A round-up of the key news stories, comment pieces, blogposts and tweets across the sector
5.18pm: Finally today, according to Pulse, GP providers ‘may have to be licensed by Monitor’.
Pulse reports that David Bennett, chair and interim chief executive at Monitor, said that GPs that were involved in providing larger community type services may need to be licensed in an address at the NHS Alliance and NAPC clinical commissioning coalition’s conference for CCG leaders this week.
That’s it for today everyone. Thanks for all your comment on Twitter, we’re back tomorrow – do get in touch with any stories that you think we should be covering either below or on Twitter (@GdnHealthcare).
4.43pm: We’re not the only ones struggling with the NHS Confederation’s quiz. Former editor of the Healthcare network SA Mathieson has just tweeted this:
We’re glad we’re not the only ones struggling with it!
4.27pm: If you’re looking for a bit of light relief toward the end of the day, then have you tried taking the NHS Confederation’s ‘how well do you know the NHS’ test? It’s a tricky one – we’re going to take it a few more times bofore we tell you our score we think…
3.51pm: How’s this for a headline? How squashing tomatoes could help children with sight-threatening disease. The piece is from the Healthcare network’s Clinical research zone, and explains how pioneering gaming apparatus can check the vision of children in a way that can flag up problems caused by glaucoma, drug side-effects and brain tumours.
3.47pm: The Independent also reports on the latest on the pension reforms today, pointing out that just over half of NHS workers voted against the reforms, but in a low turnout of less than 15 per cent.
3.42pm: It’s been over a month now since the Health and Social Care Act was passed in Lords, but a piece from the Financial Times today highlights just how much time MPs will have to continue to spend voting on the act.
From next month MPs will start voting all over again on Lansley’s plans. What many in the coalition didn’t realise was that the act (as it now is) made so many changes to the infrastructure of the NHS that parliament will face a series of votes simply to create the bodies necessary to make them work. Clinical commissioning groups, Health Watch, Health Education England, Public Health England: the plethora of new quangos at the heart of the act all need to be legislated for.
2.40pm:How can health and social care services work better together? Our colleagues on the Public leaders network have a piece today from Richard Lewis, of Ernst & Young, looking at the challenge of integration. He discusses an evaluation of integrated care pilots carried out by Ernst & Young and Rand Europe for the Department of Health:
The evaluation found that, from the perspective of pilot staff, integration was a success. A majority felt that they had enjoyed better teamworking and communication, had increased the breadth and depth of their jobs and that, overall, patient care had improved as a result.
Analysis of hospital care showed that the pilots had failed to reduce the numbers of emergency admissions to hospital, one of their key aims, but they had reduced significantly outpatient hospital attendances and admissions for planned care. This meant that the overall use of hospital care had decreased as a result of integration.
Patient responses to the pilots were less positive. While they reported receiving more care plans and that care was better co-ordinated when they were discharged from hospital, they also found it more difficult to see the nurse of their choice, felt listened to less frequently and felt less involved in decisions about their care.
2.22pm: Is the NHS rubbish with social media? The Co-producing digital mental health blog interviewed Mark Brown, editor of One in Four magazine, about social media and mental health services. He tells the blog:
It amazes me how little the thinking has moved on in the area of social media and mental health. It’s like a country, hidden away from progress, on a secret plateau. There’s so much focus on how does mental health do social media or ‘how do we do social media at people with mental health difficulties?’. It’s unconnected to the experience of people actually doing and using social media.
To an NHS press office doing social media, timely means putting out a scheduled tweet about it being a bank holiday, on a bank holiday. This isn’t to say that there isn’t room for machines (or press offices) to pump content into social media space. Indeed, if you’re going to see your role as an information provider then you should do it consistently, but that isn’t the same as having a social media presence. It’s injecting information into a social media space, and I think there’s a big difference.
Twitter is news, and the ideas of people about news, all as one unified space. Rather than public opinion being what happens outside the newsroom door, it’s now in the news room and is often difficult to separate from the news itself.
His interviewer concludes:
So do you think the NHS is rubbish with social media? and if so, what should we be doing to change things for the better? My view (as someone who works for an NHS Trust) is that we’re learning fast but still have a long way to go.
1.13pm: NHS Improvement is hosting its Enhanced Recovery Summit in London today. Care services minister Paul Burstow is due to deliver an address later today. You can follow it on Twitter using the hashtag #ERSummit.
According to the FT today, the government’s social care white paper – outlining its plans to overhaul long-term care for elderly and disabled people – has been delayed. It reports that no bill will be brought forward in the coming session of parliament, and instead ministers will be given “drafting authority” to prepare legislation, which will not be formally introduced until the following parliamentary session – and is unlikely to become law for a further 18 months.
King’s Fund fellow Richard Humphries tweets:
today’s FT piece speculates #dilnot reforms delayed; time to remind coalition that their prog for govt recognised that reform was ‘urgent’
& that was nearly 2 yrs ago
12.46pm: Here’s a quick roundup of the lunchtime headlines:
Guardian: Many young cancer patients fail to get early diagnosis, survey reveals
BBC: First fine over NHS data breach
Telegraph: The dangers of missing a smear test
Independent: Doctors slam mothers who refuse vaccines
11.16am: How do hospital CEOs spend their time? We’re loving Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust CEO Mark Newbold’s blogpost on balancing his time. He audited his activities over the last two weeks and produced a handy pie-chart explaining what his role involves. Read more about it here.
11.09am: If you missed it yesterday, a recent report from the Nuffield Trust has found that care home residents are less likely to be hospitalised than those who receive high-intensity care support in their own homes.
The Nuffield Trust linked the health and social care records of 133,055 people aged 75 and over for the study, and argue in their blog that “the results lend further support to the argument that cuts to social care budgets may lead to increased hospital admissions.”
10.02am: The Observer had a couple of interesting NHS stories this weekend. It reported that Cambridge University Hospitals trust wants to build a high-quality hotel with commercial partner as part of expansion plans:
Cambridge University Hospitals, the NHS foundation trust behind the world-famous Addenbrooke’s and Rosie hospitals, is seeking a commercial partner to develop 35,000 square metres of NHS land and build a 150-bed hotel on it to rival the best in the hospitality business.
Everyone from the relatives of patients to tourists seeking to enjoy the broad horizons of the Fens or the ancient university town of Cambridge, two miles to the north of the proposed hotel, will be welcome to stay, it says.
The Observer also reported on a new poll by professional networking site Doctorsnet, which found that 54% of doctors think the NHS should have the right to withhold non-emergency treatment from smokers and the obese. Dr Tim Ringrose, Doctors.net.uk’s chief executive, told health correspondent Denis Campbell:
This might appear to be only a slim majority of doctors in favour of limiting treatment to some patients who fail to look after themselves, but it represents a tectonic shift for a profession that has always sought to provide free healthcare from the cradle to the grave.
9.59am: In case you missed them, here are the top five stories from across the network last week:
• Moving public health to local government is a huge cultural shift, warns Dick Vinegar, the Patient from Hell
• NHS reforms will affect public health data collection
• Jessica Fuhl reports on five projects unveiled by the Design Council and Department of Health that they hope will significantly improve the lives of people with dementia and their care
• Do NHS reforms create more opportunities, or more challenges, for social enterprises working in healthcare
• Will Serco provide better services than NHS in Suffolk, asks Craig Dearden-Phillips
9.27am: Good morning and welcome to the new blog from the Guardian healthcare network.
Every day, we’ll aim to bring you a round-up of the key news stories, comment pieces, blogposts and tweets across the sector.
On the network this morning, our columnist Dick Vinegar, aka the Patient from Hell, asks whether the medical profession is beginning to listen to patients, while consultant Mark Burns shares five tips on how services can get people talking about public health issues.
Elsewhere on the Guardian, Teenage Cancer Trust research finds that many young cancer patients are failing to get an early diagnosis.
The Telegraph reports on new Department of Health figures, which show that the problem of bedblocking appears to be on the rise, with the total number of days patients have been delayed in hospital increasing by 10% in the last month. And Telegraph home affairs editor Martin Beckford reports on new concerns over “health tourism”.
Bedblocking is also discussed in the Independent; it says Labour puts the cost of delayed discharges at £600,000 a day – and a total of £324m since August 2010.
The top health story on the BBC is that the NHS is to open its first specialist dance injury clinic.
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