Ministers launch pilots to explore ways to relieve pressure on carers

Ministers have launched a series of pilots across the UK that will explore ways to help carers balance work with their caring responsibilities. Statistics show that there are currently more than three million people in the UK who have work and family caring responsibilities and, according to ministers, providing them with support to manage caring alongside paid work would benefit them and their families and give British businesses and the UK economy potential saving of up to £1.3 billion a year. The... Readmore

DH launches consultation on proposed changes to NHS Constitution

The Department of Health (DH) has launched a new consultation on proposed changes to the NHS Constitution. The proposed changes are a direct response to the recommendations made by Sir Robert Francis QC in his Freedom to Speak Up Review (published on 11 February). Amongst several proposals, the Government is looking to amend the NHS Constitution to: (i) give greater prominence to mental health; (ii) reflect the importance of access to transparent and comparable data; (ii) include the Armed... Readmore

NHS England sets out guidance on new mental health standards

Following the announcement (by NHS England and the Department of Health) in October 2014 of the need for measures  to improve access to mental health services, NHS England has produced guidance which sets out how new access and waiting time standards for mental health services are to be introduced. Created for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), the new NHS England guidance explains the case for change in four areas and sets out the expectations of local commissioners for delivery during 2015... Readmore

TSA guidance review leads to new recommendations

The recommendations of a committee assembled to review the statutory guidance for trust special administrators (TSAs) have been accepted by the Department of Health and incorporated into new guidance issued by the Department and Monitor. The committee, chaired by Paul Burstow MP, put forward a package of proposals to amend the existing guidance to ensure it is clear, practical and meaningful. “I am pleased to have been able to accept the recommendations the committee made to me and believe... Readmore

CQC hires three national clinical advisors

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has hired three national advisors to augment its Primary Medical Services and Integrated Care Directorate. Dr Elizabeth Kendrick will take the role of National Advisor for Elderly Care, Amanda Thomas will take the role of National Advisor for Integrated Children’s Services and Dr Joanna Bayley joins as National Advisor for Urgent Care. The three senior clinicians will provide advice and leadership across the whole organisation as the regulator continues to roll... Readmore

GMC responds to ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ review

An independent review into creating an open and honest culture in the NHS has been welcomed by the General Medical Council (GMC). The review, led by Sir Robert Francis QC, provides many recommendations as to how to create a culture in which NHS staff feel safe to make disclosures about any aspect of the quality of care, malpractice or wrongdoing at work without fear of recrimination. The team undertaking the review spoke to individual NHS workers, as well as with employers, trade unions, professional... Readmore

Heymann appointed as non-executive director of Monitor

Leading clinician Dr Timothy Heymann has been appointed as a non-executive director of Monitor. With a background in regulation, Dr Heymann is a key appointment for Monitor and he brings a wealth of expertise to the healthcare financial regulator. As well as being the senior Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist at Kingston Hospital, Dr Heymann also holds a post at Imperial College London as Reader in Health Management. Further expertise includes being a fellow of the Higher Education... Readmore

‘Major incidents’ declared at UK hospitals

Medical staff struggling to cope with patient numbers this winter has led to a number of UK hospitals declaring a ‘major incident.' The hospitals – in North Yorkshire, Surrey and two in Gloucestershire – stated that an unprecedented surge in demand has caused them to be unable to cope adequately and that extra resources are needed. The declarations come just a month after Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, warned that that the “system is cracking” as winter approached. ... Readmore

Chancellor Osborne pledges extra £2bn for NHS

An extra £2bn is to be pumped into the NHS according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Mr Osborne told the BBC that the billion-pound was a“down payment” that he is able to make due to the strength of the UK economy. The chancellor’s plan for the NHS, to be officially announced as part of his Autumn Statement on Wednesday, has already come under fire from shadow chancellor Ed Balls who accused Mr Osborne of making unfunded spending commitments. Mr Balls has said that... Readmore

Foundation trusts need to deliver greater efficiencies says regulator

NHS foundation trusts are being urged to tighten up contract and agency staffing costs and increase their efficiency savings by the healthcare regulator Monitor. Foundation trusts (which make up two-thirds of all NHS trusts) are under increasing strain – both financial and operational. A&E targets have been missed, staff morale is low, and the foundation trust sector as a whole is projecting a deficit of £271 million at the end of financial year 2014/15. David Bennett, Chief Executive... Readmore

Healthcare systems ‘no longer fit for purpose’ says commission

England’s health and social care systems are no longer fit for purpose and are in need of 'a new settlement' to meet the needs of 21st century patients and service users according to a new report by an independent commission. The interim report from the Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England – established by The King's Fund – states that: ‘There are three serious failures of alignment in England’s current health and social care system – a lack of alignment of entitlements,... Readmore

NHS England and CQC issue ‘Hard Truths’ joint guidance

NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have issued joint guidance to Trusts on the delivery of the ‘Hard Truths’ commitments associated with publishing staffing data regarding nursing, midwifery and care staff levels. The guidance, issued by Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, and Professor Sir Mike Richards, the CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, follows on from National Quality Board guidance ‘How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right... Readmore
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