The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published Using pharmacists to help improve care for people with type 2 diabetes. This document is aimed at policy makers and education/service commissioners within the NHS in England and makes recommendations for how pharmacists can play an increasing role in the prevention, early detection, care and support of people with type 2 diabetes.
To improve care for people with type 2 diabetes, the RPS are calling for:
- Pharmacists should work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to play a greater role in prevention and detection services for type 2 Diabetes
- Pharmacists should play an active role in optimising medicines, improving the health, wellbeing and safety of people with type 2 diabetes across the NHS
- Pharmacists in specialist and generalist roles should be given access to the most up to date education and training to support people with multiple conditions
- NHS organisations need to establish and embed the role of consultant pharmacists in diabetes across the NHS should ensure improved outcomes in the management of people with type 2 diabetes, promote collaborative practice, multidisciplinary team working, quality improvement and research.
Full detail at Royal Pharmaceutical Society
See also: Pharmacists must be integrated into diabetes care | RPS press release
NICE, in collaboration with partner organisations, has launched an initiative to encourage better medicines support for people who are receiving social care services in their homes.
Involved & informed: good community medicines support aims to ensure the safe and effective use of medicines in the community, so people get the best possible outcomes with a reduced risk of medicine related harm. The campaign encourages health commissioners and local authorities to have a written agreement that sets out clear responsibilities for home-based medicines support.
The campaign also urges home care providers to ensure their medicines policies are robust and based on NICE guidance. The campaign focuses on NICE’s guideline and quality standard on managing medicines in the community, and comprises of action-orientated stand-alone messages, that speak to specific key audiences.
These key audiences are: local authority and clinical commissioning group (CCG) commissioners; social workers and other adult Care Act assessors; home care providers; people accessing medicines support (and their families and carers); Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors; GPs; pharmacists; and NHS Acute Trusts.
Full detail: Involved & informed: good community medicines support
The NHS is collaborating with Amazon to provide reliable health information from the NHS website through voice-assisted technology | Department of Health and Social Care
Voice-assisted technology will help patients, especially the elderly, blind and those who cannot access the internet through traditional means, to get professional, NHS-verified health information in seconds, through simple voice commands.
Amazon’s algorithm uses information from the NHS website to provide answers to voice questions such as:
- “Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?”
- “Alexa, what are the symptoms of flu?”
- “Alexa, what are the symptoms of chickenpox”
The technology has the potential to reduce the pressure on the NHS and GPs by providing information for common illnesses.
Voice search has been increasing rapidly. By 2020, half of all searches are expected to be made through voice-assisted technology.
NHSX will look at ways of making more NHS services available to all patients through digital technology. The announcement supports the commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan to make more NHS services available digitially.
Full story at Department of Health and Social Care
The NHS patient safety strategy | NHS Improvement
This strategy sets out what the NHS will do to achieve its vision to continuously improve patient safety. To do this the NHS will build on two foundations: a patient safety culture and a patient safety system.
Three strategic aims will support the development of both:
• improving understanding of safety by drawing intelligence from multiple
sources of patient safety information (Insight)
• equipping patients, staff and partners with the skills and opportunities to
improve patient safety throughout the whole system (Involvement)
• designing and supporting programmes that deliver effective and sustainable
change in the most important areas (Improvement).
Full document: The NHS Patient Safety Strategy. Safer culture, safer systems, safer
See also: How data can shape a safer NHS| Nuffield Trust blog
Public attitudes to organisations innovating with NHS data | National Data Guardian
The National Data Guardian (NDG) has released findings from a poll on public attitudes to NHS organisations working with partners to use data to develop new medicines and technologies to improve health.
The poll tested what the public thought would be fair when partnerships with universities or private companies result in valuable new discoveries that could be traded commercially. It found strong support for the idea that NHS and patients should benefit from such partnerships although significant proportions of respondents said they neither agreed nor disagreed with whether the range of benefits was fair.
The NDG is now calling for a debate about the relationships between the NHS and those innovating with NHS data.
Full detail: NDG poll findings
Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare | Reform
This report examines the current landscape of data-driven technologies and their applications in mental healthcare, highlighting areas where these tools offer the most potential for the NHS and its patients. It discusses what makes mental health different from other areas of health, and the implications this has for the application of data-driven tools. It examines barriers to implementation, and proposes ways to move forward.
- The National Institute for Care and Health Excellence should make guidelines and protocols machine-readable to inform Clinical Decision Support Systems used in mental healthcare. This would make the guidelines more accessible to frontline practitioners and enable the guidelines to be continuously improved in accordance with up-to-date clinical evidence.
- In order to improve understanding of mental health conditions, NHS Digital should develop a repository using data held by NHS organisations to help researchers securely identify suitable participants for mental health research studies and assess the feasibility of research projects at early stages. Similar governance frameworks to the Scottish Health Research Register should be employed.
- NHSX should require all healthcare providers to design interoperable systems and ensure data portability. This would allow data generated from technologies such as wearables and sensors to be transferred across platforms.
Full report: Making the right choices: Using data-driven technologies to transform mental healthcare
Data-Driven Tech in Mental Healthcare: Why is this research important?
The Health Foundation | June 2019 |In health care, data is not the ‘new’ anything – it is a paradigm shift
A guest blog post from Indra Joshi, Digital Health and AI Clinical Lead for NHSX, and Jess Morley a Tech Adviser / AI Lead for NHSX, considers how data in the NHS is a paradigm shift from how data has been used before.
Blog available from The Health Foundation