How can frontline expertise and new models of care best contribute to safely reducing avoidable acute admissions? A mixed-methods study of four acute hospitals  

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

This study aims to investigate the interplay of service factors that influence decision-making about emergency patient admissions and to understand how the medical assessment process is experienced by patients, carers and medical staff.

Arts for health and wellbeing: an evaluation framework

The arts are increasingly recognised as having the potential to support health and wellbeing. However, in order for arts to be included in commissioning of health and social care services, there needs to be robust evidence of their effectiveness, impacts and costs. This document suggests a standard framework for reporting of project activities that will strengthen understanding of what works in specific contexts and enable realistic assessment and appropriate comparisons to be made between programmes.

Faith at the end of life: public health approach resource for professionals

Public Health England (PHE)

This resource aims to help frontline professionals and providers working in community settings and commissioners maintain a holistic approach to the people dying, caring or bereaved. It provides information to help ensure that commissioning and delivery of services and practice takes account of spiritual needs of the six largest faith groups in England and remains appropriate to the community setting in which they work.

Improving acute psychiatric care for adults in England

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published Old Problems, New Solutions: Improving Acute Psychiatric Care for Adults in England. This report is the result of an independent commission which found that access to acute care for severely ill adult mental health patients is inadequate nationally and, in some cases, potentially dangerous. It also highlighted that there were major problems both in admissions to psychiatric wards and in providing alternative care and treatment in the community.

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The Commission’s report recommends significant changes to how services are commissioned, organised and monitored across the mental health system. It also calls for faster access to acute care and an end to sending severely-ill mental health patients long distances for treatment.

Summary of the latest news on digital innovation in the NHS

1. Grainger, T. NHS England News. What’s new in the world of digital primary care.

We are now well into 2016 and January has been such a busy month, moving full speed ahead with lots of public engagements, giving me the chance to talk about our key priorities and our great work in Primary Care as well as what we have planned throughout the year.

The children’s health digital strategy is gathering pace rapidly and our first design workshop was a great success. The level of feedback and involvement from participants has been extremely positive and creating a lot of energy amongst health care providers, commissioners and supplier market.

The input so far has really helped us to shape the Children’s Digital Strategy. We now have an initial draft that is being refined as we gather more intelligence and input from our different stakeholders.


Read the full article here

2. Illman, J. HSJ. Hunt says £1.8bn will be spent on ‘paper free NHS’.

  • Hunt announces £1.8bn of funding earmarked to “create a paper free NHS”
  • Appears to be an increase on £1bn over five years allocated in last year’s spending review
  • The announcement involves no new money for health overall
  • Details of the source of the funding and plans for spending it are not clear
  • The health secretary has indicated he is increasing the amount of funding allocated for moving to a paperless at the point of care NHS by 2020.

Jeremy Hunt said in an announcement today that £1.8bn was being earmarked to “create a paper free NHS”. However, details such as how it compares to previously announced funding, and the source of the money, remain unclear.

The £1.8bn announced is the largest figure so far linked to the programme to bring about paper free at the point of care services by 2020.

It appears to be an increase on the commitment in the government’s November spending review to spend £1bn by 2020-21 on the digital drive.

However, HSJ has confirmed today’s announcement does not involve any new money being assigned to the NHS by the Treasury. Instead it relates to how the Department of Health’s already agreed funding will be spent.

Read the full article here

Illman, J. HSJ. ‘Flip’ incentives to get NHS using tech, says US digital guru.

  • Finding ways to incentive digital adoption is one of “fundamental challenges” for Robert Wachter’s digital review
  • American “meaningful use” programme has been “mostly successful but still flawed”
Image source: Bob Mical

US digital health expert Professor Robert Wachter has said finding ways to change the financial and regulatory incentives in the NHS to encourage digital adoption is one of the “fundamental challenges” for his government-backed review.

Speaking exclusively to HSJ about his review, which Jeremy Hunt said in October was part of trying to ensure the NHS becomes a world leading digital health system, he talked about addressing several overarching challenges.

These included clinical engagement, the balance between central and local leadership, and financial and regulatory incentives.

Read the full article here