STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

30,000 excess deaths in 2015 linked to cuts in health and social care

imgres Researchers exploring why there has been a substantial increase in mortality in England and Wales in 2015 conclude that failures in the health and social care system linked to disinvestment are likely to be the main cause.

There were 30,000 excess deaths in 2015, representing the largest increase in deaths in the post-war period. The excess deaths, which included a large spike in January that year, were largely in the older population who are most dependent on health and social care. Reporting their analysis in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, the researchers from the University of Oxford with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine,  and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, tested four possible explanations for the January 2015 spike in mortality.

After ruling out data errors, cold weather and flu as main causes for the spike, the researchers found that NHS performance data revealed clear evidence of health system failures. Almost all targets were missed including ambulance call-out times and A&E waiting times, despite unexceptional A&E attendances compared to the same month in previous years. Staff absence rates rose and more posts remained empty as staff had not been appointed.

The researchers say that there are already worrying signs of an increase in mortality in 2016. Without urgent intervention, they say, there must be concern that this trend will continue.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2017-02-20-30000-excess-deaths-2015-linked-cuts-health-and-social-care

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

Exclusive: Morecambe Bay inquiry chair to lead new investigation into baby Lizzie Dixon death By Shaun Lintern Senior correspondent for Nursing Times

Jeremy Hunt has appointed Dr Bill Kirkup to lead an investigation into the death of baby whose case has exposed “regulatory gaps” and “significant risks” in the care of sick children.

Dr Kirkup led the inquiry into maternity failings at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and also led an investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by Jimmy Savile at Broadmoor Hospital.

An independent report in 2013 confirmed that Elizabeth Dixon had been left permanently brain damaged after staff at Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust failed to monitor or treat high blood pressure following her premature birth in 2000.

Less than a year later, she suffocated to death when a newly qualified nurse failed to keep her breathing tube clear. 

In a handwritten note on a letter to Elizabeth’s parents last week, Mr Hunt said: “I do hope the appointment of Dr Kirkup will give you confidence that we are totally determined to get to the bottom of what happened and learn the necessary lessons.”

Click on the link to read the full article

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Elizabeth Dixon

 

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

My mum’s care means that decisions not to resuscitate must now be discussed with patients by Kate Masters

Doctors as well as patients should talk more openly about dying, death, and care at the end of life, says one of Janet Tracey’s daughters, Kate Masters.

In March 2011 my mum, Janet Tracey, died in hospital. She’d broken her neck in a car accident; she also had terminal cancer. Care in her final days seemed dictated by a form with a funny acronym: DNACPR, which I now know means “Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation.”

Mum was often intubated and communicated with pen and paper. “Please do not exclude me,” she wrote. Her medical notes recorded that she wanted to be involved in discussions about her care. But, when doctors decided that she would not survive resuscitation, they didn’t discuss it with her. This medical decision was in my mum’s best interests, they told the family. They didn’t mention DNR, DNAR, DNACPR, or the red edged form documenting the decision and conversation.

Mum had already had two failed extubations, and we were told that she might die when they tried again. But she didn’t. She spent that afternoon chatting with us and asked for a Burger King.

DNACPR form

We were elated that she was feeling better. Staff said not to worry about the “DNACPR form” on my mum’s file, but a few days later my sister looked it up online and asked the hospital to remove it. Mum didn’t want that form, and now conversations with staff about it were frightening her. On one day her notes made more mention of the form than anything else.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.j1084.full?ijkey=6C7OAPcVzYCSHAs&keytype=ref

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

NHS accused of covering up huge data loss that put thousands at risk

Exclusive: More than 500,000 pieces of patient data between GPs and hospitals went undelivered between 2011 and 2016

Thousands of patients are feared to have been harmed after the NHS lost more than half a million pieces of confidential medical correspondence, including test results and treatment plans.

In one of the biggest losses of sensitive clinical information in the NHS’s 69-year history, more than 500,000 pieces of patient data sent between GP’s and hospitals went undelivered over the five years from 2011 to 2016.

The mislaid documents, which range from screening results to blood tests to diagnoses, failed to reach their intended recipients because the company meant to ensure their delivery mistakenly stored them in a warehouse.

NHS England has quietly launched an inquiry to discover how many patients have been affected. So far 2,500 cases that require further investigation to discover potential for harm have been identified. The NHS is spending millions of pounds paying doctors to assess the scale of the medical impact

It is also undertaking a clinical review of patients who have died since the loss of documents was discovered in March 2016 to examine whether delays in material reaching GPs played any part in any patient’s death.

The correspondence included the results of blood and urine tests, and of biopsies and screening tests for diseases including cancer. It also included letters containing details of patients’ visits to hospital, including to oncology clinics and information about what they had been diagnosed with after visiting A&E. Other paperwork that went astray included summaries of the care patients had received while in hospital. Some involved material related to cases of child protection.

In total, 708,000 pieces of correspondence were undelivered. However, 200,000 of these were not clinically relevant as they were temporary change of address forms.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/26/nhs-accused-of-covering-up-huge-data-loss-that-put-thousands-at-risk

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The mislaid documents, which included screening results and diagnoses, were accidentally left to languish in a warehouse. Photograph: Medical Research Council/Douglas/PA

Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

NHS crisis tracker – What’s the state of the NHS crisis in your area? Check here

The NHS funding crisis might seem huge, overwhelming, and frightening. But thousands of 38 Degrees members created the NHS Crisis Tracker – a map to help you find out the truth about how the NHS funding crisis affects you. Click to find out more now.

Click on the link to check your area

http://www.nhscrisistracker.org/

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

Tory Health chair says Theresa May risks allowing NHS crisis to worsen as she is ‘distracted by Brexit’

Tory MP Sarah Wollaston also said the Prime Minister’s claim that the NHS had been given “more funding than they required” was untrue

She declared Theresa May’s claim that “In fact, we gave [the NHS] more funding than they required” was untrue.

She said: “I don’t think that is strictly true. The term the government uses with a £10 billion figure, what that does just refer to is NHS England spending but there were transfers of other budgets into that which we would normally think of as health spending. It also refers to a longer time period – six years rather than five – so it changes the basis where we would calculate what’s called a ‘real terms increase’”

“So yes, you can see how the government’s reached that figure, but the committee felt that a fairer figure if we’re using the usual measures, was actually £4.5 billion which is a very different number.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tory-health-chair-says-theresa-9625970

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized,

On the 9th anniversary of my mother’s passing… By Joanna Slater

On the anniversary of my darling mother Kay’s passing 9 years ago today on the 8th January 2008

Not a day goes past without my mother in my thoughts. It’s been a long journey but I hope that by bringing awareness to others through my book, blog and Strength in Numbers group page her name will live on forever and hopefully can make a difference and bring an awareness to all those who have suffered.

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Questions over efficiency of NHS referral management centres

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found.

NHS bodies are paying millions of pounds to private firms that stop patients being referred to hospital by their GP, an investigation has found. Controversial referral management centres are used by some clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to scrutinise patient referrals to hospitals by family doctors.

 Supporters say they can cut down on inappropriate referrals, saving the NHS money, but critics argue that adding an extra layer of scrutiny can risk delaying diagnosis for the patient. There is also a question mark over how effective such schemes are.

In a new investigation, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) sent freedom of information requests to all 211 CCGs in England. Of 184 that responded, 72 (39%) said they currently commissioned some form of referral management scheme to help manage outpatient demand at their local hospitals.

Almost a third (32%) of the schemes are provided by private companies, while a further 29% are provided in house and 11% by local NHS trusts. Some 69% of CCGs with schemes gave details of operating costs. These CCGs combined have spent at least £57m on schemes since April 2013.

Most CCGs were unable to provide evidence showing the scheme saved money. Only 14% could show that the scheme had saved more cash than it had cost to operate, while 12% showed that their schemes had not saved money overall.

Meanwhile, 74% of CCGs (53 groups) failed to supply figures to show whether any money had been saved, the BMJ reported.

Click on the link to read more

https://goo.gl/7ZhZaC

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Filed under: GP's, NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Barcode technology helping to improve patient safety

Barcodes are being used to trace NHS patients and their treatments, manage medical supplies and monitor the effectiveness of equipment.

The barcode technology used in major industries such as aerospace and retail is being introduced to the NHS in England to improve patient safety. Barcodes are being placed on breast implants, replacement hips, medication and surgical tools.

The £12 million Department of Health ‘Scan4Safety’ project is already helping staff to quickly and easily track each patient through their hospital journey. From the unique barcodes on wristbands patients receive when they enter hospital, to the barcodes used to record their medication and the equipment used in their treatment, each code can be scanned to show which member of staff administered each treatment, at what time and where.

By using barcodes, anything that might develop a fault years later, for example a screw used in a knee operation or breast implant, can be traced. The details, such as when it was used and the surgeon who carried out the procedure, can be found quickly and easily. This technology will also help to eliminate avoidable harm in hospitals, including errors such as patients being administered the wrong drugs and surgery being performed on the wrong part of the body.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/barcode-technology-helping-to-improve-patient-safety

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Wall of silence that shames the NHS: Grieving families who complain over blunders are ‘fobbed off’, damning report reveals

  • Some relatives are even left not knowing why their loved ones have died
  • Fobbed off with reports written by medics that absolve the NHS of blame
  • Hospitals cleared staff in 73% of cases where failures led to death or harm
  • Dame Julie Mellor made five recommendations to patient safety service

Grieving families face a wall of silence when they complain about NHS blunders, the health ombudsman warns today. Julie Mellor’s damning report reveals that some relatives are left not even knowing why a loved one has died. They are fobbed off with impenetrable reports that absolve the NHS of blame and are often written by the medics at fault.

‘Parents and families are being met with a wall of silence from the NHS when they seek answers as to why their loved one died or was harmed,’ said Dame Julie. ‘People want answers, to understand what happened and why, and to know that action is being taken to prevent the same thing happening again to others.’

But her report found that hospitals cleared staff in 73 per cent of 150 cases where failures had led to avoidable death or serious harm.

Dame Julie’s team said internal probes in English hospitals were not ‘consistent, reliable or transparent’. In half of internal investigations, the medics leading the review were not ‘independent of the events complained about’.

Click on the link to read more

goo.gl/qi9jfr

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders,

NHS bosses ‘trying to keep cuts secret’ an investigation has found

NHS chiefs are trying to keep plans to cut hospital services in England secret, an investigation has found.

Full details of 44 reviews of services around the country – which involve closing some A&Es or, in one case, a whole hospital – are yet to emerge. That is because NHS England told local managers to keep the plans “out of the public domain” and avoid requests for information, the King’s Fund suggested. Managers were even told how to reject freedom of information requests.

The King’s Fund report did not include any details of cuts, but from the leaks and plans that have been published so far a partial picture is emerging of what is involved.

This includes:

  • Plans in south west London to close one of five hospitals – St George’s, Kingston, Croydon, St Helier or Epsom
  • The North Tees proposal to centralise specialist services, including A&E, on two sites. It would lead to services being downgraded at one of the three major hospitals in the area
  • In Devon bosses are looking at whether to close some A&E, maternity and stroke services at hospitals across the county so they can be centralised at bigger sites
  • In Merseyside there has been talk of merging four hospitals – the Royal Liverpool, Broadgreen, Aintree and Liverpool Women’s – to plug a £1bn shortfall, according to leaked documents
  • Plans in Birmingham and Solihull involve reorganising maternity services with fears this could result in fewer units
  • Bosses at North Central London have talked about a consolidation of services on fewer sites, leading to fears that the Whittington Hospital could lose its A&E

During its research, the King’s Fund carried out interviews with staff involved in four of the reviews, known as sustainability and transformation plans (STPs). These were done on an anonymised basis.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37943379

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Policy changes to implement the NHS five year forward view: a progress report by The Kings Fund

Two years on from the publication of the NHS five year forward view, we assess how much progress has been made and what still needs to be done to align policies with the plan.

In October 2014, NHS England and other arms-length bodies published the NHS five year forward view (Forward View). The Forward View set out a vision of how NHS services need to change to meet the needs of the population. It argued that the NHS should place far greater emphasis on prevention, integration of services, and putting patients and communities in control of their health.

The Forward View differed from previous policy documents; instead of setting out a blueprint for the future, it outlined a number of care models that can be adapted to put in place services appropriate to the needs of local populations. The emphasis was on ‘diverse solutions and local leadership, in place of further structural distraction’ supported by ‘meaningful local flexibility in the way payment rules, regulatory requirements and other mechanisms are applied’ (p 4).

Click on the link to read the full report

goo.gl/tbDF9U

Filed under: NHS, ,

Surgeons should ‘let patients choose’ to avoid litigation, new guidance states

Surgeons should stop being “paternalistic” towards patients and instead simply give them their options and “let them choose”, according to new guidance for medics.

The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has warned that if NHS trusts do not make changes to the processes they use to gain consent before surgery, they risk facing a dramatic increase in the number of litigation payouts. In the wake of a landmark-ruling at the Supreme Court last year, which changed the rules of gaining patient consent, it has published new instructions for its 20,000 members.

Leslie Hamilton, a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) council member, said the changes introduced by the case of Nadine Montgomery, who won a £5.25m payout in 2015, were a “real wake-up call”. He said: “It is really about focusing on the individual patient,” adding: “We now need to sit down and tell the patient all the other options and let the patient choose and not tell them.”

Ms Montgomery won the money from Lanarkshire Health Board in Scotland after accusing medics of failing to properly advise her of the risks of being a “diabetic of small stature” before she gave birth to son Samuel. He was born with serious disabilities as a result of complications during delivery in 1999 and she argued if she had been advised of the risk of shoulder dystocia – when a baby’s shoulders are too wide to pass through the pelvis – she would have had a caesarean.

NHS practice has traditionally been to leave it to doctors to decide what risks to communicate to patients – in what the RCS called a more “paternalistic approach”.

Click on the link to read more

goo.gl/TK0THw

Surgeons should take a less 'paternalistic' approach, the RCS has advised

Surgeons should take a less ‘paternalistic’ approach, the RCS has advised

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

Calls To Improve Diabetes Care As Amputations Hit Record High

Figures show some NHS trusts are 10 times likelier than others to resort to an amputation, even though 80% could be preventable.

The number of diabetes-related amputations in England has reached an all-time high of 20 a day, according to new analysis.

Diabetes UK says there is an alarming difference in quality of care seen across the country and while the best-performing areas have consistently reduced their amputation rates, the worst-performing areas have made no improvements. Experts estimate that up to 80% of diabetes-related amputations are preventable. Most are caused by foot ulcers, which are avoidable and easy to treat if detected early.

Using Public Health England figures, the charity discovered there are now 7,370 amputations a year – considerably more than the earlier figure of 7,042. Diabetes UK wants the Government and the NHS to improve diabetes foot care, especially in areas where amputation rates are stagnant or getting worse.

Data suggests some NHS trusts are 10 times more likely than others to resort to an amputation than others.

Click on the link to read more

http://news.sky.com/story/calls-to-improve-diabetes-care-as-amputations-hit-record-high-10557722

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NHS trusts in the red areas are up to 10 times likelier to resort to an amputation

Filed under: NHS, ,

More than 50 allegations of ‘dirty practices’ against Nottinghamshire dentist

Former dentist Desmond D’Mello is facing more than 50 allegations of malpractice after causing the biggest NHS recall in history, it has been revealed.

The charges include not changing his gloves between patients and wiping his hands on his trousers; meanwhile his dental nurse also faces allegations including not changing her gloves after blowing her nose. More than 4,000 patients had blood tests to see if they had contracted any blood-borne viruses after it was revealed he had also flouted hygiene laws by failing to sterilise equipment.

Mr D’Mello was suspended in August 2014 after a whistleblower filmed him failing to change his gloves and not cleaning dental instruments between patients at his practice in Daybrook. The revelation led to the biggest recall in the history of the NHS, with 22,000 patients who had been treated by D’Mello over a career spanning 30 years offered blood tests to check for diseases such as hepatitis C.

Click on the link to read more

More than 50 allegations of dirty practices against Nottinghamshire dentist

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Desmond D’Mello

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, ,

The NHS needs a strong dose of tech investment

This is why MyNotes Medical will be such an asset for patients and the health professionals by documenting everything and having all your notes in one place ‘ Your phone and tablet’ Joanna

The health service could do with an IT injection to help bring its 1950’s style processes into the 21st century.

The announcement of £4.2bn in funding to move the NHS towards a digital, “paper-free” future raises challenges and rekindles memories of past attempts. In fairness, the NHS gets less credit than it should for its progress with technology. GP surgeries are computerised, the health service has excellent technology for transferring data around the country, digital imaging and online referrals, and the largest secure email service in the world.

But, with the National Programme for IT still casting a long shadow, many processes are stuck in the 1950s. Letters are still sent between hospitals, GPs and social services. Many doctors still hand-write test requests; people move paper records from ward to clinic to operating theatre. Patients wait for doctors in beds and in clinics. Different organisations work in silos and, while some have improved their processes and IT, they don’t communicate electronically with each other. Imagining the future when you are stuck in the past is difficult and the NHS will need support.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2016/jun/20/nhs-strong-dose-tech-investment?

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Decline in NHS quality’ reported – International Medical Press – 25 May 2016

Over the past year the quality of patient care has deteriorated in a number of areas, according to  a  report from The King’s Fund.

A new report from The King’s Fund has revealed that 65% of trust finance directors and 54% of Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) leads feel that patient care has declined in the past year.

Only 2% of trust finance directors and 12% of CCG finance leads said that patient care had improved in the past 12 months. Findings are based on a survey of 241 trust finance directors and 149 CCG finance leads. The think-tank says the latest findings are the ‘most worrying’ since it began monitoring this in 2012.

Click on the link to read more

Decline in NHS quality

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Jeremy Hunt ‘not fit to wear’ an NHS badge, says consultant

Jeremy Hunt is “not fit to wear” an NHS badge because his “militant” politics are destroying the health service, an A&E consultant has claimed.

Dr Rob Galloway, who works at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said he was “blood boiling angry” after reading a letter sent by the Health Secretary thanking health workers for keeping patients safe during the junior doctors’ strike last week.

In the letter, Mr Hunt said: “I would like to pay tribute to the NHS staff that have once again pulled out all the stops to keep services running effectively during industrial action.” He thanked the “dedicated” healthcare professionals who have “planned for weeks, worked long hours and pulled together to ensure services remained safe this week” and said they were a “credit to our world-class NHS”.

But the letter published by the Department of Health angered Dr Galloway who questioned how the Secretary of State could write such a “nauseating” note. “It’s an embarrassing and pathetic letter made worse by the fact there is a picture of you on it wearing an NHS badge,” Dr Galloway wrote in a Facebook post with a photograph of the letter.

“Any picture of you creates in me a Pavlovian response of upset. But this picture with an NHS badge on, has made my blood boil.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2016/04/30/jeremy-hunt-not-fit-to-wear-an-nhs-badge-says-consultant/

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Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been heavily criticised

Filed under: NHS,

Medical students set to ‘abandon’ the NHS

The junior doctors’ dispute may lead to the ‘loss of a generation of doctors’ in England as medical students consider alternative options, a survey suggests.

The survey, conducted by the British Medical Association (BMA), reports that as many as 82% of students said they would be ‘less likely’ than before to make their medical career in England.

A total of 1,197 students participated in the survey. Overall, 94% stated that their enthusiasm for working in the NHS waned due to the dispute and some 34.3% stated they would now be ‘less likely’ to continue their career in medicine.

Click on the link to read more

Medical students set to abandon the NHS

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Filed under: NHS, Uncategorized, ,

Pre People’s Assembly Protest in London LIVE on 16.04.16

The Government and British Medical Association aren’t talking and the mainstream media isn’t reporting, but WatMed Media will be LIVE at the London People’s Assembly Protest on 16th April 2016.

Share now! & get your questions in for Peter Stefanovic & Dr Bob Gill!

Click on the link to watch

Filed under: NHS,

NHS has 70,000 fewer staff after new headcount

Official numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives were inflated, latest figures show

The NHS, already struggling to meet rising demand with a chronic lack of staff, has 70,000 fewer personnel working for it than ministers have previously believed, new official figures show. Its own data collection experts have found that the official head count of the number of people staffing frontline services, which was only produced in December, inflated its workforce.

At the time, a total of 1,083,545 health professionals were said to be working in the 228 NHS trusts and 209 GP-led local clinical commissioning groups across England. But the NHS’s Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) now says that the true number was 1,014,218. That means the NHS had 69,317 fewer staff last September than the 1.1 million that ministers identified in December, including just over 15,000 fewer nurses, midwives and health visitors and 3,000 fewer doctors.

“These figures reveal that the staffing crisis in the NHS is actually far worse than we had feared,” said Heidi Alexander, Labour’s shadow health secretary. “Patients will rightly be concerned that there are 18,000 fewer doctors and nurses working in the NHS than ministers had thought only four months ago.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/02/nhs-staffing-crisis-70000-go-missing

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Staffing crisis as nurses quit NHS – More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone

More than 1,260 have left the NHS in the past year alone and health chiefs fear the exodus will grow as experienced staff take advantage of early retirement clauses in their contracts.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has also warned that the benefit of the £1billion pledged by David Cameron is unlikely to be felt until 2018. NHS boss Jim Mackey told the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network annual conference that “there is no cavalry coming”. Nursing recruitment is in crisis with vacancy levels averaging 10 per cent and a shortfall of 25,000 posts leading to huge bills for agency nurses to plug gaps. The Government has scrapped education bursaries so student nurses now apply for loans like other students.

The impact of the changes is likely to be felt more acutely in the mental health sector where recruits tend to be older and will struggle to afford the fees and student loan debts. Howard Catton, of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “This is a massive roll of the dice.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/653954/Staffing-crisis-nurses-quit-NHS-health-Britain-mental-health

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Scarlet fever: Once-feared Victorian disease infecting hundreds of children a week

Illness associated with the Victorian era now infects hundreds of children a week, with no apparent reason for its return

Thousands of children are being infected with scarlet fever as the once feared Victorian disease, a leading cause of infant deaths in the early 20th century, makes a startling comeback.

Cases of scarlet fever have reached a 50-year high, with more than 17,000 cases confirmed last year – the highest since the 1960s. There have been more than 6,100 cases since September last year, and the peak season is from now until the middle of April. Around 600 cases are currently being recorded each week. Family doctors across the country are now being told to keep watch for scarlet fever by Public Health England, and parents are being told how to spot the symptoms.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/fTIaKQ

What are the symptoms? Click on the link

http://goo.gl/Dv9Lj3

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Health officials have ‘failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades’

Damning parliamentary report finds patients are let down at every stage from diagnosis to treatment

Health officials have “failed brain tumour patients and their families for decades” and need to invest more in research into the condition, a damning parliamentary report has concluded. Patients with brain tumours are let down at every stage from diagnosis to treatment, according to the Petitions Committee – which said it had little reason to believe the Department of Health had “grasped the seriousness of the issue”. MPs on the committee criticised the Government for not taking the lead in identifying gaps in research and providing funding for new studies which could help save lives.

The Petitions Committee concluded that funding for brain tumour research is inadequate and not given sufficient priority. Brain Tumour Research said just 1 per cent of the national spend on cancer research is allocated to studies into brain tumours.

The report comes after a bereaved sister set up a petition calling for more research into brain tumours – it has since been signed by more than 120,000 people. Maria Lester began campaigning after her brother Stephen Realf died from a brain tumour aged just 26. “We are going to keep shouting and keep getting louder until someone in Government finally hears what we are saying and does something about it,” she said.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/98tshp

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Filed under: NHS,

Plans to end the cover-up culture in the NHS

Health Secretary will announce plans to improve NHS safety and transparency at the first ministerial-level Global Patient Safety Summit

The 2-day summit (on 9 and 10 March 2016) brings together health ministers, senior delegates and expert clinicians from across the world including Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organisation.

Speaking at the summit, Jeremy Hunt will describe a range of new measures including an independent Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch and legal protection for anyone giving information following a hospital mistake. Legal ‘safe spaces’ will mean those co-operating with investigations will be supported and protected to speak up to help bring new openness to the NHS’s response to tragic mistakes. Families will be told the full truth more quickly and the NHS will become better at learning when things go wrong and acting upon it.

Jeremy Hunt will also announce that, from April 2018, expert medical examiners will independently review and confirm the cause of all deaths. This was originally recommended by the Shipman Inquiry, and subsequently by Robert Francis following the events of Mid Staffs. If any death needs to be investigated and if there is cause for concern, appropriate action will be taken.

The current system has remained largely unchanged for over 50 years and leads to significant variations in the number of deaths that are investigated. The changes announced by the Health Secretary will reassure the public that if things go wrong, the causes will be identified and investigated.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

A huge amount of progress has been made in improving our safety culture following the tragic events at Mid Staffs but to deliver a safer NHS for patients, 7 days a week, we need to unshackle ourselves from a quick-fix blame culture and acknowledge that sometimes bad mistakes can be made by good people.

It is a scandal that every week there are potentially 150 avoidable deaths in our hospitals and it is up to us all to make the need for whistleblowing and secrecy a thing of the past as we reform the NHS and its values and move from blaming to learning.

Today we take a step forward to building a new era of openness and the safest healthcare system in the world.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-end-the-cover-up-culture-in-the-nhs

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Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS child mental health money ‘missing’ despite investment

Some mental health trusts in England have seen “no significant investment” in psychiatric services for children despite government plans to overhaul provision, say experts.

Last summer ministers said they would invest an additional £143m in the services this financial year. The Mental Health Network suspects the funding has been used to support other NHS services. NHS England says it can show where the money has been allocated. The additional funding was part of a £1.25bn investment over five years announced by the chancellor in the Budget in March 2015.

While campaigners expected £250m to be made available this year, the Department of Health said in August that only £143m would be spent, as providers did not have the capacity to spend any more. However, the body representing mental health trusts says it has seen little of even that reduced amount.

How the £143m was allocated:

  • £75m – Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • £21m – Health Education England
  • £15m – Perinatal care (£11m underspend)
  • £12m – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme
  • £10m – Hospital beds
  • £5m – Administrative costs for NHS England (£4m) and Department of Health (£1m)
  • £2m – Improving care for young people in the justice system
  • £2m – Joint programme with Department for Education to improve services in schools
  • £1m – Support for children with learning disabilities in long-term care

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-35747167

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Filed under: NHS,

Ambulances referred by NHS 111 service deliberately delayed under secret trust policy, inquiry finds

Probe concludes decision to embark on the plan which affected 20,000 patients was taken by boss of South East Coast Ambulance trust

Ambulances dispatched after people called the NHS 111 helpline were deliberately delayed under a secret policy authorised by a senior health service executive, a leaked report seen by The Daily Telegraph reveals.

Up to 20,000 patients were subject to deliberate delays under the covert operation, which forced high-risk cases in the South East to automatically wait up to twice as long if their call was referred from the helpline. An inquiry into the scandal, which was exposed by this newspaper in October, has concluded that the decision to embark on the plan was taken by the chief executive of South East Coast Ambulance trust.

The draft report says Paul Sutton ordered the changes despite direct pleas to him from senior managers raising concerns about the dangers of the scheme.  The “forensic review” ordered by regulators, due to be published shortly, is one of three separate probes into the scandal. It details how the secret policy came to be introduced, without the knowledge of the trust’s board, without any risk assessment and in clear breach of NHS rules.

A separate inquiry, which will report later this year, is examining the extent of harm caused by the protocols to the thousands of patients affected. At least 11 deaths have been linked to the rogue protocols.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/o10AOG

F5A675 NHS South East Coast Ambulance parked by some grass while the crew take a break., in South East England, UK.

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Four Southport and Ormskirk hospital bosses paid £200,000 while suspended for six months

Southport MP John Pugh describes this as an “atrocious waste” of NHS money

Four Southport Hospital bosses have been paid a total of £200,000 since they were suspended on full pay six months ago – a situation described by the local MP as an “atrocious waste of much-needed NHS money”.

Jonathan Parry, the Southport and Ormskirk hospital trust’s chief executive, and three other senior officials were placed on leave after whistleblower complaints last August.  The exact nature of the allegations against the four has never been revealed. Chief operating officer Sheilah Finnegan, human resources director Sharon Partington and deputy director of performance, Richard McCarthy, were all excluded alongside Mr Parry.

The four have been paid at least £200,000 in total since being suspended – described by Southport MP John Pugh as an “atrocious waste of much-needed NHS money”. The trust admitted Mr Parry has been paid £75,000 in salary since he was suspended around 200 days ago. Meanwhile, Ms Finnegan has been handed £55,000 over the same period and Ms Partington has received £45,000. It is not known exactly how much Mr McCarthy has been paid while on suspension, but his salary band ranges from £65,900 to £81,600 a year – suggesting a cost to the public purse of between £33,000 and £41,000 over six months.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/four-southport-ormskirk-hospital-bosses-10936107

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Jonathan Parry, Sharon Partington and Sheilah Finnegan, three senior managers at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust who are on suspension

 

 

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Asleep when they should be saving lives: Pictures of exhausted paramedic and call handler snoozing shame NHS’s out-of-hours hotline at UK’s worst-performing 111 centre

  • Photos at call centre where fatal errors were made in William Mead’s case
  • Baby died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill
  • Ex-manager reveals concerns were ‘repeatedly raised’ about call handler
  • Health Secretary says Daily Mail’s new evidence will be ‘fully investigated’

They are the devastating images that shame the NHS out-of-hours service. Taken at the country’s worst-performing 111 centre, they show an exhausted paramedic and call handler fast asleep at their posts – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients.

The pictures were taken at the same call centre where fatal errors were made in the case of baby William Mead, who died hours after a 111 call adviser failed to spot he was seriously ill.  They are revealed today as a former manager at the service lays bare the true scale of the blunders that surrounded the tragedy. Sarah Hayes reveals that ‘concerns had been repeatedly raised’ about the member of staff who took the call that led to William’s death – but he had never been suspended. She also says the failings at the 111 service that contributed to William’s death were by no means isolated, claiming that the call centre is frequently mired in chaos.  As well as staff falling asleep on the job, she claims, a string of serious blunders were covered up.

The revelations have been met with anger from the parents of William Mead. They had been given written assurances by the head of the 111 service that ‘no concerns’ had previously been raised over the call handler’s performance. Last night they demanded an urgent investigation.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/z0Ocgz

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Worn out: A woman paramedic asleep at the Dorset 111 centre (left) and her call handler colleague (right) – unable to hear potentially life-or-death calls coming in from patients

Filed under: NHS,

London hospital trust heading for biggest overspend in NHS history

The biggest hospital trust in the country is set to run up a £134.9m deficit this year – by far the largest ever overspend in the history of the NHS.

Barts Health NHS Trust which runs four hospitals in east London, employs 15,000 people and serves an area containing 2.5 million people, is on course to have failed to balance its books by that margin when the NHS financial year ends on 31 March. Its overspend is 69% bigger than the trust’s £79.6m overspend – also a record at the time – in 2014-15.

Its grim financial predicament has been revealed in a parliamentary answer by the health minister, Alistair Burt, to Sadiq Khan, Labour London mayoral hopeful. Burt also revealed another London trust, London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, which operates four hospitals, had suffered such a sharp decline in its finances that it was due to end the year £88.3m in the red – the second biggest in NHS history and £63.4m worse than last year.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/07/barts-london-hospital-trust-biggest-overspend-nhs-history

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Barts Health NHS Trust runs four hospitals in east London, including St Bartholomew’s (pictured).

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GE Healthcare: US healthcare giant makes fortune from NHS but pays hardly a penny in tax

One of the biggest suppliers of equipment and testing services to the NHS pays barely any corporate tax in the UK, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds a year from medical sales to British clinics and hospitals.

A study of GE Healthcare’s accounts by The Independent suggests it has received more money back in tax benefits over the past 12 years than it has paid in, with the taxpayer appearing to be missing out on millions of pounds a year in lost revenues. The company has been headquartered in Buckinghamshire since 2003 when its vast US owner, General Electric, bought the British multinational medical firm Nycomed Amersham. It makes scanners and other equipment used in areas such as oncology and heart disease.

Nycomed Amersham typically used to pay up to £8m in corporation tax to the Exchequer every year, plus £50m to £90m more abroad. But in the 12 years since its takeover by GE, the UK divisions examined by The Independent made a total net gain of £1.6m in benefits from the taxman.

Click on the link to read more

http://goo.gl/cdUiNd

GE-Healthcare

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Nye Bevan’s dream: a history of the NHS

In 1946 the health minister strode into a Manchester hospital to launch a free healthcare service that has brought innovation and controversy ever since

Almost 68 years after its creation, the National Health Service’s founding principles remain intact: it continues to be funded from general taxation and free at the point of use. Here are some of the key moments in its history, with contemporary reports from the Guardian and Observer archive.

1948

The NHS was born was 5th July 1948. On that day, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians, dentists and hospitals came together for the first time as one giant UK-wide organisation. It was inaugurated when Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, the health minister who was its far-sighted creator, visited Park hospital in Davyhulme, Manchester. It is now Trafford general hospital and is known as “the birthplace of the NHS” as the first NHS hospital.

On that day Bevan met the NHS’s first patient, 13-year-old Sylvia Diggory, who had acute nephritis, a life-threatening liver condition. Later, Diggory recalled: “Mr Bevan asked me if I understood the significance of the occasion and told me that it was a milestone in history – the most civilised step any country had ever taken. I had earwigged at adults’ conversations and I knew this was a great change that was coming about and that most people could hardly believe this was happening.” It had huge public support, though the British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, was still threatening to boycott it until as late as February 1948.

Click on the link to read more of the history of the NHS from 1948 – 2014

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/18/nye-bevan-history-of-nhs-national-health-service

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1964

Filed under: NHS,

NHS fails on key performance targets

The NHS has yet again failed to hit some of its key performance targets, raising fears that problems are now deeply ingrained and that services are at risk of buckling under the pressure, particularly if colder whether sparks a spike in the number of patients needing medical attention.

Data for November show that, for the sixth month in a row, the standard for the number of the most urgent ambulance calls’ being responded to within eight minutes was missed, coming in at 71.9 percent versus the target of 75 percent. The number of less urgent ‘Red 2’ calls hitting the eight-minute response target was even lower, at just 67.4 percent.

According to the figures, there were 1,874,234 attendances at A&E in November 2015, up 2.4 percent from the same month in 2014. But the number of patients admitted, transferred and discharged from A&E within the four-hour target continued to slip, with 91.3 percent for the period versus the 95 percent target and 93.5 percent a year ago.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.pharmatimes.com/Article/16-01-15/NHS_fails_on_key_performance_targets.aspx

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Former head of leadership at NHS England jailed – By Lawrence Dunhill for HSJ

A former head of leadership at NHS England has been jailed for nearly five years after being convicted of fraud offences.

  • Neil Wood was part of a group  convicted of unlawfully taking £3.5m from NHS England and two trusts
  • Case revolved around payments made for training videos featuring his wife
  • Wood was a senior manager at LYPFT until March 2013, and also worked with Leeds Community Healthcare before moving to NHS England
  • He was arrested in June 2014, after police were alerted by HMRC

Neil Wood, 41, was part of a group of people convicted of unlawfully taking £3.5m from NHS England, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust and Leeds Community Healthcare Trust over a number of years. The case, which concluded at Leeds Crown Court on Friday, revolved around payments made for training videos featuring his wife.

NHS Protect, which supported the case against Wood, said he had awarded numerous training contracts to a company called The Learning Grove, which was run by his friend. Over a seven year period to June 2014,  £1.8m was transferred from The Learning Grove to LW Learning, a company registered in his wife’s name.

Click on the link to read more

A former head of leadership at NHS England has been jailed

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Filed under: NHS,

NHS watchdog slams hospitals’ handling of patient complaints

Click on the link to download the ombudsman’s report

A review nto the quality of NHS complaints investigations single pages

 

Dame Julie Mellor warns that three out of four investigations fail to identify serious failings in care as families are often met with ‘wall of silence’

Three out of four investigations by hospitals into complaints that patients suffered avoidable injury or death fail to identify serious failings in care, leaving distraught families in the dark, the NHS ombudsman has warned. Inquiries by hospital staff are so often inadequate that many complainants seeking to understand what went wrong are met with “a wall of silence from the NHS”, according to Dame Julie Mellor. Mellor, the parliamentary and health service ombudsman, has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them, in which mistakes allegedly led to patients being harmed or even killed.

Her review of the quality of internal hospital investigations uncovered a series of major weaknesses. In 73% of cases in which she found evidence of clear failings, the NHS hospitals trust concerned had concluded that no failings occurred. “Parents and families are being met with a wall of silence from the NHS when they seek answers as to why their loved one died or was harmed,” said Mellor. “Our review found that NHS investigations into complaints about avoidable death and harm are simply not good enough. They are not consistent, reliable or transparent, which means that too many people are being forced to bring their complaint to us to get it resolved.”

In just over half (52%) of the cases she examined, the investigation had been led by a doctor who was not independent of the events complained about.

For example, when a baby girl was left with brain damage after a blood transfusion went wrong, the hospital appointed a close colleague of the paediatrician at the centre of the complaint to investigate. The girl’s family had to wait three years before learning what mistakes had been made.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/08/nhs-watchdog-julie-mellor-slams-hospitals-handling-complaints?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

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Dame Julie Mellor has demanded an urgent overhaul of how hospitals examine serious complaints made against them.

Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

An open letter to Jeremy Hunt from Will Powell

This is the link to my open letter to Jeremy Hunt the Secretary of State for Health. I don’t take exception to Mr Hunt publicly supporting the Titcombe family. In fact, I found it commendable. This letter is about Mr Hunt’s lack of support for other parents and families who have also lost loved ones and fought for decades for truth and Justice. Will Powell

Please click on the link to read

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxyb2JiaWVzbGF3dHJ1c3QwMHxneDo2NDZkZjJmNzliMjE1Mzc2

 

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Will Powell

Filed under: NHS, , ,

Junior doctors contract: Jeremy Hunt accused of ‘lying’ over weekend mortality

Jeremy Hunt has been accused of “lying” about weekend mortality rates, over his use of data from a study published in the British Medical Journal.

An audience member on the BBC’s Question Time programme said some of his liver transplant patients refused life-saving operations because they now feared going under the knife at the weekend.

It is not the first time Mr Hunt’s use of the study has been questioned. In October, BMJ editor Dr Fiona Godlee sought clarification over comments which she said implied the higher weekend death risk was due to poor staffing, despite the study itself not apportioning blame.

Mr Hunt has used the study repeatedly and the government says there is enough evidence to support the claims.

 

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Father faces commuting from FRANCE every day because his sick sons need a drug to help them walk that’s not available on the NHS

  • William Baker, six, and brother Isaac, three have muscle-wasting disease
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy will leave them both in wheelchairs
  • Family want pioneering drug, Translarna, which is available in France
  • Decision on whether it will be made available on NHS expected in February
  • Father Robert  is prepared to make 285-mile journey from London to Paris  

A desperate father whose sons both have a rare muscle-wasting disease faces relocating his family to France for treatment if a new drug is not offered on the NHS. Rob Baker, of Colchester, Essex, said he will make the 285-mile cross-country commute so his sons William, six, and Isaac, three, can get a pioneering drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The disease, which causes muscles to deteriorate and leads to early death, typically sees sufferers confined to a wheelchair by the age of 11.  And while the first treatment to protect boys from the worst ravages of the disease is now available in several European countries including France, Italy and Spain, Translarna is yet to get the go-ahead in the UK.

Mr Baker, 40, said the family face a race against time for one of their children, as the treatment is only effective in patients who are still walking. He and his wife Clare, a neo-natal nurse, are considering moving to France where the drug is available on prescription if the decision in England expected early next year, does not go in their favour. There, he will have to commute back to London every day or be forced to spend nights in London away from his family, to carry out his job as a tax advisor. 

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3344104/Father-faces-commuting-FRANCE-sick-sons-need-drug-help-walk-s-not-available-NHS.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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William and Isaac Baker, pictured with mother Claire at Disneyland Paris, struggle to walk because they both have the muscle-wasting disease r Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , ,

Morecambe Bay NHS trust should come out of special measures, says inspector

Prof Sir Mike Richards says trust has taken steps to reduce risks to patient safety but that it must secure partnerships to improve maternity services

An NHS trust running three hospitals in south Cumbria and north Lancashire should come out of special measures following progress in reducing risks to patient safety, the chief inspector of hospitals has said.

His recommendation will be considered by another NHS regulator, Monitor, within the next few days and is dependent on University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS foundation trust securing a partnership with another trust to support ongoing improvements in maternity services. This was a recommendation of a scathing independent report into the unnecessary deaths of a mother and 11 babies at Furness general hospital, Barrow, between 2004 and 2013. The trust also runs Royal Lancaster Infirmary and the Westmoreland general hospital in Kendal, Lancashire.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/03/morecambe-bay-nhs-trust-should-come-out-of-special-measures-says-inspector

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Chief inspector of hospitals Prof Sir Mike Richard

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Junior doctors’ strike called off but disruption still widespread

A survey of NHS trusts shows 600 operations and 3,500 outpatient appointments have been cancelled despite temporary agreement

Thousands of patients have had their operations and appointments cancelled despite a strike by junior doctors being called off. A temporary agreement reached on Monday night between the government, the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS employers means three days of strikes will now no longer go ahead as long as a final settlement can be agreed. There has already been mass disruption to the NHS, with thousands of patients unable to undergo operations or attend appointments on Tuesday alone.

A survey of almost 20 NHS trusts by the Press Association has revealed around 600 operations and procedures cancelled alongside around 3,500 outpatient appointments. This represents less than a fifth of the trusts across England.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/01/thousands-operations-cancelled-strike-called-off

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Babies born in NHS hospitals at weekends ‘have lower survival rate’

Babies born at weekends in NHS hospitals are more likely to die in the first week of life than those delivered on weekdays, new research suggests.

Experts estimated 770 more babies die annually and 470 more infections occur among new mothers than would happen if performance was consistent across the week. The findings, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), were based on a study of 1.3 million births in England between April 2010 and March 2012. The death rate among babies was 7.3 per 1,000 delivered at weekends – 0.9 higher than for weekdays. However, there was no consistent link between death rates and staffing level.

Nevertheless, the study is likely to feed the debate over the state of weekend NHS services. A separate study published in the BMJ in September showed that around 11,000 more people die every year within 30 days of admission to hospital on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday compared with other days of the week. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt used those figures as part of his drive to create a seven-day NHS.

The latest results showed that “babies born at the weekend had an increased risk of being stillborn or dying in hospital within the first seven days”, researchers from Imperial College London said.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-11-25/babies-born-in-nhs-hospitals-at-weekends-have-lower-survival-rate/

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2,300 assaults on West Midlands NHS staff in a year

There have been more than 2,300 physical assaults on NHS staff in the West Midlands in the last year.

Nationally, there were 67,864 attacks throughout in 2014/15. The figures have been released by NHS Protect and show that many of the attacks were the result of ‘medical factors’ – by people who did not know what they were doing due to illness, treatment or severe learning disability. The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs New Cross, reported a total of 102 violent incidents.

Of those assaults, 77 were the result of medical factors and 25 were without. There were 340 assaults at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, 306 with medical factors and 34 without.

Toby Lewis, chief executive said: “We actively encourage staff to report all incidents of physical assault so that we can put measures in place to address safety and security.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/11/23/2300-assaults-on-west-midlands-nhs-staff-in-a-year/

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Filed under: Mental Health, NHS, ,

Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services by Sarah Neville, Public Policy Editor – ft.com

 

As negotiations continued this week over the settlement for health, government insiders argued that the “ring fence”, which ensures spending on the health service rises at least at the rate of inflation, applied to the NHS but not to other areas of health department spending. The move raises the prospect of cuts to areas of expenditure such as public health, nurses’ and doctors’ education and capital for maintaining and expanding NHS infrastructure. However, it would allow George Osborne to argue that he was putting money into frontline services as he implements a promise to give the service an additional £8bn a year by 2020.

Total department of health spending in England in 2014-15 stood at £113bn, compared with the NHS England budget of £98bn. That leaves £15bn outside the ring fence: £11bn of revenue funding, with public health and clinical training consuming the lion’s share; and £4bn of capital. This unprotected expenditure could be put into frontline services run by NHS England.

Click on the link to read

Raid on health department funds to pay for frontline NHS services

 

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Funds for areas such as public health and nurses’ training look set to be raided for money to pour into frontline NHS services in next week’s spending review.

Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS mandate consultation expires in two days but critics argue Department of Health kept it ‘quiet’

There is only two days left to share your views on the NHS mandate consultation, which will set the objectives and budget of the health service in England for the next five years. Critics have accused the Department of Health of keeping the consultation “quiet” and only giving members of the public a month to reply to a “pretty important” document, published on the Government’s website on 29 October.

The deadline for the consultation is 23 November and a new mandate will be published after the completion of the spending review due to take effect from April 2016. The consultation is made of five questions and asks members of the public if they agree with the mandate, its priorities and objectives, and if they think NHS England should consider anything else.

On Friday, the Department of Health said it enlarged the size of its inbox after it overloaded with answers to the consultation following a Guardian article

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-mandate-consultation-expires-in-two-days-critics-argue-department-of-health-kept-it-quiet-a6743046.html

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Filed under: NHS

Hunt condemns junior doctors’ ‘extreme’ three-day strike proposal

Ballot expected to approve industrial action with warnings from NHS bosses of serious disruption at busy time

Jeremy Hunt has condemned what he described as “extreme action” after the British Medical Association (BMA) said junior doctors would take strike action on three days in December. The health secretary is gearing up for a fierce battle with the profession, despite NHS bosses and leaders of the medical profession warning him that a protracted dispute will seriously disrupt services just when they are under the most pressure.

The BMA said junior doctors would walk out on 1, 8 and 16 December over a new contract Hunt is threatening to impose on them if, as expected, their ongoing ballot approves industrial action. “Threatening extreme action is totally unwarranted and will harm vulnerable patients. Refusing to talk to a government that wants to improve weekend care for patients and reduce doctors’ hours can only damage the NHS,” said Hunt on Thursday.

Junior doctors, 20,000 of whom staged a protest march in London last month, are furious that the proposed new contract will hugely extend the hours in any week for which they are paid basic rates of pay from the current finish-time of 7pm on weekdays to 10pm and, crucially, will also include Saturday up until teatime for the first time. They are also worried that safeguards that stop hospitals forcing them to work dangerously long hours, and the current banding system which dictates how much they are paid, especially in overtime, will both disappear.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11991858/Junior-doctors-to-have-first-all-out-strike-in-history-British-Medical-Association-warns.html

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Filed under: NHS, ,

What a new government could do to improve our failing NHS – By Will Powell

With the General Election less than a month away, Will Powell asks what steps a new government could take to address the current faults within the NHS.

1.  Ensure that there is openness and transparency both in the providing of healthcare and how the NHS is being financially run.

2.  Ensure that all Managers and Chief Executives have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment. Everyone employed by the NHS should be a fit and proper person with integrity.

3.  Ensure that all doctors and nurses have the skill and expertise to provide the services they are being paid to provide. If not, either retrain them or terminate their employment.

4.  Ensure that any doctor, nurse or healthcare professional that is dishonest about mistakes are forthwith suspended, without pay, and referred to their regulatory body.

5.    Encourage the culling of exorbitant payment to lawyers defending indefensible medical errors.  Admit liability immediately as and when appropriate.

6.  Ensure that all failures in the providing of healthcare are identified and learned from to prevent repetition.

7.  Ensure that all complaints are robustly and independently investigated by first taking a statement of truth from the complainant. If appropriate apologise to the complainant and reassure them that all will be done to remedy any damage caused. Outlaw discrimination against the complainant and welcome complaints to improve NHS services.

8.  Introduce a mechanism that secures original/photocopies of the relevant medical records immediately following an adverse event.

9.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Representative in every hospital, care home and GP practice.

10.  Appoint a Whistleblowers/Complainants Minister at the Department of Health to address any allegations of NHS cover ups.

11.  Ensure that all whistleblowers are protected by law and not discriminated against, or bullied by management, or anyone else for that matter. Any proven discrimination or bullying should result in instant dismissal or disciplinary action.

12.  Secure a statement of truth  from all Whistleblowers and provide the statement to the appointed Whistleblowers’ Minister and Whistleblowers’ Representative. Fully investigate the Whistleblower’s allegations without fear, favour or prejudice.

13.  Ensure that everyone employed by the NHS is held accountable for their actions and/or inactions and in particular when it is detrimental to patient safety issues and/or the financial running of the NHS.

14.  Appreciate and promote the very people within the NHS who best serve the public and their needs and not the wrongdoers as has been the case for far too long.

Will Powell

NHS Adviser for Mistreatment.com

http://www.mistreatment.com/news/article/what-a-new-government-could-do-to-improve-our-failing-nhs-273/#.VjMju_nhCM9

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Will Powell

Filed under: NHS,

Leader of NHS junior doctors urges Jeremy Hunt to reopen negotiations

At London protest Dr Johann Malawana tells health secretary to stop lambasting junior medics, in bid to stop BMA strike

The leader of NHS junior doctors in England has urged Jeremy Hunt to stop treating them like “the enemy” and instead reopen negotiations in a bid to stop their threatened strike. Dr Johann Malawana told the health secretary he must stop lambasting junior doctors if he wants to settle a long-running dispute over his threat to introduce new NHS contracts.

“Stop attacking us. We are not the enemy. We are just health professionals who want to have a meaningful discussion. Talk to us, talk to us reasonably. Stop going to the press claiming that we are scaremongering”, said Malawana as he addressed a protest rally in central London attended by many thousands of junior doctors, their families and other health service personnel.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/17/leader-of-nhs-junior-doctors-urges-jeremy-hunt-to-reopen-negotiations

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Filed under: NHS, ,

State of Care 2014/15 – Report from the CQC

England’s health and social care system is under pressure. Changing care needs and tough financial demands have contributed to an environment where higher quality is hard won. But our inspections show that improvement is possible, and we must look to the best to understand what works and why.

Click on the link to read the report

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/state-care-201415

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals inspected need to do more on safety, says CQC

Three-quarters of NHS hospitals in England are not safe enough, inspectors have found.

Some 13% of hospitals are “inadequate” for safety while 61% “require improvement”, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The report offers the fullest picture yet of the state of care across England under a new “tougher” inspection regime headed by chief inspector of hospitals Professor Sir Mike Richards.

It includes inspections of half of hospitals in the country but the study also found problems with safety at GP practices and nursing homes. A quarter of GP practices or GP out-of-hours services required improvement relating to safety, alongside a third of adult social care services. One in 10 social care facilities visited were ranked the lowest possible rating of “inadequate” for safety.

In hospitals, inspectors found examples of “disregard for patient safety”, including inadequate record-keeping, staff not being trained properly, incomplete safety checks and medicines not being kept properly. There was also “poor management of patients at risk of health complications” and examples of “disregard” for infection control.

The report said: “A major reason for failings in safety is insufficient numbers of staff and use of temporary staff. “This is particularly prevalent in medical care departments, where key safety risks are not always recognised, patient assessments can be poorly carried out and deteriorating patients are not always recognised.” Inspectors also reported “intense concern” about all places of care that were regarded as inadequate.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3273507/Three-quarters-NHS-hospitals-inspected-need-safety-says-CQC.html

Some 13% of hospitals are 'inadequate' for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Some 13% of hospitals are ‘inadequate’ for safety, according to a study from the Care Quality Commission

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

NHS ‘backtracking’ on ward nurse numbers introduced after Mid Staffs

Critics fear safety will be sacrificed to cut costs after NHS bosses tell hospitals that 1:8 nurse-to-patient ratio is a guide, not a requirement

The NHS has been accused of backtracking on improvements in patient safety made after the Mid Staffs scandal by reducing the number of nurses on wards because of its growing financial crisis. NHS bosses have told hospitals they no longer have to ensure that one nurse is caring for no more than eight patients at a time, in order to help tackle a £2bn black hole that has left 80% of hospitals facing deficits of up to £100m each.

The letter states: “We would stress that a 1:8 ratio is a guide not a requirement. It should not be unthinkingly adhered to. Achieving the right number and balance of clinical and support staff to deliver quality care based on patient needs in an efficient way that makes the best possible use of available resources is the key issue for provider [hospital] boards.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/13/nhs-backtracking-on-ward-nurse-numbers-introduced-after-mid-staffs

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Filed under: NHS, ,

NHS agency staff cap ‘to save £1bn’

Ministers have set out details of how they aim to save the NHS £1bn on agency staff costs over the next three years.

In June, the government in England said agency spending was to be capped and it has now unveiled details of how that will work. From April, NHS trusts will not be able to pay more than 55% more to agencies than it costs to pay a member of staff for a shift. It comes amid mounting pressure on NHS finances.

Figures released last week showed trusts had overspent by £930m in the last three months – with agency spending highlighted as one of the biggest factors. Ministers believe the move will save £1bn by April 2018 – the equivalent of shaving 10% from the £3.3bn annual agency bill.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34520631

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Filed under: NHS, ,

How private healthcare patients are denied operations that are free on the NHS

  • Michelle Booth, 47, from Basingstoke slipped on oil and needed help
  • Should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance
  • She has been waiting for 19 month after a series of absurd events 
  • Former healthcare assistant could have had treatment for free on the NHS

The instant she slipped on a patch of oil at the petrol station last year, Michelle Booth knew she’d need medical help. She’d already had surgery on the same knee a year earlier to repair damage caused by arthritis. But after her fall, the pain came roaring back.

Using health insurance through her husband Mark’s work, the 47-year-old mother and former healthcare assistant went to see a private knee specialist, who told her the fall had caused further damage and she needed surgery.

However, what should have been a straightforward claim on her private medical insurance turned into an absurd series of events which have left her, 19 months on, still waiting for treatment she could have had free on the NHS.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3269893/How-private-healthcare-patients-denied-operations-free-NHS.html

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Filed under: NHS, ,

UK end-of-life care ‘best in world’ Get in touch with the BBC to air your views

Now’s your chance to air your views….From the BBC… Has a family member or a friend of yours experienced end-of-life care in the UK? Let us know about their experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +44 7525 900971
Send pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk
Upload your pictures / video here
Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSay
Send an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100

The study of 80 countries said thanks to the NHS and hospice movement the care provided was “second to none”. Rich nations tended to perform the best – with Australia and New Zealand ranked second and third respectively. But the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit praised progress made in some of the poorest countries. For example. Mongolia – ranked 28th – has invested in hospice facilities, while Uganda – 35th – has managed to improve access to pain control through a public-private partnership.

The rankings were worked out following assessments for the quality of the hospitals and hospice environments, staffing numbers and skills, affordability of care and quality of care. Just 34 out of 80 countries provided what could be classed as good end-of-life care – and these accounted for just 15% of the adult population.

The report said the quality of end-of-life care was becoming increasingly important with the ageing population, meaning people were increasingly facing “drawn-out” deaths. The UK received top marks for affordability – as would be expected for a service that is provided free at the point of need – but also got a perfect score for quality of care.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34415362

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Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS,

Junior doctors – ‘no one understands the level of responsibility we have’

From listening to suicidal patients to looking after the sickest children in the UK, junior doctors are the backbone of the NHS

I am a 45-year-old mother of four – my youngest has cystic fibrosis. I graduated from medical school in 2010 – since then I’ve had two children in my 40s – and am currently an anaesthetics trainee with at least six years of training left. I live in Bristol and commute daily to Abergavenny in Wales, which is 75 minutes each way. Every day sees me getting up at 5.45am to get the children ready. I start work at 7.45am by seeing patients due to have an operation that day. I work supervised by a consultant, putting patients under anaesthetic and managing their airway and vitals while they are asleep. I also provide on-call services, seeing the sickest patients in the hospital. I admit them to the intensive care unit, provide pain relief, attend cardiac arrests and much more.

No one understands the level of responsibility junior doctors have; we are the backbone of doctors, providing care 24/7. Once I was managing five critically unwell patients in resus overnight as an acute medicine doctor. I needed to make quick life or death decisions, stay calm and focused in the middle of the night.

We sacrifice family time and our own welfare to care for others. In addition, we must work in our own time on mandatory exams, courses, publications, audits and much more. Though I work in Wales, which has rejected the junior doctors’ contract, my 43-year-old junior doctor husband works in England. The proposed pay cut means that one or both of us may be forced to find different work to pay the bills. Our family debt exceeds £80,000. The future looks very bleak indeed and I’m worried.

Every time I leave my children and go six days without seeing my husband or older daughters, or when I miss school events and find providing care for my child with cystic fibrosis a challenge, I consider leaving the medical profession. I care for patients sometimes at the expense of my family and that saddens me. This is why we cannot be pushed any further, it is not worth the cost. To say we lack vocation, altruism and professionalism is a deep and painful insult.

Sethina Watson, CT2 ACCS anaesthetics trainee, Wales

Click on the link to read more stories of these young dedicated health professionals 

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/oct/05/junior-doctors-responsibility-nhs?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Ministers ‘are hiding details of £2bn NHS cash crisis’

Tories accused of burying bad news with delayed figures on health service finances expected to show huge deficit

Government ministers have buried NHS statistics that show the service hurtling towards an unprecedented £2bn deficit to avoid overshadowing the Tory party conference, say top NHS officials. One senior figure at the health service regulator Monitor said his organisation had been “leaned on” by Whitehall to delay its report, which shows that NHS finances are worsening.

Neither Monitor’s quarterly report on how the NHS is faring, nor equivalent data from the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), have been published, as they usually are around the time of the organisations’ board meetings last month. Hospital trusts passed their information to the two regulators two months ago.

NHS insiders said it was “very, very odd” and significant that, in a departure from its usual practice, Monitor discussed the financial and treatment waiting time performance of the 152 foundation trusts it regulates in the private – rather than the public – session of its board meeting last Wednesday.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/03/ministers-hiding-details-nhs-cash-crisis

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

A national framework for local action on end-of-life care By Prof Bee Wee

Great strides have been made to recognise palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare, but more needs to be done. Here, Prof Bee Wee sheds some light on a new framework to make a big difference to people’s final days.

The primary purpose of the NHS – and the primary motivation of all health and care professionals for joining the NHS family – is to save, prolong and improve lives. But however hard we work and however skilfully we perform our duties, and however advanced the prevention, identification, treatment and care options available to us become, every life comes to an end. It’s therefore crucial that meeting the distinct needs of people who are reaching the end of their lives is a priority across the health and social care system, and for the professionals who work within it.

We’ve made great strides in the past in recognising palliative and end-of-life care as an important area of healthcare in its own right. Improving the experience of patients and their loved ones has also, quite rightly, been a consistent focus of campaigners, clinical leaders and politicians, leading to important pieces of work such as the 2008 national strategy for end-of-life care, and the 2011 NICE quality standard for end-of-life care.

But nobody would argue that we’re there yet. While a recent Office for National Statistics report found that 75 per cent of bereaved people rate the overall quality of end-of-life care for their relative as good or better, we know that there is much more we need to do, and particularly as there remains significant variation and inequity in the way care is provided and experienced.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.nhsconfed.org/blog/2015/09/national-framework-local-action-end-of-life-care

Click on the link to download the document ‘Ambitions for palliative and end-of-life-care’

http://endoflifecareambitions.org.uk/

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Filed under: NHS

The tragic cost of NHS out-of-hours hotline’s descent into meltdown: Two babies died after parents were given wrong advice – as investigation finds ONE nurse on duty for 2 million people

  • Investigation reveals NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in part of UK
  • Staff shortages mean those with just three weeks training are overwhelmed
  • Hotline has missed answering targets for seven months, affecting 500,000
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment to save them
  •  Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, research finds

The NHS out-of-hours hotline is in meltdown in parts of Britain, a Daily Mail investigation reveals today. Chronic staff shortages mean call centre staff with just three weeks of training are being overwhelmed. Lacking medical qualifications, they must follow on-screen computer prompts that often lead to a referral to a nurse. But so few nurses are on standby that at times there is only one to serve as many as 2.3million people.

The hotline, which replaced NHS Direct and deals with urgent cases, has missed its call-answering targets for the past seven months. Half a million patients were unable to speak to anyone at all during this time.

Evidence obtained by the Mail, including shocking testimony from an NHS whistleblower, reveals that:

  • A tick-box computer culture means call centre workers can miss vital symptoms;
  • Two babies died after staff failed to recommend treatment that could have saved them;
  • Up to 75 per cent of calls can go unanswered at busy times, with one case of an 11-hour wait for a call back;
  • Nurses have been told to prioritise routine calls over advising on serious cases so they can hit targets;
  • 111 staff believe the service is ‘completely unsafe’.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3252724/The-tragic-cost-NHS-hours-hotline-s-descent-meltdown-Two-babies-died-parents-given-wrong-advice-investigation-finds-ONE-nurse-duty-2-million-people.html

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Former NHS 111 worker and whistleblower Irsah Tahir, 21 has waived her anonymity to raise her grave concerns

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , ,

Injured RAF sergeant moved from A&E waiting room over fears uniform might cause upset

An RAF airman was moved out of a hospital waiting room because staff feared his uniform may “upset” other patients, it has been reported.

According to the Sun, aircraft engineer Mark Prendeville, was taken to A&E at Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent, after chemicals from a fire extinguisher got in to his eyes during a training exercise.

The 38-year-old, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was taken to an empty corner of the waiting room before being moved behind a corner by hospital staff, the newspaper said.

His family was allegedly told by hospital workers that “they didn’t want to upset people” as they “have lots of different cultures coming in”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-09-26/injured-raf-sergeant-moved-from-a-e-waiting-room-over-fears-uniform-might-call-upset/

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Mark Prendeville served in Iraq and Afghanistan

Filed under: A&E, NHS, , ,

Hospitals Have ‘No Plan’ For Seven-Day Services – Sky News investigation

Four out of five hospital trusts tell Sky they are still unsure over the costs and extra staffing needed to boost weekend care.

Most hospitals still have no idea how they are going to introduce comprehensive weekend care for patients despite months of political pressure, according to a Sky News investigation.

Freedom of Information requests show four out of five hospital trusts in England have not calculated the number of consultants they need, nor the likely cost of extending weekday services. The few trusts that have done the maths expect costs to run to several million pounds, piling more money worries on those already in deep deficit.

NHS England set out a plan two years ago to “drive seven day services across the NHS” and the Prime Minister said last May that it was a key priority for the Government. But our findings suggest that sense of urgency has yet to reach hospitals.

Dr Paul Flynn, chair of the British Medical Association’s consultants’ committee, told Sky News that hospitals are still confused over what services they have to provide and daunted by the likely costs.

Click on the link to read more and watch the video’s

http://news.sky.com/story/1559923/hospitals-have-no-plan-for-seven-day-services

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Joanna Gosling interviews Sharmila Chowdhury (NHS Whistleblower) on the BBC Victoria Derbyshire Show, 24 Sept 2015

 

 

http://sharmilachowdhury.com/

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, ,

‘My son shouldn’t have died!’ Mother hits out at mental health trust over suicide risks

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND READ THE STORY BELOW

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/independant-inquiry-into-death-of-matthew-leahy-20-yrs.html

 

A mental health trust where two men were found hanged this year had failed to act adequately on recommendations going back a decade on how to minimise suicide risks to patients.

Seven in-patients have now died by hanging at the North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust since 2004, including the two in the first half of this year. The Bureau, which is investigating quality of provision in the care sector, has discovered that internal recommendations made after the first of these deaths were not adopted.

In the years since then, six more people have died and at least three other separate warnings and recommendations were issued, both from the healthcare regulator and internally. But when the Care Quality Commission regulator, carried out an unannounced inspection following a death in February this year, it found the risks had still not been fully addressed.

The recommendations focused on the issue of ligature points, such as on doors, windows and wardrobes. Most in-patient suicides on psychiatric wards occur as a result of hanging from these points.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2015/09/25/my-son-shouldnt-have-died-mother-hits-out-at-mental-health-trust-over-suicide-risks/?

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Melanie Leahy and son Matthew in 2010, two years before his death

Filed under: Mental Health, NHS, ,

Probe launched into first C difficile increase in eight years – By Will Hazell for Nursing Times.Net

The public health watchdog has launched an investigation after the number of Clostridium difficile incidents in the English NHS rose last year for the first time since 2007.

Public Health England said it was concerned by the increase in cases of the bacterial infection, which can lead to life threatening complications in some infected patients.  According to data in this month’s NHS England board papers, 2014-15 saw a 6% increase in cases of C difficile compared to the previous year.

Between April 2014 and  March this year, 14,165 cases were reported across the NHS, compared to 13,361 in 2013-14. This is the first annual rise since enhanced mandatory surveillance of the infection was introduced in 2007 as part of a major campaign by the Labour government against hospital bugs”.

Alan Johnson, head of PHE’s department of healthcare associated infection and antibiotic resistance, said the increase in cases of C difficile was “a concern”. However, he said it was too early to tell whether it was “just a short term fluctuation” in the downward trend which has been observed since 2007, or a “more sustained” increase. “PHE will continue to monitor the numbers of cases and is working with the NHS and wider health service to better understand the underlying epidemiology,” he said. Dr Johnson added: “Tackling C difficile infection continues to be a priority for PHE and across the NHS.”

While the number of C difficile incidents increased last year, it remains about 75% below the number of infections in 2007-08. The number of MRSA cases has continued to fall, decreasing by 7% in 2014-15 compared with the previous year. By Will Hazell 

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Ashya King’s Parents Put Him ‘At Risk’ – Report

I say “Bless Ashya’s parents” they saved his life and the quality of his life. I would have done the same, Joanna

Ashya King’s parents are criticised for taking him abroad for therapy in a report, which says he was “at risk of serious harm”.

The five-year-old was removed from Southampton General Hospital by Brett and Naghmeh King without doctors’ consent and taken to Prague for proton beam therapy in August 2014.

A report by Portsmouth Safeguarding Children Board into how agencies dealt with the case said he was placed “at risk of serious harm if anything untoward had happened with regard to the nasogastric tube”. It also added that the journey for Ashya to the Czech Republic “must have been difficult and if anything had gone wrong the consequences would have been significant”.

Mr King told Sky News tonight that the family has seen the report and has agreed with Portsmouth City Council that neither side will comment on its findings.  Last week, Ashya’s parents told Sky News they were pleased they’d decided on proton therapy as they returned to the Czech capital for a check on his progress.

Mr King said his son’s improvement had exceeded all expectations and Ashya was becoming “strong, more social and happier as a person”. “We are thankful that we did the research and we chose a treatment that was less aggressive than the one they were going to give to us because I’d hate to think with that treatment where would we be today,” he said.

Click on the link to read more

http://news.sky.com/story/1557813/ashya-kings-parents-put-him-at-risk-report

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Filed under: NHS, Self Help, ,

New report sheds light on top hospital complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

A report published 22 September 2015 has revealed that, similar to last year, the top three reasons for hospital complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in the last financial year (2014-15) were poor communication, errors in diagnosis and poor treatment.

Non-medical aspects of patient care are cited as a factor in almost half of all complaints investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Poor communication, including quality and accuracy of information, was a factor in one third of all complaints. Other reasons for complaints in this period included staff attitude and behaviour, which were factors in two out of 10 complaints.

The report outlines how many unresolved complaints the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman investigated for every acute trust in England and the final decision made.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/about-us/news-centre/press-releases/2015/new-report-sheds-light-on-top-hospital-complaints-investigated-by-the-parliamentary-and-health-service-ombudsman

Click on the link to read the report

Complaints about acute trusts 2014-15

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

CQC report into Addenbrooke’s reflects ‘perfect storm’ facing NHS trusts, says Unison

Union officials have said they are “shocked” that Addenbrooke’s and The Rosie hospitals have been rated ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission and said increasing demand and shrinking government budgets meant trusts were “set up to fail”.

Unison Cambridge Acute Hospitals Branch said in a statement the financial pressures facing the trust and the “insistence of the Government to implement efficiency savings within the NHS severely impedes the trust’s ability to cope with the increased demand. “The Government is expecting the trust to cope with budgets that are decreasing proportional to demand. Meanwhile, the CQC is expecting the trust to cope with this significantly increased demand on services.

“This has created a perfect storm and sets the trust up to fail. CUH is not the only trust to find themselves in this position. Monitor has already written to 40 trusts earlier this year to instruct them to amend their financial plans.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/CQC-report-Addenbrooke-s-reflects-perfect-storm/story-27840278-detail/story.html?#1

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

‘No apology’ tops patient complaints.

Not getting a good enough apology when things go wrong is the most common complaint escalated by NHS patients in England, figures show.

It was the reason behind 34% of cases investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in 2014-15. Errors in diagnosing conditions, poor treatment and a lack of communication were also among the top reasons acute hospital trusts were referred. The organisation upheld 726 complaints out of the 1,652 it investigated.

The PHSO is the final port of call for patients in England who are unhappy with a hospital’s original handling of their complaint. The ombudsman has itself been criticised in recent years for not doing its job well enough by investigating too few cases and dragging its heels over decisions. Its latest report shows it has investigated more complaints than last year – 1,652 in 2014-15, compared with 852 in 2013-14.

The investigations resulted in 36% of cases about the NHS being upheld, alongside 44% about acute hospital trusts.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34312126

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Revealed: Shocking NHS postcode lottery for elderly care

An NHS ‘atlas’ reveals the full extent of the postcode lottery in healthcare, with wide variations in the chance of being diagnosed with cancer early, or receiving emergency care which could have been avoided

Elderly people in some parts of the country are nine times more likely than in others to be admitted to hospital as emergency cases – for lack of the right care in their local communities. Charities said the new official figures are a “troubling” insight into a growing crisis in care of the elderly, with hundreds of thousands of pensioners being admitted to hospitals via casualty in cases which could have been avoided with the right help earlier.

The statistics also reveal a three-fold difference in the chance of cancer sufferers being diagnosed early enough to have a good chance of successful treatment, depending where they live. The figures, published by Public Health England, are among more than 100 measures assessed today in an “NHS atlas” exposing enormous variations in NHS care. They also show major disparities in dementia care, the chance of receiving stroke treatment quickly, or receiving treatment at all for a host of common health complaints such as cataracts.

Over 75s living in Canterbury were the most likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency for a stay of less than 24 hours, with 11,000 cases per 100,000 population.

Click on the link to read more and view the NHS Atlas

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/11872521/Revealed-Shocking-NHS-postcode-lottery-for-elderly-care.html

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Filed under: Dementia, Elderly, NHS, ,

Nurses claim NICE diabetes guidance will put patients at risk By Jo Stephenson for Nursing Times

Nurses claim new official guidance on drug treatments for type 2 diabetes has set the field “back 20 years” and could put patients at risk.

The guidance on the pharmacological management of blood glucose in adults with type 2 diabetes is due to be published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence later this year. But it has been criticised for actively recommending a limited range of treatments that may not be the best options for some patients. The draft guideline  http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-cgwave0612  has been consulted on twice but some nurses, charities and drugs companies have expressed concern.

“The 2009 version was very much about individualising care and making the patient the centre of the consultation,” said Debbie Hicks, co-chair of Training Research and Education for Nurses in Diabetes. “It incorporated all the classes of drugs… and felt like NICE was giving us the ability to choose what was best for the individual. But the new draft took away all of that.”

One issue, highlighted by Diabetes UK, is that some recently approved drugs are only mentioned in passing, such as sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors, which the charity says now risk being overlooked.

Click on the link below to read more

Nurses claim NICE diabetes guidance will put patients at risk

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Life Expectancy in the UK: England’s richest people ‘live eight years longer than the country’s poorest’

The south-east would top a life expectancy table of industrialised nations, with men living to 83.1 years – the north-West would come in the bottom five

England remains a profoundly unequal country with more than eight years separating the male life expectancy of the richest people in the south and east from the poorest in the north, a new study has found.

While great progress has been made in improving male and female life expectancy since 1990, the comprehensive Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) study found that the health gap between rich and poor has barely altered in 25 years. The figures, published in The Lancet, show that if the healthiest region of England, the south-east, were a country it would top a league of 22 industrialised nations for its health outcomes. But if the north-west were a country, it would be in the bottom five.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/the-northsouth-health-divide-englands-richest-people-live-eight-years-longer-than-poorest-10500905.html

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Firefighters to carry out health checks to ease strain on NHS

NHS will “piggyback” on fire safety visits, asking firefighters who check smoke alarms to also carry out basic health checks

Firefighters will be trained to carry out basic health checks and remind elderly people to get flu jabs during home visits to check smoke alarms, under plans to ease the strain on the NHS. The fire service already carries out 670,000 fire safety checks in homes each year and Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, said it now planned to “piggyback” on these visits in order to relieve pressure on the health service.

Fire crews would be expected to identify trip hazards, check that homes are heated properly and remind people about immunisations, under plans agreed with the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA). They could also be trained to look out for other health issues such as eyesight problems in order to encourage people to seek medical help, under the new partnership.

The deal comes after accident and emergency departments faced sustained pressure last winter, with waiting time targets missed for 33 consecutive weeks from last September to May.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11862375/Firefighters-to-carry-out-health-checks-to-ease-strain-on-NHS.html

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Filed under: Care Homes, Hospital, NHS, , ,

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘24/7’ plan for the NHS proves it – he should be sacked By Jullien Gaer

Overworked, stressed health professionals are cured with a secretary of state who knows nothing of service they work in and its ideals

The current impasse between Jeremy Hunt and the medical profession over what the secretary of state likes to call 24/7 working in NHS hospitals is expected to come to a head this weekend. This says far more about political imperatives in Whitehall than it does about realities on hospital wards.

Allow me to illustrate my argument referring to a patient recently admitted to our care. After lengthy discussions with the patient’s family, when all hope of recovery was extinguished, the medical team at the hospital where I am a cardiac surgeon switched off the artificial heart that had been supporting their mother, sister and daughter.

As is so often the case, the family was embarrassingly grateful for the care that we had given them, despite the unhappy outcome. Our patients don’t expect guaranteed results, nor do they expect infallibility. They expect honesty and sincerity; and, unlike too many politicians, they are quick to acknowledge professionals doing their utmost in the face of formidable odds.

This particular patient (let us call her Mrs W) presented with a condition that is both common and, if untreated, uniformly fatal. An attempt to deal with the problem without recourse to open surgery (and the significant attendant risk of paraplegia) resulted in a complication that necessitated emergency surgery.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/12/jeremy-hunt-nhs-sacked-health-service?CMP=share_btn_tw

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‘The notion that I or my colleagues have succumbed to a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday culture would be laughable, were it not frankly slanderous.’ Jullien Gaer

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Hospital patients far more likely to die if sent home at weekend – Alarming’ findings

‘Alarming’ findings from the first major study to examine differences in hospital discharge times shows patients are far more likely to die after being sent home at weekends

Hospital patients are up to a third more likely to die if they are sent home from hospital at weekends, the first major research into discharge times has revealed. The 13 year study of one million hospital patients shows far higher mortality rates among those who are discharged on Saturdays and Sundays – especially for the elderly.

Experts said patients are being put at risk from a lack of senior doctors involved in discharge decisions, gaps in key hospital services, and the failure of GP, community and social care services to look after patients sent home at weekends. Charities said the findings were “alarming” and showed an urgent need to increase levels of care at weekends. The research comes as doctors unions agreed on Thursday night to reopen negotiations on the contract for consultants, in order to increase levels of weekend cover, or see them imposed.

The British Medical Association (BMA) had been given a deadline of the end of Friday to agree changes to future consultants’ contracts, to lose the right to opt out of non-emergency work or see a new deal forced upon them by the Government.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11856761/Hospital-patients-far-more-likely-to-die-if-sent-home-at-weekend.html

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Filed under: Elderly, GP's, Hospital, NHS, , ,

‘Doctor told me I was dying – he was wrong’ Cancer patient claims she was mistakenly told she had just six months to live and to go and plan her funeral by a doctor

Margaret Lowbridge, 74, of Oldbury, says she was told by Professor David Ferry, her consultant at Dudley’s Russells Hall Hospital, to go home and arrange palliative care. She says she only learned of the error when she was sent a letter asking her to attend a follow-up appointment 18 months later.

Mrs Lowbridge has now developed lung cancer, which she believes may be because she was advised not to undergo any more treatment, causing her existing cancer to spread. She was first diagnosed with bowel cancer in January 2009 and underwent surgery. She was left with a colostomy bag and had chemotherapy. The treatment seemed to have been a success until June 2013, when a regular check-up showed a lump.

Mrs Lowbridge said she was referred back to Professor Ferry who offered her chemotherapy but the treatment caused a deep tissue infection and was withdrawn. She says she was then told no further treatment could be offered and she should contact a Macmillan nurse in relation to palliative care. She said she was also told she would not be alive in six months and should arrange her funeral.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/09/07/doctor-told-me-i-was-dying-he-was-wrong/

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Margaret Lowbridge

Filed under: Cancer, NHS, ,

Families of dying excluded from ‘critical conversations’ about what happens at the end of life

The families of people who are dying are too often excluded from “critical conversations” about what happens at the end of life, experts have warned.

More needs to be done to involve the dying and their loved ones to ensure people have the death they want, they said. Dr Jonathan Koffman, senior lecturer in palliative care at King’s College London, said a round 500,000 people die in England every year, with around a fifth dying from cancer.

“How will we identify these individuals and provide them with impeccable assessment?,” he said, adding “you can’t undo these moments”. He said NHS care was variable for those who were dying and there were examples of poor care. “There’s inconsistency and poor quality care meted out to people at critical moments in their life,” he said. “Then there’s poor management of really distressing symptoms.

“This is not a vocal constituency – they can’t talk. And, of course, the family members who are subsequently bereaved are too wounded by those experiences to then talk and help us work out what to do better.”

Around 50% of people die in hospital despite the fact most want to die at home, Dr Koffman said. “The reality is that they don’t get what they want.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2015/09/03/families-of-dying-excluded-from-critical-conversations/

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Nurses and doctors need better training on end of life care, experts said

Filed under: Hospital, NHS,

Life-extending cancer drugs to be axed by NHS

NHS England de-lists costly Kadcyla drug, among 16 others, in wake of ‘overspent’ Cancer Drugs Fund

New and costly cancer drugs developed to extend the lives of patients are expected to be axed on Friday from an NHS list. Among the drugs NHS England is expected to “de-list” from the Cancer Drugs Fund is Kadcyla, which holds the record as the most expensive cancer drug brought to market, costing £90,000 annually per patient.

Kadcyla, made by Roche, was rejected from general NHS use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), the body that assesses new medicines for their cost-effectiveness.

Nice agreed the drug was effective for women whose advanced breast cancer no longer responded to Herceptin, but its chief executive, Sir Andrew Dillon, was outspoken about the “unacceptable” price tag. “We had hoped that Roche would have recognised the challenge the NHS faces in managing the adoption of expensive new treatments by reducing the cost of Kadcyla to the NHS,” Dillon said in April 2014.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/sep/03/life-extending-cancer-drugs-to-be-axed-by-nhs

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Filed under: Cancer, NHS

Hospital suicide man’s dad hits out over trust ‘failures’

The father of a man who took his own life after he absconded from a psychiatric hospital ward has claimed that a health trust failed “to provide a safe and secure place” to treat his son.

Maurice Campbell was speaking after the inquest into the death of 26-year-old Patrick, who died at the Ulster Hospital after he fell from its multi-storey car park shortly after scaling an outside fence nearly two years ago.  Coroner Suzanne Anderson said in her findings that the Queen’s University student from Donaghadee, Co Down, had died on September 16, 2013 “by his own act when the balance of his mind was disturbed”.

She accepted a consultant psychiatrist’s evidence that open wards, where Mr Campbell was being assessed, had to “strike a balance to provide an environment that is safe but not necessarily restrictive”. She agreed with his view that a single-purpose psychiatric care unit should be provided by the South Eastern Health and Social Services Trust to replace the current three units, none of which were purpose-built, and will send her findings to Health Minister Simon Hamilton.

A spokeswoman for the trust said the lessons had been learnt and recommendations implemented from the serious adverse incident review conducted after Patrick’s death. “The trust concurs with the views of the coroner that a purpose-built inpatient mental health unit would benefit the treatment of our patients in an open ward environment,” she said. “The death of a patient by suicide is a tragedy, and one that our mental health professionals, doctors, nurses and social workers continually strive to prevent.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/health/hospital-suicide-mans-dad-hits-out-over-trust-failures-31483740.html

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Vulnerable: Patrick Campbell

Filed under: Mental Health, NHS,

They Made Me Feel Like a Paranoid Parent – But My Son Had Cancer

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

In September 2013 my two-year-old son Luke complained that it hurt when he peed. I took him to our GP and they said it was probably thrush or an infection and he was given antibiotics. After he peed out a lump I went back, but there wasn’t enough to test, and the GP didn’t think it was serious enough to refer him on at that point.

The pain went away, but it came back a month later, and our GP referred him to a consultant. But the appointment was four whole weeks away, which seemed like an eternity, and things got worse. It got to the point to where he couldn’t empty his bladder, and was straining until he was red in the face, veins popping out of his neck and screaming in agony on and off all day and all night. Me and my partner Tim were at our wits end and ended up going to A&E a number of times to try and get help for Luke sooner.

 But at A&E the doctors we saw seemed really dismissive and acted like we were wasting their time. They thought it was constipation and they questioned his diet. Then they said it was a urine infection, and gave us more antibiotics. I didn’t feel listened to.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jess-lusher/they-made-me-feel-paranoid-but-son-had-cancer_b_8064250.html?

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Filed under: A&E, Cancer, GP's, NHS

Every hospital patient will be given a barcode as part of plan to create a ‘paper free’ NHS

Every patient in hospital will be given an individual barcode to ensure they are given the correct drugs and treatment, as part of plans to make the NHS “paper free” by the end of the decade.

Under proposals to be outlined on Tuesday, patients will also be able to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions and access their GP records using NHS smartphone apps.

The Government is also going to examine the feasibility of installing free wi-fi in every hospital and GP surgery in England. By 2020, NHS England says, it will have digitalised every patient and care record in the country – meaning that whenever patients come into contact with the health service, medics will have all of their clinical notes and test results available immediately. The changes will not apply in Scotland and Wales, but similar plans are being developed in the devolved regions.

In addition, patients, pieces of medical equipment and drugs will be identified using barcodes for the first time. This, it is claimed, will help to ensure that the right patient will be given the right drug, at the right dose and at the right time.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/every-hospital-patient-will-be-given-a-barcode-as-part-of-plan-to-create-a-paper-free-nhs-10480338.html

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Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, NHS

Walsall NHS Trust in bottom 20% in UK for staff stress, bullying and violence

The NHS trust that runs Walsall Manor Hospital has been ranked in the bottom 20 per cent in the country for staff suffering work-related stress, bullying and physical violence.

The results have emerged following a national NHS staff survey, organised by NHS England, which was carried out between October and December last year. Scores for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust deteriorated from 2013, with the trust ranking within the worst 20 per cent nationally in 12 out of 29 categories. In 2013, it ranked in the bottom fifth in six categories.

The percentage of staff saying that they had suffered work-related stress in the previous 12 months rose from 36 to 42 per cent in a year and the percentage reporting bullying, harassment and abuse from patients rose from 30 to 33 per cent.  The willingness to recommend the Trust as a place to work fell from 58 to 47 per cent, whilst willingness to recommend the trust as a place for treatment fell from 56 to 48 per cent.

Chief executive Richard Kirby said it reflected the level of pressure on the trust over the last 12 months but added that measures were being taken to offer support and make improvements.

Click on the ink to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/03/26/walsall-nhs-trust-in-bottom-20-in-uk-for-staff-stress-bullying-and-violence/

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

National health review into care for newborns after death of baby in 2001

Fourteen years on from the tragic death of her newborn daughter Elizabeth, grieving Anne Dixon is still seeking answers

A national healthcare regulator is undertaking a review into the care of newborn babies who need extra support after a Fleet woman tragically lost her baby.

Anne Dixon’s daughter Elizabeth was born at Frimley Park Hospital in 2000 and was brain damaged after her high blood pressure was not treated for 15 days. She was left disabled and needed a tracheostomy, or tube, to breathe, but suffocated and died at home in Church Crookham days before her first birthday, when her tube was not maintained during a home visit by an agency nurse who transpired to be newly-qualified.

Now, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is undertaking a national review into care for infants who need more support and how they are cared for both in hospital and by community services. It is the first time the body has used its powers to investigate a particular aspect of care across the NHS.Announcing the review, the CQC said it would examine 20 services across England, exploring how well fetal medicine, obstetrics, neonatal and community services work together to care for newborn babies with declining health problems, particularly those with high blood pressure and tracheostomies. The regulator said it did not expect the review, which will begin in September, to give a national picture of the quality of care, but hopes it will lead to development of clinical guidelines where needed.

But Mrs Dixon said she felt it did not stretch far enough and that an inquest into Elizabeth’s death, held in 2008/9, failed to get to the truth. She also said her concerns were ignored constantly and she felt she had been dubbed an “over-anxious mother”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.gethampshire.co.uk/news/local-news/national-health-review-care-newborns-9937075

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Lizzie Dixon

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

Complaints about cancelled NHS appointments soar in one year

New figures show the number of patients complaining about cancelled appointments has risen by one fifth in a year

Complaints about cancelled and delayed NHS appointments have shot up by one fifth in a year, new figures show. Official data shows the number of patients raising concerns about appointments has risen from 9,040 in 2013/14 to 10,800 in 2014/15. There was a similar rise in complaints about ambulance services, the new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show.

Experts said the figure could reflect the fact a number of ambulance services took over the running of the 111 “non-emergency” line. In total, 8,039 patients raised concerns with ambulance trusts, compared with 6,873 the previous year, an increase of 17 per cent in one year, the statistics show.

Overall, there were 205,000 written complaints about NHS services in England in 2014/15 – 562 per day. The figures include 121,000 complaints about hospital services, up 5.7 per cent on the 114,000 in 2013/14.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11825284/Complaints-about-cancelled-NHS-appointments-soar-in-one-year.html

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About 500,000 die in hospital in England each year

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Nearly 500 complaints were made about councils in the West Midlands in a year, new figures reveal

The number in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Wyre Forest has fallen from 551 in 2013/14 to 471 in 2014/15, mirroring the trend across the country, where it dropped from 18,211 to 18,436.

But the Ombudsman saw a 10 per cent increase in complaints about adult care services. Meanwhile, complaints about benefits and tax dropped 11 per cent, and complaints about planning and development were down six per cent.

Of the 10 councils in the Black Country and Staffordshire areas, the ombudsman received the most complaints and enquiries regarding Sandwell Council. Of the 118 received, 19 were upheld, with 59 referred back for local resolution. The majority related to benefits and tax (33 complaints), with 24 regarding education and children’s services, 21 about housing, and 15 about adult care services. There had been 138 complaints the previous year.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/08/24/west-midlands-council-complaints-near-500-in-a-year/

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Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders,

‘Postcode lottery’ in care causing ‘devastating’ health problems for 200,000 diabetic patients a year – ITV Report

Around 200,000 people a year suffer devastating health complications because of diabetes, a charity has warned – including amputations, heart attacks and strokes.

Diabetes UK said its study exposed a “postcode lottery” in care for people with the condition – and said there was an urgent need for the NHS to make improving services a priority.

Diabetes care costs the health service in the region of £8 billion a year – around 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget.

The charity’s chief executive Barbara Young said the figures were an “absolute tragedy”.

These complications have a devastating impact on people’s lives and are fuelling the high death rate in people with the condition, as well as meaning huge and often unnecessary costs to the NHS.

With the numbers of people with diabetes rising at an alarming rate, it is vital that the government and the NHS act urgently to end the postcode lottery of diabetes care and ensure that all people living with diabetes get the support and care they need to live long healthy lives.

In particular, the NHS must get better at giving people with diabetes the education they need to take control of their condition, and ensuring that everyone with the condition is getting their essential health checks, as they can help to identify problems before they develop into serious complications.

– BARBARA YOUNG, DIABETES UK

According to the National Diabetes Audit, carried out by the charity, 3.9 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with the condition – and this may rise to as many as five million in the next 10 years.

Most of those have type 2, which is often brought on by being overweight. The data also revealed that little more than a third – 36 per cent – of people with diabetes are controlling it well by keeping with the recommended levels of blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol.

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Doctor attacks Tories’ ‘dishonest’ reply to her open letter that was shared 180,000 times

Janis Burns sparked a mass trend when she penned a searing missive over the Tories’ 7-day NHS plans. Now the government’s written back

An NHS doctor has attacked the Tories’ ‘dishonest’ reply to an open letter she wrote that was shared 180,000 times. Janis Burns sparked a mass trend when she penned a searing missive to David Cameron over the Tories’ 7-day NHS plans. Fresh from a weekend of graveyard shifts, she complained her colleagues already work all week long and she earns less than a Pret a Manger coffee shop manager. And she sarcastically congratulated the PM on his ‘inflation-busting pay rise’ as NHS staff flooded Twitter with selfies under the hashtag #ImInWorkJeremy.

Now the £34,000-a-year junior anaesthetist has received a signed two-page response from health minister Ben Gummer. But she’s not happy – claiming his reply doesn’t answer her questions and misses out key facts.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/doctor-attacks-tories-dishonest-reply-6309875#ICID=sharebar_twitter

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Thousands of new doctors opt for a better life abroad

Disillusioned medics are quitting the NHS and heading for countries such as Australia

Doctors who are newly qualified form a growing proportion of the thousands of British medics seeking jobs abroad each year, triggering concerns that the NHS is heading for a staffing crisis.

Specialist recruitment agencies and GPs’ leaders say doctors, many of whom have just finished their training, are becoming disillusioned with the state of their profession and seeking fresh starts in countries such as Australia, where they can earn double what they are paid in Britain. Figures given to the Observer by the General Medical Council show that an average of 2,852 certificates enabling British doctors to work abroad were issued annually between 2008 and 2014 – a total of 19,522.

So far this year the council has issued a further 2,008 certificates of good standing, the document that enables doctors to register with an overseas regulatory body or employer, taking the total who have applied to work overseas in the last eight years to almost 22,000. “Medicine is a global profession and the UK has long relied on doctors coming to work in the UK from other countries and some UK-trained doctors have taken the opportunity to experience working overseas,” said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/23/new-doctors-leave-nhs-for-better-life-abroad

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A GP listening to a patient’s chest in 1948. Today GP vacancies remain unfilled and older doctors are retiring early.

Filed under: GP's, NHS, , , ,

Woman who suffered a miscarriage is left ‘hysterical’ after hospital staff ‘left foetus in a plastic bag at the end of her bed following surgery’

  • Sarah Howard, 33, lost her baby eight weeks after becoming pregnant
  • She had foetus surgically removed at Birmingham Women’s Hospital
  • But after barmaid got up to get a blanket she saw head of foetus in bag
  • Nurse ‘snatched’ it and took it away – and hospital has since apologised 

A mother-to-be who suffered a miscarriage was left ‘hysterical’ after hospital staff allegedly left the foetus in a plastic bag at the end of her bed following surgery.

Sarah Howard was told she had lost her baby eight weeks after becoming pregnant – and opted for the foetus to be surgically removed at Birmingham Women’s Hospital. But after the operation the 33-year-old barmaid claimed she got up to get a blanket and saw the head of the foetus in the bag – before a nurse ‘snatched’ it off her and quickly took it away.

Miss Howard, of Woodgate Valley, Birmingham, told the Birmingham Mail: ‘I wanted it to be something else, but I knew what it was. I was hysterical. I couldn’t believe what I was looking at. ‘I was crying and took it to a nurse. It’s an image I’ll never forget. I can’t forgive the hospital for leaving the remains there like that.’

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3201824/Woman-suffered-miscarriage-left-hysterical-hospital-staff-left-foetus-plastic-bag-end-bed-following-surgery.html

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Sarah Howard

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Locum doctor paid £11,000 for a weekend shift: ‘Outrageous’ sum spent on NHS consultant to be on call… who wasn’t even required to work

  • Hired on rate equivalent to £452 an hour to do a bank holiday weekend 
  • County Durham trust paid £10,852 for services of locum consultant
  • Doctor was on call to respond to emergencies but none took place
  • It will raise more concerns about NHS waste and temporary workers

A locum doctor was paid £11,000 by an NHS trust for a single weekend shift – the highest sum on record. Despite being hired on a rate equivalent to £452 an hour to do a bank holiday weekend, the doctor was not even required to work.

County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust paid £10,852 for the services of the locum consultant from the agency Locum Vision, according to Freedom of Information disclosures. The doctor, who covered three 9am to 5pm shifts last Easter, was on call to respond to emergencies but none took place. The huge pay packet will raise more concerns about NHS waste and reliance on temporary workers. Trusts have spent £3.3billion in the past financial year on agency staff, contributing to a huge deficit.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3200451/Locum-paid-11-000-weekend-shift-Record-sum-NHS-doctor-call-wasn-t-required-work.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Hospital: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (above) flew in a doctor more than 4,000 miles from India to cover a weekend, while an agency nurse in Dumfries and Galloway was also paid £1,400 to work a single shift

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

Hospitals still not doing enough to safeguard dementia patients: Warning noisy and cluttered wards are causing sufferers to become distressed or suffer harm

  • Figures published today show the worst hospitals scoring just 42 in 100
  • They show a huge variation between the worst and best, which scored 98 
  • Some hospitals had even failed to install hand rails to prevent harmful falls
  •  Nurses have warned many A & E units have become ‘places of terror’ 

Hospitals are failing dementia patients by not doing enough to prevent them becoming distressed or suffering harm, official figures show. Wards are often too noisy, unfamiliar and frightening, or cluttered with bedside tables and chairs which can cause serious falls. Figures published yesterday show that the worst hospital scored only 42 out of 100 in terms of how well it was set up to care for patients with dementia.

Many had failed to install handrails to prevent falls or put up clear signs so patients did not get lost, and some were deemed to be too clinical and unwelcoming. Up to a quarter of patients in hospital have dementia. Many become extremely distressed when in such unfamiliar surroundings. Nurses recently warned that A&E units have become ‘places of terror’ for sufferers.

Hospital managers were urged to make wards more ‘dementia-friendly’ under a strategy launched by David Cameron in 2012. Health bosses were told to take measures to prevent patients falling over or becoming distressed. The Daily Mail has long campaigned for an improvement in the care for patients with dementia as part of our Dignity for the Elderly campaign.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3194470/Hospitals-not-doing-safeguard-dementia-patients-Warning-noisy-cluttered-wards-causing-sufferers-distressed-suffer-harm.html

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Filed under: A&E, Dementia, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Change in regulation for midwives brings the practice into the 21st century

The government’s pledge to change the way midwives have been regulated for more than 100 years is momentous and will improve the safety of mothers and babies.

This landmark decision came as a result of families making complaints to the parliamentary and health service ombudsman after going through agonising ordeals with their loved ones during pregnancy and childbirth. We all owe them a debt of gratitude as their actions will help improve maternity services for mothers and babies in the future.

Our casework found that the lives of mothers and babies could be put at risk because supervisors of midwives currently have two inherently conflicting roles. When things go wrong, senior midwives are responsible for investigating incidents involving midwives on behalf of the regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, while being responsible for the development and support of midwives, some of whom may be their peers.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/aug/11/midwife-regulation-change-government-update-21st-century?CMP=share_btn_tw

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Filed under: NHS, ,

The scandal of dirty wards in Nottingham’s hospitals

Patients caught superbugs in city hospital wards after the private firm paid £200 million to clean them failed to do its job properly.

The number of hospital beds out of action due to outbreaks of viruses almost doubled under the care of Carillion, which has a contract to maintain the City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre. A decontamination unit has now been set up by NHS bosses and dirty wards are being deep-cleaned. Nurses are also being trained to do more cleaning. But patients say the news, published in a report by Nottingham Hospitals University Trust, is “beyond belief”.

David Jones, chairman of Nottingham Pensioners’ Action Group, said two of the group’s members had recently contracted infections while in hospital. He said: “This is a major concern. It’s quite worrying that we’ve had two members who have had problems recently where they have been in hospital and caught infections; it takes a long time to recover. “Members have been worried about the fact that it has gone out to private contract because companies need to keep that profitability. This is the effect that we are seeing now. “We expect the contract to be met, considering all the money they are being given.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.nottinghampost.com/life-death-says-horrified-MP/story-27581081-detail/story.html

GV of QMC (Queen's Medical Centre), Nottingham.  PICTURE BY DAN MATTHAMS.

GV of QMC (Queen’s Medical Centre), Nottingham.
PICTURE BY DAN MATTHAMS.

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

NHS trials for cancer sniffer dogs

The NHS has given the go-ahead for trials involving specially trained dogs capable of sniffing out prostate cancer.

The charity Medical Detection Dogs has gained approval from Milton Keynes University Hospital for further trials, after an initial study showed specially trained dogs can detect prostate tumours in urine in 93% of cases.

It is hoped canine testing could help show up inaccuracies in the traditional Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test, used to determine if men need a biopsy. The test has a high “false positive” rate, and many men are unnecessarily referred for the invasive procedure. Iqbal Anjum, a consultant urologist at the hospital, said the study was “an extremely exciting prospect”.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.onmedica.com/newsarticle.aspx?id=a0e08c76-a170-40fb-bf2e-9c104b14f5da

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Filed under: Cancer, NHS, , ,

Statement from NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre in response to the Daily Telegraph article, ‘Tesco can see your medical records’

We would like to make clear that the article published by the Daily Telegraph, ‘Tesco can see your medical records’ contains a number of inaccuracies.

The Summary Care Record (SCR) is used by healthcare professionals, on explicit consent of the patient, to support direct patient care. While a regulated healthcare professional may have secure, controlled access to the SCR in a pharmacy within a supermarket as with any other pharmacy setting, this information is not accessible by other means and will never be available to supermarkets for other purposes, such as marketing. The information can only be accessed through a secure, encrypted private network by authorised, regulated pharmacy professionals who have been carefully granted a pin-protected access card.

If a pharmacy professional shared confidential patient information for any purpose other than direct care, they can be held liable in law and held to account by the General Pharmaceutical Council, which has the legal authority to apply sanctions, up to and including withdrawal of their license to practice. There are specific processes in place which means accesses to SCR are monitored to make sure they are appropriate and are only made for patients when there is a clinical need.

NHS England commissioned the Health and Social Care Information Centre to complete a pilot project which enabled 140 pharmacies to access SCR. A report of the findings from this project, which the article states has been ‘seen by the Daily Telegraph’ demonstrates significant benefits to patients, pharmacy and general practice. The report was made public on our website on 23 June 2015:http://systems.hscic.gov.uk/scr/library/poc_report.pdf

Click on the link to read more

http://www.hscic.gov.uk/article/6637/Statement-from-NHS-England-and-the-Health-and-Social-Care-Information-Centre-in-response-to-the-Daily-Telegraph-article-Tesco-can-see-your-medical-records

The Telegraph news article 

Boots, Tesco and Superdrug to get access to NHS medical records

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/11790711/Boots-Tesco-and-Superdrug-to-get-access-to-NHS-medical-records.html

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Over 350 complaints made about care at Black County hospital

The complaints to Walsall Manor chief executive Richard Kirby were made during the 2014/15 financial year.

The main causes were clinical care, assessment and treatment, waiting time and discharge arrangement. The annual report from Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has shown there were 380 written complaints direct to the chief executive. Health chiefs say they aim to respond within 30 days and have already made some changes. These include more staff working in the outpatient booking office, extra clinics and working in partnership with social services.

The annual report said: “In 2014/15 we responded to 60.4 per cent of complainants within 30 working days. Since November 2014, the average number of complaints responded to within 30 working days has improved significantly to 86.2 per cent. “We will be working to improve the response rate still further over the next 12 months. “We have fully embraced the parliamentary and health service ombudsman’s vision for ‘good; complaint handling which was published in November 2014 following widespread consultation with patients and social care users. “Our complaints handling process is quality assured to ensure the complainant has the opportunity to be engaged in the complaint process from the beginning, and is fully informed of any lessons learned and changes made as a result of an investigation.”

Article by The Express and Star

 

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

Foreigners charge NHS for care in their OWN country: Health tourism loophole lets thousands of Eastern Europeans get free treatment with cards designed for Brits

  • NHS handing out five million European Health Insurance Cards per year
  • They allow Britons to charge emergency treatment abroad back to NHS
  • But cards are being given to any EU citizens who says they are living in UK
  • Eastern Europeans using them in home country to make NHS cover costs
  • Undercover Hungarian journalist Ani Horvath obtained card after visiting UK for one day

Foreigners are billing the NHS for expensive healthcare they receive in their own countries, a Daily Mail investigation can reveal. Under an extraordinary legal loophole, migrants are able to charge the full cost of medical treatment in their home countries to the UK, even if they have never paid a penny of tax in Britain.

They do this by obtaining European Health Insurance Cards from the NHS. The cards were intended for British people to use in cases of emergency while on holiday and entitle them to charge the NHS for the cost of any medical treatment they might urgently need while overseas within Europe. But the NHS is handing out more than five million of these EHIC cards for free every year – and keeping no record of how many are being given to foreigners.

The cards are given out freely to any EU citizens who says they are living in the UK, even if they haven’t actually worked or paid any tax here. As a result, Eastern Europeans can obtain the cards, then return to their home countries and use them to have medical treatment they would usually have to pay for funded by the NHS. And because the cards last for five years, they are worth a fortune to migrants with ongoing conditions, or who have multiple pregnancies and births.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3191557/Foreigners-charge-NHS-care-country-Loophole-lets-thousands-migrants-free-treatment-card-GP.html

Daily Mail investigation into foreigners being able to use the European Health Insurance Card easily in their own countries.  Hungarian woman, Annamaria Horvath attempts to use her British issued, EHIC card in various clinics around Budapest.

Daily Mail investigation into foreigners being able to use the European Health Insurance Card easily in their own countries.
Hungarian woman, Annamaria Horvath attempts to use her British issued, EHIC card in various clinics around Budapest.

Filed under: NHS, , ,

New era in war on cancer is delayed…. by NHS red tape: Groundbreaking treatment that could extend lives of thousands won’t be available for a year

A new era in the war on cancer is being delayed by NHS red tape, experts have warned.

Nivolumab – a groundbreaking lung cancer drug that could extend the lives of thousands – is being launched in the UK for the first time today. But NHS patients will be denied access to the drug for at least a year – and potentially far longer – as bureaucrats decide how to pay for it. Experts last night called for a complete overhaul to the way cancer drugs are funded on the NHS, claiming poor access to cutting-edge treatments is one reason why the UK’s cancer survival rates lag behind other nations.

Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research,said: ‘The system is at breaking point. This will only get worse as fantastic cancer research science offers increasing opportunities for highly innovative and effective new drugs.  ‘Having these individual battles on each drug is wasting a huge amount of everyone’s time.’

There are 44,000 new cases of lung cancer in Britain each year, making it the country’s second-most common cancer – but survival rates in England are way behind those of Norway, Australia, Sweden and Canada. Nivolumab is licensed for an advanced form of the disease called non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, which affects a third of all lung cancer patients.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187433/New-era-war-cancer-delayed-NHS-red-tape-Groundbreaking-treatment-extend-lives-thousands-won-t-available-year.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Cancer, NHS, , , ,

NHS delays leave injured soldiers waiting MONTHS for new limbs: One veteran was left wheelchair-bound for eight months while waiting for prosthetics to be refitted

  • Wounded veterans are having to wait months for prosthetic legs that fit
  • NHS delays have left Clive Smith, 29, wheelchair-bound for eight months
  • He was provided with useless prosthetics after losing both legs in 2010
  •  Mr Smith, who competed in the Invictus Games, said he feels ‘abandoned’

NHS delays are leaving badly wounded Afghanistan veterans wheelchair-bound because many are having to wait months for prosthetic legs that actually fit properly, it has emerged. The girlfriend of one injured soldier accused doctors of ‘sheer incompetence’ after providing her partner with prosthetic limbs that are effectively useless. Clive Smith, who competed in the Invictus Games for injured veterans, has been confined to a wheelchair for eight months while he waits for his new limbs to be refitted.

The 29-year-old, who lost both his legs in 2010 while on a mine-clearing patrol in Helmand province, with 33 Engineer Regiment, says he feels ‘abandoned by the NHS’.  ‘It’s been tough. I’ve been a full-time prosthetics user for four years and now I’m wheelchair bound,’ he said. ‘We were told we would get the same level of care for my prosthetics on the NHS, but it just hasn’t been.’

Click on link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3187629/NHS-delays-leave-injured-soldiers-waiting-MONTHS-new-limbs.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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‘Abandoned: Clive Smith, has been confined to a wheelchair for eight months while he waits for prosthetic legs that actually fit properly

Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , , , ,

You Will Survive: Guide for newly qualified doctors from the BMJ

Tips for students and junior doctors

The BMJ’s social networking site, doc2doc, has just published an e-book that resulted from an online discussion on how to survive as a junior doctor. Here is a selection of tips. Download the whole e-book for free at at http://doc2doc.bmj.com.

http://student.bmj.com/student/view-article.html?id=sbmj.b3175

You can download “You Will Survive” PDF guide here….  you will survive

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , ,

NHS patients may face widescale charges, warns financial thinktank

Health budget must rise, or patient fees increase and services diminish, public finance institute warns ministers in bleak assessment of ‘short-term’ pledges

Ministers will have to consider charging patients for seeing a GP, attending A&E, and using the food, power and water of hospitals, unless better long-term solutions for funding the NHS can be found, public finance experts have warned. Contributions towards the cost of treatments and patients taking out health insurance are among other options that must be on the table if the comprehensive spending review in November fails to address the issue, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (Cipfa) says in a briefing.

The document says that the hope of NHS leaders to save £22bn over five years to 2020-21 is optimistic and does not take account of David Cameron’s pledge to increase seven-day services nor of the introduction of the new national living wage.  Other general aspirations, such as making the UK a “world leader” in tackling cancer and dementia and raising spending on mental health, have not been explicitly costed either, Cipfa says.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/aug/05/nhs-patients-may-face-widescale-charges-warns-financial-thinktank

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Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, NHS, ,

Why Jeremy Hunt’s promise to protect whistleblowers is nothing but hot air By David Drew and Minh Alexander

“On high death rates, failing hospitals and whistleblowing, we are calling time on the cover-up culture, and ushering in a new era of transparency”[1]

So promised Jeremy Hunt in February this year. However, Hunt’s latest moves have shown that his rhetoric is not to be matched by real protection for whistleblowers.

Instead, he’s plumped for local ‘Freedom to Speak Up Guardians’, and a ‘National Guardian’. [2] [3] [4] This is very bad news for whistleblowers and for transparency. There is no evidence base for the Guardian model [5], and in our opinion it has been designed to fail.

The plan now adopted by Hunt was first presented in February’s Freedom to Speak Up Review into NHS whistleblowing. It was published by Sir Robert Francis QC the man previously hired to report into the failings of care at Mid Staffordshire and to devise a plan to ensure they never happened again. One of the key findings of the landmark 2013 Francis report into Mid Staffs was that staff were too scared to report poor care. Francis pressed for criminal sanctions against whistleblower suppression. [6] But disappointingly in his new whistleblowing review, Francis rejected criminal sanctions.

Click on the link to read more

http://linkis.com/opendemocracy.net/ou/pEQj2

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Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , , ,

Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s medical director retires, claims £1.9m pension – then is rehired for his old job at higher salary

A HOSPITAL’S decision to re-hire its medical director on a bumper salary just one month after he started claiming his £1.9million pension “beggars belief”, according to a health watchdog.

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals trust director, BasilFozard, retired on May 31. He was believed to be earning around £130,000 in addition to £85,000 for surgical work. His pension pot is thought to be worth £1.9million. However on July 1 Mr Fozard, who first joined the trust in 1992, was re-hired as medical director on a salary circa £20,000 higher than before – £152,000 – while continuing to claim his pension.

The day after the 59-year-old retired, health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced measures to close the loophole. His department has now said it will regulate the practice of re-hiring retired personnel and has contacted the trust asking for an explanation. Manager of Healthwatch Dorset, Martyn Webster, said the community deserves better, adding: “At a time when the average pay of hard working nurses on the front line of the NHS has actually fallen in the past year, and a time when we’re being told that health services in Dorset need to change because otherwise there’ll be a funding gap of anything up to £200 million a year, if this story is true, then it beggars belief.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/13526826.Medical_director_retires__claims___1_9m_pension___then_is_rehired_at_higher_salary/

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Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS,

NHS told to fill only essential vacancies due to ‘almost unprecedented’ finances

NHS trusts have been told by Monitor, the health service regulator, to fill vacancies “only where essential” as it warned that current financial plans are “quite simply unaffordable”.

In a letter to NHS trusts, Monitor’s chief executive David Bennett warned of an “almost unprecedented financial challenge” as he said no stone should be left unturned to find savings. Bennett wrote in the letter, which was seen by the Health Service Journal, that financial forecasts for 2015-16 are unsustainable as he called for greater savings. The HSJ has reported recently that the provider sector has forecast a deficit of £2bn in 2015-16.

In his letter, Bennett wrote: “As you know, the NHS is facing an almost unprecedented financial challenge this year. Current plans are quite simply unaffordable. As I have said before, if we are to do the best we can for patients we must leave no stone unturned in our collective efforts to make the money we havego as far as possible.

“We are already reviewing and challenging the plans of the 46 foundation trusts with the biggest deficits. However, it is clear that this process will not close the funding gap and so we need all providers – even those planning for a surplus this year – to look again at their plans to see what more can be done.” Bennett added: “Ministers have been sighted on these options and are ready to support all providers to reduce their deficits in a managed way although, of course, all actions should be consistent with your responsibilities for safety and the delivery of constitutional standards.”

Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary, said: “This is a sign of a serious deterioration in NHS finances. It suggests that the financial crisis in the NHS is threatening to spiral out of control and hit standards of patient care.

“The suggestion that hospitals can ignore safe staffing guidance will alarm patients and the government must decide if it will overrule this advice. It will raise further questions about how the government can possibly fulfil commitments on a seven-day NHS without the money to back it up.”

Chief political correspondent for The Guardian

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

British hospitals near bottom of league tables for botched ops

Research shows that hospitals in the UK have one of the worst records in the industrialised world for leaving surgical instruments in patients after surgery

British hospitals are among the worst in the Western world for leaving surgical instruments in the body after surgery, international research has found. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that the UK has the sixth worst record for foreign bodies after surgery, with 5.5 cases per 100,000 people discharged from hospital. The rate is three times that of Poland, with 1.9 cases per 100,000 patients, and twice that of Slovenia, at 2.9 cases per 100,000. Such incidents are classed by the NHS as “never events”  because they are should be avoided by systems of checks.

Leaving foreign bodies in patients increases the risk of deadly infections and other complications, and can result in fatal blood poisoning and organ failure. In the year 2014/15, there were 102 such cases in England, latest data shows

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11769158/British-hospitals-near-bottom-of-league-tables-for-botched-ops.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Medicines watchdog calls for whistleblowers

The authority which enforces the pharmaceutical industry’s code of practice urges insiders to bring them evidence of wrongdoing following Telegraph investigation

The medicines watchdog has urged whistleblowers to come forward with concerns about payments to health officials in the wake of a Daily Telegraph investigation.

The Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority, which enforces the pharmaceutical industry’s code of practice, called on industry figures to pass on complaints to help it “deal with these issues and problems”. The body’s director, Heather Simmonds, suggested the problem involved more officials than those exposed by this newspaper. She said it had already dealt with several cases where individuals present at “advisory board” meetings between drugs companies and NHS officials had raised concerns with the regulator about the events.

Her appeal came after this newspaper last week exposed how senior health staff who help decide which drugs are used by GPs and hospitals are being paid to work as consultants for pharmaceutical companies who want the National Health Service to “switch” to medicines they produce.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11776756/Medicines-watchdog-calls-for-whistleblowers.html

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Many of the meetings take place in five-star hotels around the world, with some attendees telling this newspaper that they were taken to “flashy” restaurants and paid large sums while considering whether to “switch” drugs.

 

 

Filed under: NHS, Whistleblowing, , , ,

New death guidelines ‘worse than Liverpool Care Pathway’

One of the first medics to raise concerns about the now discredited Liverpool Care Pathway says new protocols to replace it are more dangerous, and could hasten patients’ deaths

New NHS guidelines on “end of life” care are worse than the Liverpool Care Pathway and could push more patients to an early grave, a leading doctor has warned. Prof Patrick Pullicino, one of the first medics to raise concerns over the pathway, said the national proposals would encourage hospital staff to guess who was dying, in the absence of any clear evidence, and to take steps which could hasten patients’ death.

The Liverpool Care Pathway – which meant fluids and treatment could be withdrawn, and sedation given to the dying – was officially phased out last year, on the orders of ministers. It followed concern that under the protocols, thirsty patients had been denied water and left desperately sucking at sponges.

Last week the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) published new 32-page guidance for hospital staff on end-of-life care.

Click on the link to read

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11779213/New-death-guidelines-worse-than-Liverpool-Care-Pathway.html

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Filed under: Elderly, NHS, , , ,

Why NICE must publish its safe staffing guidance By Shaun Lintern for HSJ

NICE’s decision to keep its safe staffing guidance under lock and key raises several questions, and so far the reasons for the delay have been nebulous and without detail. HSJ calls on NICE, NHS England and the DH to publish it without delay

In the past few months the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence has coordinated work on what is likely to be the best assessment so far of how nurse numbers affect care quality in accident and emergency units. In the past few days, however, it has decided the resulting guidance will not be published, and will instead be kept under lock and key until an unspecified later date.

‘NICE’s U-turn could tarnish its international reputation for independence’

This is a bad decision for a number of reasons.

Questions about whether NICE was pressured into its U-turn from outside risk tarnishing the organisation’s international reputation for independence. The work is taxpayer funded and could potentially be used to plan services ahead of winter.

Click on the link to read more

http://m.hsj.co.uk/5089306.article

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Filed under: NHS

Recommendations on NHS safe staffing not published

Health officials have pulled out of publishing recommendations on safe staffing after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt gave the responsibility to the newly-formed NHS Improvement body.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) was going to go ahead with publishing them anyway, but announced tonight it would not do so. Chief executive Andrew Dillon said: “The work on safe staffing will now be taken forward by the newly-formed NHS Improvement, in conjunction with NHS England.

“The conclusions reached by our advisory committee on safe nurse staffing in accident and emergency departments will now become part of a wider review.

Click on the link to read more

https://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/recommendations-on-nhs-safe-staffing-not-published-11363995136502

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Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, ,

Mother releases harrowing pictures of her daughter, 23, wasting away in hospital before she died after doctors failed to notice she was malnourished

  • Kayleigh Compton died after being treated at Peterborough City Hospital 
  • The 23-year-old had lost six stone in eight months before being admitted
  • Doctors failed to note weight loss and did not offer feeding tube on arrival
  • She died a month later after being placed in a medically induced coma

A mother has released harrowing photographs of her daughter wasting away in hospital after doctors failed to notice her severe malnutrition. Kayleigh Compton died in hospital after plummeting to less than five stone in just one year. The 23-year-old had developed a condition which made her sick every time she ate.  Doctors at Peterborough City Hospital carried out a malnutrition test when she was first admitted but it failed to give an accurate assessment of her condition.

When the correct reading was obtained doctors assumed her malnutrition was the result of an eating disorder despite the aspiring photographer’s protestations.  She refused a feeding tube for weeks, failing to understand that another condition may have caused her to become so malnourished. Miss Compton eventually died after being placed in a medically induced coma having collapsed.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3176125/Mother-releases-harrowing-pictures-daughter-23-wasting-away-hospital-died-doctors-failed-notice-malnourished.html

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Kayleigh Compton above, 23-year-old aspiring photographer

Kayleigh Compton below two days before her death
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Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

Mers outbreak: Manchester Royal Infirmary A&E closes over suspected cases

The A&E department of the Manchester Royal Infirmary has been closed after two suspected cases of the respiratory virus 

Two patients have been isolated and are being examined for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, which can cause fever, coughing, shortness of breath, diarrhea and vomiting, amongst other symptoms.

Around 1,000 cases of the disease have been reported worldwide since May this year, and around 40 per cent of those infected die from it.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mers-outbreak-live-manchester-royal-infirmary-ae-closes-over-suspected-cases-10419409.html

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Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Radiography students in hospitals tell stories that make me want to weep

In the NHS, students are at the bottom of the pile with little voice. It’s time the health service acknowledged that they can help improve services

I am a diagnostic radiographer; one of the allied health professions often forgotten by the public and media in a world where the NHS seems to consist of only doctors and nurses. Diagnostic radiographers often see tens, if not hundreds, of new patients each day. We get very little time with our patients; it can take as little as two minutes to complete a chest x-ray. During this time, we are expected to build a relationship of trust with our patient to enable us to get the best possible image while ensuring that the patient is cared for. It is a difficult balance to achieve but one that is vitally important. That two minute x-ray could be a life changing event; something that is easy to forget when you are x-raying the chests of over 100 people each day.

It isn’t as easy to forget for student radiographers though. I am currently a senior lecturer in diagnostic radiography and my students spend 50% of their three-year degree on placement in imaging departments. First year students generally aren’t used to the healthcare environment and tend to view it as a member of the public would. This means that they notice things that radiographers, through familiarity, no longer see. Students should, therefore, be used as an early warning system – someone on the inside looking with an outsiders eyes.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/views-from-the-nhs-frontline/2015/jul/27/radiography-students-hospitals-stories-make-me-weep

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

‘Stopping my lifesaving drug will be my end,’ says woman with rare illness

Sarah Long, oldest survivor of Morquio syndrome, pleads for NHS to provide expensive drug to treat condition

Every day Sarah Long becomes weaker. She cannot sleep for more than an hour at a time, loses concentration and struggles to speak. “I don’t have much longer,” she says with a remarkable lack of self-pity. At 44, she is by far the oldest person to have Morquio syndrome, an extremely rare degenerative impairment, caused by missing enzymes, that has stopped her from growing since the age of six.

Most people with the syndrome die in their teens from a heart attack or because their lungs fail. Only 88 people in England – and 160 worldwide – are known to have the syndrome and barely a handful have made it into their 30s. Long has earned her surname. But, then, since she lost her mother when she was a teenager, she has been nothing if not strong-willed. She puts her longevity down to “bloodymindedness, a strong heart, determination – that was something my mum taught me”.

Not only did she go on to defy every medical prediction and reach her 40s, she took a degree in sociology, then a master’s, and is now in the middle of studying for a PhD. It was the same determination that in 2012 made her choose to test a free trial of a drug called Vimizim. She had spent eight months laid low with pneumonia, a period in which she says she “didn’t function”, and felt going on the trial was worth the gamble.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/25/morquio-syndrome-nhs-drug-funding-sarah-long

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Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , ,

NHS England announces new plan to meet emergency care targets

A drive to make more one-stop shops for urgent and emergency care will be announced on Friday as the NHS in England seeks to remedy its failure to meet its target for dealing with 95% of A&E patients within four hours last winter.

NHS England announced eight “vanguard” areas to transform services. Among the measures are the acceleration of the development of GP services in hospitals, mobile treatment centres using ambulance staff, and same-day crisis response teams including GP’s and other acute home-visiting professionals. More mental health street triage services will also be rolled out, along with initiatives involving a broader role for community pharmacists.

The moves, designed to break down barriers between primary care and hospitals, are among £200m worth of experiments. The NHS hopes these will be as successful as the setting up of regional major trauma units three years ago, which are said to have brought about a 50% increase in the odds of survival for patients and saved hundreds of lives.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/24/nhs-england-announces-eight-vanguard-areas-emergency-care-targets

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Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Patient’s brain abscess missed twice by doctors

HEALTH chiefs have been forced to apologise to a patient who was sent home with painkillers twice by doctors who failed to notice she was suffering from a brain abscess.

The patient, known only as Miss C, was referred to the outpatient clinic at St John’s Hospital in Livingston in September 2013 after complaining to her GP of severe headaches, problems with her vision and vomiting. But medics failed to spot the agonising build-up of pus on her brain and she was sent home twice with only ibuprofen and co-codamol. A scan later revealed the problem and the patient had to undergo emergency surgery at the Western General Hospital, before a further operation to drain the abscess.

Ombudsman Jim Martin has now ordered NHS Lothian to apologise for its delay in diagnosis, which “may have led to a more serious outcome and unnecessary prolonged pain and distress”.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/health/patient-s-brain-abscess-missed-twice-by-doctors-1-3838703

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Making change possible: a Transformation Fund for the NHS

The Health Foundation and The King’s Fund both support the concept of a Transformation Fund for the NHS in England. The two organisations came together to undertake a programme of work detailing the key aspects of such a fund.

Making change possible: a Transformation Fund for the NHS draws on analysis conducted by the two organisations, in particular six case studies of funding transformation, in the health sector and beyond, along with examples of local NHS initiatives. We also captured the experience of NHS leaders and some of those organisations across the NHS that have been at the forefront of efforts to implement changes in the delivery of care.

Appendices to the report give more details of the work underpinning it.

  • Appendix 1 provides full information about the case studies.
  • Appendix 2 explains the methodology used to calculate the size of the Fund and gives details of the local NHS examples of change that we examined.
  • Appendix 3 looks at the potential for realising value from surplus NHS estate.

Click on the link to read more and download research reports

http://www.health.org.uk/publication/making-change-possible-transformation-fund-nhs

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Filed under: NHS, , , , ,

Exposure: NHS Out of Hours Undercover

An undercover probe into  Care UK , Britain’s biggest provider of out-of-hours services, has revealed patients are put at “huge risk”.

Click on the link below to watch. Only on ITVplayer for 30 days. Don’t miss it  

https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/exposure-nhs-out-of-hours-undercover

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Healthcare providers face fines for missing the national four-hour target for all emergency departments to conclude 95% of cases. But covert footage has suggested doctors are discharging patients when they near the limit. They continue to receive treatment later on, but off the books. Suzanne Mason, professor of Emergency medicine at the University of Sheffield, said: “By discharging somebody off your system before they’ve left the department, there’s a huge risk something could happen to that patient.”

The month-long probe by ITV’s Exposure, presented by Mark Austin was broadcast on Wednesday night 22nd July which exposed major concerns at Care UK’s 24-hour Ealing Urgent Care Centre, West London.

One doctor told an undercover reporter he discharged a patient to meet the target. He said: “It’s all… playing the game. I’ve discharged her, but I’m still dealing with her. So as far as statistics are concerned she was discharged within four hours.” Two days later, the same doctor said he had discharged another patient before treatment finished. He added: “It happens a lot.”

Care UK said both the firm and doctor “refuted any suggestion patients have been discharged before treatment is complete”. The probe into Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s NHS also revealed patients were given thermometers to take their temperature, to determine which were seen first. Care UK, which had a turnover of more than £700million last year, said “this does not appear to be good practice”, and it “will undertake any retraining necessary.” Other alleged failings included empty medicine cabinets, and work experience students being told to check up on patients when staff were busy. Care UK said: “Stocks of medications are monitored closely.” It added students should not have been asked to check up on patients.

 

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Whistleblowing, , , ,

New app to record patients’ medical information

A ‘REALLY USEFUL’ TOOL

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association says the app could help offset problems caused by the loss of medical notes, and adds: “Notes going missing is a big problem – they frequently go missing and are not with patients when they have appointments, so to have an app that records your information will be really useful.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.irishnews.com/lifestyle/2015/07/22/news/headline-195604/

Click on the link to support MyNotes Medical

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mynotesmedical

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

Costs and benefits of NHS modernisation: Written Statement made by The Secretary of State for Health Mr Jeremy Hunt on 21 Jul 2015.

The health and care reforms came into operation on 1st April 2013. They reshaped the NHS to give patients a stronger voice and give doctors, nurses and elected councillors more power to decide how best to use local resources to significantly improve services and patients’ health. The National Audit Office subsequently reported that the transition to the reformed health system was successfully implemented and the savings in administration costs would far outweigh the implementation costs. The Department of Health originally forecast the total cost of transition to be £1.5 billion. On publication of the Department’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2014-15, I can today announce that the actual costs to 31 March 2015 are £1.38 billion, and total costs are forecast to be under £1.43 billion.

Click on the link to read The costs to 31 March 2015 comprises:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-vote-office/July%202015/21%20July/13-Health-Costs-and-benefits.pdf

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Scandal of patients sent home too early

One million NHS patients are re-admitted to hospital as emergency cases within 30 days of discharge after being ‘rushed out of the door’, report finds

The misery endured by patients because of the NHS’s “revolving door” policy of early discharge and emergency re-admission is exposed for the first time today in a scathing report. One million NHS patients are re-admitted to hospital as emergency cases within 30 days of discharge because they are being “rushed out of the door” too quickly, at a cost of £2.4 billion per year.

Healthwatch England said it had gathered “thousands of shocking stories” about patients being sent home without the right care and support. They included a mentally ill man discharged after a suicide attempt with no follow-up care who killed himself a week later. The NHS’s official watchdog concluded that “an undercurrent of ageism” persists within the NHS, and that some of the most vulnerable people in society – pensioners, the homeless and the mentally ill – are being badly let down.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11752276/Scandal-of-patients-sent-home-too-early.html

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Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, ,

Doctor who slapped A&E patient’s face struck off

A SCOTTISH doctor who was planning his retirement after an unblemished 40-year career has been struck off in disgrace after he slapped a patient who had become abusive in a hospital A&E department.

Consultant Dominic McCreadie, 64, used his right hand to hit the 66-year-old in the face after he lost his temper when the pensioner began struggling violently and swearing at him whilst receiving treatment. The unnamed patient, who had been flailing his arms around whilst being given an injection, was said to have “calmed down” after being slapped. But McCreadie was reported by a junior colleague who witnessed the incident and described the medic’s actions as “inappropriate”. He was subsequently quizzed by police under caution and during an interview with officers admitted: “I accept that I was frustrated and exasperated by this patient.”

At a fitness to practise hearing of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, McCreadie, formerly of Glasgow, now of Warwick, agreed to “voluntary erasure” from the General Medical Council register after being found guilty of misconduct.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/doctor-who-slapped-a-e-patient-s-face-struck-off-1-3836122

Dr Dominic McCreadie said that he held the patients mouth shut with his hand. Picture: Cavendish Press

Dr Dominic McCreadie said that he held the patients mouth shut with his hand. Picture: Cavendish Press

Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, ,

‘Dear Mr Cameron’: Junior doctor’s angry letter to PM over NHS plans wins support of thousands

A junior doctor’s furious letter to David Cameron over the Government’s plans to overhaul the NHS has won the support of thousands.

Janis Burns, 26, who works at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, challenged the Prime Minister to attempt to treat a patient “on the brink of death” after a long stint of night shifts. “You try managing that after you’ve been up all night and then tell me the NHS isn’t 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days a year,” she wrote in the letter which has now been shared more than 80,000 times on Facebook.

She also accused Heath Secretary Jeremy Hunt of “deliberately attacking” the profession and being “hell bent” on convincing the public that doctors do not provide a seven-day service. Burns – who reportedly tried to hand deliver the letter to Number 10 after coming off a weekend of graveyard shifts – wrote the letter in reaction to the ongoing row over the UK’s NHS service.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.itv.com/news/2015-07-19/thousands-share-doctors-letter-to-pm-over-nhs-row/

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , ,

NHS management – the retailer’s view

There has certainly been a blizzard of announcements from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt – including reform of consultants’ contracts, a new single hospital trust regulator and a buddying scheme linking a leading US hospital to five NHS trusts.

He spelled out in some detail his vision of a patient-centred, transparent NHS providing a full seven-day-a-week service. With rather less fanfare, a report on the leadership of the NHS in England was made available to MPs and put up on the Department of Health website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/better-leadership-for-tomorrow-nhs-leadership-review.

This is the work of a leading figure in the business world, Stuart (now Lord) Rose who once ran Marks & Spencer.

Early last year he was given the task of reporting on how to develop potential top managers in the health service and how strong leadership might help deliver reform where required in hospitals. The Rose report was delivered at the end of last year. He was then asked by Jeremy Hunt to update it to take account of the Five Year View produced by Simon Stevens and other NHS leaders in England.

A new version was duly delivered in the spring. But nothing more has been heard of it till now.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/33556649

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Using technology to negotiate medical minefields

MyNotes Medical  http://www.mynotesmedical.com   will be designed to enable patients and carers to make text, video, audio and photo notes on digital devices while with a doctor, or soon after. Notes can be saved in date order to a fully secure server and/or PC. Personal files are visible through logging in with an ID and password. Personal information and treatment/medication details can also be added.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13439253.display/

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS

Jeremy Hunt announces new measures to improve safety across NHS

Freedom to Speak Up, Morecambe Bay Investigation and the clinical incidents investigations review recommendations accepted.

The government has published (16 July 2015) Learning not Blaming* its full response to the Freedom to Speak Up consultation, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) report on investigating clinical incidents in the NHS and the Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust Investigation.

Jeremy Hunt told Parliament today that when things go wrong “they will no longer be swept under the carpet” and that the NHS must “listen, learn and improve”.

Click on the link to read more

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/jeremy-hunt-announces-new-measures-to-improve-safety-across-nhs

Click here to download full report

Learning not blaming The Department of Health *

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Filed under: Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, , , ,

I’m determined that my mother’s death won’t be in vain – Belfast Telegraph

Blogger and health campaigner Joanna Slater has developed an app in a bid to help tackle communication breakdowns between medics and patients. By Lisa Salmon

Have you ever left a medical appointment and suddenly thought you didn’t understand or can’t remember exactly what the doctor said? Or are you one of the patients whose notes have gone missing?

Health campaigner Joanna Slater is developing an app to help address these very things, called MyNotes Medical, which will enable people to make audio or text recordings of consultations and list treatments and medications they’ve received.

Along with co-founder Brad Meyer, she has now set up a crowdfunding site in a bid to raise money to put the finishing touches to the app, and they hope to be able to launch it later this year.

For Slater, reaching this point was triggered by personal experience. Her 85-year-old mother, Kay, died in hospital in January 2008, six months after being admitted for hip surgery.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/life/features/im-determined-that-my-mothers-death-wont-be-in-vain-31380133.html

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My mother in hospital on her 85th Birthday and me with my two sisters

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Large numbers of older patients experience lack of dignity in hospital

Older hospital patients in England face a “widespread and systematic” pattern of inadequate care, according to a detailed statistical analysis of inpatient experience data in NHS hospitals in England.

The analysis* by Drs Polly Vizard and Tania Burchardt of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics uses data from the Adult Inpatient Survey for 2012-13 to give a detailed picture of older people’s reported experiences during hospital stays. The results showed that experiences of poor or inconsistent standards of dignity and help with eating were too high in the “vast majority” of NHS trusts. Over a fifth of older people (23%) reported experiencing poor or inconsistent standards of dignity and respect and more than one in three patients who needed help with eating did not receive enough assistance.

Poor or inconsistent care was more likely to be experienced by women, those aged over 80 and those with a long-standing illness or disability such as deafness of blindness. The likelihood of poor or inconsistent care was particularly high for patients whose hospital stay had been long or if they had stayed on three or more wards.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.onmedica.com/newsArticle.aspx?id=dd0ea49d-0d5f-480d-b17b-7f6cbf282737

Click on the link to download the full analysis*

Older peoples experiences of dignity and nutrition during hospital stays

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Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

750 avoidable deaths a month in NHS hospitals, study finds

“THIS IS WHY YOU NEED MYNOTES MEDICAL”

One in 28 deaths can be attributed to poor care and study says standard death rates should not be used to rank quality of care

About 750 patients a month in NHS hospitals are dying unnecessarily, the largest review of “avoidable deaths” has found. Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said “One in 28 deaths could be attributed to poor care such as inattentive monitoring of the patient’s condition, doctors making the wrong diagnosis or patients being prescribed the wrong medicine”.

In February, the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, announced that hospitals in England would be required to monitor the rate of avoidable deaths and that officials would rank trusts on this measure. Hunt said the rate of avoidable deaths in hospitals was the “biggest scandal in global healthcare” and estimated that 1,000 patients died needlessly each month. He said healthcare should learn lessons from the airline industry, where annual deaths worldwide had fallen from 2,000 in the 1970s to 500 now.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/14/avoidable-deaths-nhs-hospitals-study

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Urgent action pledged on over-medication of people with learning disabilities

NHS England has today promised rapid and sustained action to tackle the over-prescribing of psychotropic drugs to people with learning disabilities after three separate reports highlighted the need for change.

Research commissioned by the health body and delivered in three reports from the Care Quality Commission, Public Health England, and NHS Improving Quality has found that:

  • There is a much higher rate of prescribing of medicines associated with mental illness amongst people with learning disabilities than the general population, often more than one medicine in the same class, and in the majority of cases with no clear justification;
  • Medicines are often used for long periods without adequate review, and;
  • There is poor communication with parents and carers, and between different healthcare providers.

One of the reports, authored by Public Health England, estimates that up to 35,000 adults with a learning disability are being prescribed an antipsychotic, an antidepressant or both without appropriate clinical justification.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.england.nhs.uk/2015/07/14/urgent-pledge/

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Filed under: Disabilities, NHS, , , ,

The Case for Patient Safety: Financially, Professionally and Ethically By Andy Cowper for HSJ

Read the full report from HSJ, in association with Allocate Software, on why patient safety should be the core business of healthcare

Why do we need another report?

Financially, ethically and professionally, patient safety should be the core business of healthcare. Yet despite big improvements reducing healthcare-associated infections and venous thromboembolism, why does patient safety still feel like something we are yet to crack? Where are the main areas to focus? And what are the first steps to improve?

“It is curious that people should think a report self-executive, should not see that, when the report is finished, the work begins” Florence Nightingale, letter to Mary Elizabeth Herbert (1863)

Click on the link to download the full report   

Patient Safety Case full report

 

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Filed under: NHS, , , ,

Why do I need MyNotes Medical? Warning: Lack of notes can kill

We want to ask you:

What if better communication between patient and NHS could prevent needless illness or death?

Warning: Lack of notes can kill!

Every year, thousands of NHS patients suffer needlessly. Doctors are over­worked, mistakes are made and billions of pounds are wasted. The question is, why?

If you have ever been a patient, or your loved one has, you may know for yourself the confusion and stress that often occurs:

  • You don’t understand what the doctor or consultant is saying
  • Your story is not taken seriously
  • You find it difficult to recall your diagnosis or treatment, since you have no notes to refer to
  • Perhaps, as a result you are sent away with the wrong diagnosis, or you have to make several appointments.

This is critical:

You don’t understand everything that the medical professionals are asking or saying to you; no one seems to have access to your loved one’s medical history and you are worried that you may generalise, delete or distort something critical when telling people what they need to know. All of this wastes precious time in which you or your loved one could be receiving proper treatment.

The problem is down to a breakdown in communication between patient and consultant. And, the problem has been publicly recognised and acknowledged.

Trouble is, all too often the solution has been developed by medical professionals for the ‘benefit’ of patients but NOT by patients themselves and NOT from a patient’s perspective.

Would you feel better if you could

Take Video’s,  Record conversations, Take Photo’s that are automatically synchronised with your PC in date order to review, share and keep you in control?

Yes! That’s why you and your loved ones need MyNotes Medical. Written by Patients for Patients.

You are just one click away  http://goo.gl/3rf9c7

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Self Help, , , ,

Medical blunders cost NHS billions

An analysis by The Telegraph shows 20 hospital trusts have paid out £1.1 billion for medical blunders in just five years. While below we tell the tragic story of a mother left severely brain damaged after giving birth to her daughter

More than £1.1bn has been paid out for blunders at just 20 NHS trusts in the past five years, a Telegraph investigation can disclose.

A league table reveals the trusts with the largest medical negligence bills in England – topped by a hospital trust which was embroiled in a scandal over the deaths of babies and mothers. In total, NHS trusts have paid out more than £4.5 billion in the past five years for medical mistakes. About a quarter was paid to law firms to cover legal costs and most of the rest in compensation to patients harmed by medical blunders.

The legal bill for medical blunders has quadrupled in the past decade, The Telegraph investigation shows.  Action against Medical Accidents, the patient safety charity, said last night the growing scale of payouts was of huge concern and a massive burden on the NHS. “Clinical negligence is a huge and growing strain on the finances of the NHS, but the human cost is far greater,” said Peter Walsh, the charity’s chief executive, “Millions could be saved if there were more honesty and earlier admissions of liability.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11733719/Medical-blunders-cost-NHS-billions.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , ,

NHS 111 helpline service to undergo major revamp following undercover investigation by The Telegraph

All negotiations over the running of local NHS 111 services have been suspended following a Telegraph investigation which exposed major safety risks to patients.

Health officials will issue a new blueprint this autumn promising a new model of care, and national standards on how the helpline should work with ambulances, GP out of hours and urgent care providers.

NHS England’s chief operating officer has written to all providers and commissioners of 111 services, calling for all current tender processes to be halted, until a new “functionally integrated” service has been designed.

The letter was issued last Friday, two days after The Telegraph disclosed concerns about the way 111 helplines are being run. South Central Ambulance Service launched an inquiry after an undercover investigation found call handlers being put under pressure to avoid sending ambulances. Some told how they phrased questions so as to minimise health concerns.

Click on the link to read more 

Speeding ambulance

Speeding ambulance

Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Nice to publish report on NHS staffing levels despite being told to stop work

Ministers and NHS bosses face an embarrassing row over safe staffing levels for nurses in hospital A&E departments in England after it emerged that the government body told to stop work in this area is going to publish its recommendations anyway.

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which is legally independent of the NHS, plans to release its work at the end of the month. It is also continuing evidence reviews for staffing mental health care for both inpatients and those in the community, for learning disability services and for other community health services.

The move, revealed by the Health Service Journal (HSJ), comes a month after news that NHS England, which is far more tightly controlled by the Department of Health (DH), had decided to take such work in-house. This was seen by critics as likely to lead to lower, and cheaper, standards in terms of staffing within the financially challenged service, which has already been told by health secretary Jeremy Hunt to stop using expensive staffing agencies, which, he says, have been “ripping off the NHS”.

The Nice publications will not be billed as official guidance but will be sent to NHS England in any case. Nice is concerned also that both its own work and that of NHS England has been hampered by only looking at nursing numbers.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jul/10/nice-publish-report-safe-nhs-staffing-levels-told-stop-work

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Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has said expensive staffing agencies are ‘ripping off the NHS’. Watchdog Nice plans to release its report into safe staffing levels

Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

NHS bullying is a threat to patients: Health ministers warning of ‘toxic’ culture after survey finds quarter of doctors, nurses and other staff have fallen victim

  • A quarter of all NHS employees have been victimised by their colleagues
  • Staff introduced to each other by their pay scales instead of their names
  • Hierarchical Attitudes impede ability to improve care and patients safety
  • NHS told to be more like Asda where staff have sense of pride over work 

A ‘toxic’ culture of bullying amongst NHS staff is putting the safety of patients at risk, a health minister has warned. Lord Prior revealed that a quarter of employees have been victimised by their own colleagues, a rate unheard of in other organisations. He said the health service needed to learn lessons from the supermarket chain Asda where staff feel valued and turn-up to work with a sense of pride.

By contrast, he spoke of how many doctors, nurses and back-office healthcare staff had become ‘switched-off’ and disillusioned. He also warned of the culture of hierarchy in the NHS with nurses routinely introducing themselves to other workers by their pay-scales, or ‘bands’, rather than their names. The health minister suggested that bosses should be ‘pushing the panic button’ over the high rates of bullying and taking urgent action to improve staff morale. He warned that the this attitude was impeding the NHS’s drive to improve care and safety, in the face of tighter financial constraints and the increasing elderly population.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3152886/NHS-bullying-threat-patients-Health-ministers-warning-toxic-culture-survey-finds-quarter-doctors-nurses-staff-fallen-victim.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , , , , ,

Dementia patients being failed by social services, say GPs

Most doctors believe social services do not do enough to make sure people suffering from dementia have company and enough to eat

Dementia patients are being failed by social services who do not check if they are suffering from lonliness or malnourishment, GPs claim. A survey of 1000 doctors by the Alzheimer’s Society found that fewer than one in ten think people with dementia get enough statutory support to maintain a good diet or have adequate company. Three in five GPs (61 per cent) say lack of cooperation between the NHS and social care acts as a barrier to patients getting support, while many (73 per cent) also think patients, families and carers are left confused by the health and social care system.

The charity said that hundreds of thousands of people were being let down and called for the Government to ensure that everyone diagnosed with dementia is entitled to a full package of support including a Dementia Adviser. It also wants to see better help and support available for carers, with a single point of contact available to help them navigate the health and social care system.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/11719300/Dementia-patients-being-failed-by-social-services-say-GPs.html

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Filed under: Dementia, GP's, NHS, , ,

NHS decisions ‘could be removed from political control’

Final decisions about changes to the health service could be taken out of the hands of politicians under new proposals by the Welsh government.

The public are being given a say on a range of ideas, including a merger of the health and social care watchdogs. There would be a legal duty for NHS staff to be more open with patients, not just when things go wrong. Patients would also be asked if they would be willing to share personal health data for medical research. The 50-page document will look at potential legislation which could be taken up after the next assembly elections in May 2016.

The Green Paper says a culture of more transparency, and not just when things go wrong, is needed at all levels of the health service. Patients will also be asked if they would be willing to share personal health data for medical research. A national expert panel could take over from the health minister in having the final say on controversial decisions like hospital changes.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-33384355

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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Senior doctor urges Welsh NHS to improve medical training after ‘unimaginable mistakes’ were made prior to his mother’s death

  • Dr Amer Jafar claims ‘unimaginable mistakes’ led to his mother’s death
  • Concerns led to investigation into her care at University Hospital of Wales 
  • Three-and-a-half hour delay identifying and treating her condition, three-hour delay giving her pain relief and six-hour delay giving her antibiotics
  • Dr Jafar says he wants to make sure all doctors are trained adequately

A leading doctor is today leading calls for the Welsh NHS to improve its medical training after his mother died of a heart attack following ‘inadequate care’.

Dr Amer Jafar, one of Wales’ most senior medical consultants, was awarded £4,000 compensation after an investigation uncovered a spate of failings in the care of his 79-year-old mother. Dr Jafar called for the investigation after he said ‘unimaginable mistakes’ were made at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff over his mother Zahar Al Hasani’s death. A report found there was a three-and-a-half hour delay in identifying and treating her condition when she was taken into hospital.It also found there was a similar three-hour delay in giving her pain relieving paracetamol and then a six hour delay in giving her antibiotics.

Dr Jafar made a complaint to the health board after claiming his mother’s poor care had led to her suffering a fatal heart attack in March 2014. He said his elderly mother, who had a history of heart disease, was assessed wrongly by a doctor in his final year of training who ‘misdiagnosed and mismanaged’ her sepsis and failed to follow the ‘sepsis pathway’.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3148460/Senior-doctor-urges-Welsh-NHS-improve-medical-training-unimaginable-mistakes-prior-mother-s-death.html

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Dr Amer Jafar

Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, ,

Are you caring for a loved one or know someone that is? Is it going well? Are you worried?

Are you caring for a loved one? Is it going well? Would it be really useful to have a tool that you could keep notes instantly, keep an eye on what the doctors are saying and be able to go back on your notes?

Yes! well please look at MyNotes Medical which is to safeguard our loved ones.
MyNotes Medical will single-handedly revolutionize the health care system!

This little app will prevent so much suffering, anguish and heartache on the part of patients, their carers and families. It will also unquestionable save many, many lives

MyNotes Medical is long overdue, and needs your financial support now!

It is imperative that we get the funding we need to launch this project. Your help is desperately needed, however small. Please go to our website http://goo.gl/3rf9c7

Please help us to help you and your loved ones and Together we can make a difference

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, NHS, , , , ,

Royal Glamorgan Hospital given a damning ‘one out of five’ food hygiene rating

A South Wales hospital has been given a damning food hygiene rating of just “1” – the second lowest on the official six-point scale.

Environmental health officers from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council who toured the Royal Glamorgan Hospital near Llantrisant  on June 17 ruled the hospital needed a “major improvement”. Health board bosses insist they have since carried out necessary changes but admitted the low rating on the 0-5 scale had left them “very disappointed”.

In a statement issued at the time, the Cwm Taf University Health Board – which administers the facility and which received the results last Thursday – said: “We are very disappointed with this rating and apologise for what was an unacceptable inspection outcome.” The “1” rating meant the 570-bed hospital in Ynysmaerdy was told it had to make a “major” improvement – something it says it has now done.

The inspection had found that improvements were required in relation to food hygiene – and, in particular, safety procedures. There was no evidence of structural problems or pest control issues, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has noted.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/royal-glamorgan-hospital-given-damning-9570556#ICID=FB-Wales-main

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, ,

NHS needs more funding this year or patient care could suffer, say health experts

The NHS needs another funding boost this year or patient care could suffer, health experts have said, in the latest bleak assessment of the health service finances.

Researchers at the King’s Fund found that an unprecedented nine out of 10 hospitals in England are predicting an end-of-year deficit, with estimates suggesting that NHS providers could go £2bn into the red.

The stark warning from the respected think tank, which comes ahead of next week’s Budget, also undermines some of the Government’s flagship NHS pledges, stating that an £8bn funding increase for the NHS in England by 2020 – announced before the election – is a bare minimum and cannot pay for David Cameron’s promise of seven-day working across the health service.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/nhs-needs-more-funding-this-year-or-patient-care-could-suffer-say-health-experts-10361673.html

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, , ,

NHS 111 investigation: 10 things we’ve learned

Failing to send ambulances to potential emergencies; watching Game of Thrones in between calls; changing data to meet targets – and more

Patients who call the NHS 111 service are being denied ambulances, even if they are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, a Telegraph investigation has revealed.

The 111 service was set up as a non-emergency alternative to 999 to relieve pressure on the health system, including A&E departments.

An undercover investigation found that staff at a 111 call centre in Oxfordshire were told that there were not enough ambulances to send to everyone in need.

“People are having heart attacks, they’re not breathing, they’re not getting ambulances,” the undercover reporter was told.

Here we examine 10 of the details to have emerged in our seven-week investigation.

Please click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/11708938/NHS-111-investigation-10-things-weve-learned.html

Speeding ambulance

Speeding ambulance

Filed under: A&E, GP's, Hospital, NHS, ,

Heart patients’ lives ‘at risk as NHS 111 hotline won’t send ambulances’ due to shortage in paramedics

  •  Shortage of paramedics means ambulances are not being dispatched
  •  Undercover reporter wasn’t able to send help to a man with chest pain
  •  Mentor told trainee staff: ‘Everyone in this room has killed someone’
  • South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) has announced investigation  

Patients’ lives are being put at risk by the NHS 111 helpline because call- handlers are being told not to dispatch ambulances, it was claimed last night. One call-centre mentor chillingly told trainee staff that ‘everyone in this room has killed someone’, an undercover investigation found. Patients are being denied ambulances even if they are suffering the symptoms of a heart attack, the Daily Telegraph investigation reported.  The NHS 111 helpline was launched in 2013 to provide round-the-clock advice to the public as an alternative to the former advice line NHS Direct, which was run by medically-qualified staff. The new helpline was intended to prevent unnecessary visits to A&E.

Staff on the 111helpline have previously been criticised for merely asking callers questions as guided by computer algorithms – and sending too many tohospital as a result.  Call-handlers working on the service are expected to dispatch the emergency services if patients describe symptoms of serious illnesses. However, they are now said to be under pressure not to send out ambulances at certain times due to a shortage of paramedics and a backlog of requests.

An undercover reporter spent seven weeks working on the 111 helpline – which has had numerous problems since its launch – in a call centre in Bicester, Oxford.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3145355/Heart-patients-lives-risk-NHS-111-hotline-won-t-send-ambulances-shortage-paramedics.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Please show me that you really care

Do you want to make people’s lives better?

Do you want to make your children’s and your parents lives better?

Are you concerned with the amount of medical mistakes in the news?

Are you a thinker or a doer?

Do you really care? 

Click on the link and show me that you really care http://goo.gl/3rf9c7

pledge

Filed under: A&E, Cancer, Care Homes, Dementia, Disabilities, Elderly, GP's, Hospital, Mental Health, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Self Help, Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, , ,

Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate Orders: East trial could go nationwide

New guidelines that aim to improve end of life care could be issued nationwide following a trial in hospitals in the East of England.

Dr Zoe Fritz, who oversaw the project, said the current “ad hoc” arrangement often led to an “undignified death”. She wants nationwide guidelines, based on what was trialled, covering Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate Orders (DNAR). “We found that doctors found it easier to have decisions and most importantly patients got better care,” she said. Legally, doctors do not need patient consent to issue a DNAR, but they must have consulted the patient beforehand.

Dr Fritz, a consultant physician who has studied DNARs at Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge and at the West Suffolk Hospital, said: “Different doctors have different ways of deciding when someone should be for resuscitation. “The worst case is you start [to resuscitate] and someone who has had a peaceful death then wakes up briefly to find all these people around them, tubes in them, blood everywhere and then dies. “And unfortunately I’ve seen that on more than one occasion.”

The number of DNAR hospital complaints in the East of England has risen from seven in 2012 to 45 in 2014.  A year ago, a Hertfordshire family took their DNAR complaint to the Court of Appeal. In a landmark judgement, the court ruled that the human rights of Janet Tracey were violated when she was placed under a DNAR order at Addenbrooke’s without consultation.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-33167692

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Janet Tracey, who had terminal lung cancer, died in 2011

Filed under: NHS, ,

New ‘duty of candour’ rules instruct medics to admit mistakes

 

New guidelines are being unveiled for doctors, nurses and midwives across the UK on being honest and open with patients when things go wrong.

Known as a “duty of candour”, the guidelines make clear that patients should expect a face-to-face apology. In April, the NHS introduced a rule that told NHS and private healthcare organisations to admit their mistakes candidly, and as soon as possible. Now the same rule is to be applied to individual medics.

Say Sorry

Detailed guidance makes clear staff should tell the patient as soon as possible when something has gone wrong, and what it might mean for their health. The guidance also makes clear that patients or their families should receive a face-to-face apology. For the avoidance of doubt, it even spells out words that such an apology might include, such as “I am sorry”. The guidance was drawn up by the General Medical Council and the Nursing and Midwifery Council and applies to more than 950,000 doctors, nurses and midwives working in the UK.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33286601

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Filed under: Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, , , , , ,

Clampdown on lawyers overcharging NHS in clinical negligence cases

Government plans to save NHS £80m a year by capping legal fees that in some cases run as high as 10 times the amount paid in compensation to clients.

In one case, a source at the Department of Health said a lawyer pocketed £175,000 while the patient received just £11,800 in damages. In another, the legal bill was more than £80,000 while the patient only received £1,000, although the legal bill was later reduced to less than £5,000 by the courts after a successful challenge by the NHS Litigation Authority (NHS LA).

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/27/nhs-clinical-negligence-cases-clampdown-lawyers

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Filed under: NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , ,

How Will MyNotes Medical work for you? Watch our walk-through slides

We have had a fantastic response regarding MyNotes Medical, but people are still unsure how MyNotes Medical works.

Here is a short slide presentation walkthrough how the programme will work. We NEED your support to help us to help you. Please pledge your support on our link http://goo.gl/3rf9c7  Thank you, Together We Can Make A Difference Joanna 

 

Filed under: A&E, Cancer, Care Homes, Dementia, Disabilities, Elderly, GP's, Hospital, Mental Health, Named & Shamed, NHS, NHS Blunders, Self Help, Uncategorized, Whistleblowing, ,

Superhospital, episode 1: The Telegraph review the NHS in action

The first episode of the documentary series was a derivative but tear-jerking look at hospital life

It’s amazing how many hospital documentaries there are, giving you a ringside seat to every catheter insertion and scan result. They’re meant to fill you with respect for the NHS and make you cry, but surely we’ve all spent too much time in real, broken, depressing hospitals to fall for that one.

Click on the link to read the review

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/tv-and-radio-reviews/11699565/Superhospital-episode-1-review.html

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The staff of the Royal Derby Hospital in Derby appear in the ITV observational documentary series Superhospital

Filed under: A&E, Hospital, NHS, ,

A&Es are places of terror for the old: Nurses warn that bewildered elderly patients are constantly being left on trolleys in corridors

  •    30 hospitals have declared major incidents and cancelled routine surgery because they were so busy during the busy winter season
  •    Some nurses blame the GP and 111 helpline for the rising numbers of patients who are not seriously ill but are turning up in A&E
  •    Elderly patients are considered less urgent than cases of road traffic accidents, brain haemorrhages and heart attacks

Casualty units have become ‘places of terror’ for the elderly, senior nurses have warned. They say patients are being abandoned on trolleys in corridors in mid-summer, when hospitals should be less busy. The so-called ‘winter pressures’ are now carrying on year-round with a steady stream of patients arriving. And it is the elderly who are most affected, with many routinely having to wait up to 20 hours on trolleys.

This winter was one of the worst on record for A&E units, with 30 hospitals declaring major incidents and cancelling routine surgery because they were so busy. But nurses say the crisis is continuing, with patients turning up after failing to get an appointment with their GP or being referred inappropriately by the 111 helpline.

It is the elderly who wait the longest, however, because they are less urgent than cases of road traffic accidents, brain haemorrhages and heart attacks.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3136833/A-Es-places-terror-old-warns-nurses-Bewildered-patients-left-trolleys-corridors.html

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Filed under: A&E, Elderly, Hospital, NHS, , , ,

Ambulance service in crisis in England unions warn

Ambulance workers and unions are warning the service in England is in crisis and wouldn’t be able to support a major incident.

One paramedic has told BBC Breakfast they don’t have enough staff and are struggling to cope with the increasing number of emergency calls.

Jayne McCubbin of the BBC was given special access.

Click on the link to watch the video

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-33251702

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Filed under: NHS, ,

Six out of 10 doctors in Wales bullied for raising safety concerns, says damning BMA report

Dr Phil Banfield, chair of the association, says the figures from a survey of doctors and consultants in secondary care are ‘hugely worrying’

Six out of 10 doctors and consultants in Wales say they have been bullied or harassed for raising concerns about patient safety to senior managers. That is just one of the damning statistics from a survey of doctors and consultants in secondary care released today by the British Medical Association (BMA). The association’s Welsh Council chairman, Dr Phil Banfield, has called the findings “hugely worrying” and called on the Welsh Government to “create a culture of support”.

The report goes on to suggest that doctors and consultants think the NHS in Wales is riven with poor leadership and a lack of direction from hospital managers, and that serious mistakes are avoided more by luck than sound planning and robust systems.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/six-out-10-doctors-wales-9497328

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Filed under: GP's, Hospital, Named & Shamed, NHS, ,

Hospital doctor secretly recorded making patient threat

A disabled man who secretly recorded verbal abuse by a hospital doctor has received an apology from an NHS trust.

David Massey, 54, recorded the doctor, whom he had previously made a complaint about, saying: “What can I do to you? I can probably beat you up, I suppose.” After police were called, one officer suggested leaving him “on the Cat and Fiddle” A537 road in Cheshire. Cheshire Police said they “regret” the incident. Mr Massey said he thought the incident, in March 2014, was “disgraceful”The patient, who has diabetes and chronic back pain, went to an out-of-hours clinic at Macclesfield General Hospital.

The patient, who has diabetes and chronic back pain, went to an out-of-hours clinic at Macclesfield General Hospital. He says he was in severe pain and needed another pain-relieving patch. After a long discussion, the doctor refused to give him any medication but Mr Massey declined to leave and started secretly recording the conversation on his phone.

Speaking about how he could get Mr Massey to leave the room, the doctor can be heard saying: “I can probably beat you up I suppose.” Mr Massey then replies: “You’re going to beat me up?”, to which the doctor responds: “Yeah”.

Please click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33191817

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David Massey

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, , ,

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