Provider bulletin: 19 December 2019

This weekly newsletter is sent to NHS providers’ chairs, chief executives, finance, medical, nursing and HR directors, and board secretaries.

For action

Help for our future nursing and midwifery workforce

This week the government announced new financial investment in nursing and midwifery amounting to a minimum of £5,000 per year for every student from 2020.This is a clear commitment and recognition of the skills and expertise and the training it takes to be a nurse or midwife.

Please pass this news on: we need to make sure that friends, families — anyone who is looking for a brilliant, rewarding career is aware of the opportunities we can offer and can make an application by the UCAS deadline on Wednesday 15 January.

Antiviral medicines for the prevention and treatment of flu

The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Pharmaceutical Officer have issued advice on the prescribing and supply of antiviral medicines for the prevention and treatment of influenza. It recommends antiviral medicines be prescribed for people presenting with flu-like illness in line with current regulations and NICE guidance.

Please ensure this information is shared with all prescribers.

Patient Safety Alert: Risk of harm to babies and children from coin/button batteries in hearing aids and other hearing devices

We have issued a National Patient Safety Alert relating to the risk of harm to babies and children from batteries in hearing aids and other hearing devices.

This alert requires all organisations supplying NHS-funded hearing aids to ensure those issued to babies and children under five years old have secure battery compartments. Where hearing aids are issued to older children and adults, organisations are required to consider the need for a secure battery compartment for anyone living with young children and babies, or with a person with additional risk factors, such a significant learning disability, dementia or other cognitive or sensory impairment.

For information

Pensions tax impacts on the NHS – a solution for 2019/20

We’re helping to improve patient care by making sure senior clinical staff aren’t left out of pocket for doing extra shifts as a result of a tax charge relating to the pensions annual allowance.

We have now issued a standard letter that would provide a binding contractual commitment between employer and clinician to provide extra payments in retirement compensating for any reduction in NHS pension from a 2019/20 annual allowance charge. Read the letter, summary and the FAQs, the statement from the Secretary of State on the Clinician Pension Tax Scheme and this blog from the National Medical Director Stephen Powis.

Encouraging feedback on cancer care from BME patients

People from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds invited to take part in the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey are being urged to do so as they are under-represented in responses. The survey seeks views on the experiences of more than 100,000 NHS patients who had treatment as an inpatient or day case in an acute or specialist NHS trust hospital from April to June 2019 after a primary diagnosis of cancer.

Can you help by encouraging people to visit our web page where they can find out how to give feedback on their care, whether through the survey or in other ways? For links to downloadable posters and social media resources to support this promotion, please contact

GIRFT ophthalmology national report

Ensuring trusts perform all routine cataract surgery in 30 minutes or less will allow even more patients to have vision-restoring treatment and could help towards potential cost efficiencies of up to £64m for the NHS. The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme’s ophthalmology report makes 22 recommendations for units treating the major sight-threatening conditions – cataract, glaucoma, wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. It aims to free capacity, make more use of the wider team, reduce the risk of avoidable sight loss and help protect people’s vision for longer.


A second chance to attend the NHS cadets introductory webinar

Our popular introductory webinar on NHS cadets was oversubscribed in November, so we are running it again.

NHS England and NHS Improvement with St John Ambulance will develop 10,000 ‘NHS cadets’ in the next four years. This £6 million programme will provide young people of 14+ with life skills and volunteering opportunities, introducing them to the NHS with the intention of developing the future health and care workforce.

The cadets partnership webinar on Tuesday 14 January 2020 from midday to 1.30pm will outline our intentions, aims and ambitions.

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