Improved asthma and dementia care from community pharmacists under new quality scheme

Most community pharmacies in England are now providing improved asthma and dementia care |  NHS England 

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Thousands of community pharmacists took up incentives to offer new patient services, such as providing asthma checks and undertaking training to become more dementia aware, as part of a programme to improve care.

The uptake figures from NHS England show that 97 per cent (11,410) of community pharmacies are now signed up to the Quality Payments Scheme, which provides an incentive to deliver new clinical services in a bid to encourage more people to use their local pharmacist.

An assessment of the new scheme shows that since April 2017, 70,000 pharmacy staff have become ‘Dementia Friends’ in order to offer greater awareness regarding the needs of people with dementia. ​

NHS England issued guidance in December 2016 on how community pharmacies could qualify for the scheme, which ran between December 2016 and March 2018, and is currently considering how best to implement the successes of this scheme over the long-term.

Full story at NHS England

Findings of the NHS Innovation Accelerator published

Institute for Employment Studies | IES evaluation identifies key success factors in supporting adoption of healthcare innovations in the NHS | March 2018

The NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA)  was created to help address the priorities of improving take-up of innovations in the NHS; it was intended to help create conditions and cultural change so that healthcare innovations are adopted faster and more systematically and deliver practical examples for patient and population benefit. The Institute for Employment Studies IES have published a report which outlines the key conditions for success which were identified through the national accelerator. 

The  report’s key findings are summarised in the infographic, which contains insights on the key conditions for success of the NIA, the barriers to scaling innovations, users’ views and a summary of the NIA in numbers.

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A summary of the report can be read here 

The full report can be downloaded from Institute for Employment Studies

WISE Fellowship Programme for female healthcare scientists opens

Applications for a prestigious science fellowship scheme, aimed at helping female healthcare scientists to improve patient care, access training, and increase women’s access to leadership roles have opened. 

The fellowship is aimed at scientists at mid-career level working across the NHS.  The scheme offers four places for candidates on a career development programme that includes mentoring, communication and leadership skills training. In conjunction  there are also speaking and ambassadorial opportunities via  the WISE and The Office of the Chief Scientific Officer’s networks, as well as through attendance at the WISE Conference 2018 and National Chief Scientific Officer’s Conference 2019.

The programme is run with WISE, the campaign for gender balance in science,  technology and engineering.  Applications close May 13 2018.

More details at NHS England 

Meet the 2017-18 fellows here 

Further information about  The Chief Scientific Officer’s WISE Fellowship Programme for NHS England is available from WISE programme 

Making the most of digital technology in the NHS a case study approach

The King’s Fund spotlights the work of Liverpool Commissioning Group, responsible for NHS services across the city which is implementing a shared patient record amongst other technology developments; and Essex University Partnership Trust, a community and mental health provider covering one of the largest geographic areas of any single trust.  While the Commissioning Group is using technology with the aim of improving residents’ health; Essex University Partnership Trust has been using digital technology to change its service delivery to patients. Each of these areas are using electronic records and enabling staff to access their office facilities through mobile working. 



The blog post outlines the difficulties in managing digital change as well as discussing the benefits of implementing digital technology, such as improved patient safety as a result of better information.  They conclude there are three key drivers of success in such digital projects

  1. the quality and level of clinical engagement and involvement in project and system design
  2. the belief in your work and involvement at board level
  3. resourcing your support and training correctly.

Neither of the interviewees in the case studies neither found digital change easy, but they outlined that to facilitate these changes there was a need for peer-to-peer communication, clinical leadership and ensuring those at the front line are involved in designing their service.

The full blog post is available from The King’s Fund 

Workload in general practice

Ensuring patient safety through control of workload and demand management in general practice | The British Medical Association (BMA)


General practice in England has seen consultation rates soar by nearly 14 per cent between 2007 and 2014, while the 12 months between 2016-17 saw the total number of full-time equivalent GPs fall by 3.4 per cent.

The BMA suggest that this increase in workload is because of growing patient need (complex multi-morbidity) as well as a result of the widespread recruitment and retention crisis and a lack of long-term investment in general practice. It is argued that the issue of GP workload must be addressed urgently.

This document seeks to address the current challenges in primary care.  It sets out a strategy aimed at improving safety and quality of patient care by recommending the development of agreed workload limits at a local level supported by national guidance.

Full document: Workload Control in General Practice. Ensuring Patient Safety Through Demand Management

Progress Report: Strategic Partnership Agreement, NHS Digital & techUK

NHS Digital | Progress Report: Strategic Partnership Agreement, NHS Digital & techUK 
NHS Digital and techUK have been working together since September 2016 within a  strategic partnership. This  report documents the progress to date of the strategic partnership. It also identifies new priorities for the partnership and six key areas to focus on in the first half of 2018.

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Some of the priorities outlined include: 

•Working with SMEs: Commit to ensuring the health and social care economy gets   full value from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Both organisations will work
together to ensure SMEs are gaining a share of NHS and social care business.

• Future tech: Horizon scanning for innovative technologies that can be leveraged by
the NHS this includes blockchain and artificial intelligence.

• Cyber Security: Continue to progress with the good work and support the security operation centre procurement.

• Collaborate with wider community: This would include local bodies, trusts and CCG’s.

Further information is available from NHS Digital:  NHS Digital and techUK look to next steps in their partnership

The full report can be read here

Improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services

This guideline covers the care and support of adults receiving social care in their own homes, residential care and community settings | National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This NICE guideline aims to help people understand what care they can expect in residential and community settings, and to improve their experience by supporting them to make decisions about their care.


The guideline has been developed by a committee of people who use services, and carers and professionals. It has used information from a review of research evidence about people’s experiences of care and support, and from expert witnesses. The committee also gave consideration to the potential resource impact of the recommendations. The recommendations are considered to be aspirational but achievable.

It includes recommendations on:

It is for:

  • Practitioners working in adult social care services in all settings.
  • Service managers and providers of adult social care services.
  • Commissioners of adult social care services.
  • People using services (including those who fund their own care) and their families, carers and advocates.

Full reference: People’s experience in adult social care services: improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services | NICE guideline [NG86]

See also:  NICE interactive flowchart – People’s experience in adult social care services