Statistics Show that NHS in Midst of Worst Ever Bed Blocking

Official figures indicate that NHS bedblocking is at the worst level in the entire history of the National Health Service.

Data produced by NHS England indicates that the number of patients stuck needlessly in hospital beds has nearly doubled in recent years.

Over 115,000 bed days were lost to delayed discharges in June, with this figure being more than 80% higher than for the same period in June 2011.

And the figures related to accident and emergency targets were also rather alarming.

Just over 90% of patients who attended A&E departments were seen within the four-hour deadline, compared to a target of 95%.

This is the worst effort in June since records began.

These latest problems for the NHS can be placed in a climate of numerous senior managers warning that Accident and Emergency department are struggling to deal with their workload.

A Department of Health spokesperson commented on the crisis, pointing out that the performance figures must be seen in a wider context.

“The NHS had its busiest June ever, but hospitals are performing well with nine out of ten people seen in A&E within four hours – almost 60,000 people per day seen within the standard. We are committed to delivering a safer seven day NHS which is why we have invested £10bn to fund the NHS’s own plan to transform services in the future.”

Vicky McDermott, chairman of the Care and Support Alliance, which represents 80 charities for the elderly and disabled, attributed the problems to a lack of investment from the government.

“The Government cannot continue to ignore the crisis that means that patients are stuck in hospital, when they could be at home. The funding crisis in social care is heaping needless pressure onto the NHS. A third of bed days lost to delayed discharge are due to social care and the biggest reason for social care delays is ‘patients awaiting a care package in their home.’”

While Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith, opined the NHS was “in terminal decline”, and firmly placed the blame on the Conservative government.

“With Jeremy Hunt in charge hospitals lurch from one crisis to another – and it is patients who are left to suffer. Waits for ambulances are going up, A&E departments are bursting at the seams and cuts to social care have left older people trapped on hospital wards for weeks or even months at a time.”

Smith also took the opportunity to rather transparently make some political capital out of the issue.

“This is no way to run the NHS and with a weak opposition we are letting the Tories get away with it,” Smith asserted.

Matthew Swindells, NHS England’s National Director: Operations and Information, defended the performance of A&E, suggesting that services were being placed under intense scrutiny at present, and this must be taken into consideration when assessing the figures.

“Our frontline services continue to come under intense pressure but June saw another improvement in performance. We continue to admit, treat or discharge more than nine out of ten emergency patients within the four-hour target time. Thanks to tremendous efforts by the NHS and social care, the number of delayed transfers of care stopped increasing in June, although there were still a significant number of patients waiting for discharge from hospital.”

Local authorities are being provided with an additional £3.5 billion funding for adult social care, in attempt to ease the bedblocking crisis, according to officials.

 
[ Readmore. ]

Survey Indicates Greatest Ever Rise in NHS Dissatisfaction

The British Social Attitudes Survey has indicated that last year saw the biggest ever rise in public dissatisfaction with the NHS.

Documenting satisfaction with a wide variety of different public bodies, the survey has been running since 1983.

Figures collated by the research suggest that 40% of respondents were dissatisfied with the quality of service being provided by the NHS.

The highest previous figure of this nature was 30%, which was recorded back in 2010.

And over 50% of those who indicated that they were less than satisfied were actively dissatisfied with the quality of health service treatment.

This was a rise of 8 percentage points from the previous year, and represented the biggest jump in this figure since the survey began over three decades ago.

Waiting times were cited as the biggest reason for dissatisfaction – mentioned by over half of respondents – followed by insufficient staffing.

The findings from the survey can be placed in the context of the NHS facing numerous problems, not least waiting time targets that are failing to be satisfactorily met.

With continuing discord between the government and junior doctors in particular, the chances of the quality of service from the NHS improving in the near future would seem to be limited.

However, encouragingly patients reported highest satisfaction rates for GP services.

But low marks for social care must be a major headache.

The survey – carried out by NatCen Social Research – covered Scotland, Wales and England, also found that there is no significant difference in satisfaction between the three nations.

However, there is no doubt that the overall figures collated should be a cause for concern for both NHS management and the overarching government system.

Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund think-tank, commented on the results of the survey, and suggested that the results should instigate direct action.

Ham was, though, keen to point out that overall satisfaction levels should still be considered fairly high, particularly in comparison to other comparable bodies.

“What’s gone wrong is the public’s perception of the NHS under growing pressure. Money is tight, waiting times are getting longer, people are concerned that when they need the NHS it might not be there for them,” Ham asserted.

Responding to the findings, a spokesman for the Department of Health in England suggested that demographic issues are having a serious impact on the ability of the NHS to deliver satisfactory patient care.

“There is pressure on the NHS as our population ages, and that’s why the government is investing record amounts to transform care.”

 
[ Readmore. ]

Public Dissatisfaction With the NHS Reaches New Highs According to Survey

The British Social Attitudes Survey has indicated that last year saw the biggest ever rise in public dissatisfaction with the NHS.

Documenting satisfaction with a wide variety of different public bodies, the survey has been running since 1983.

Figures collated by the research suggest that 40% of respondents were dissatisfied with the quality of service being provided by the NHS.

The highest previous figure of this nature was 30%, which was recorded back in 2010.

And over 50% of those who indicated that they were less than satisfied were actively dissatisfied with the quality of health service treatment.

This was a rise of 8 percentage points from the previous year, and represented the biggest jump in this figure since the survey began over three decades ago.

Waiting times were cited as the biggest reason for dissatisfaction – mentioned by over half of respondents – followed by insufficient staffing.

The findings from the survey can be placed in the context of the NHS facing numerous problems, not least waiting time targets that are failing to be satisfactorily met.

With continuing discord between the government and junior doctors in particular, the chances of the quality of service from the NHS improving in the near future would seem to be limited.

However, encouragingly patients reported highest satisfaction rates for GP services.

But low marks for social care must be a major headache.

The survey – carried out by NatCen Social Research – covered Scotland, Wales and England, also found that there is no significant difference in satisfaction between the three nations.

However, there is no doubt that the overall figures collated should be a cause for concern for both NHS management and the overarching government system.

Chris Ham, chief executive of the King’s Fund think-tank, commented on the results of the survey, and suggested that the results should instigate direct action.

Ham was, though, keen to point out that overall satisfaction levels should still be considered fairly high, particularly in comparison to other comparable bodies.

“What’s gone wrong is the public’s perception of the NHS under growing pressure. Money is tight, waiting times are getting longer, people are concerned that when they need the NHS it might not be there for them,” Ham asserted.

Responding to the findings, a spokesman for the Department of Health in England suggested that demographic issues are having a serious impact on the ability of the NHS to deliver satisfactory patient care.

“There is pressure on the NHS as our population ages, and that’s why the government is investing record amounts to transform care.”

 
[ Readmore. ]

New Survey Indicates Huge Prevalence of Mental Health Problems in the UK

An annual health survey has indicated that more than one-in-four adults in the United Kingdom has been diagnosed with a mental illness at some point during their lives.

The survey assessed the mental health of 5,000 adults, with 26% stating that they have received a positive mental health diagnosis.

Depression was the most frequently reported mental illness, with nearly one-in-five (19%) people stating that they had been diagnosed with the condition.

It was notable that women were more likely to have been diagnosed with depression than men, although it should be said in mitigation that this could be due to females being more likely to visit general practitioners with such conditions.

Half of those who reported being diagnosed with a common mental disorder said that they had experienced the condition in the past 12 months.

In addition, around 10% of the population have engaged in what could be described as seriously self-destructive activity.

3% of men and 5% of women reported that they had self-harmed, while 4% of men and 7% of women reported suicide attempts.

Nearly one-quarter of women reported having experienced depression at some point during their lives, with post-natal depression making a serious contribution to the statistic.

According to the results of the survey, the chances of any individual being diagnosed with a common mental disorder are significantly high.

Nearly one-in-three women can expect to be diagnosed with a comment mental-health disorder at some stage during their lives.

And nearly one-in-five men will also experience mental disorders at some stage during their lives.

Attitudes and prejudice towards mental health were also examined by the research.

The survey found that 19% of adults thought “one of the main causes of mental illness is a lack of self-discipline and willpower”.

Commenting on the report, Rachel Craig, from the National Centre for Social Research which carried out study, was of the opinion that it revealed some deep-rooted mental health difficulties in the United Kingdom.

“This survey leaves us in no doubt as to the prevalence of mental ill health in England. Despite it affecting so many of us, prejudice against people with a mental illness still exists and there is some resistance to the provision of community care for people suffering with mental ill health. Men are more likely to hold prejudiced and less tolerant views than women. But there is evidence that if you know someone with a mental illness you are less likely to hold negative views.”

The study backs up the previous assertion that around 25 per cent of the UK population will experience mental health difficulties.

Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women and self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population.

 
[ Readmore. ]

Scottish Health Survey Results Vindicate BMA View on Nutrition

In response to a recent British Medical Association (BMA) survey, a new piece of research suggests that there is significant room for improvement with regard to childhood nutrition in the UK.

The publication of the Scottish Health Survey for 2014 has underlined just how few children in the nation are consuming the recommended quantities of fruit and vegetables; a handy reminder after the BMA research of just a few weeks ago.

This extensive research of health trends in Scotland found that less than one-in-seven children in Scotland currently consume the recommended five daily portions of fruit and / or vegetables.

The survey regarding free fruit and vegetables was conducted on behalf of the BMA by Ipsos MORI, between 12th and 31st August 2015, with 2,000 parents interviewed online.

And despite the highly publicised five-a-day fruit and vegetable campaign, the study indicates that eating habits have not improved at all.

Since 2003, there has been no increase in the amount of fruit and vegetables being consumed by children in Scotland, with an average of 2.8 portions being maintained during this period. This is obviously little more than half of the recommended quantity.

The news comes in the context of the BMA publishing an online opinion poll of 2,000 parents across the United Kingdom.

This survey indicated that more than three-quarters would support the introduction of a free portion of fruit or vegetables for every primary age schoolchild.

Commenting on the disappointing figures, Dr Andrew Thomson, who sits on the BMA board of  science, stated that the trends indicated by the Scottish health survey are rather worrying.

“This latest survey shows that Scotland is still falling some way short when it comes to making sure children are eating enough fruit and vegetables. Despite the growing cost of obesity related conditions to the NHS, there has been no real improvement to the average amount of fruit and vegetables consumed by children in Scotland for over a decade,” Thomson asserted.

Following up from the earlier research from the BMA, Thomson also suggested one possible way of addressing the chasm in fruit and vegetable consumption.

“Introducing an entitlement for all primary school pupils to receive a free portion of fruit or vegetables on every school day would be a real step forward and would help to ensure children in Scotland live healthier lives,” Thomson stated.

Although there are many factors leading to the obesity epidemic in the western world, certainly poor diet is generally considered to be the major contributor.

Despite various efforts to promote healthy eating among young people, there are numerous indicators which suggest that childhood obesity is a ticking timebomb in the UK.

Most recently, University College London researchers looked at data from more than 56,000 people born in Britain between 1946 and 2001, and found that the ages at which children are becoming obese continue to fall.

 
[ Readmore. ]

Survey on National Maternity Review Launched

The Junior Health Minister has announced an opportunity for healthcare professionals to respond to this year’s National Maternity Review.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, launched the review back in March, as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View.

This document forms a major part of the future direction of the NHS under a Conservative government.

In part of her role of chairing this review, the Junior Health Minister, Baroness Julia Cumberlege, has been inspired by meeting healthcare workers across the UK, and has thus offered this opportunity to healthcare professionals.

The maternity review assesses current maternity care provision across the country, with the intention of assessing how these critical services can be adapted to the evolving needs of women and babies.

Several working groups were also established in order to take the review forward, with NHS staff, professional bodies and patient representatives forming the backbone of these groups.

Areas that the maternity review particularly focused on were models of care, choice, professional culture and accountability, and levers and incentives.

The review also developed a detailed communications and engagement plan, in an attempt to ensure that the work carried out was both transparent and informed by a wide range of evidence.

Some of the more notable court team members of the National Maternity Review panel were as follows:

Baroness Julia Cumberlege (Chair)

Sir Cyril Chantler (Vice Chair)

Professor Cathy Warwick, Royal College of Midwives, Chief Executive

Dr David Richmond, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, President

Annie Francis, Neighbourhood Midwives, Chief Executive

Sarah Noble, Consultant Midwife, Birmingham Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

Elizabeth Duff, NCT, Senior Policy Adviser

Alison Baum, Best Beginnings, Chief Executive

As part of the ongoing process of ensuring that the maternity review has been carried out to acceptable standards, healthcare professionals across the country have been encouraged to give their view on the subject.

The survey in question will be completely anonymous, and is also open to people outside of the healthcare professions who simply have a particular interest in maternity services.

Cumberlege has stated that the survey constitutes a series of relatively short and straightforward questions, but it provides the opportunity for people to share their particular experiences of maternity services.

The Junior Health Minister is particularly interested in finding out what could be done better within the NHS’ maternity services.

Interested parties can access the survey on the National Maternity Review by clicking here.

 
[ Readmore. ]

Doctors requested to help shape the future of revalidation

A major evaluative research study into the regulatory impacts of medical revalidation has been commissioned by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The study involves almost 160,000 licensed doctors who will be asked to undertake a survey about the revalidation process to help researchers assess where improvements need to be made.

The evaluation is being overseen by a UK-wide collaboration of researchers (known as UMbRELLA). The GMC/UMbRELLA collaboration was set-up specifically to undertake the independent evaluation of medical evaluation.

Following the survey, there will be interviews with senior NHS staff as well as feedback from patients.

Doctors not invited to take part in the survey include trainee doctors, those who are provisionally registered and those who do not hold a licence with the GMC. Doctors in foundation or specialty training go through a different revalidation process to fully licensed practitioners. They will be asked to give their opinions on revalidation through the National Training Survey.

The findings of the research are expected to be published in 2018.

More information about the revalidation evaluation survey can be obtained on the UMbRELLA website.

 

 

 
[ Readmore. ]

One third of pharmaceutical sector know nothing about new data protection regulations finds new survey

Pharmaceutical professionals across the UK are in danger of underestimating the huge changes that lie ahead in data protection – after a survey revealed almost one third aren’t even aware of the forthcoming European General Data Protection Regulation.

Carried out by information management experts Crown Records Management, the survey of IT decision-makers at UK companies with more than 200 employees tested how well prepared businesses are for the changes.

The results found that: (i) almost one third of IT decision-makers in the pharmaceutical sector (28 percent) are totally unaware of the changes – only the insurance sector came out worse; (ii) almost one third say they are waiting for the final details of the Regulation before taking any action; (iii) only one in three (33 percent) say their company is looking a staff training to prepare for the new Regulation – the lowest across all sectors; and (iv) 6 percent are not planning to make any changes at all.

“The results show that UK businesses, and particularly those in the pharmaceutical industry, are worryingly uninformed when it comes to preparing for the EU General Data Protection Regulation”, said John Culkin, Director of Information Management at Crown Records Management.

“It’s a concern that a third of businesses in the pharmaceutical sector are unaware of the big changes ahead. But the important question is not just whether businesses are worried or not, but whether they are being proactive and taking early action to prepare for the Regulation.”

However, there was some good news as Mr Culkin relates: “The results did show that more than half in the sector are planning to review information policies, and that’s important. Also 45 per cent have already appointed a Data Protection Officer, which is likely to be compulsory for many companies in future, and that’s the best figure across all sectors.

“Overall, our advice is that companies should begin an information audit as soon as possible and make positive changes as early as possible.

“With big fines for data breaches in future and strict guidelines on how quickly breaches should be reported there is work to do for many businesses across all sectors.”

 
[ Readmore. ]

GMC launches major survey for doctors in training

The General Medical Council (GMC) is launching the world’s largest postgraduate medical education survey to gauge the quality of medical education and training in the UK.

The national training survey (NTS), which gets underway on Tuesday 24 March, involves more than 50,000 doctors and provides important information about how well the system is working. It is open to all doctors in foundation and specialty training programmes, including GP training.

And following concerns raised in the 2014 NTS over the issue of bullying (8% of doctors said they had experienced bullying and just under 14% reported witnessing bullying), this year’s survey will specifically address  the environment in which doctors are trained; how fairly doctors feel they are being treated, and if their posts help build confidence.

“‘We need to listen to what doctors in training tell us about their experience”, said Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC. “This is an important test of how well the system is working and it is incumbent on everyone involved to act on the results.

“Past results suggest that most doctors feel they receive a high standard of education but everyone accepts that improvements can be made.

“We know too that the external environment is extremely challenging with massive service pressures throughout the NHS in the UK – this year in particular we want to establish in which areas doctors in training are receiving most support for their learning and in which they are not.

The information provided by doctors in the NTS is anonymous and the findings will be published in June 2015 then reviewed by deaneries, local education and training boards, NHS trusts and GP surgeries.

Mr Dickson continued: “The important point is that doctors who complete the survey know that their views do matter and that the GMC, deans and hospitals and surgeries will act in response to the issues they raise. The survey has become increasingly influential with both those involved in education and in the wider health system taking notice of what doctors in training are telling us.”

The NTS is set to run until 6 May 2015.

 
[ Readmore. ]

More than half of NHS trusts surveyed by HSCIC declare land surplus

More than half of NHS organisations have declared a surplus of land according to data collected by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The land is currently owned by NHS organisations and deemed no longer required or considered unlikely to be needed for health service purposes in the future.

The release of the data by HSCIC will assist in quantifying the NHS contribution to the on-going government initiative of accelerating the release of public sector land for development.

Earlier this year, the National Housing Federation said that “public land belonging to the NHS could help deliver as many as two million new homes” and that “given the increasing financial pressures on the NHS, selling land is appealing and actively encouraged by the Treasury, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority.”

The main findings of the data collection from NHS organisations are as follows: (i) a total of 398 separate parcels of land were identified by the 125 NHS trusts who declared surplus or potentially surplus land; (ii) 125 (52%) of NHS trusts declared at least one parcel of surplus or potentially surplus land; and (iii) 117 (48%) of NHS trusts gave a negative response to the possession of surplus land.

The data was collected from 242 NHS trusts in England (a 100 percent return rate) through a central data collection system between December 2014 and February 2015.

The HSCIC data does not 47 sites identified by the NHS as sensitive.

 
[ Readmore. ]

Major survey finds that 9 in 10 people in Wales satisfied with standards of NHS care

More than nine out of 10 people in Wales are satisfied with the standards of care they receive according to a major new survey.

Carried out in 2013-14, the face-to-face National Survey for Wales quizzed 14,500 people aged 16 and over on a number of issues including their overall satisfaction with health services; satisfaction with care; access to care and patient involvement.

Key findings include: (i) 94% of people attending a hospital appointment in the last 12 months were able to get an appointment at a date and time that was convenient to them; (ii) 77% of people questioned had seen a GP about their own health in the previous 12 months. Of these, 92% were satisfied (68% very satisfied and 24% fairly satisfied) with the care they received; (iii) 84% of people said the GP knew all the relevant information about them, while 90% of people said that they or their carer were given all the information needed at their GP appointment; (iv) 41% of the people questioned had attended a hospital appointment in the last 12 months. Of these, 91% were satisfied (70% very satisfied and 21% fairly satisfied) with the care they received; and (v) people in employment were slightly more likely to find it difficult to make a convenient GP appointment, 39% compared with 36% of people not in employment.

“These results show the people of Wales have confidence in our NHS, and they value the services it provides”, said Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford. “The Welsh NHS does a fantastic job, day in and day out. We are providing a service on an industrial scale to a population of three million people.

“There will be some occasions when people don’t get the high standard of service we would expect them to get. But the typical experience of someone using the Welsh NHS results in extremely high levels of satisfaction with the care provided by GPs and in hospitals.”

 

 

 
[ Readmore. ]
This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.