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2012 Q4 October-December

Health and Wellbeing Policy Updates

2012 – October-December

31st December 2012

An 18% fall in the number of district nurses between May and August 2012, has coincided with a larger number of elderly people being kept in hospital unnecessarily. 

29th December 2012

Medical sciences news highlights of 2012 [your chance to catch up] 

27th December 2012

Children who attend AE or have an out of hours GP consultation are to be recorded on a national database, Health minister Dan Poulter has said.  A flag will appear on the record if the child is subject to a protection plan or they are being looked after by the local authority. 

24th December 2012

Further draft guidance on the quality premium which is likely to be worth up to £30,000 per average practice. 

An unscientific, but nevertheless interesting, survey of a week’s health news, from NHS choices: 

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

21st December 2012

Agreement has been reached on transfer of pension arrangements for public health staff moving to local government.  Transferring staff can remain in the NHS pension scheme and there are varying arrangements for staff changing jobs after that. 

A code of conduct has been agree for Public Health England staff (4 pages) 

The NHSCB has published further documents to support ‘Everyone Counts: planning for patients in 2013/13’, published earlier in the week 

The NHSCB announces the development of ‘Operational Development Networks’ to complement the new Strategic Clinical Networks 

20th December 2012

The Health Survey for England is published, including key data on obesity. 

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council is to continue under that name, after concerns about the proposed change to the ‘Personal, Fair and Diverse Council’ 

The Department of Health has published its digital strategy.  (All departments are publishing a digital strategy in December) 

‘The Quarter’: summary of the NHS financial position and performance for July to September against the priorities in the NHS Operating Framework. 

‘The Week’: issue 278 

19th December 2012

Local Government financial settlement.  Pickles calls it a ‘bargain’.  Says freezing council tax is power to the people.  Public health budget to be announced ‘in due course’ (in case you’d forgotten, local authorities take over responsibility from 1st April, so not long to prepare): apparently the delay is so they can agree a settlement of more than one year.

Hilary Benn says the settlement will hit the poorest areas hardest. 

Councils have spending power cut by 1.7% next year: 

Pickles’ cuts will lead to skeleton councils: 

Local authorities face the ‘jaws of doom’: 

50 tips to save money, a joke: 

More cuts in store (Community Care): 

Telegraph: it is a sign of how bloated councils had become that they could cut 230,000 jobs without hitting front-line services:

Some Twitter reaction:

Tom Stannard: incredible polemical list from CLG of the 50 savings tips today. What do they think we have been doing for the last few years?!

@timjhughes Pickles’ ’50 ways to save’ for loc govt would be Christmas cracker joke if funding gap  was not so serious.

DavidJBuck: #DCLG ideas for LAs to save money no.45 “end lifestyle questionnaires”. Just as given #publichealth role!  #bonkers

HenryBTam: Central Govt cuts #LocalGov funding & won’t allow local govt to raise its own funds: Pickles picks up Orwell prize for ‘#Localism’

Chief Exec of #Doncaster Council Jo Miller says they’ll have 40% less “resource” in real terms by 2016

JimNNoakes: This DCLG “50 ways” doc has more than a whiff of Partridge about it. I half expect “Put on Monkey Tennis in leisure centres” #localgov

RichardatKF: no more ‘glitzy award ceremonies’ or leadership courses for local govt says @dclg guide to saving money – incredible

WoodClaudia: CLG 50 tips has odd idea of life in LAs: it’s all CommonPurpose training & award ceremonies apparently. But we can fix it with a pop up shop

Grant allocations for adults’ personal social services 

Further details are available of the £859m previously agreed to be transferred from the NHS to local authorities to support adult social care services where there is also a health benefit. Includes the amount each authority will receive. 

18th December 2012

The NHSCB is to drop poverty as the measure for determining health spending levels round the country and have a flat rate increase for CCGs instead. 

Up to 3,000 of the most damaged and difficult-to-place children in care are being failed by those who should be helping them, according to a report by the probation inspectorate, Ofsted and Estyn. 

The outputs from last month’s NHS Commissioning Assembly are now available.  (The Assembly is ‘the community of leaders for NHS Commissioning’.  The launch event was attended by over 200 commissioning leaders). 

Bulletin for proposed CCGs, Issue 25. (Web page only.  20 items including on CCG outcomes indicator set, CCG outcomes benchmarking packs and quality premium). 

Consultation on the health and social care ratings review which the Nuffield Trust has been commissioned to undertake by the Secretary of State for Health. 

Consultation by Monitor on its enforcement of conditions in the provider licences of providers of NHS health care services 

17th December 2012

NHSCB publishes ‘Everyone counts: planning for patients 2013/14’, outlining “the incentives and levers that will be used to improve services from April 2013.”  They say: “The guidance covers a clear set of outcomes against which to measure improvements and outlines five offers: moves toward seven-day a week working for routine NHS services; greater transparency and choice for patients; more patient participation; better data to support the drive to improve services: and higher standards and safer care.”  They also publish financial allocations to the NHSCB and CCGs – £63.4bn to the latter, a 2.3% increase on 2012-13 baselines. 

NHS Confederation response: 

King’s Fund response – commissioners may find the guidance challenging in a time of unprecedented financial constraint.  Concern that the measures like the friends and family test are being used to pay for performance.’s-everyone-counts 

NHS to publish surgeons’ survival rates: 

DH publishes proposed additions to Healthwatch regulations.  They are proposing that: (1) the duty to respond to reports and recommendations should include children’s social care, it should include providers as well as commissioners and the response time should be 20 days (standard) and 30 days (complex), (2) enter and view should not include children’s social care, and (3) there should be no duty on service providers to respond to information requests from Healthwatch. 

Healthwatch regulations laid in Parliament 

People are living longer with no sign of an ‘upper limit’ 

Guide to the Social Value Act which comes into force in January 2013

Private provider, Harmoni’s out of hours GP service is facing allegations from senior doctors that its service in London is so short staffed, it is putting patients at risk. 

!6th December 2012

Hospitals to offer more weekend operations (anticipating the next day’s NHSCB ‘Everyone Counts’ report 

Parents looking after grown up disabled offspring will be subject to the £500 a week benefit cap, the Government has now confirmed. (The cap is to be delayed until next summer and is to be trialled in four London boroughs first). 

14th December 2012

NHS Confederation response to Government’s red tape challenge for the health service 

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

14th December 2012

Almost 70% of the providers of services approved under ‘Any Qualified Provider’ are from the independent or third sector.  

DH response to consultation on local authority health scrutiny. 

Too many people are not getting enough vitamin D, with up to 25% of children deficient, and it should be added to food, according to doctors 

More directors appointed to Public Health England 

NHS appointments are more likely to be missed at the start of the week 

Map of health from ONS—health/index.html 

13th December 2012

NAO report on progress in achieving NHS savings. 

King’s Fund response: 

NHS Confed response: 

The NAO says it can only verify £3.4bn of the £5.8bn savings claimed by the government:

Over half of NHS trusts are rationing treatments: 

Results of a major research study on changes in health since 1970: 

Interactive graph: 

Aged standardised death rates round the world 6736%2812%2961728-0/abstract

Ben Goldace tweet: “Testament to scale of epidemiologic transition: biggest contributors to disease now booze, cigs, inactivity, diet, BP

Changes in leading causes and risks: 

NHS Confederation calls on all parts of the system to help deal with financial problems so that Monitor’s failure regime is just a last resort. 

Government’s response to its consultation on proposals for greater patient involvement and choice. 

People with mental health problems are to be given more choice over their care. 

Nutrition falls as food prices rise: 

Health inequalities in Scotland are still substantial with strategies to tackle it having had little impact, according to Audit Scotland 

The culture of worklessness and lots of families with 3 generations without jobs are myths.  JRF blog. 

Demos blog: strivers and scroungers: 

David Prior is to be the new chair of the CQC 

Pickles attacks LGA’s prediction of funding causing a crisis in local government services, saying that cuts to council services have been “modest” and that quoting from the LGA was “like quoting from a Labour Party press release.” 

‘The Week’: issue 277. 

‘The Month’: Issue 61. (Summary of health news from the last month, 12pp). 

12th December 2012

Consultation on specialised  services, from NHSCB, lasting for 6 weeks.  It seeks views on 120 draft service specifications and 43 underpinning clinical commissioning policies. 

Little progress has been made in reducing obesity in primary school age children, with the proportion of year six pupils overweight or obese having risen from 33.4% to 33.9%. 

A new report on Health and Wellbeing Boards has been published by the Smith Institute (121 pages, different chapters by different authors). 

11th December 2012

Second annual report, Improving Outcomes: a strategy for cancer is published. 

Consultation on a narrative for integrated care – person-centred and co-ordinated – produced by National Voices for the NHSCB (in the form of a 23 slide Powerpoint presentation).  Responses requested by 28th February 2013). 

New report from WRVS explores loneliness amongst older people 

10th December 2012

Government publishes summary of responses to the draft Care and Support Bill 

The first wave of 34 CCGs have been authorised: 8 of them unconditionally, the rest need to continue to develop to meet all the conditions. 

Two thirds of councils have cut or frozen preventative or low level care for the elderly according to a survey by ComRes for the British Red Cross. 

‘Which’ has criticised the Government’s Responsibility Deal under which firms take action voluntarily to improve diet, saying more needs to be done 

Clinical networks overseeing NHS cancer, heart and stroke care, have had their budgets and staff cut 

Government publishes final report on Winterbourne View Hospital 

Letter outlining the NHS and Local Government response to the review:

The DNA of 100,000 people is to be mapped, with the Government committing £100m towards the project.  The aim is to help understanding and treatment of diseases such as cancer. 

The feeling of loneliness, as opposed to actually being solitary, could increase the chances of dementia, according to the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly tracking the health and wellbeing of more than 2,000 patients:–lots-friends.html 

‘Creating Change: innovation, health and wealth one year one’ – update of the NHS Chief Executive’s report, published last December (12 pp) 

DH: ‘Social Care Bulletin’. (See list of headings on this page: can’t download the whole thing as a pdf). 

9th December 2012

Blog on why the Chancellor’s argument that uprating benefits by inflation is unfair to those in work misses the bigger point (that unemployment benefit has been falling compared to employed income over the long term, because earnings have risen faster than inflation). 

And why the cut is arbitrary: 

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

7th December 2012

A summary of responses to the consultation on the draft Care and Support Bill has been published: 

Public Health England has announced the appointment of Centre Directors in six areas. 

The BMA describes the reorganisation of public health an ‘omnishambles’ 

The Government has proposed changes to the GP contract which will now be subject to further consultation.  They say the changes will mean GPs are rewarded for earlier diagnosis and better care of dementia patients and improving the lives of patients with long term conditions: 

Productivity growth in publicly funded healthcare between 1995-2010 is now estimated at 0.4% per year (compared to the previous estimate of 0.2% up to 1999 because of a changed methodology).  The report says: “for most of the 15 year period since 1995, productivity has remained broadly constant.”–healthcare/2010/art-healthcare.html 

Group interaction amongst the elderly contributes significantly to their health and wellbeing, according to research: 

18,000 non-NHS doctors could be struck off for not engaging with the revalidation process.  Almost half have an overseas address and over a quarter are over 65. 

6th December 2012

People are waiting longer in A&E: 

NHS Confed response: 

The Cabinet Office and DCLG need to work better together and more needs to be done to encourage public services delivered by co-ops and mutuals according to the Communities Select Committee.  Progress on setting up mutuals has been more limited than would have been expected. 

Age UK joins the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research in pulling out of the Government’s mandatory work scheme for sick and disabled people.

The Government is piloting an electronic cancer decision support tool, to help GPs spot signs of cancer earlier.  The pilot will run for 6 months from March 2013. 

A ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign is being run in January 2013 to help people spot the symptoms of cancer earlier. 

Report on planning for the future number of doctors and dentists required indicates how many need to be trained now. 

‘The Week’: issue 276 

5th December 2012

NHS Confederation response to the autumn statement 

Distribution of impact of the this Government’s policies on different income groups to date, with the Autumn Statement now added, has been published by the Treasury: 

The ONS has upheld a complaint about the Government’s claim that the NHS budget had increased in real terms in the last two years. 

Economic downturn could affect life expectancy 

Patients in hospital should be reviewed by a consultant at least every 24 hours, including weekends, unless there are good reasons not to, according to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (which brings together 20 colleges and faculties) 

Healthwatch England has appointed Dr Katherine Rake as Director. 

4th December 2012

‘Compassion in Practice’, a three year strategy for nursing is launched, based on the values of: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. 

The NHSCB will have to include a contractual ‘duty of candour’ in all contracts after April 2013, following government regulation.  This is expected to be one of the recommendations of the Francis report on mid-Staffordshire. 

Some CCGs have gagging clauses preventing GPs speaking about the CCG without written permission 

3rd December 2012

Report on the funding challenges facing the NHS from the Nuffield Trust. ‘A Decade of Austerity?’

Dr Foster Hospital Guide: 

Hospitals full to bursting: 

High hospital bed occupancy a threat to safe care: 

Dr Foster report shows that lack of integration leads to greater pressure on accident and emergency departments:

The physical needs of people with mental health problems are less likely to be met, according to a study by the University of Leicester 

A new ‘Disclosure and Barring Service’ takes over functions from the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority from 1st December.  The main role of the DBS is to help employers make safer decisions in employing people to protect vulnerable people, including children. 

2nd December 2012

The causes of death shown on death certificates may be wrong in over a fifth of cases according to a study by ONS.—a-case-study-on-the-potential-impact-on-mortality-statistics/england-and-wales/index.html 

1st December 2012

DH launches a 12 week consultation on how to protect people who rely on social care in the event of provider failure. 

A study of people placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway (for end of life) found that of those who were conscious, in 44% of cases there was no record of them being informed. 

30th November 2012

From 3rd December, more than 300,000 sick and disabled welfare claimants can be forced into unpaid work experience, or lose benefits. 

Second module of the Public Health England People transition policy published: 

Report on the first 3 years of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme–the-first-million-patients-november-2012-/ 

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

30th November 2012

Personal health budgets to be rolled out to 56,000 people by 2014 

RCN has concerns: 

29th November 2012

‘The Week’: Issue 275 

‘The Month’: Issue 60.  Includes updates on various aspects of the health restructuring. 

28th November 2012

Health policy under the coalition government: a mid-term assessment from the King’s Fund 

Chris Ham’s (King’s Fund CE) bog on it: 

NHS Confederation response: 

Consultation on alcohol strategy from the Home Office.  Runs from 28 November to 6 February 

House of Commons briefing on minimum price for alcohol 

A review is to assess whether Ofsted style ratings should be used for hospitals and care homes.  Recommendations are due by the end of March 2013. 

A scorecard that doctors can use to identify babies at risk of obesity, so action can be taken to prevent it, has been devised by researchers at Imperial College. 

A computer test designed by Cambridge University researchers could help spot which 11 and 12 year olds are most likely to develop depression. 

NICE says cycling and walking should be the norm for all short journeys. 

NICE says GPs should screen adults for levels of activity: 

27th November 2012

The NHSCB is looking for up to 12 CCGs to be part of a network of learning sites on building effective community involvement in commissioning. 

Data now available relating to the Chief Medical Officer’s annual report, ‘On the State of the Public’s Health’. 

26th November 2012

Jeremy Hunt, short article on the four improvements he wants to see in the NHS by 2015 (improve the standard of care; bring the technology revolution to the NHS; improve treatment and care of dementia; improve mortality rates for the big killer diseases) 

CCGs to influence GP contracts and commission primary care beyond the GP contract 

Research on children’s diet, activity and health – briefing: 

JRF report: more working people are in poverty 

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

23rd November 2012

CQC annual report based on 13,000 inspections, finds that staffing issues are beginning to affect social care.

22nd November 2012

The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework for 2013-14 has been published. 

Improving Health and Care: the role of the outcomes frameworks, published by DH 

Mindmap summarising the NHS Outcomes Framework: 

Michael O’Higgins, former chair of the Audit Commission, has been appointed part time chair of the NHS Confederation. 

‘The Week’: Issue 274 

21st November 2012

Government Chief Medical Officer’s annual report. 

Video, with Dame Sally Davies talking about the key findings of the report:

‘Deaths from liver disease amongst under-65s rose by 20% between 2000 and 2009 while falling elsewhere in Europe’:

New operating model for commissioning specialised services is published by the NHSCB. This moves from commissioning by 10 separate regions, to a national approach.  These services represent about 10% of the NHS budget, at £11.8bn p.a. 

CCGs’ quality premium is likely to be based on 5-10 measures from NHS Outcomes Framework.  The £5 a head quality premium could be worth £1.25m to the average CCG. 

Health check MOTs for the over 40’s may do more harm than good according to an article in the BMJ, based on a review by the Nordic Cochrane Centre. 

20th November 2012

Latest wellbeing figures from ONS.

nef report analysing wellbeing figures: 

‘Technical refresh’ of Public Health Outcomes Framework.  Also links to an interactive data tool which allows local authorities to assess their outcomes against various indicators. 

CCGs may inherit debts from PCTs, contrary to previous assurances 

19th November 2012

Institute for Fiscal Studies report on choice and competition, commissioned by the Nuffield Trust, finds that GPs are referring patients to a wider range of providers. 

More patients being treated by private firms: 

‘Choosing the place of care: the effect of patient choice on treatment location in England 2003-2011’ 

18th November 2012

Nutrition has been getting worse during the recession, especially for poorer people, according to data compiled for the Guardian, which launched a series of reports on the ‘nutritional recession’. 

17th November 2012

Britain has the highest obesity rates in Western Europe according to an OECD study 

16th November 2012

Health at a glance – OECD publication of key health indicators for 35 European countries. 

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

16th November 2012

Report on the early workings of emerging CCGs from the DH funded Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (‘PRUComm’).  (Key points: they’ve been very busy, they’re enthusiastic, they are developing new ways of working, in many cases they’re mirroring ‘past administrative groupings’.) 

West Somerset District Council is not viable in the long term as a unit of local democracy and governance, according to a report by the LGA commissioned by the council, whose population is only 35,000.

Simple guide to payment by results (replaces previous one from August 2011) 

15th November 2012

The public health which is to be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board has been agreed with DH.  The agreement sets out the outcomes to be achieved. 

The National Health Action Party is officially launched. It is hoping to contest 50 seats at the next election: 

The King’s Fund has launched a new project, ‘Time to Think Differently’ aimed at generating new ideas for meeting future health challenges 

Review of future trends and significant drivers for health and social care over the next 20 years. 

The first two departments, DoT and DCLG, move to GOV.UK, the new single web domain for all government services 

Government launches consultation on better measures of child poverty

‘The Week’: issue 273. 

14th November 2012

Council cuts ‘targeted towards deprived areas’ 

Map of cuts by local authority area. 

First meeting of the NHS Commissioning Assembly.

Good relationships are key to happiness and long life.  This is from a study which started in 1940, following 268 “young, white, healthy, male college sophomores.” 

Jeremy Hunt confirmed that there are to be 7 telehealth pathfinders, potentially reaching 100,000 people, with the equipment provided by industry ‘with no up-front cost’.

See also, from 1st November: 

13th November 2012

The Government’s mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board

NHSCB response:

NHS Confederation response: 

King’s Fund response: 

BBC’s summary of the mandate: 

BBC blog: is the mandate that radical? 

Spectator blog: will the mandate actually make any difference? 

There should be parity of esteem between mental and physical services, says minister (12 November):

NHS Outcomes Framework 2013-14. An update on previous versions. 

5,600 people a year miss out on early detection of cancer because of social inequalities according to data analysis of over 98,000 patients by a Cambridge University team. 

The loss of over 6,000 nursing posts since May 2010 is threatening the NHS’s ability to properly care for patients, according to the Royal College of Nursing 

Donations to charities dropped by 20% last year according to a survey by the Charities Aid Foundation and the NCVO. 

12th November 2012

Publication of a single operating framework for Strategic Clinical Networks 

More directors appointed to the NHSCB 

England faces the biggest baby boom in 40 years 

9th November 2012

NAO review of DH data systems 

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9th November 2012

The NHS is frequently compounding errors by not dealing with complaints well, according to the health service ombudsman.,-warns-ombudsman 

NHS Confed response:

Doctors frequently don’t listen enough, so ‘misdiagnose’ patients’ wishes and are less efficient and effective as a result. 

NHS Direct is to close 24 of its 30 call centres, according to unions, though this is denied by NHS Direct.  This is in the light of new contracts to run the new non-emergency 111 number. 

Revised figures for the running costs allowances for CCGs have been published taking account of updated population figures. 

Bulletin for proposed CCGs, Issue 23 

8th November 2012

A cabinet sub-committee on public health has been wound down after only two years, because few ministers outside of DH attended.  The decision has been criticised by doctors and public health leaders. 

Nearly 90% of CCGs are likely to ban or limit some treatments and 50% favour increased competition, according to a survey for the Health Service Journal 

DH publishes reference costs – the unit costs of providing specific services – for the NHS for 2011-12.  They are used to inform the national tariff. 

The Government wants to train a million people by 2015 to be ‘dementia friends’ 

NAO report on the tendering process that led to Circle’s takeover of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon 

Circle could make £31m from running Hinchingbrooke: 

Monitor’s ‘Fair Playing Field Review’ on matters which may affect the full participation of providers of NHS services. 

Response by the NHS Partners’ network: 

Consultation on enforcement of regulations on adult social care homes 

Operating principles for JSNAs and JHWS’s.  Statutory guidance is due out by the end of 2012.  This paper provides additional support to the guidance. 

More resources for HWBs, the product of the action learning sets 

‘The Week’ Issue 272. 

7th November 2012

Standards for NHS Board members and CCGs published by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence 

(This Telegraph seems to be describing the same standards, but talks about them as applying to ‘managers’, as does the DH press release): 

Report on clinical quality and patient experience of GP services in England from the King’s Fund. 

Blog on it: 

Guardian report: London and poorer areas offer lowest quality care: 

The cost of cancer in the UK is over £15bn a year according to Oxford University researchers 

A £4.8m cash for performance scheme for NHS hospitals in the north west led to 890 lives being saved over 18 months according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine 

Wage inequality has increased over the last 25 years.  Wages of the top 1% have risen by 117% while those of the bottom 10% by 47%.  Wages of the bottom 1% have been propped up by the minimum wage with their wages increasing by 70% over this period. 

6th November 2012

Consultation launched on reducing regulation relating to public health, quality of care, mental health, the NHS and professional standards. 

DH publish a cost benefit and equality analysis of the revalidation of doctors, that it was announced last month are to start in December.   

The benefits of revalidation will pay for the costs over 10 years: 

Nearly £1bn of private health insurance goes unclaimed each year, with the NHS footing the bill instead, according to a report for the private hospital group HCA International.£1bn-potential-nhs-saving-on-unclaimed-private-insurance-reveals-new-study/ 

Care UK has bought Harmoni, the out of hours GP service 

GPs make £ millions out of the sale (9/11/12): 

Consultation on investing local government pension scheme funds into infrastructure 

5th November 2012

Consultation on NHS constitution.  Includes a new responsibility to treat patients with compassion, dignity and respect [new?!], a pledge of single sex wards and a ‘duty of candour’ – staff should be honest with patients.  [Hmm] 

NHS Confed response: 

The NHS Confederation, the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges and National Voices have agreed to work together on a joint project to review and make recommendations on ‘the reconfiguration of healthcare’.  The aim is to ‘deliver the right care in the right place for patients’. [An admirable aim.  You wouldn’t want to be delivering it in the wrong place, now would you, or to the wrong people.] 

Britain’s biggest care home owners have debts of more than £4.5bn 

The BMA has published a discussion paper on personal health budgets 

The National Skills Academy has published ‘The Leadership Qualities Framework’ for adult social care 

The NHSCB has published a template SLA for CCGs to use in procuring commissioning support services.  CCGs and CSUs are asked to sign SLAs by the end of November. 

The NHS Equality and Diversity Council is changing its name to the Personal, Fair and Diverse Council 

3rd November 2012

League tables of surgery survival have not been updated for three years, despite having been lauded by David Cameron, according to the Daily Telegraph 

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2nd November 2012

The NHSCB has received the authorisation applications from the 46 CCGs in Wave 4, meaning all 211 emerging CCGs have now submitted their applications. 

New King’s Fund report on payment by results which is used for about 30% of the English NHS budget 

1st November 2012

There has been a 10% rise in the number of routine NHS-funded operations carried out by the private sector, according to official figures. 

‘Quality premium payments to successful commissioners could be based on local targets’ 

Consultations on arrangements to secure that services from social enterprises and other companies will continue if they become insolvent.  Monitor is able to subject independent providers to checks, and if they become insolvent can appoint a health special administrator to take over the company. 

Consultation on final proposals to revise the governance of NHS charities, including removing regulation by ministers. 

‘The Week’: Issue 271.  Includes: fewer young people developing drug and alcohol problems.  £300m towards creating and modernising homes for independent living. 

31st October 2012

The Treasury claws back £1bn from the NHS underspend last year: more than expected.

Research has found that smokers take an extra two or three days sick leave per year, costing employers £1.4bn per year. 

New (left) think tank launched: Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) 

30th October 2012

Breast cancer screening does more harm than previously thought.  Although it saves around 1,300 lives every year, it leads to around 4,000 women having unnecessary treatment.

The Government is failing to plan for NHS Trust bankruptcies–and-department-of-health-is-failing-to-plan-for-bankruptcies-8231603.html 

NHS Confed response: 

Why we need to cut health and social care. The wealth of the 1,000 richest people in Britain has increased by £155bn since the start of the crisis, enough to pay off the whole £119bn deficit.  The tax gap between what’s owed and what’s collected is estimated at £120bn.  Oh, and there’s an estimated £1.2bn in benefit fraud.  Sorry, that should have been ‘why do we need to cut health and social care.’ 

The Institute of Healthcare Management becomes part of the Royal Society for Public Health 

29th October 2012

“The never events policy policy framework has been reviewed and updated” (DH).  [Now that sounds rather surreal, doesn’t it.]  ‘Never events’ are serious, largely preventable patient safety incidents that should not occur. 

The LGA and NHSCB have agreed to work together towards better integration of health and social care 

Dr David Bennet has been appointed the permanent chief executive of Monitor.  He has been interim CE since March 2010 

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26th October 2012

The target of 100% of social services users to have personal budgets has been dropped to 70%, on the basis that they will not be appropriate for everyone.  Currently, 43% of eligible people have a budget. 

Survey published on public perceptions of the NHS 

DH has announced a £300m fund against which councils can bid to provide new and modernised homes to meet the needs of older people and people with disabilities 

25th October 2012

Report on the changing causes of death over the last century 

‘The Week’: Issue 270 

‘The Month’: Issue 59.  A further summary of progress of each of the component parts towards the new health system: 

24th October 2012

Monitor’s three month review of NHS Foundation Trusts, to 30 June 2012 

New guidance from NICE on the social and emotional wellbeing of children.  Amongst other things it recommends that social and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable should feature in health and wellbeing strategies, as one of the most effective ways of addressing health inequalities. 

John Wilderspin appointed MD of Central Southern CSU (currently National Director for Health and Wellbeing Board Implementation at DH). 

More than 300 GPs have ended their partnership with Virgin Care because of a possible conflict of interest, (commissioning through CCGs which benefits the company).

23 October 2012

‘Proposed changes to GP contract to focus on better care for people with long-term conditions’. 

Wellbeing is still below pre-crash levels.  National net income per head (NNI)  has fallen twice as much as GDP, by 13% from 2008 to 2012. 

‘National Net Income per head is one of four headline indicators ONS is using to measure the economic component of national wellbeing. An article describing the measures is here, together will analysis of how different measures of income have changed in different recessions:

A summary of the report is here: 

Birmingham City Council warns of the effects of cuts.  It could be ‘the end of local government as we know it’. 

OECD forum says that wellbeing needs to be at the heart of policy making

Exercising in your 70’s may stop brain shrinkage, according to research from Edinburgh University involving brain scans on 638 people over retirement age.  Walking may be sufficient exercise. (But it may be that people whose brains shrink are less inclined to exercise …) 

22nd October 2012

New directors of Public Health England 

Bulletin for proposed CCGs: issue 22 

19th October 2012

Announcement of medical revalidation in the UK from December 

Consultation on a proposal to have a single national list, rather than local lists, of GPs, dentists and opthalmic practitioners approved to provide NHS primary care services 

Cost of implementing the Health and Social Care Act to be about £1.5bn to £1.6bn, £300m more than expected, according to the Health Secretary.  [Remind me again of the cost of the Dilnot proposals?] 

18th October 2012

Death rate falls to lowest ever level in England and Wales 

Department of Health, annual report and accounts 

‘The Week’: Issue 269 

‘The Quarter, Quarter 1 2012/12’.  A detailed (68pp) report on how the NHS is performing at national level against the requirements and indicators in the NHS Operating Framework.  It covers April-June 2012. 

17th October 2012

Blog: a good summary of the state of health policy following the party conferences: 

The number of people in England with depression has increased by half a million in three years: 

Family doctors asked to identify patients likely to die.  [I think you’ll find, as Mr Keynes said, that’s everyone.] 

16th October 2012

End of life care strategy, 4th annual report 

15th October 2012

‘A Fresh Approach to Drugs: the final report of the UK Drug Policy Commission’

13th October 2012

David Nicholson raises concerns about health service reforms 

11th October 2012

Dates have been agreed for key stages of the CCG authorisation process: 

‘The Week’: Issue 268 

8th October 2012

Third year of council tax freeze announced 

5th October 2012

DH has published information about the role of the Director of Public Health, including ‘Roles, responsibilities and context’, ‘Guidance on appointing DsPH’ and ‘The new public health role of local authorities’ 

Consultation on ensuring fair and transparent pricing for NHS services 

Publication: Local Healthwatch, health and wellbeing board and health scrutiny: roles, relationships and adding value, from the Centre for Public Scrutiny 

Nick Walkley leaving Barnet to go to Haringey [sorry, relevant to those on the email list who knew Nick at the IDeA] 

4th October 2012

Guidance for NHS trusts has been published on the ‘friends and families test’ (this is the measure of satisfaction which comes in from April 2013 based on whether people ‘would recommend a particular A&E department or ward to their friends’. [Can’t help feeling that recommending an A&E department to someone might be less an endorsement and more a threat]). 

‘The Week’: Issue 267 

2nd October 2012

All 63 CCGs in wave 3 have submitted their authorisation applications 

Bulletin for proposed CCGs, Issue 21 

1st October 2012

NHS Commissioning Board formally established 

Healthwatch England launched 

Commissioning Support Bulletin, Issue 5

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