The value of patient organisations

The added value of patient organisations | The European Patients Forum

The objective of this report is to emphasise the contribution of patient organisations in representing and voicing the situation of a specific population that would otherwise not be represented.

Patient organisations are able to help policy-makers understand the experience of living with a disease or a condition. They use this ‘end-user perspective’ to promote the interests of patients at all stages of policy development and in a range of institutional settings.

The main activities of patient organisations are set out in four different areas: policy, capacity building and education, peer support and research & development (both health and pharmaceutical).

Full report: The added value of patient organisations


NHS England action to save lives by catching more cancers early

NHS England announces the scaling up of an innovative scheme that catches lung cancer early by scanning patients, along with new details of a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could save thousands of lives.

NHS England is now funding scanners in other areas as part of a national programme to diagnose cancer earlier, improve the care for those living with cancer and ensure each cancer patient gets the right care for them. This follows the success of the Manchester scanner scheme, where mobile scanners are detecting four out of five cases of lung cancer in the early stages when it is easier to treat. The mobile scanning trucks have picked up one cancer for every 33 patients scanned over the course of a year.

Plans for ‘FIT’, a more sensitive bowel cancer test that could see as many as 1,500 more cancer caught earlier every year have also been confirmed.

‘FIT’ is an easy to use home testing kit which predicts bowel cancer, following the introduction of the test almost a third of a million more people are expected to complete screening. The sensitivity level determines the number of people who should go on for further cancer testing.


High-impact innovations for patient benefit

App that helps pregnant women monitor hypertension among new NHS innovations that will save lives and improve treatment | NHS England


A wireless sensor that better detects breathing rate in hospital patients, an app to help pregnant women monitor hypertension and another that directs patients with minor injuries to treatment units with the shortest queues are among the latest innovations set to be spread across the NHS.

Eleven projects are being backed in the latest round of NHS England’s programme to develop and spread pioneering ideas, equipment and technology that have the potential to save lives as well as money.

Further detail of this latest round of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme  can be found at NHS England



CCG Improvement and assessment framework

CCG Improvement and Assessment Framework 2017/18 | NHS England 


This updated framework describes the CCG annual performance assessment and the metrics that will inform that assessment for 2017/18; it replaces the Improvement and Assessment framework (IAF) for 2016/17.  The framework is accompanied by a technical annex which provides the detail of the construction and purpose of each of the indicators in the framework.

Full document at NHS England

Elevated mortality among weekend hospital admissions is not associated with adoption of seven day clinical standards

Meacock R, Sutton M. Elevated mortality among weekend hospital admissions is not associated with adoption of seven day clinical standards
Emerg Med J Published Online First: 08 November 2017. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2017-206740

Introduction Patients admitted to hospital in an emergency at weekends have been found to experience higher mortality rates than those admitted during the week. The National Health Service (NHS) in England has introduced four priority clinical standards for emergency hospital care with the objective of reducing deaths associated with this ‘weekend effect’. This study aimed to determine whether adoption of these clinical standards is associated with the extent to which weekend mortality is elevated.

Methods We used publicly available data on performance against the four priority clinical standards in 2015 and estimates of Trusts’ weekend effects between 2013/2014 and 2015/2016 for 123 NHS Trusts in England. We examined whether adoption of the priority clinical standards was associated with the extent to which weekend mortality was elevated, and changes over a 3 year period in the extent to which mortality was elevated.

Results Levels of achievement of two of the four clinical standards (ongoing review and access to diagnostic services) had small positive associations with the magnitude of the weekend effect in 2015/2016. Levels of achievement of the remaining two standards (time to first consultant review and access to consultant directed interventions) had small negative associations with the magnitude of the weekend effect in 2015/2016. No association was statistically significant. The same pattern was observed in the associations between achievement of the standards and changes in the magnitudes of the weekend effect between 2013/2014 and 2015/2016.

We found no association between Trusts’ performance against any of the four standards and the current magnitude of their weekend effects, or the change in their weekend effects over the past 3 years. These findings cast doubt on whether adoption of seven day clinical standards in the delivery of emergency hospital services will be successful in reducing the weekend effect.

Making a reality of the Accelerated Access Review: Improving patient access to breakthrough technologies and treatments

Department of Health

The government has announced a new fast-track route into the NHS for “breakthrough” medicines and technologies. This will speed up the time it takes for patients to benefit from ground-breaking products for conditions such as cancer, dementia and diabetes.

From April 2018, the new ‘accelerated access pathway’ will mean products with the greatest potential to change lives could be available up to 4 years earlier. It will be done by reducing the time it takes to negotiate evaluation and financial approvals before the NHS can purchase the products.

Under the scheme, a number of products each year will receive ‘breakthrough’ designation. This will unlock a package of support allowing firms to accelerate clinical development and gain a fast-track route through the NHS’s approval processes.

Contract and ownership type of general practices and patient experience in England: multilevel analysis of a national cross-sectional survey

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Article first published online: November 2, 2017

To examine associations between the contract and ownership type of general practices and patient experience in England.
Multilevel linear regression analysis of a national cross-sectional patient survey (General Practice Patient Survey).
All general practices in England in 2013–2014 (n = 8017).
903,357 survey respondents aged 18 years or over and registered with a general practice for six months or more (34.3% of 2,631,209 questionnaires sent).
Main outcome measures
Patient reports of experience across five measures: frequency of consulting a preferred doctor; ability to get a convenient appointment; rating of doctor communication skills; ease of contacting the practice by telephone; and overall experience (measured on four- or five-level interval scales from 0 to 100). Models adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents and general practice populations and a random intercept for each general practice.
Most practices had a centrally negotiated contract with the UK government (‘General Medical Services’ 54.6%; 4337/7949). Few practices were limited companies with locally negotiated ‘Alternative Provider Medical Services’ contracts (1.2%; 98/7949); these practices provided worse overall experiences than General Medical Services practices (adjusted mean difference −3.04, 95% CI −4.15 to −1.94). Associations were consistent in direction across outcomes and largest in magnitude for frequency of consulting a preferred doctor (−12.78, 95% CI −15.17 to −10.39). Results were similar for practices owned by large organisations (defined as having ≥20 practices) which were uncommon (2.2%; 176/7949).
Patients registered to general practices owned by limited companies, including large organisations, reported worse experiences of their care than other patients in 2013–2014.