Personalised cancer care

This report considers how a better collection and use of data can significantly improve cancer outcomes | Reform

This report finds that a more effective use of data could bring about much-needed improvements in cancer care. The new model of cancer care proposed in this paper looks at how data could be examined and used at every stage of the treatment journey, from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and recovery. Making better use of data will not only improve cancer outcomes but will also enable the NHS to manage the disease far more effectively, now, and in the future.

The cancer dashboard, currently run by Public Health England, is an online interface for all cancer related information. Going forward, the authors recommend the dashboard  be extended to become the single point of access for cancer outcomes data in England.

Alongside an improved cancer dashboard, the report also recommends data must be shared effectively and promptly between different stakeholders to ensure patients have the best possible care experience. This is especially important in cancer care as a patient normally interacts with many different parts of the health service.

Full report: A data-driven approach to personalised cancer care | Reform

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Social media boost for breast screening

More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

An NHS project using social media to improve health by boosting digital inclusion has led to a 13 per cent increase in first time attendances for breast screening in Stoke-on-Trent over four years.

The local initiative saw information about screening posted on Facebook community groups, which empowered and enabled women to make appointments by reducing their anxiety around breast examinations. It also allowed them to communicate quickly and easily with health practitioners to ask questions about the screening process.

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Through this project, the North Midlands Breast Screening Service promoted their Facebook page on local community groups which their target group – women aged over 50 – regularly visited.

The screening team posted information such as patients explaining about how the screening process works and how it has affected them, and videos showing the rooms where it takes place. Posts were designed to encourage women to share them and so spread the message about the benefits and importance of screening.

The service’s Facebook page also answered questions in the group and by direct messaging, enabling women to book appointments more easily.

Full detail: More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

See also: Social media could help raise breast screening take-up | OnMedica

Boosting confidence after breast cancer

A case study showing how cancer survivors in Salisbury feel more confident and less fatigued after enhanced support to live better after cancer | via NHS England

A new breast cancer stratified follow-up pathway, to increase the support given to breast cancer survivors, was rolled out at Salisbury Hospital in 2016.

The pathway includes a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) followed by a two-hour Moving Forward group. Hosted by a Consultant and a nurse, it addresses immediate health and wellbeing concerns. Offered to everyone on the patient initiated follow up, the average rating on session usefulness is 4.45 out of five. The average self-reported confidence score is 4.65. However the support does not stop there, patients identified as requiring more support are referred to the Cancer wellbeing group.

This group meets once a week for seven weeks. Hosted by a Clinical Psychologist and Gym Instructor qualified in rehabilitation, each two hour session starts with wellbeing advice, such as finance and benefits, diet or mindfulness and ends with a suitable rehabilitation exercise session. Group members unable to participate in group exercise receive a personal rehabilitation exercise programme. Members can also access weekly swimming sessions in the hospital pool. The average satisfaction rating for the group is 4.5 out of five, while on average, members report fatigue on daily life scores reduced by one third.

Full detail at NHS England

Using quality improvement tools in General Practice

This case study shows how a GP practice used quality improvement tools and approaches from the General Practice Improvement Leaders programme to create a more sustainable way of working | via NHS England

A meeting between partners and the practice’s business manager at Bottreaux Surgery, South West, raised some unexpected concerns that current working levels were unsustainable. Recognising the long-term sustainability of the practice was at risk, the group decided to do something about it and started by first pinning down what they felt the issues were.

The practice used creative thinking tools from the ‘Thinking Differently’ toolkit to begin considering how they could improve their position. Firstly, using the ‘Reframing by word play’ tool, the manager worked with the GPs to draw up a statement that best described what they needed to do to achieve personal sustainability. Their statement was; To be happy and not poorly at work, to have fun at work, and to play more.

Having created their own statement, the GPs felt compelled to change the way they worked.

Full detail: “Had we not made the changes we did the practice would have struggled to survive in the long-term” 

GP online services communications toolkit

NHS England has published a guide for GP practices to promote GP online services to patients 

This communications Support and Resource Guide (SRG) provides practical tools to help  communicate the benefits of GP online services. It is one of a range of guides, developed  to provide tools, tips, best practice and techniques to help the effective implementation and promotion of GP online services to patients and staff.

Other Support and Resources Guides include:

Full document: GP online services Communications Toolkit

Related video: Patient Online: How to promote GP online services to patients

Patients start testing the new NHS App

Patients at a number of practices across England have begun testing the new NHS App | NHS Digital

The NHS App provides simple and secure access to a range of healthcare services on a smartphone or tablet. Developed by NHS Digital and NHS England, the app will enable many patients to register without attending the practice, reducing administrative burden on reception staff.

Once registered, patients can:

  • check their symptoms using NHS 111 online and the symptom checker on the NHS website
  • book and manage appointments at their GP practice
  • order their repeat prescriptions
  • securely view their GP medical record
  • register as an organ donor
  • choose whether the NHS uses their data for research and planning

Feedback from patients and practice staff will be used to help improve the app before it is gradually rolled out to patients across England from December 2018.

Find out more on the NHS Digital Website

 

Stopping fraud against the NHS: new plans announced

The government has announced how it will take tougher action on fraud and save hundreds of millions of pounds for the NHS over the next 5 years, increasing the money available for improving patient care | Department of Health and Social Care

The new approach will start with a commitment to halve prescription fraud, which costs the NHS £256 million a year. Prescription exemptions will be digitised, allowing pharmacies to check whether the patient does not have to pay charge before their medication is dispensed. cure-1006811_1920 This will be piloted next year, before being rolled out across the NHS. The focus on prescriptions is one aspect of a wider crackdown on NHS fraud, which will prevent up to £300 million being lost to fraud by April 2020.

Further measures being introduced to stop fraud include:

  • a new partnership between the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) and the fraud prevention service Cifas, allowing NHS counter-fraud professionals to access Cifas data
  • more collaboration and data sharing between the NHS Business Services Authority and NHSCFA to identify the small number of pharmacists and dentists claiming payments for services they have not carried out
  • the introduction of a new counter-fraud profession in central government, bringing together around 10,000 counter-fraud specialists, including 400 focused on fraud in the NHS

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care