Falls specialist response vehicle

NHS Improvement | October 2018 | Falls specialist response vehicle

An innovative approach to the winter pressures faced by ambulance crews  involved establishing a specialist vehicle service responding to callouts for falls at home.

The service was  trialled in the London Ambulance Service (LAS)  and North East London NHS Foundation  Trust in 2017/18 to set up a specialist vehicle service responding to callouts for falls at home. The he case study outlines the steps taken in response to frail older people making calls to 999, which meant ambulances were unable to attend the highest acuity calls, patient flow through ED was reduced and hospital beds were occupied unnecessarily.



Key outcomes from the specialist vehicle service

  • 1,376 patients were attended
  • 960 were safely kept at home
  • 768 bed days were released (based on 80% of patients staying one night)
  • £173,760 was saved (based on £181 per person cost of A&E attendance)

Read the full details of the case study at NHS Improvement 


Nutrition and hydration collaborative

NHS Improvement | October 2018 | Nutrition and hydration collaborative

NHS Improvement ran a 180-day programme, with 25 volunteer trusts, to improve nutritional care by increasing the accuracy of nutritional screening and the appropriateness of nutritional interventions.

The overall aims of the collaborative were to support trusts to:

  • increase in the proportion of patients with an accurate nutritional screen
  • increase in the proportion of patients receiving appropriate nutritional interventions
  • introduce and increase the use quality improvement tools and techniques


In addition to these aims organisations could identify their own quality improvement focus if appropriate.

25 trusts volunteered to be part of the programme to drive quality improvements, each shared their good practice, what they have learnt about quality improvement and helpful techniques with each other.

Read the trust stories on the Nutrition collaborative 

NHS to reuse more medical equipment

Department of Health and Social Care | October 2018 |NHS to reuse more medical equipment

As part of the NHS plan to reduce waste, medical equipment such as nearly-new crutches and wheelchairs currently left unused in patients’ homes are going to be reused, where it is safe to do so. Health Minister Steve Barclay is encouraging  NHS staff to accept unwanted equipment that patients no longer need and reuse it.


Some hospitals are already re purposing equipment through innovative schemes:

  • Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust – runs a scheme to reuse returned walking aids, such as frames and crutches. Returned items are examined, decontaminated and reused or recycled. Last year 21% of crutches and 61% of frames were returned. This saw over 2,000 pieces of equipment reused and generated savings of over £25,000
  • Airedale NHS Foundation Trust – a project run by the trust and shared across local areas has seen over 800 wheelchairs recycled by the charities for use overseas, including in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific
  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust – a scheme to change the types of container it used for ‘sharps’, moving from disposable containers to long-span bins which last for 10 years, helping to save around £20,000 per year

Health Minister Steve Barclay said:

“There are some great examples of hospitals already reusing vital medical equipment ‒ such as wheelchairs and walking aids ‒ and we want to see more of this across the country. In too many instances, however, medical equipment is being used once and then thrown away at a time when the public is increasingly aware of the impact of waste on the environment.

Patients should be able to return the countless pairs of perfectly good crutches sitting unused in the corner of living rooms across the country and know they will be put to good use helping others, either in the NHS or elsewhere through charity donations.” (Source: Department of Health and Social Care)

Full details are available from the Department of Health and Social Care

Improving Care for Older People

Improving care for older people | NHS England

Advances in health care have helped people in England to live longer than ever before. As a result, the number of older people in England is growing significantly and this rate of growth is projected to speed up over the next 20 years. This is good news for all of us but it creates a challenge for the NHS – as we get older we tend to get long term conditions and need more health and social care. nurse-2683782_1920.png

This guide to Improving Care for Older People, developed by NHS England in partnership with Age UK, Public Health England, and the Chief Fire Officer’s Association, is a collection of resources which aims to help people stay well, and continue living independently, for as long as possible.

Full detail at NHS England

The future of healthcare: digital, data and technology in health and care

This policy paper outlines what is needed to enable the health and care system to make the best use of technology to support preventative, predictive and personalised care  | Department of Health and Social Care


This document proposes a modern technology architecture and a set of guiding principles that will together be the foundation for a new generation of digital services designed to meet the needs of all users – for the workforce and for patients and people who use care services.

The vision sets out how digital services and IT systems will need to meet a clear set of open standards to ensure they can talk to each other and be replaced when better technologies become available. A focus on putting user needs first and setting standards at the centre will enable local organisations to manage their use of technology and spread and support innovation wherever it comes from.

The paper concludes: “By harnessing the power of technology and creating an environment to enable innovation, we can manage the growing demand for services and create the secure and sustainable future for the NHS and social care system that we all want to see”.

Full detail: The future of healthcare: our vision for digital, data and technology in health and care



Nine ways research could save the NHS money

This highlight provides nine treatments and initiatives that are cost effective for the NHS | National Institute for Health Research

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The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has published  Nine ways research could save the NHS money.

Treatments and initiatives included are:

Full detail: Nine ways research could save the NHS money

Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS) using smartcards

A new case study on NHS England’s atlas of shared learning explores how a Deputy Chief Nurse responsible for safeguarding and harm-free care at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) identified an opportunity to use new digital technology to introduce electronic Child Protection-Information Sharing (CP–IS) to the Trust. The CP-IS is now being used to help identify children with particular safeguarding needs whenever they are registered as a patient. 


Implementation of the CP-IS has facilitated better information sharing, better outcomes for patient safety and better use of resources, as its introduction has reduced cost and time in supporting children and young people’s  administrative process (Source: NHS England).

Full details at NHS England 

Falls Prevention Nurses lead collaborative falls service improvement with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

NHS England | October 2018 | Falls Prevention Nurses lead collaborative falls service improvement with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Falls Prevention Nurses at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust (BDCFT) have led change by working in partnership and collaboratively on falls prevention with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS). They  identified unwarranted variation and missed opportunities to enhance their falls prevention work. Which led them to begin offering falls awareness training for WYFRS, supporting them to start providing falls prevention advice and information to their service users as part of their day to day work and linking with their ‘Safe and Well’ strategy (Source: NHS England)

Read the full story from NHS England 

Helping to address delayed discharges

A new specialist service in South London is bringing together housing, clinicians and discharge teams to work with patients whose housing problems are delaying their discharge from hospital | NHS Confederation


This briefing reports on a a new specialist service based in Croydon, South London. The service  supports patients to move on from hospital to either supported living, the private rented sector, council properties or hostel accommodation. They are helped to access funding, legal advice, benefits and other services.

Insecure housing is often cited as reason for patients being admitted to hospital. The Crisp report (2016) found that 16 per cent of patients on acute wards were delayed discharges, and that 49 per cent of these patients could not be discharged due to a lack of suitable housing. In response to this, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust commissioned a new specialist service to be based within Bethlem Royal Hospital to work alongside clinicians and the current discharge team.

Since launching in February 2017, more than 200 patients in Croydon have been supported with housing, which has allowed them to leave hospital quicker.

Full briefing: Helping to address delayed discharges in South London: the HAWK/SLaM service