International alliance sets bold research ambition to detect the (almost) undetectable

Cancer Research UK| October  2019 | International alliance sets bold research ambition to detect the (almost) undetectable

Developing radical new strategies and technologies to detect cancer at its earliest stage is the bold ambition of a new transatlantic research alliance, announced today by Cancer Research UK and partners.

Cancer Research UK is setting out a bold ambition to jump-start this under-explored field of research, collaborating with teams of scientists from across the UK and the US.

The International Alliance for Cancer Early Detection (ACED) is a partnership between Cancer Research UK, Canary Center at Stanford University, the University of Cambridge, the OHSU Knight Cancer InstituteUCL and the University of Manchester.

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Scientists in the Alliance will work together at the forefront of technological innovation to translate research into realistic ways to improve cancer diagnosis, which can be implemented into health systems. Potential areas of research include: ​

  • Developing new improved imaging techniques and robotics, to detect early tumours and pre-cancerous lesions
  • Increasing understanding of how the environment surrounding a tumour influences cancer development
  • Developing less invasive and simpler detection techniques such as blood, breath and urine tests, which can monitor patients who are at a higher risk of certain cancers
  • Searching for early stress signals sent out from tumours or surrounding damaged tissue as a new indication of cancer
  • Looking for early signs of cancer in surrounding tissue and fluids to help diagnose hard to reach tumours
  • Harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence and big data to look for signs of cancer that are undetectable to humans.

As part of the Cancer Research UK’s early detection strategy, the charity will invest an essential cash injection of up to £40 million over the next five years into ACED. Stanford University and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute will also significantly invest in the Alliance, taking the total potential contributions to more than £55 million (Source: Cancer Research UK).

Full details of the project are available from Cancer Research UK

See also:

BMJ New UK and US research alliance aims to detect cancer earlier and improve screening

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Using the power of social media in screening

Warrington maternity unit is using Facebook instant articles to transform the way they share learning | via Public Health England

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This blog article explains how a colleague set up a closed Facebook group for continuous professional development (CPD) to:

  • communicate to a wider audience
  • share best practice
  • encourage learning
  • signpost educational opportunities

Initially there was a concern that staff would not take to this new method, because it’s something that people use primarily for leisure and downtime. However, the CPD group is an opt-in, which means people can also opt out, adjust their settings to avoid viewing updates or simply scroll past. So far, most staff have joined the CPD group and nobody has opted out. Currently 130 people are in the group.

Full article at Public Health England

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Better care for patients and service users

This report demonstrates how – in difficult circumstances – trust leaders and staff are coming up with ideas and solutions to deliver better care | NHS Providers

This is the first in a new publication series to promote the work of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in improving care.  This briefing focuses on how trusts have responded to feedback from the Care Quality Commission in a positive and systematic way, encouraging ideas that have made a difference for patients and service users.

The report Providers deliver: better care for patients considers both the leadership approaches and frontline initiatives that underpin improvements in quality. Through 11 case study conversations, it considers some of the frontline work that has contributed to trusts’ improvements in CQC ratings, as well as exploring the role of trust leaders in providing an enabling, supportive environment in which this work has been possible.

Full report: Providers deliver: better care for patients 

See also: NHS Providers blog

Doncaster and Bassetlaw to launch ‘Electronic Observations’

Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group | September 2019 | Local Hospitals to launch ‘Electronic Observations’

Starting this month (September) staff at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals will be adopting a new system to enable health professionals to electronically record patient observations. The launch of eObservations  forms part of DBTH’s ‘Digital Transformation programme’, a scheme of work which is looking at making the most of new technologies in order to improve patient care, safety, experience and treatment.

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One of the most important tasks within any hospital, ‘clinical observations’ is the term used to describe the multitude of tests and exercises which are used to monitor the health of a patient. From temperature checks to heart rate monitoring, these observations help doctors and nurses understand the condition of their patients, guiding treatment if anything changes.

‘eObservations’ will launch within all six adult wards at Bassetlaw Hospital. Using a mobile device (handheld phones), health professionals will be able to record patient observations using a secure app, which then calculates whether these results fall within the ‘normal’ range for the patient, alerting a senior nurse or doctor if urgent attention is required (Source: Doncaster CCG).

The full details of this innovation are available from Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group

 

 

‘NHS Passports’ to help staff work flexibly and cut admin costs

NHS England | September 2019 |‘NHS Passports’ to help staff work flexibly and cut admin costs

Health service staff in England will be able to move seamlessly between sites in a bid to make it easier to take on new roles, plug gaps in staffing and improve patients’ care.

Following successful pilot projects, all hospitals in England are being urged to sign-up to passporting agreements, which will cut the need for up to two-day inductions and other admin when staff move between organisations.

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All clinicians working in hospitals that have these agreements will be able to move across different NHS sites to offer care to patients before returning to their main trust.

The scheme is part of a package of measures to be set out today by the NHS’ chief people officer at a conference in Manchester, in moves to build a workforce to deliver the Long Term Plan (Source: NHS England).

Read the full news story from NHS England 

England’s top nurse to recruit NHS ‘social media influencers’ to extend the reach of NHS App

NHS England | September 2019| England’s top nurse to recruit NHS ‘social media influencers’ to extend the reach of NHS App

The search is on for nurses and other health professionals across England to become the face of the NHS App on social media and in their communities, helping people to take back control of their own health.

Chief nursing officer for England, and Lead ambassador for the NHS App, Ruth May, said: “The best advert for our NHS is our extraordinary staff who continue to be the envy of the world, and with some of our leading lights soon to be promoting the next generation of health care tech across social media, the benefits of the NHS App will be experienced by even more people across England.

“The NHS App is transforming people’s experience of our health service, making it more convenient and available at the touch of a button, and as it continues to grow and improve, it will increasingly play a leading role in how we meet the ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, to help people stay well and manage their long-term conditions, and give new mums and their babies the very best start in life.

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“So it’s time now to get the word out, and that’s where frontline NHS staff come in – whether it’s acting as social media influencers or using good old-fashioned word of mouth, our search is on for nurses, doctors and other members of staff who are passionate about helping people make the most of this new and exciting advance.”

England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Ruth May, today launched the drive to find 10 passionate NHS ambassadors including nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and doctors to promote the use of the new app, which marks a step change in how people are able to engage with the NHS and access their medical records.

First launched in January, NHS App is now available to the vast majority of people across England, and particularly useful for people who use NHS services regularly, including those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.

Read the full story from NHS England

 

Life-changing treatment on the NHS for children with rare, deadly disease

NHS England | September 2019 | Life-changing treatment on the NHS for children with rare, deadly disease

Children in England with a rare condition which leads to early death are set to receive treatment on the NHS, after the health service struck a deal with manufacturers.

Young people with Batten Disease – an incurable illness which affects the nervous system, causing seizures, visual impairment, mobility loss and early death – will now be offered a drug to slow the onset of sickness.

Batten Disease usually starts in childhood, with an estimated 25 – 40 children living with the condition in England (Source: NHS England).

Read the full story from NHS England