doctors doubled in five years and increased by 24% between 2011 and 2012 according to figures from the GMC.  The 8,100 complaints in 2012 was still small compared to the number of doctors, 250,000.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2462125/Number-complaints-doctors-doubles-2007.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24534273 

Patients unsure how to raise concerns about poor medical care: http://www.gmc-uk.org/news/23464.asp

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/regulation/break-down-in-patient-communication-behind-a-third-of-allegations-about-gps-show-gmc-figures/20004751.article

NHS England and HSCIC are launching a £2m public information campaign about care.data, a programme to make medical records more widely available to improve care.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/10October/Pages/Awareness-campaign-about-care-data-launched.aspx 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/nhs-england-bows-to-confidentiality-concerns-and-launches-2m-national-publicity-campaign-on-caredata/20004748.article

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/16/care-data/

Dementia self-assessment framework is published by DH.  Created by nurses and care staff, it allows comparisons to be made between current care and best practice criteria.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-self-assessment-framework 

NHS News: Issue 28

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/16/nhs-news-issue-28/ 

15th October 2013

A new health funding formula is likely to increase the resources difference between north and south according to researchers from Durham University.  The formula reduces the weight given to health inequalities in favour of age as a factor.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10381229/North-south-health-gap-set-to-widen.html 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/ccgs/new-ccg-funding-formula-will-exacerbate-north-south-divide/20004769.article

The new approach to care home monitoring has been described by Andrea Sutcliffe the new Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care.  It includes involving ordinary people with experience of the care sector to help in inspections, and the possible use of hidden cameras.

http://www.cqc.org.uk/public/news/new-approach-inspecting-social-care-services 

(14th October) http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/14/care-home-inspection-reforms 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/15/hidden-cameras-care-homes 

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/oct/15/cqc-andrea-sutcliffe-adult-social-care 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24523895

A Government review of regulation of adult social care found examples of duplication between the CQC and the local authority commissioners of care.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adult-care-homes-sector-focus-on-enforcement-review 

20 out of 152 councils have unacceptably poor child protection according to Ofsted in its first standalone social care annual report.  Strong and sustained leadership is needed to bring about improvement, it says.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/15/child-protection-inadequate-ofsted-report 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/15/birmingham-child-protection-failures-ofsted-wilshaw 

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/news/first-social-care-report-puts-spotlight-leadership-0

The Labour Peer, Lord Lipsey, has accused the Government of a u-turn on funding old age care, as only people with assets of less than £23k would not have to pay towards their care.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24534931 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24534268

The key facts: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/15/social-care-elderly-questions-answered-sell-homes 

The Prime Minister says there may be some flexibility in the £23k figure, which is just a starting point for consultation: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/15/downing-street-agrees-review-elderly

NHS England would consider lettering CCGs commission primary care if conflicts of interest could be overcome, according to the Chair of NHSE.

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/commissioning/commissioning-topics/ccgs/nhs-england-chair-hints-at-ccgs-commissioning-primary-care/20004752.article 

The £50m innovations commissioning fund designed to progress treatments for rare diseases has been withdrawn by NHS England, having been announced only two months ago.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24533624 

Air pollution is associated with lower birth weight according to a European study.  Lower birth weight tends to lead to worse health.  The study controlled for other factors which an influence birth weight.

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/10October/Pages/Air-pollution-associated-with-low-birth-weight.aspx

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/15/study-air-pollution-traffic-low-birthweight 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2460092/Air-pollution-danger-unborn-baby.html 

And up to 96% of Europe’s urban population is exposed to fine particulate matter in concentrations above WHO guidelines, according to the European Environment Agency.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24493530 

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/15/european-cities-dangerous-air-pollution

Guidance on roles, responsibilities and appointments of Directors of Public Health.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/directors-of-public-health-role-in-local-authorities 

An interactive map of PROMs (Patient Reported Outcome Measures) scores is published by HSIC, showing how patients valued the outcomes from 4 common surgeries from different providers.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3642/Patient-survey-highlights-variation-in-benefit-from-common-NHS-operations 

Report on health inequalities of those in contact with the criminal justice system by the ‘Revolving Door Agency’.

http://www.revolving-doors.org.uk/news–blog/news/balancingact/ 

14th October 2013

A third of hospital trusts are recruiting nurses from abroad because of an increasing shortage of nurses, according to foi requests from 105 trusts by the Nursing Times.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/14/health-trusts-nurse-shortfalls-recruit-abroad 

LGA Publication: ‘Changing Behaviours in Public Health – to nudge or to shove’

http://www.local.gov.uk/publications/-/journal_content/56/10180/5557157/PUBLICATION 

13th October 2013

37% of young people with cancer are diagnosed following a visit to A&E compared with 13% for adults according to research from the teenage cancer trust.

http://www.teenagecancertrust.org/who-we-are/media-centre/press-releases/young-cancer-patients-three-times-more-likely-to-b/ 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/24516747 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

11th October 2013

An enquiry into doctors’ 48 hour a week limit arising from the European Working Time Directive has been ordered by Jeremy Hunt.  The Enquiry by senior doctors and NHS leaders is to be chaired by Prof Norman Williams, a critic of the directive.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/11/doctors-hours-jeremy-hunt-inquiry 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/royal-college-of-surgeons-chair-taskforce-to-review-implementation-of-eu-working-time-directive-in-the-nhs 

Sir David Nicholson has written to commissioners setting out some of the challenges facing the NHS.

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/11/dav-nich-lett/ 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/11/hospitals-lose-2bn-budgets-2015 

Suggestions that the Government might cut financial support for energy efficiency in poor households have been criticised by the chair of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/oct/11/osborne-plan-cut-energy-company-obligation 

Vince Cable says removing green taxes would be ‘short sighted and foolish’.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/10371738/Green-taxes-which-push-up-energy-bills-will-not-be-scrapped-says-Vince-Cable.html 

Smoking is even worse for you than previously thought according to an Australian study with two thirds of deaths associated with it rather than the half estimated by previous studies.  It is estimated to reduce life expectancy by 10 years.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/11/smoking-deadlier-than-thought-study 

10th October 2013

There have been improvements in cancer treatment but more needs to be done according to the fourth annual national peer review report on Cancer Services 2012/13.

http://www.nhsiq.nhs.uk/news-events/news/national-peer-review-report-201213.aspx 

Monitor says new ways are needed to meet the NHS funding gap, including learning from abroad.  A new report, ‘Closing the NHS Funding Gap: how to get better value health care for patients’ says that existing methods will not generate the £30bn savings needed by 2021.

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/home/news-events-publications/latest-press-releases/monitor-sets-out-how-secure-the-future-the-nhs 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24464934

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/10/buy-services-abroad-regulator-nhs 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/regulation/longer-gp-opening-hours-needed-to-boost-productivity-says-monitor/20004689.article

An enquiry into how to have more employee participation and control in the NHS is to be led by Chris Ham of the King’s Foundation and will include Julian le Grand and Andrew Foster.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/10/inquiry-nhs-mutuals 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-of-nhs-staff-engagement-launched

Satisfaction with the NHS remains high according to an ongoing survey by Ipsos-MORI for DH conducted last December but just published, with 77% agreeing that their local health service provides a good service, but 66% saying the NHS provides a good service nationally.  Only 27% agreed that the Government has the right policies for the NHS [not one of the details picked out in the Government press release].

http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/publications/1610/Public-Perceptions-of-the-NHS-and-Social-Care-Survey.aspx 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-public-perceptions-of-the-nhs-and-social-care

Treatment of hip fractures has generally improved, but the proportion of readmissions within 28 days has increased by 41% in nine years and more needs to be done to reduce hip fractures, according to a report by the Nuffield Trust.

http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/focus-hip-fracture

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10368146/Numbers-readmitted-to-hospital-after-being-sent-home-soars-new-figures-show.html 

The first annual QualityWatch report from the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation: http://www.qualitywatch.org.uk/annual-statement/2013

The Government is to provide £500k funding for online mental health support for young people.  The grant is to MindFull, a children’s charity providing online advice, support and counselling to 11-17 year olds.  The grant will be used to expand the service to 18-25 year olds, improve the website and train thousands of new young peer mentors.  (The press release doesn’t say what period this covers).

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-funds-new-mental-health-service-for-children-and-young-people

The number of university students seeking counselling has increased by 33% in four years according to information from 114 universities provided to ‘Help Me’.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/oct/10/university-students-seeking-counselling-mental-health-uk 

The ‘responsibility deal’ for mental health has been expanded to include a pledge to promote wellbeing and resilience and to challenge stigma and discrimination.  Companies can sign up to the pledge committing to at least one of five statements, two of which are promoting wellbeing and tackling stigma.  56 employers are listed on the website as having signed up, including 28 public bodies.

https://responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/revised-mental-health-pledge/ 

https://responsibilitydeal.dh.gov.uk/pledges/pledge/?pl=24 

The number of people in Wales waiting more than 36 weeks for care has risen by more than 2,000 in a month, to 13,000 people.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24479453 

9th October 2013

Aircraft noise is associated with higher risks of stroke and heart disease according to research from Imperial College and King’s College London published in the BMJ.  What causes the association is not known but could be linked to stress or disturbed sleep.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24432162 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2450631/Living-near-airport-shorten-life.html

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/08/aircraft-noise-pollution-heart-disease-stroke

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/10October/Pages/aircraft-noise-linked-with-stroke-and-heart-problems.aspx 

Patients and care users should become ‘savvy consumers’ and stand up for their rights, according to Healthwatch England’s (HWE) first annual report to Parliament.  A poll of 2,000 people found that a fifth of people had had poor service but only 54% (of that fifth) complained.  HWE set out a list of eight rights.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24442895 

http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/rights 

Public Health England consults on draft knowledge strategy

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/knowledge-strategy-harnessing-the-power-of-information-to-improve-the-publics-health 

The percentage of patients free of four key harms rose from 91.7% in September 2012 to 93.1% a year later according to the NHS Safety Thermometer Report September 2012 – September 2013, published by HSCIC.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/searchcatalogue?productid=12520&q=title:%22nhs+safety+thermometer+report%22&sort=Relevance&size=10&page=1#top 

National evaluation of dementia peer support networks and dementia advisers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/peer-support-networks-and-dementia-advisers-evaluation 

18 local authorities are to receive £6.9m from the Transformation Challenge Award

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/can-do-councils-leading-transformation-of-local-government 

8th October 2013

94% of A&E doctors said they were working excessive hours, with six in ten saying their jobs were unsustainable in a survey of 1,000 UK consultants by the College of Emergency Medicine.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24432072 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/08/emergency-departments-face-staff-crisis 

http://secure.collemergencymed.ac.uk/Shop-Floor/Professional%20Standards/Consultant%20Working%20and%20Job%20Planning/Stretched%20to%20the%20limit/ 

NHS Confederation response: http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/employers-confed-comment-college-emergency-medicine-report-emergency-care.aspx 

Cuts to social care funding are putting the human rights of older people at risk, as decent basic care cannot be afforded, according to a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.  Budgets are under pressure as a result of Government cuts to councils.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/08/care-budget-cuts-put-older-peoples-rights-at-risk 

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2013/october/home-care-commissioning-practices-by-local-authorities-must-protect-older-people-s-human-rights-say/ 

The European Parliament has taken the first steps towards tightening anti-tobacco laws, in passing the first reading of a draft tobacco directive.  The directive would increase the size of health warnings on packs to 65% of each cigarette pack (currently 30% on one side and 40% on the other), would ban the sales of packs of 10 cigarettes and would ban the use of descriptions such as ‘mild’ or ‘low tar’.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24439474 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24441618 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/08/eu-ban-menthol-cigarettes-health-warnings 

Poor children’s life chances are determined in primary school according to a report from Save the Children.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/oct/08/poor-children-chances-primary-school-report?CMP=twt_fd 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24434515 

Interesting video on inequality showing how most people think wealth is distributed much more evenly than it actually is (3 mins).

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2013/oct/08/inequality-how-wealth-distributed-uk-animated-video 

And in the week of mental health day, the Sun’s contribution is headlined: ‘1,200 killed by mental health patients’.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/5183994/1200-killed-by-mental-patients-in-shock-10-year-toll.html 

For the truth behind the figures see:

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2013/10October/Pages/Does-mental-illness-make-you-more-likely-to-kill.aspx 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/reality-check/2013/oct/07/sun-people-killed-mental-health-true 

7th October 2013

Two thirds of councils are commissioning 15 minute social care visits according to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation, based on foi requests.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/have-a-drink-or-visit-the-toilet-flying-15minute-care-visits-are-a-disgrace-says-charity-8862787.html 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24424785

http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=29356

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/07/15-minute-care-visits-too-short-charity

ADASS President Sandie Keene calls the report misleading: http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/10/07/15-minute-care-visits-can-be-fully-justified-and-fully-adequate 

All the reshuffle changes, from the Coalition and Labour

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/07/coalition-government-reshuffle-the-full-list 

Spending on children’s services is to fall by 2.73% before inflation next year with the biggest fall in children’s centres and early years, which are to fall by 14.8%.

http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1119015/councils-predict-sharp-fall-spending 

Early childhood experiences, including abuse or warm, loving relationships, can have a lifelong impact on health according to research by UCLA published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2443937/How-parents-break-heart-Children-starved-warmth-affection-suffer-lifelong-health-problems.html 

The Welsh health minister has said the NHS should not be there to ‘pick up the pieces’ of people’s lifestyle choices.  He backed a Health Board which makes people with a BMI of more than 40 go on a health course before being added to the waiting list for elective surgery.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-24421275 

Scotland has become the first country in Europe to prescribe a drug to reduce the craving for alcohol.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24438142 

A useful summary of health policy issues following the conference season, including: GP opening hours; hospital inspection; integration; the Care Bill; finance and funding; dementia; and A&E capacity.

http://www.mhpc.com/health/after-the-party-health-policy-post-conference-season/

NHS News: Issue 26

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/07/nhs-news-issue-26/

NHS News: Issue 27

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/07/nhs-news-issue-27/

6th October 2013

Average consumption of alcohol fell by 3.3% last year according to statistics from the British Beer and Pub Association

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/06/uk-loses-taste-for-alcohol 

Andy Burnham has instructed lawyers to write to Jeremy Hunt, seeking an apology for accusations that he attempted to cover up NHS failings when Health Secretary.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24420739

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/06/labour-jeremy-hunt-legal-action-nhs 

(7th October) Hunt retracts cover up claims but maintains the attack: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/07/jeremy-hunt-claims-against-andy-burnham 

There is a financial case for bridging the gap between mental and physical health according to a report from the Centre for Mental Health.

http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/news/2013_bridging%20the%20gap.aspx 

4th October 2013

Jeremy Hunt urges two pay review bodies to cancel a planned 1% pay increase in the NHS next year and to scrap annual increments.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/04/jeremy-hunt-nhs-pay-rise-cancelled

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24408681

House of Lords briefing paper on parity of esteem between physical and mental health.

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/LLN-2013-024/debate-on-10-october-parity-of-esteem-for-mental-and-physical-health 

[Weekly update sent out ————————————————————–]

4th October 2013

The number of A&E units failing to meet the 4 hour target has nearly tripled from 14 to 29 in the last year.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/04/nhs-a-and-e-units-targets 

Walking can cut the risk of breast cancer for post-menopausal women, with those walking 7 hours a week having a 14% lower risk compared with those walking three hours or less, according to a study by the American Cancer Society following 73,000 women aged 50-74, over 17 years, with questionnaires on their health and activities completed every two years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24381469 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/04/walking-reduces-breast-cancer-risk-us-study 

3rd October 2013

Hospitals are expected to face a cut of £500m next year on top of the £1bn already expected, according to the Foundation Trust Network, which represents all 160 hospital trusts in England, after Monitor announced a 4% reduction in payment for operations.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/03/nhs-cuts-frontline-services-hospitals 

NHS Confederation response: http://www.nhsconfed.org/PressReleases/Archive/2013/Pages/confed-responds-monitor-2014015-national-tariff-consulation.aspx 

http://www.monitor.gov.uk/home/news-events-publications/latest-press-releases/monitor-and-nhs-england-consult-new-rules-the-2014/15-nhs-payment-system 

Funding for GPs has fallen by 7% per patient or £400m in real terms over the last three years according to an analysis by the Royal College of GPs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24362902 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/03/doctors-accuse-coalition-spending-cut-surgeries 

http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/your-practice/practice-topics/practice-income/general-practice-faces-catastrophe-after-7-drop-in-funds-since-2010-rcgp-warns/20004602.article 

The proportion of people who have volunteered in the last three months has increased from 21% in January to 26% now, taking it to the highest level in ten years, according to a survey of 1,000 people by the nfpSynergy consultancy.

http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/Volunteering/article/1214677/proportion-young-people-volunteer-doubled-10-years-survey-finds/ 

A CQC official has been cleared of a cover up over an internal report on the CQC’s investigation of a Cumbrian hospital.  Anna Jefferson, media manager was cleared in an internal inquiry.  The other two people named by the CQC (on 20th June), Cynthia Bower and Jill Finney, no longer work for the CQC so were not subject to an internal investigation.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24390570 

The Irish Health Minister has published a plan to reduce the number of smokers to less than 5% by 2025, with 60 recommendations.  The Irish Republic was the first state to ban smoking in the workplace in 2004.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24386229 

Bulletin for CCGs: Issue 43

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/10/03/ccgbulletin-43-031013/ 

2nd October 2013

‘Building the House of Care’, which proposes a co-ordinated and patient centred service delivery model for people with long-term conditions, is published by the King’s Fund

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/delivering-better-services-people-long-term-conditions 

http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2013/10/supporting-people-long-term-conditions-what-house-care 

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2013/oct/02/promoting-integrated-person-centred-care

A briefing on the Care Bill from Carers UK.

http://www.carersuk.org/professionals/resources/briefings/item/3283-carers-uk-analysis-of-main-provisions-for-carers

1st October 2013

Access to GPs from 8am-8pm, seven days a week is promised by the Prime Minister.  A £50m fund will be open to competitive bids, with more detail on this in December and the ‘pioneers’ to start in April 2014.  The press release says the new services will be available to ‘hard working people’.  It does not specify whether it will be available to others (maybe pensioners) who do not work hard.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24339484 

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/gp-surgeries-to-bid-for-funding-to-open-from-8am-to-8pm–seven-days-a-week-8849349.html 

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/01/gp-surgeries-open-seven-days-a-week 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/seven-day-8am-8pm-gp-access-for-hard-working-people 

The CQC is to be made independent of ministerial control, Jeremy Hunt has announced, with the Secretary of State no longer able to decide what should be inspected or how.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/01/nhs-care-regulator-independent-ministers 

The Friends and Families Test is to be extended across the NHS and to other public services including further education and Jobcentre Plus.  It is to be extended to all NHS services, including mental health, community nursing and outpatient appointments by April 2015.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/friends-and-family-test-extended-across-public-services 

http://www.publicfinance.co.uk/news/2013/10/maude-friends-and-family-test-extended-to-education-and-welfare/ 

22,000 children and teenagers were treated in hospital for self-harming last year, an increase of 11% for those aged 10-19 and a 30% increase for those aged 10-14.  More teenage girls are treated for self-harm and more boys for assault according to the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/3579/Hospital-statistics-on-teenagers-girls-predominate-in-self-harm-cases-boys-in-assaults 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10348593/Toxic-childhoods-blamed-for-22000-self-harm-cases.html 

78% of people taking out payday loans did so to buy food according to a survey by Christians Against Poverty.

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2013/oct/01/payday-loans-feed-families-report 

(Link to pdf) https://capuk.org/downloads/press/paydaylendingPDF.pdf 

The Prime Minister’s preferred choice to be the next head of the NHS is said to be Simon Stevens, a former health advisor to Tony Blair who subsequently worked for UnitedHealth, a US not-for-profit healthcare provider.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/01/cameron-wants-simon-stevens-nhs-ceo 

(2nd October) Background on the job and appointment process: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/02/top-job-nhs-replace-david-nicholson 

Early literacy support can close the gap caused by poverty and has lasting effects according to a report from the Institute of Education.

http://readingrecovery.ioe.ac.uk/news/1437.html 

Sweden is the best country to grow old, according to a UN supported study, with the UK ranked 13th.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-24346962 

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/oct/01/grow-old-best-country-world-global-agewatch 

Interactive map: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/interactive/2013/oct/01/best-and-worst-places-to-be-old-interactive-map 

‘Stoptober’, the NHS’s month long campaign to persuade people to stop smoking, has started.

https://stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk/ 

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/lung-cancer-rates-rising-amongst-women-yet-falling-in-men 

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