STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

MyNotes Medical – Download the app to your mobile or tablet.

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)   

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MyNotes Medical

http://www.mynotesmedical.com

The MyNotes Medical program has been designed to help people care for themselves, their loved ones and their patients (even if they are carers or health practitioners)

Users of the app can keep and share accurate and accessible records of their health condition and treatment at the tap of a finger.

To Take Notes: Recording robust written, audio and visual notes with the MyNotes Medical app enables patients to be more “informed, involved and engaged in getting better”.

The rich, chronological event log of text, audio, video and photo notes is automatically built and secured in a searchable format by the MyNotes Medical app. Users of the MyNotes Medical app can easily add their personal information and details of treatment, medications, and appointments.

To Share Notes: MyNotes Medical users can easily refer to and share all of these details – including an accurate record of what was said as treatment progresses.

To Research Health Issues between visits to the doctor or consultant, MyNotes Medical allows patients and carers to review and share recordings of the consultation/diagnosis with friends and family and to research vetted sites about related healthcare issues.

download

Available on Android

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Hospitals run out of beds as NHS strained by norovirus

Health service figures show several casualty units were shut around the country and no spaces free even before onset of full winter conditions

Hospitals have run out of beds, had to temporarily close their A&E unit and been battling outbreaks of norovirus this month, even though winter has not yet brought its usual major problems for the NHS, such as flu and bad weather. Official figures released on Friday by NHS England, for hospital performance in the first week of December, show many are already struggling to cope with the extra pressures, even before the heaviest strain of norovirus, which usually arrives in January.

NHS England’s first set of situation reports data covering the previous week, which it will release every Friday until the spring, shows that 12 hospital trusts did not have a single bed available from 4-6 December, and another 30 had fewer than 10 beds free for patients. That so many hospitals have so few beds available at this early stage of the winter will increase the widespread concern in the NHS that hospitals will not be able to cope with the influx of very sick patients that usually happens in January.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/11/hospitals-run-out-of-beds-as-nhs-strained-by-norovirus

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Filed under: Hospital, ,

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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Filed under: NHS, , ,

Can involving pharmacists in A&E shorten waiting times and help doctors?

Accident and emergency departments are nearing crisis point, but evidence suggests that some of the pressure comes from patients who want to avoid having to wait for a GP appointment. Could pharmacists reduce the burden by helping to treat A&E patients suffering relatively minor conditions?

This is the question that Health Education England (HEE) hopes to answer through a national project. The aim, says Matt Aiello, special projects manager, transformation, at Health Education West Midlands, is to find out whether pharmacists can be a “relevant and viable part” of the A&E team and, if so, what kind of training they would need. A pilot in the West Midlands, looking at 782 patients attending A&E in three acute trusts between April 2013 and August 2014, was encouraging.

It found that 39.8% of patients could have been dealt with by a pharmacist with advanced clinical practice training skills, while an independent prescribing pharmacist could have dealt with another 5.1%.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2015/sep/09/pharmacists-shorten-waiting-times-help-doctors?

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

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, , , ,

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, , , ,

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, , , , ,

Health experts urge ministers to publish secret list of failing NHS trusts

Group of respected healthcare figures says that identifying hospitals deemed unviable should lead to a substantial cut in the number of NHS organisations.

Ministers are under pressure to publish a secret list of hospital trusts that the NHS leadership believes are performing so poorly that they are no longer viable. Identifying hospitals deemed unsustainable should then lead to a substantial cut in the overall number of organisations that provide NHS care, despite the unpopularity of doing so, a group of respected healthcare figures says.

The group is urging ministers to publish the list of 90 English trusts that have not achieved foundation trust status, drawn up last year by the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), the body which supervises them. It is understood to have concluded that some could yet become foundation trusts, but many would need to be taken over by other trusts or become part of the new chains of hospitals that the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, plans to introduce in the autumn. The call comes from experts including Sir Robert Naylor, the chief executive of University College Hospital London, which is widely seen as the NHS’s best-performing hospital, and Stephen Dorrell, a former Conservative health secretary.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/15/health-experts-urge-ministers-to-publish-secret-list-of-failing-nhs-trusts

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The former Conservative health secretary Stephen Dorrell is among those calling for the list to be made public.

Filed under: Named & Shamed, NHS, ,

600 patients die of hunger and thirst every year: Hospital staff refuse to help, say families

Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show. Bereaved relatives have told how their loved ones were ‘forgotten to death’ by staff who refused to help them eat or drink. Figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that 7,949 deaths have been attributed to hunger and thirst in the past decade.  In recent years, however, numbers have fallen – suggesting the standards of nursing care are showing signs of improvement.

The figures show that in NHS and private hospitals in 2013, dehydration was recorded as an underlying cause of death or a contributory factor in 574 deaths. In 2008 the total was 942. In 2013 a further 336 deaths were logged with malnutrition being an underlying cause or contributory factor. The two figures cannot be added together to give a total because some patients would have been recorded in both categories. Another 88 deaths in care homes in 2013 were attributed to dehydration and 33 to malnutrition, according to the figures which were obtained by Channel 4 News. The family of a retired engineer who died of acute dehydration have told how staff dumped drinks by his bed without bothering to help him reach them.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2971384/600-patients-die-hunger-thirst-year-Hospital-staff-refuse-help-say-families.html

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‘Forgotten to death’: Almost 600 patients are dying in hospitals each year because of hunger and thirst, figures show, with bereaved relatives saying staff refused to help them eat or drink. (Stock image)

Filed under: Elderly, Hospital, NHS, NHS Blunders, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Failure to train enough nurses proves very costly for NHS

Information obtained by the Royal College of Nursing in the East of England shows a 69pc rise in agency nursing expenditure across the region by £20m and a 26pc growth in the number of nurse vacancies across the region. The data shows that many hospitals are struggling to recruit permanent staff and are having to spend increasing amounts of money on temporary staff to look after patients and increasingly looking overseas to recruit nurses. Acute hospitals were asked under the Freedom of Information Act for registered nurse vacancies, nurse agency spend and overseas recruitment during 2014.

RCN director for the eastern region, Karen Webb, said: “The cost of central government’s failure to plan properly for the NHS’s workforce needs is proving cripplingly expensive.  “Through no fault of their own, NHS trusts in our region are scouring the globe looking for nurses and, in the meantime, having to make do with the sticking plaster approach of using expensive agency nurses. “It’s not good for patient care and it is the most inefficient and most expensive way to try and staff wards.”

Click on the link to read more

http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/failure_to_train_enough_nurses_proves_very_costly_for_nhs_1_3969303

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

Super A&E con exposed: NHS chief promised new £90m unit in Northumbria won’t lead to other hospitals being downgraded… but three nearby facilities will now stop taking ‘blue light’ cases

A new £90 million emergency-only hospital hailed as ‘a glimpse of the future’ by the most senior doctor in the NHS will lead to three other A&E units being effectively downgraded, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. After NHS England medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh visited the site of the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital last February, he praised it as an example for others to follow. Local NHS bosses say it ‘aligns’ with Sir Bruce’s controversial plan to develop a two-tier emergency network across England – a move critics claim will jeopardise A&Es, meaning longer journeys for patients.

When unveiling his national plan in November 2013, Sir Bruce said it was ‘complete nonsense’ to suggest some A&Es would be downgraded as a result of the drive to develop larger specialist units.  But the opening in June of a new 210-bed facility in Cramlington, ten miles north of Newcastle, will trigger the loss of ‘blue-light’ emergency services at three district general hospitals elsewhere in Northumberland. Officials insist Hexham, Wansbeck and North Tyneside hospitals will maintain ‘walk-in A&E services’. Yet the three units will only be staffed and equipped to cope with incidents typically dealt with by lower-ranking urgent care centres, according to a leading doctor.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2934777/Exposed-super-E-NHS-chief-s-broken-promise-impact-new-90million-unit.html

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Local NHS bosses have accused Sir Bruce of trying to create a ‘two tier’ emergency response system which critics say will mean longer journeys for patients

Filed under: A&E, Uncategorized, , , ,

Doubling of NHS trusts which can’t balance books

The future of the NHS is at risk, MPs have warned, as they highlight “deeply alarming” figures showing the number of hospitals being bailed out by Government has doubled in a year. A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) shows that in the last financial year, 31 hospitals have received handouts to the tune of half a billion pounds. The previous year, 16 trusts received financial help, amounting to £263 million. Meanwhile, the gross deficit of NHS trusts has almost tripled in just 12 months, reaching £743m in 2013/14, the figures show, a trend described as “extraordinary”. Last year, 63 trusts ended the year in the red, compared with 25 the previous year

Click on the link to read more

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11214162/Doubling-of-NHS-trusts-which-cant-balance-books.html

Click on the link to read the  full report from the National Audit Office

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/The-financial-sustainability-of-NHS-bodies.pdf

 

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Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Warning for hospitals on NHS sick list as chief inspector says struggling facilities are ‘in denial’ over poor care

A hard core of struggling hospitals are “in denial” about their failure to provide safe and high-quality care to their patients, the chief inspector of hospitals warns.
In an interview with The Independent, Professor Sir Mike Richards said that some NHS trusts had failed to “look outside” their own institutions for what “sometimes seems like decades” and adopt the best practices of other, more successful hospitals. He said the public’s loyalty to the NHS should not “blind us to the fact” that the NHS does not always do “quite as good a job as we would like it to do”.

Click on the link to read more
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/warning-for-hospitals-on-nhs-sick-list-as-chief-inspector-says-struggling-facilities-are-in-denial-over-poor-care-9674938.html

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Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

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