Healthcare News UK


Whose NHS is best? It's the wrong question | Andy McKeon

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:00
A report suggests that progress will be achieved by spreading learning between England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Criticism of the Welsh NHS is a popular sport for English ministers. David Cameron takes regular pot shots at longer waiting times and a failure to hit A&E targets. To the politically cynical it looks like a straightforward attempt to brand Labour, which governs in Wales, as a party that cannot manage the NHS.

It may also be an attempt to show that the "English" approach to managing the NHS, with the development of a market, competition and a variety of private, voluntary and other providers, is producing better results than that in Wales, which abolished the "internal" market in 2009 and makes little use of private providers.

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A day in the life of ... a children's orthopaedic surgeon

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 10:00
Jim Huntley is frustrated by well-meant directives that render his job more difficult

Children's orthopaedic surgery, paediatric orthopaedics, is a small sub-speciality concerned with surgery for musculoskeletal trauma, pain and deformity. Children are not just little adults and they deserve the best that humankind has to give. I work in one of the hubs, at the royal hospital for sick children in Glasgow, where six consultants share the on-call (one week in six), serving a large population.

The alarm is set for 6.29am and placed far out of reach, so that to turn it off I actually have to get up. I snatch some cereal and hopefully a brief moment with my own children before driving to work, listening to the Today programme. I arrive at 7.30am, as the canteen opens, and pick up my first coffee of a caffeinefuelled day. I have three-quarters of an hour administration before the 8.15-8.30am trauma meeting where the on-call registrar presents the previous 24 hours' admissions, mainly patients with fractures.

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The NHS is overlooking charities

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 08:30
The health service is not ready to listen to charities on the role they can play in improving health and social care integration

Integration is often held out as the solution to many of the problems in the health sector. It's a great idea, but not everyone's sure what it is and what it might feel like if we achieve it.

We have an ageing population and those living with long-term health conditions and co-morbidities will become more numerous. We understand the theory that more joined-up services help keep people well and out of hospital. This is good for them and because these patient groups account for 70% of the NHS budget, it's also good for the taxpayer.

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Political interventions in NHS make little difference across UK, study finds

Guardian Healthcare - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 06:30
Report says no frontrunner among four countries despite policy variations, including greater or lesser role of private sector

Healthcare has improved across all four countries of the UK in recent years, though waiting lists in Wales have lengthened following cuts in NHS spending, according to an authoritative report.

The Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation have compared NHS performance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since devolution. They find that, in spite of political mudslinging, variations in the running of the NHS across the four countries, including greater or lesser involvement of the private sector, have made little difference to outcomes.

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CQC consults on inspection regime

EHI News - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 01:00
The Care Quality Commission has launched a month long consultation on its new regulation, inspection and rating regime.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

£2.2m to deploy digital wards

EHI News - Fri, 11/04/2014 - 01:00
The Scottish government has found £2.2m to support the development and roll-out of a digital patient tracking system across Scotland.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

GPs' exams disadvantage ethnic minority students, says high court judge

Guardian Healthcare - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 19:20
Judge rejects claim from Indian physicians that role-playing assessments are unlawful, but raises concerns about results

A high court judge has warned the body responsible for conducting GPs' exams that it must change its assessment process after acknowledging that ethnic minority medical graduates were put at a disadvantage by the current system.

At a judicial review in central London, Mr Justice John Mitting rejected a claim by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (Bapio) that the clinical skills assessment (CSA), which includes role-playing assessments, should be declared unlawful.

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Student funding available for RCN events

Royal College of Nursing - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 16:08
Submit an abstract for selected RCN events in 2014-15, and you could be in with the chance with getting funding of up to £250 to cover your travel, accommodation and event place.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

CQRS error hits GP QOF payments

EHI News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 15:54
An error in the Calculating Quality Reporting Service database has led to GPs missing out on thousands of pounds of Quality and Outcomes Framework points in the 2013-14 financial year.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

Information governance in the NHS: the challenges and the future

Guardian Healthcare - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 08:30
Information governance has had a difficult history in the NHS but it's time that the health service embraced it

When it comes to information governance, the NHS has experienced a few catastrophes. Take for example, the misdemeanour that saw hard drives containing the records of patients go up for sale on eBay.

Lapses like this can be attributed to the NHS contracting out its IT service to external companies rather than investing in IT professionals of its own. Dawn Monaghan, strategic liaison group manager at the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) explains: "They have a service level agreement [with external companies] and don't consider that for data protection purposes they can't contract out the information governance, they still have responsibility to comply with the Data Protection Act."

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Doncaster invests in infrastructure

EHI News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 01:00
Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation Trust is working with US company Brocade on a new wireless infrastructure, ahead of a project to replace two of its core clinical systems and move towards paperless working.
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Dashboard shows ambulance waiting times

EHI News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 01:00
A dashboard update lets NHS managers in Wales see how many ambulances are waiting at the country's A&E departments in near real time.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

Lorenzo 'winning business on merit'

EHI News - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 01:00
Lorenzo is "probably more perfect" than other patient administration systems in the UK market, CSC's UK healthcare lead, Philippe Houssiau, has said.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

NICE standard urges healthcare professionals to improve care for people experiencing painful sickle cell episodes

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is publishing new standards to raise the bar in the care and support of people experiencing sickle cell acute painful episodes from the minute they present to hospital until they are discharged. With an estimated 240,000 genetic carriers and up to 15,000 people living with the condition in the UK, sickle cell is one of the most commonly inherited serious genetic diseases in England.
Categories: Healthcare News UK

Welsh NHS has worst waiting times in UK for life-saving diagnostic tests

Guardian Healthcare - Thu, 10/04/2014 - 00:05
Official figures show 42% of patients in Wales wait six weeks to be seen compared with just 1.8% in England

Wales has the worst UK waiting times record for life-saving tests, according to the latest figures. Government statistics show that around 42% of people in Wales waiting for diagnostic tests had to wait more than six weeks before they were finally seen. This compares with 1.8% in England and 3.8% in Scotland.

The statistics also show that 16.6% of patients on the Welsh diagnostic waiting list wait longer than 12 weeks. In Northern Ireland, 15.5% on the list had to wait more than nine weeks. Doctors have described the statistics as incredibly worrying and further proof that the crisis in the NHS in Wales is worsening.

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Ageing and the NHS | @guardian.co.uk

Guardian Healthcare - Wed, 09/04/2014 - 20:59

Your analysis (A public admission of what many are saying in private, 5 April) repeats the assertion that "ageing alone [is] estimated to add £1bn a year to the NHS's costs", but then adds that "most of us use the NHS mainly in our last two years of life". Those two years are the same whether one is in one's 70s, 80s, 90s or beyond. There is no sudden additional burden on the NHS that can justify current handwringing and claims as to its unaffordability. Our "ageing population" is reducible to two causes: adults are living healthier lives for longer and are having fewer children. Most parents take their children to the GP more often than they take themselves, but no one complains that child health is an unsustainable burden on the taxpayer. Please can we have fewer spurious arguments against universal public provision, and less ageism? It's bad enough being accused of hoovering up all the houses without being forced to apologise for wilfully continuing to breathe.
Dr Anne Summers (aged 70, as it happens)
London

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