The learning disability improvement standards for NHS trusts

NHS Improvement | June 2018 | The learning disability improvement standards for NHS trusts

NHS Improvement have developed new standards which have been developed with a number of outcomes created by people and families — which clearly state what they expect from the NHS. By taking this approach to quality improvement, it places patient and carer experience as the primary objective, as well as recognising the importance of how the NHS listens, learns and responds in order to improve care.

Better standards of care
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There are four standards, which include:

  • respecting and protecting rights
  • inclusion and engagement
  • workforce
  • learning disability services standard (aimed solely at specialist mental health trusts providing care to people with learning disabilities, autism or both)

Source: NHS Improvement 
The learning  disability improvement standards for NHS trusts

Easy read version: the learning disability improvement standards for NHS trusts


Digital change in health and social care

The King’s Fund | June 2018 | Digital change in health and social care

A new publication from The King’s Fund has been created to support health and social care organisations that are looking to undertake large-scale digital change, no matter what their current level of technological advancement. The report offers a practical understanding of the factorsthat contribute to successful large-scale digital change by bringing together theexperiences of five case study sites that have already made significant progress towards achieving their change aims.

Although The King’s Fund frame this report in terms of ‘digital change’, it is important to note that for many of the people they spoke to for this research, this was a clinical change process, not specifically a digital one.

  • The use of digital technology in health and social care can improve quality, efficiency and patient experience as well as supporting more integrated care and improving the health of a population.
  • Large-scale change involving digital technology, such as adopting electronic patient records (EPRs) and shared care records, is complex and necessitates attention to particular aspects of the change.
  • This report shares practical learning from a series of case studies where significant largescale digital change is happening.
  • Key barriers to successful digital change include the constraints care organisations face in their workforce, tight budgets, organisations’ attitudes towards risk and the relationships that exist between care providers and key stakeholders.
  • Most of the barriers can be mitigated through time and effort and by treating digital projects as change projects, not IT projects. Effective and consistent staff engagement and resource allocation to the project are key factors in success (The King’s Fund).

Among the case studies featured in the report are  Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire and Frimley and Homerton University Hospital.

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You can download both the summary and the full report 
Of interest:

Reducing reliance on medical locums: a practical guide for medical directors

NHS Improvement | June 2018 | Reducing reliance on medical locums: a practical guide for medical directors

The guide gives six practical steps to addressing over-reliance on medical locums and taking great control of workforce deployment. It also contains case studies from trusts who have been successful in finding alternatives to using medical locums (NHS Improvement).

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Supporting documents:

Board reporting dashboard template

Use this template to produce monthly reports for your trust board and more regular reports to your executives in charge of reducing medical locum spend

Reporting and tracking template

This spreadsheet provides a guide to some of the information your central booking team should be providing your executives in charge of reducing medical locum spend.

Reducing reliance on medical agency staff: sharing successful strategies

This document reflects some of the strategies being adopted by trusts to reduce reliance on medical agency staff. All the trusts included in this document have a relatively lower medical agency spend in comparison to other trusts in their region as a result of these common strategies and other strategies reflected in this document.

Further details from NHS Improvement 

The five essential components of value-based approaches to health and care

Against a backdrop of financial pressures, growing demand for services and the quest for transformation of local services, the concept of value in the health and care system is one which has gained increasing prominence over recent years. This paper explores how we can spread the adoption of value-based healthcare across all parts of the system and ensure that we maximise the benefits for those who use NHS and wider services | NHS Confederation

This paper explores the central challenge of how to take value-based healthcare to the next stage and embed it across the whole system.

It explores five key characteristics/factors which support the wholesale adoption of value-based healthcare approaches. These are:

  • Learning and adapting through the adoption of innovation
  • Managing risk
  • Making best use of data
  • Thinking about pathways across the whole system
  • Listening to patients.

Full document: Taking the value-based agenda forward: The five essential components of value-based approaches to health and care

Dementia patients could remain at home longer thanks to ground breaking technology

Innovative new technology could enable people with dementia to receive round the clock observation and live independently in their own homes, a new study reports. | University of Surrey | via ScienceDaily


Researchers from the University of Surrey in partnership with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have developed state of the art Artificial  technologies, powered by machine learning algorithms, to monitor the wellbeing of people with dementia.

The study known as Technology Integrated Health Management (TIHM) for dementia, uses the ‘Internet of Things,’ a network of internet enabled devices (sensors, monitors and trackers) installed in homes, which can detect an immediate crisis as well as changes in people’s health and daily routines. Any change could indicate a potential health issue and if identified early could prevent a person from becoming seriously unwell and requiring emergency hospital admission.

The well-being of people with dementia can also be monitored using this innovative technology which can detect agitation and irritability.

Full story at ScienceDaily

Journal reference:  Shirin Enshaeifar, S. et al. | Health management and pattern analysis of daily living activities of people with dementia using in-home sensors and machine learning techniques | PLOS ONE |  2018; 13 (5):



Driving improvement: Case studies from GP practices

This publication from the Care Quality Commission looks at 10 GP practices that have achieved a significant improvement on their rating.

Key themes

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The practices in this report faced similar challenges. They all showed an impressive commitment to improve their service to patients. To achieve this they shared common experiences:

  • strong leadership from a practice manager with the time and skills to lead the practice team
  • addressing staffing and training issues such as poor recruitment or training practices
  • making sure every member of the practice team understood their own and others roles and responsibilities
  • involving the whole team in running the practice
  • involving patients and the local community
  • using external support to help improvement

Their experiences show that improvement in GP practices is possible. The case studies highlight some clear actions that other practices can use to help them learn and improve.

Full report: Driving improvement: Case studies from 10 GP practices

Reducing long hospital stays

Guide to reducing long hospital stays|  NHS Improvement

hospital-1806111_1920 (1)Nearly 350,000 patients currently spend over three weeks in acute hospitals each year. Many are older people with reduced functional ability (frailty) or cognitive impairment. The benefits of reducing hospital bed occupancy are clear, but achieving it has proven difficult, particularly during winter.

This guide details practical steps to implement approaches to reduce length of stay. It is primarily aimed at acute and community trusts, but also makes reference to how system partners can play a supporting role.

Full document: Guide to reducing long
hospital stays

Additional link: NHS England press release