Long term conditions

NHS England has published The Long Term Conditions Year of Care Commissioning Programme Implementation Handbook.

Image source: http://www.nhsiq.nhs.uk/

The handbook is the main output of the Year of Care Commissioning Programme. It describes the experiences of five care economies working as part of the programme as they work towards developing capitated budgets for some patients and services.

A range of new posters are available showing how early implementer sites from the Long Term Conditions Year of Care Commissioning Programme are using their outputs from the programme to proactively support local service change decision making:

Sort film: Revolutionising person centred care for people with complex care needs



Dementia Nursing

The Department of Health has published Making a difference in dementia: nursing vision and strategy: refreshed edition.

This strategy sets out how nurses can provide high quality compassionate care and support for people with dementia, so they can live well with dementia within all care settings, including a person’s own home.

It aims to support all nurses to be responsive to the needs of people with dementia, continue to develop their skills and expertise, and achieve the best outcomes for people with dementia, their carers and families.

This refreshed strategy builds on the original strategy, published in March 2013.

Image source: http://www.gov.uk/

Help for people with learning disabilities to live independently

Local authorities are being invited to apply for a share of the £25 million housing and technology fund for people with learning disabilities.

The funding will allow the creation of a range of housing and technology options which could include floor sensors to monitor for falls or finger-print technology to make access as easy as possible for residents. This £25 million fund builds on £20 million already earmarked by NHS England as part of its Transforming Care programme.

The main aims of the fund are to:

  • use new technologies to improve and adapt existing accommodation, enabling people to remain living independently
  • prevent unnecessary in-patient admissions
  • provide solutions for people who require urgent housing and are at risk of entering inappropriate services like hospital or residential care
  • encourage community-based solutions that promote independence and choice over housing
  • save money and resources – specially adapted housing reduces the need for costly hands-on care


Involving patients in care decisions

Patients should be more involved in decisions about their care, says NICE


A new collaborative, made up of the UK’s leading health care organisations including NICE, has set out plans that aim to get patients more involved in decisions about their care.

The Shared Decision Making Collaborative has published a consensus statement and action plan outlining each organisation’s intentions and commitments to promote a move away from paternal medicine, so that care is delivered with the patient, not at the patient.

David Haslam, Chair of NICE, talks about the benefits of clinicians and patients making decisions together via his NICE blog, Working together to put patients at the heart of decisions about their care

A digital NHS?

In recent years, the digital agenda in health care has been the subject of a number of promises and plans, ranging from the Secretary of State’s challenge to the NHS to ‘go paperless’ to the commitment set out in the NHS’s Five Year Forward View to ‘harness the information revolution’.
This briefing from The Kings Fund asks if expectations been set too high? And is there sufficient clarity about the funding available to achieve this vision?

The paper looks at the key commitments made and what we know about progress to date, grouped under three broad themes:

  • interoperable electronic health records
  • patient-focused digital technology
  • secondary use of data, transparency and consent.

It identifies barriers to further progress and opportunities for delivering on the digital agenda.

Improving access to mental health services

Much remains to be done to secure urgently needed improvements in mental health services, the Public Accounts Committee says in its report.

Image source: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/

In a new report, the Committee concludes that while the Government has a “laudable ambition” to improve these services, “we are sceptical about whether this is affordable, or achievable without compromising other services”.

The Committee finds pressure on the NHS budget will make it very difficult to achieve ‘parity of esteem’ between mental and physical health. The report also finds commissioners and providers are not sufficiently incentivised to deliver high-quality mental health services for those who need them.

Full report: Improving access to mental health services

Report summary available here