May 2019

Mental health spending varies widely across England

Mind, the mental health charity, looked at  mental health spending across 42 NHS regions and found that there is nearly a two-fold difference across England.

Surrey Heartlands spent the least - £124 per person last year - compared with South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw, which spent more than £220.



April 2019

What is NHSX?

NHSX is the new joint organisation for digital, data and technology. Its mission statement is to make sure patients and staff have the digital technology they need.

The new body's responsibilities include:

Twitter  NHSX


NHS Assembly line-up announced

A full member list of the NHS Assembly has been announced, ranging from GPs and patients, to health and care system leaders.

The forum will support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan and advise NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS Assembly members are drawn from national and frontline clinical leaders, patients and carers, staff representatives, health and care system leaders and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

More than 500 people applied to sit on the Assembly, with the successful applicants chosen based on their individual knowledge, skills and experience.

NHS England - NHS Assembly announced to help deliver the Long Term Plan


Determinants of health infographic

GoInvo has produced an infographic detailing how 89% of health occurs outside of the clinical space through genetics, behavior, environment and social circumstances. These factors are known as the social determinants of health. 

It illustrates how medical care only contributes to a small portion of overall health. The most prevalent issue in medical care is the lack of access to health services, as well as a decreasing level of health literacy in the general population. 

GoInvo - Determinants of Health


Medtech landscape review

A new report provides a useful review of the medtech landscape - an industry that accounts for over 86,000 jobs in the UK.

The AHSN Network review looks at how the NHS spends approximately £6 billion a year on medical technology and how the industry negotiates the innovation pathway when seeking uptake for its products.

AHSN Network website - New report maps the MedTech landscape for innovators in England


Medical Director reports on access standards

The NHS National Medical Director has published a clinical review of standards across the NHS, to determine if any older targets needed updating. 

Professor Stephen Powis claims that patients should see four main benefits:

  1. "The NHS will be rolling out short waits for a far wider range of important clinical services." 
    Patients should benefit from newly established standards covering areas such as mental health and community health services that previously have been neglected.

  2. "Greater emphasis will be given to standards that help improve clinical quality and outcomes." 
    Eg, earlier diagnosis of cancer and faster assessment and treatment for major emergencies such as heart attacks, stroke and sepsis. 

  3. "We want to lock-in short waits for A&E and planned surgery."
    The current A&E and elective care targets will be changed. Eg, they do not distinguish between the hospital where 10% of patients wait five hours to complete their A&E treatment versus the hospital where 10% wait eleven hours.

  4. "The new standards will help, rather than penalise, hospitals who modernise their care." 
    Eg, if a GP is able to discuss a patient’s diagnosis directly with a hospital specialist, so that the patient doesn’t have to travel to a hospital outpatient appointment, that makes the hospital’s waiting time statistics look in the way the statistics are currently calculated.

NHS England document - Clinically-led Review of NHS Access Standards


March 2019

Failing to capitalise

A think tank says a short-termist approach has led to years of declining and inadequate capital spending, which has put patient care and staff productivity at risk for the NHS in England.

The Health Foundation warns in a report that an ageing infrastructure, combined with a substantial and growing repairs backlog could undermine ambitions to transform the health service.

Health Foundation document - Failing to Capitalise


CCGs and the NHS Long Term Plan

MPs have published a report examining proposed changes to the structure of NHS commissioning organisations.

It describes how the NHS Long-Term Plan intends for integrated care systems to cover the whole of England by 2021, leading to a reduction in the number of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

The report finds that many CCGs are currently underperforming, and concludes that they will need to improve as they take on responsibility for commissioning services across larger populations. The committee of MPs add that getting the commissioning structures right will be an important part of delivering the NHS Long-Term Plan.

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts document - Clinical Commissioning Groups


Hospitals experiencing medicine shortages

Hospitals are struggling to source drugs amid uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, health leaders have warned.

Some hospitals are reporting difficulties in obtaining around 160 drugs per day, which is more than five times what they would normally expect.

NHS Providers, which represents trusts in England, told BBC's Newsnight programme that one trust had reported a shortage of 300 different drugs.

The NHS has been told not to stockpile medicines, as the Government claims plans are in place to ensure supplies are continued in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

BBC News website - Unprecedented drug shortage linked to Brexit, NHS bosses say

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