Engaging Health Care Volunteers to Pursue the Triple Aim

New reimbursement models, pressure to reduce costs, increased emphasis on prevention and relentless focus on the patient experience and clinical outcomes require attention to patients and families in new ways | American Hospital Association

Image source: AHA

As hospitals, health systems and other providers navigate this evolution, health care volunteers stand out as key contributors in the success of pursuing the Triple Aim, a framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that outlines an approach for maximizing the performance of the health care system. The intent is that every activity or process be aligned with these three domains:

  • Improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction)
  • Improving the health of populations
  • Reducing the per-capita cost of health care.

High-performing health care organizations are striving to adhere to these principles as they seek to best serve their patients, families and communities.

Image source: AHA

This resource showcases how Volunteer Services strategically supports the Triple Aim. The information comes from interviews with volunteers, auxilians, directors of volunteer services and chief executive officers, who shared critical success factors in engaging volunteers in these efforts. It features case examples depicting how volunteers support the Triple Aim, including programs dedicated to:

  • Reducing avoidable readmissions
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Improving HCAHPS scores
  • Enhancing community engagement
  • Improving quality
  • Increasing health care access
  • Lowering health care costs
  • Improving patient safety

Read the full report here

Medical school tripled GP trainee output after raising exposure to general practice

The University of Cambridge medical school more than tripled its output of GP trainees in 2016 after implementing measures to give students and F2 doctors greater exposure to general practice | GP Online


Giving medical students and junior doctors more exposure to general practice placements could give a real boost to interest in GP careers, the outcome suggests.

For F2 leavers in 2016, almost a quarter (22%) of those who graduated from the University of Cambridge and went directly into further training opted to begin GP training, according to official data.

Just one year before, in 2015, the university had the lowest proportion of F2s entering GP training in the England, at just 7%.

Read the full news article here

NHS Health Check: Five examples of innovation in the UK

Around the UK, trusts are coming up with innovative ways of relieving the pressure on the NHS and improving people’s health | BBC News

  • Diverting patients from A&E – In May last year, the A&E department at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, started a six-week trial to divert patients away from the department.
  • Sending older patients home – In Glasgow, older patients have been helped to leave hospital thanks to a programme that opened 90 beds in private nursing homes.
  • Taking the hospital out into the community – In the Wirral, a community diabetes clinic is reaching patients who can’t travel or don’t want to come to hospital.
  • Using the power of art to heal – Patients visiting GPs in Rotherham are not just offered the normal array of drugs and treatment – they are given the option of exercise clubs, arts groups, metal work clubs and yoga.
  • Getting the NHS to help care homes – The council and local NHS has started working together in the London borough of Sutton to keep care home residents well.

Read the full news story here

Improving outcomes for children and families

The Local Government Association has published Improving outcomes for children and families in the early years: a key role for health visiting services

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

This guide highlights the importance of health visitors and commissioners to work together to monitor and evaluate the impact of the health visiting service.

The report includes case studies demonstrating examples of innovation.

Changes to General Practice contract 2017/18

NHS England has issued a letter setting out the key changes to the GMS contract for 2017/18

The new agreement includes an increased focus on tailored annual reviews offered to frail pensioners, and an increase in the number of health checks for people with learning disabilities.  The new contract also includes provisions to encourage practices to expand access and not to close for half-a-day a week.

The contract, to take effect from 01 April 2017, will see investment of around £238 million going into the contract for 2017/18. In addition, £157 million from a previous earmarked scheme will be transferred into core GP funding so that family doctors can be more flexible in how they care for the most frail.

Safer, faster, better – transforming urgent and emergency

Adopt the tried and tested principles and implement good practice in delivering urgent and emergency care | NHS Improvement


This document is designed to help frontline providers and commissioners deliver safer, faster and better urgent and emergency care to patients of all ages, collaborating in UECNs to deliver best practice.

It sets out design principles drawn from good practice, which have been tried, tested and delivered successfully by the NHS in local areas across England. However, the guide should not be taken as a list of instructions or new mandatory requirements. Implementation should be prioritised taking into account financial implications and local context.

This document has been prepared by NHS England in conjunction with the Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST). Contributions have been sought from the review’s delivery group (comprising a wide range of experts in urgent and emergency care services, as well as patient representatives).

Read the full guide here

Helping older people maintain a healthy diet

This review of evidence looks at ‘what works’ in supporting older people to maintain a healthy diet and reduce the risk of malnutrition. | Public Health England


Malnutrition in older people can have a significant impact on their health and social care needs.It has been estimated that the greater use of healthcare because of malnutrition results in:

  • 65% more GP visits
  • 82% more hospital admissions
  • 30% longer hospital stay

Identifying and treating malnutrition is an important preventative measure that will reduce demands on health and care services

This review of evidence is intended for anyone working on older people’s health, particularly those working on nutrition and those supporting older people in daily living. It reviews the relevant national standards, such as nutritional and catering standards, relevant NICE standards and guidance, national and international evidence.

Finally, it looks at promising practice from England, to see what others are doing and the impact their work is having. For the purposes of this study older people are defined as being aged 65 or over.

Full Impact assessment : Helping older people maintain a healthy diet: A review of what works