Our advice for clinicians on the coronavirus is here.
If you are a member of the public looking for information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), including information about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to the NHS website. You can also find guidance and support on the GOV.UK website.
News updates this fortnight includes improvement, technology and innovation, mental health and The Long Term Plan. The coffee break is split into sections so you can easily scroll through each area of interest.
We start this fortnight with a report by NHS Providers which investigates how NHS trusts have delivered improvements using CQC ratings as a tool for tracking quality of care. The report looks in depth at 11 case studies from trusts that have significantly improved their rating over time and finds out how they’ve achieved their amazing improvements.
Technology and Innovation
This article by Digital Health explains how NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group are providing 55 care homes with 24 hour access to a telemedicine service. The service, provided by Immedicare, allows care workers to video call a nurse, trained to deal with acute problems, via the digital hub in Airedale Hospital, whenever a resident has a health concern. Hub nurses provide staff with reassurance and advice about a resident’s wellbeing and treatment as well as being able to request a prescription from a registered GP therefore avoiding unnecessary unplanned hospital visits.
Moving on we have a short video by the BBC which allows us a quick look at a brand new £350m hospital in Cwmbran. Grange University Hospital in Llanfrechfa, Torfaen will take patients needing serious, complex or critical care from two other hospitals in the area. Each one of the patient care rooms has natural light and faces onto the hillside or a planted courtyard area; each corridor has been designed with navigation in mind and the hospital has been located to be as easy for the public to access as possible.
An article on the HSJ website, part of Wilmington Healthcare, looks at a scheme which used artificial intelligence (AI) to cut A&E attendances by a third in a patient group that received health coaching. The 4-year trial based at York Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust used AI to identify patients, often with long-term conditions, who were at risk of an unplanned hospital admission, to receive health coaching. The results of the trial found a 30% reduction in unplanned hospital visits in the patients that received health coaching, this successful trial has now led The Vale of York CCG to fund health coaching for up to 1,800 patients.
This article in the Guardian looks at the science behind why a walk along the beach can improve your mental wellbeing. The positive impacts of parks and green spaces in inner cities has long been recognised by town planners but the benefits of “blue space”, the sea, as well as rivers, canals and even fountains are less well known. Proximity to water, especially the sea, is associated with many positive measures of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social relations. A 2013 study on happiness in natural environments found that marine and coastal margins were found to be the happiest locations by far. A 2010 study found that even a fountain may do, the study found that images of built environments containing water were generally rated as positively as those of only green space, researchers suggested that the quality of light on water might be enough to have a restorative effect.
The Long Term Plan
Finally, we look at a news item by NHS England reporting on how 30,000 people within the UK with Type 1 diabetes have received monitors through the NHS Long Term Plan. The device, the size of a £2 coin, is worn on the arm and means people with Type 1 diabetes do not have to carry out multiple finger prick checks to monitor their blood sugar levels. Speaking in Parliament Prof Partha Kar, NHS National Specialty Advisor, Diabetes said “Providing flash monitors on the NHS is a huge leap forward and it is fantastic to see the roll out make an instant impact, this is another example of the NHS is making sure patients can benefit from the latest technologies”.