The Coffee Break No 71

News updates this fortnight covers leadership, health and social care, improvement and mental health. The coffee break is split into sections so you can easily scroll through each area of interest.


Health and Social Care

Firstly this fortnight, the Kings Fund has published their Social Care 360 review. The review, drawing on publicly available data, outlines and analyses 20 key trends in adult social care in England in recent years. The review is structured into 6 section asking some important questions such as: Who is accessing care and how this has changed; Have nursing and residential home places decreased and What do quality and satisfaction ratings say about care and integration with other services.

With immunisation week coming to an end it seems particularly relevant to include an article by the Guardian which reports on 300 staff and students at two Los Angeles universities who have been placed under a quarantine order. The staff and students who were exposed to measles were not able to verify that they had been vaccinated or had immunity. The quarantines come as the number of cases of measles in the US this year hit a 25 year high.

A second article by the King’s Fund looks at the demise of the public toilets and why we should be concerned. The lack of equality in toilet provision for women is well-recognised, but for those with bladder or bowel conditions it’s a major concern. Additionally disabled people frequently encounter inaccessible toilets including those that are intended to be accessible. A lack of adequate public toilets can affect public health interventions that encourage people to go out and about locally to increase activity and reduce obesity. The article goes on to point out that no one body holds overall responsibility for public toilets and there is no compulsory provision in legislation.



Moving on, we look at research published by Dovepress that investigates women in healthcare leadership roles in Greece and Malta and the challenges which they face. The study, conducted in Greece and Malta due to their poor performance in the gender employment gap, consisted of a series of interviews. A number of barriers were identified which could diminish a women’s leadership potential and included culture, gender bias and lack of family, spousal or social support.



An article by NHS England reports on a study by the University of York’s Centre for Health Economics which reveals that NHS outputs have continuously increased since they began measuring 12 years earlier. The research reinforces figures by the Office for National Statistics which showed that NHS productivity in England in 2016/17 grew by 3% from the previous year – this is more than treble the 0.8% achieved by the whole economy. Actions to improve efficiency included the introduction of a cost per hour cap on agency staff; curbing the prescribing of medicines that have little or no benefit and stopping the routine commissioning of 17 procedures where less invasive and safer treatments are available.


Mental Health

Finally this week, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has delivered their report ‘Using digital technology to design and deliver better mental health services – perspectives from Australia and the USA’. The author, director of policy at the Mental Health Network in England, spent a number of months in the United States and Australia addressing questions such as ‘How is digital technology being utilised in the delivery of mental health services?’ and ‘What examples of good practice could the NHS learn from? The author concludes that digital technology can ensure more people have access to high-quality treatment, advice and support; have a positive experience of using mental health services and can be empowered to take control of their own recovery.