NHS News: Issue 06

Publications gateway number: 00070

NHS support plan launched to help hospital A&E departments keep waiting time in check

Plans to strengthen performance in urgent and emergency care are being put in place across the country to help hospital A&E departments meet demand and tackle waiting time pressures.

NHS England has joined with the NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA) and Monitor, which are responsible for provider regulation, to ensure coordinated action to ease the immediate pressures.

At the same time, a review will take place to understand the causes of problems, which differ around the country.

A&E departments have seen a rise in the number of patients they are seeing in recent years, with an extra 4 million people a year using emergency services compared with 2004.

Although 90 per cent of A&E patients are seen within four hours – and last week the NHS met its 95 per cent standard overall – concern has been growing about the underlying trend of more patients waiting longer.

The maximum four-hour wait in A&E remains a key NHS commitment to the public, set out in the NHS Constitution.

Detailed data published on first hospitals in Keogh Review

Detailed data about the first four of the 14 hospitals involved in the Keogh Review into mortality rates have been made public.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh’s national review team has analysed information from across the NHS about all of the 14 hospital trusts who were identified in February as having had higher-than-expected mortality rates for more than two years.

This data has been used to develop the key lines of inquiry that are being explored by the regional Rapid Responsive Review teams, which began their site visits this week.

Interim CCG Assurance Framework published

The Interim CCG Assurance Framework for 2013/14 published today will help NHS England, patients and the public identify how well Clinical Commissioning Groups are performing in their role as the commissioners of local health services.

CCGs are accountable to their local populations and to NHS England for planning and delivering comprehensive and high quality care that meets the needs of their local community. This framework will support CCGs to deliver this and will help them to transform local services and improve outcomes for all patients.

Dedicated web pages launched for 74 specialised services Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs)

NHS England has today launched a series of web pages dedicated to each of the 74 specialised services Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs).

CRGs cover the full range of specialised services and are responsible for providing NHS England with clinical advice regarding these directly commissioned services. The CRGs are made up of clinicians, commissioners, Public Health experts and patients and carers, and are responsible for the delivery of key ‘products’ such as service specifications and commissioning policies, which enable NHS England to commission services from specialist providers through the contracting arrangements overseen by its Area Teams.

NHS England committed to gold standard for NHS 111

NHS England has today at its board meeting reassured patients that a good NHS 111 service is now operating in most of the country.

The performance standards which have been introduced for NHS 111 represent a gold standard which the majority of NHS 111 services in England are now meeting, though in some areas performance is still unacceptable especially at weekends.

Some local providers of NHS 111 have not provided the prompt reliable service the public need and want. NHS England’s board is determined to ensure that the public have access to a gold standard NHS111 service wherever they live in England.

NHS England releases update to national Cancer Drugs Fund list

NHS England has released an update to the national Cancer Drugs Fund list, further increasing access for patients to an additional three new cancer drugs. The additions to the list have been made following a review of trial data from the drugs by the Chemotherapy Clinical Reference Group (CRG), one of 74 such groups which provide clinical advice to NHS England regarding a range of specialised services.

Register for 6Cs Live webinars

To celebrate International Nurses day on 12 May and International Midwifery day on 5 May we are delivering a number of virtual events on Compassion in Practice, 6Cs Live! and a preview of the new 6Cs Live! Communication Hub. These webinars offer nurses, midwives and care staff an opportunity to find out more about 6Cs Live, share views and ideas on how 6Cs Live can support them and help shape the 6Cs Live! Communication Hub.

The webinars also present a chance to engage and discuss Compassion in Practice and 6Cs with a range of senior leaders who are delivering these events.

Changes announced to the way meningitis c vaccine given

This letter announces some changes to the way the meningitis C vaccine is given. Further resources can be found here. CCG accountable officers will wish to discuss the implementation with GPs and Screening Immunisation leads and consider any local implications.

Sustainable Development

The Sustainable Development Unit is running a consultation to help shape the ‘Sustainable Development Strategy for the Health, Public Health and Social Care System 2014-2020’ which aims to launch in January 2014. It is fully supported by both Public Health England and NHS England. CCG clinical leaders and NHS chief executives should note the deadline for responses is 5pm on 31 May 2013.

NHS England welcomes publishing of medicines optimisation

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published Medicines Optimisation: helping patients make the most of medicines, and NHS England is supporting its call for health professionals and patients to work together to ensure better use of medicines.

CCG clinical leadersand NHS chief executives will wish to encourage staff in their organisation who prescribes, dispenses, administers or take medicines to adopt these principles.

Summer has arrived – ticks will be active and Lyme disease more prevalent

Lyme disease can be found anywhere in the country where ticks exist including parks and gardens. A third of patients may not have the classical rash and present with fever and occasionally neurological symptoms. They should be tested for Lyme disease if there is a likely exposure.

CCG clinical leaders will wish to ensure GPs are aware of the increased risk of Lyme disease and to note the contact details for the PHE Lyme reference laboratory.

NHS trusts deliver 35 patient improvement IT projects

A range of NHS trusts across England have successfully delivered 35 innovative IT projects to improve patient care and help share information more easily across the NHS, supported by funding from the NHS Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) Information Sharing Challenge Fund.

To help NHS organisations understand more, each project has been documented in the form of a case study or project closure report

CCG clinical leaders and NHS chief executives may wish to review and consider how the fund could benefit your organisation.

Extra notes

All communications requiring the attention of NHS commissioning organisations must include a publications gateway reference number. In order to streamline the number of communications issued by NHS England, these will continue to be sent via ‘NHS news’ every Thursday.

Unless otherwise stated, guidance referred to in the bulletin has not been commissioned or endorsed by NHS England – it is evidence that organisations and professionals may find helpful in improving practice. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is the provider of accredited evidence and guidance, which can be found on the Institute’s website

Categories: HomeInformed


One comment

  1. termite says:

    I have read that GP’s are keen to hand over patients records for a national database! My GP doesn’t agree and neither do the patients, we have a right to opt out!

    It is about time the NHS realised that our bodies are our property, as are our medical records our property. I wouldn’t trust NHS staff no matter what security was put in place, and whilst patient information is on screen, what is to stop anyone else reading it? Having worked int eh NHS much of my life, it will take something short of a miracle to trust anyone in the NHS!

    Anyone with a mental health problem always gets the short straw … nothing has changed over the last fifty years, and to this very day, mental health patents are still teated like outcasts.

    Go to any hospital with a general problem, once they know you have a mental health history, all your problems are attributed to that, if you had gangrene in the foot they would blame mental health issues. You get treated very differently, information you have a right to know about is withheld because they think mental health patients don’t have brains!

    It is wrong and very unfair to combine all medical records and as much as we hear a ‘patients choice’ the NHS are still dictating as to whet they can do with our private information.

    We read of thousands of doctors having criminal records including child abuse, and they are still working with patients … start putting patients first … that means at the front of everything else. Respect our right to have our records protected if we don’t wish to share them.

    Just because someone has the letters ‘Dr’ in front of their name does not given them the right to know everything about a patient, it doesn’t mean they are trustworthy or have a clean CRB record.

    It makes me so angry to see a man dictating what he will do when so many patients died under his management of care … and silly old fools like us are supposed to have faith in him … pull the other one!

    I have more concerns about the management of the NHS today than I did do fifty plus years ago!