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NHS & Social Care: February 2017


Falls prevention in North Wales

A group of professionals has discussed the future of falls prevention in older people in Wales.

Health Board introduces app to improve communication

Cardiff and Vale UHB has implemented a mobile medical messenger service, MedicBleep, which enables clinicians to communicate with each other securely.

New Director to lead Information Services

The new Director of Information Services of the NHS Wales Informatics Service is Helen Thomas.

Investment in services for mothers and babies

Neonatal and obstetric services at Cardiff and Vale University UHB have received funding of £25m from the Welsh Government.

Smartphone app to help people find the quickest care

Betsi Cadwaladr UHB has teamed up with an English NHS Trust which has developed a smartphone app that enables users to see how many people are waiting at different hospitals and the waiting times for non-urgent treatment.

Your voice matters in Gwent

Residents of Gwent are being invited to share their thoughts about health services in their area. 

Maximising the benefits of national and international networks

Public Health Wales and the International Health Coordination Centre are hosting the Networks and Partnerships: Wales Collaborating for Global Health Conference on 27 March in Cardiff.


Outcome-focused integrated care

This IPC paper captures the learning and experience from work on developing integrated practice across a range of different organisational set-ups and cultures.

State of child health report

This RCPCH report brings together data across 25 measures of child health in the UK, ranging from specific conditions, risk factors for poor health, to the rate of child deaths.

Review of NHS ambulance services

This NAO report finds that demand for ambulance services continues to grow rapidly, but services are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with rising demand. 

Bridging the gap between mental and physical healthcare in hospitals

This NCEPOD report finds that lack of integration is leading to poor care for patients with a physical illness who also have a mental health condition. 

Confidentiality: good practice in handling patient information

The GMC has revised and updated its guidance on confidentiality for doctors.

Dementia-friendly care and support for people with a learning disability

This VODG report, written by a partnership of voluntary sector organisations, calls for an improvement in the way that the needs of people with learning disabilities and dementia are addressed.

Falls in older people

This NICE quality standard has been updated to set out the best practice for health and social professionals to support them in preventing falls. 

Obesity and the true cost to the taxpayer

This IEA report argues that the economic burden of obesity has been exaggerated and that the health care costs of an ageing population should be the focus for public service efficiency savings.

Euro health consumer index

This annual report compares and assesses the performance of national health care systems in 35 countries, across 48 indicators which cover patient rights, access to care, treatment outcomes, prevention and range of services. 

National Lung Cancer Audit annual report

This RCP report shows a 7% increase in the number of people diagnosed with lung cancer surviving for longer than a year, compared with 2010. 

Designing a health care system for patients with complex needs

This Commonwealth Fund eport contains recommendations for delivering care that is more patient-centred, more collaborative and integrated.

People living with motor neurone disease and feeding tubes

This website contains short films about making the decision to have a feeding tube placed, experience of having a tube fitted, caring for the tube and the carers experience.

NHS cost improvement map

This HFMA map is a tool that promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes in the NHS.

Mental health carers’ assessments

This Centre for Mental Health briefing outlines the challenges that mental health carers face in accessing carers’ assessments.

Women’s experiences of maternity services

This NCT report highlights concerns around patient safety and staffing levels.

Defining and measuring unmet need

This CHE literature review sets out the evidence on unmet health need.

Local doctors get green light for new Dyfi Valley healthcare plan

A group of GPs will take over GP healthcare services for the whole of the Dyfi Valley after winning a contract to manage Machynlleth Health Centre.

An improvement resource for adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals 

This draft guidance from NHS Improvement aims to help standardise staffing decisions in adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals.

The NHS in crisis

This is a selection of the work of the King's Fund which explains the pressures on services and what needs to be done to put the health and social care system on a sustainable footing for the future.

Improving patient access to general practice

This NAO report examines the structures and mechanisms that improve patient access to general practice.

Priorities for the NHS and social care in 2017

The Kings Fund has identified five main priorities for the NHS in 2017 in this briefing.

Working to end loneliness amongst older people

This Age UK report warns that loneliness leads to an increased demand on health services, partly because isolated people are more likely to develop poor health conditions.

The art of systems leadership

This IHM report is based on interviews with senior leaders in health and local government on what is happening as managers grapple with the sustainability and transformation plan process. 

Tackling wasteful spending on health

This OECD report finds that across countries a significant number of health care system spending and activities are wasteful at best, and, at worst, harmful.

Support after a suicide

This practical PHE guidance helps commissioners understand why and how they can deliver support locally after suicide.

Diabetic eye screening: competencies for administrative staff

This DH guidance aims to help diabetic eye screening providers develop local frameworks to train and develop administrative staff.

Oral health: NICE quality standard

This draft quality standard, out for consultation, advises staff to assess the oral health needs of their residents on admission and record these in personal care plans

Palliative care knowledge hub

NHS England and the National Council for Palliative Care have launched an enhanced website as a new knowledge hub. 

New data set for specialist palliative care

Public Health England and NHS England have published two new reports; an evaluation report and the Guidance and definitions report on the Palliative Care Clinical Data Set.

Annual asthma survey

This Asthma UK report finds that two thirds of people are still not receiving the basic care they need to manage their asthma. 

Extended hours in primary care linked to reductions in minor A&E attendances

This NIHR briefing summarises the findings of a study that found that practices that offered additional appointments showed a reduction in the number of their patients attending emergency departments for minor conditions. 


Are you solving the right problem?

Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg: We tend to over engineer the diagnostic process – it’s sometime better to reframe the problem eg so if there’s a long wait, give the people waiting something interesting to do.

5 ways to improve your strategic thinking skills

Nina Bowman: Look for trends; ask the tough questions; talk strategically (but not management speak); make time for thinking; embrace conflict.

Getting your high-performing staff and experts to collaborate 

Heidi Gardner: Specialists resist collaboration when their careers are built on niche expertise, so don’t try and control them, give them autonomy.