Transforming elective care services

NHS England has published the following handbooks for commissioners, providers and those leading the local transformation of elective care services. They describe what local health and care systems can do to transform elective care services at pace, why this is necessary and how the impact of this transformation can be measured.  They also contain practical guidance for implementing and adopting a range of interventions to ensure patients see the right person, in the right place, first time.

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Investing in health and care data analytics

Untapped potential: Investing in health and care data analytics | The Health Foundation

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This new report from the Health Foundation highlights key reasons why there should be more investment in analytical capability. The report calls for action and investment across the system so the NHS has the right people with the right tools to interpret and create value from its data. This could result in an NHS that can make faster progress on improving outcomes for patients.

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Image source: http://www.health.org.uk
Key points
  • The NHS generates a huge amount of data. Making better use of this growing mountain of information has the potential to improve care and how services are run.
  • Yet the NHS is failing to make the most of its data because there aren’t enough people with the right analytical skills to make sense of the information that is being collected.
  • More investment is needed in skilled analysts to unlock the full potential of NHS data to benefit patients.

 

Nine key reasons why there should be more investment in analytical capability:

  • Clinicians can use the insights generated by skilled analysts to improve diagnosis and disease management.
  • National and local NHS leaders can evaluate innovations and new models of care to find out if expected changes and benefits were realised.
  • Board members of local NHS organisations and systems can use analysis to inform changes to service delivery in complex organisations and care systems.
  • Local NHS leaders can improve the way they manage, monitor and improve care quality day-to-day.
  • Senior NHS decision makers can better measure and evaluate improvements and respond effectively to national incentives and regulation.
  • Managers can make complex decisions about allocating limited resources and setting priorities for care.
  • Local NHS leaders will gain a better understanding of how patients flow through the system.
  • New digital tools can be developed and new data interpreted so clinicians and managers can better collaborate and use their insights to improve care.
  • Patients and the public will be able to better use and understand health care data.

Full report: Untapped potential: Investing in health and care data analytics | The Health Foundation

 

The NHS Winter Crisis

This Reformer Thoughts series brings together healthcare professionals to discuss what can be done to prevent the winter crisis from recurring. Examining challenges such as workforce supply issues, funding and a lack of systems integration, the paper proposes recommendations for tackling these problems | Reform

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This publication looks at the multifaceted nature of winter crises, touching on the challenges posed by workforce supply issues, funding and a lack of joined up approaches in primary and secondary care. It is suggested that digital technologies could play a greater role in helping the NHS manage capacity and demand for care in the long-term.

They stress the need to reform the way health and social care services are delivered and funded, as well as the specific challenges facing services such as mental health and community nursing. This series presents a forward-looking assessment of the NHS and suggests that much can still be done to prevent winter crises from recurring.

Read the full publication here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primary mental health care

Filling the chasm: reimagining primary mental health care | Centre for Mental Health

This report explores local initiatives which bridge the gap between primary care and secondary care mental health services, supporting people have more complex needs, don’t meet secondary care thresholds, or present with multiple or medically unexplained symptoms.

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Image source: http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk

It finds that primary care services in many areas of England have developed a number of different approaches to addressing mental health needs that other services do not meet. The report describes promising approaches in eight local areas.

The report calls on NHS England to make primary mental health care a central strand of the long-term NHS plan, due to be published later this month. The NHS needs to identify effective models of primary mental health care and invest in local services to help them meet the needs of their communities. The report also calls on Health Education England to invest in the workforce for primary mental health care.

The report identified some key elements for future primary care developments:

  • Identifying the opportunities for prevention and promotion of mental health – including in the perinatal period; with children and young people; and through providing information and resources
  • Maximising social interventions for mental health – moving away from anti-depressants and therapy as the only solutions, improving awareness of community resources
  • Culture change – embracing the holistic approach – valuing social support and linking to physical health initiatives
  • Empowering the person – moving ‘from patient to person’ – enabling people to make their own decisions about what they need to focus on, addressing social factors and causes of mental health problems
  • Bridging the gap between primary and secondary care – co-locating services, employing senior staff to provide consultancy and supervision

Full report: Filling the chasm. Reimagining primary mental health care | Centre for Mental Health

 

Understanding new models of integrated care

Integrated care is not quick, or cheap, but new systematic review finds sufficient evidence that it is a goal worth pursuing 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has published Ways of integrating care that better coordinate services may benefit patients. This systematic review, part of the NIHR Signal series, looks at international literature to understand how new care models may affect patients, providers and systems. It includes a qualitative review of attitudes, barriers and enablers of integration and finds new integrated care models can increase patient satisfaction, perceived quality of care and improve access to services. It is less clear whether there may be effects on hospital admissions, appointments or healthcare costs.

Baxter S, Johnson M, Chambers D et al. Understanding new models of integrated care in developed countries: a systematic review. Health Service Delivery Research. 2018;6(29).

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 

Rethinking outpatient services: Learning from an interactive workshop

Nuffield Trust | August 2018 | Rethinking outpatient services: Learning from an interactive workshop

A new briefing from the Nuffield Trust in collaboration with health leaders across the country looks at outpatients. The authors reflect on how several STPs have outlined plans  to reduce the number of outpatients. Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland intends to reduce outpatient activity by 30% by removing unnecessary new and follow-up appointments. Durham, Darlington, Tees, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby are aiming to achieve a reduction in consultant-led first outpatient appointments by a fifth. 

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This briefing reveals opportunities to improve the design of services and challenges if some services should be delivered in their current form.

Read the full news item from the Nuffield Trust 

Download the briefing in full here