Embracing Neverland

Mental health……………………………………………………………………………..the journey is our own

NHS

Human Rights in Healthcare: A framework for local action

Department of Health Business Plan 2007-08

Hospital parking ‘a stealth tax on illness’  The NHS may be free at the point of delivery, but patients and their families paid hospital parking charges in England totalling GBP95m in 2005/06.

Patients miss out as NHS cash floods in  Salaries soaked up new funds, reveals damning report.

Hospital blamed for man’s death. Hospital blamed for man’s death. A hospital has been condemned for ignoring safety guidance which led to a man dying from Legionnaires’ disease caught from a dirty shower head.  Daryl Eyles, 37, had just been given the all-clear from doctors treating him for leukaemia when he took a shower at Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH).

Mothers abandoned to cope alone in understaffed maternity wards 

Hospital car parks make millions  Campaigners say the money made by NHS trusts from car parking charges is shameful as some trusts’ income tops £2m a year.

Labour ‘ripped heart out of NHS’ 

Half of doctors ‘self-medicate’  The rules were tightened following the Shipman Inquiry when the full extent of serial killer GP Harold Shipman’s abuse became clear. Shipman was addicted to the painkiller pethidine and kept supplies for himself. According to the poll of nearly 1,000 medics, 57% of the self-prescriptions were for antibiotics, 36% for painkillers, 8% for cholesterol-lowering drugs, 5% for sleeping pills, 5% for anti-depressants and 2% for erection problems. Two GPs who responded admitted to self-prescribing controlled drugs – drugs like morphine and methadone that have strict rules governing supply and dosage.

Mental health chiefs encouraged to investigate ‘time banking’  Dr Edgar Cahn, the inventor of time banking and founder of Time Banks USA, told the summit: “Mental Health professionals must learn to say ‘I need what you can do as badly as you need what I can do’ otherwise programmes will continue to fail if they cannot enlist service users as co-producers of the outcome.” Executive director of Time Banks UK, Martin Simon, added: “Mental health professionals need to seek out such opportunities for their service users and value contributions from a wider range of local people rather than treat people as passive consumers of services.”

Doctors lose power to regulate their profession  The General Medical Council will lose the right to decide whether doctors’ misconduct makes them unfit to practise in the biggest shake-up of medical regulation in the United Kingdom for 100 years

Minister admits personalised services are ‘long way off’  Public services still have “a long way to go” if they are to meet the government’s goal of personalising services to meet the needs of individual users, according to the minister for social exclusion

Home access to NHS records plan Patients are set to be able to look at their medical records on their home computer, it has been announced. The plan was set out by Connecting For Health, which is overseeing the introduction of the new NHS IT system – The Spine – which will cover England. The organisation also revealed 14,500 patients in Bolton will be the first to have computerised NHS records

Social care hit by NHS deficits  Social care for vulnerable people is being squeezed as a result of NHS deficits, according to the Local Government Association. The LGA says costs are being shunted to social services departments as the NHS in England aims to balance its books. A survey of 95 councils which run social services found two thirds say NHS debts are affecting them.

NHS workforce ‘falls by 11,000’ The number of people working in the NHS fell by 11,000 in the last quarter of 2006, official figures reveal. Health unions said the loss across the UK, revealed in Office for National Statistics, would “inevitably have a negative impact on patient care”. James Johnson, head of the British Medical Association said NHS trusts were under pressure to balance their books, leading to posts being cut. And nurses’ leaders warned workforce cuts would damage patient care. Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), added: “These alarming figures confirm what the RCN has long been warning – that deficits are leading to serious cuts in the NHS workforce. “This can only have a damaging impact on patients and services. That’s why we are urging the government to work with us to replace short-term cuts with a long-term recovery plan.”

Worry over NHS care in community  Moving care from hospitals into the community – a key government policy – will not always save money and may put patient safety at risk, a report warns. The National Primary Care and Development Centre report is described in Pulse magazine. The analysis raised concerns over GPs doing minor surgery, and the cost of specialist care in the community. The Department of Health said the public supported moves to provide care closer to home. A white paper published in January last year set out plans to move care away from hospitals and into the community by encouraging GPs to carry out more specialist services.

‘No need’ for hospital mobile ban Restrictions have been in place in many trusts because of concerns phones could interfere with medical equipment. But an NHS regulator said last year phones could safely be used in some areas away from sensitive equipment. Health minister Andy Burnham said on Wednesday there was now “no reason” for an outright ban on mobiles.

Coroner rules baby, 36 hours, was youngest victim of MRSA  The coroner, Peter Dean, said there were signs of illness 20 hours after the birth, and alarm bells should have rung. “These were opportunities where Luke could have been taken into intensive care,” he said. “Whether the outcome would have been different, we really cannot know. But what we do know is that at least if Luke had been given the chance, then the family would know that everything that could have been done had been done.”

‘No need’ for hospital mobile ban   Hospitals in England which ban doctors and patients using mobile phones have no reason to do so, the government says.

Healthcheck consultation launched The Healthcare Commission is to consult on plans to drive a culture of safety through the NHS, using its annual assessments of NHS organisations to monitor rates of healthcare-acquired infection and compliance with the hygiene code. The proposals also include a stronger focus on clinical effectiveness and commissioning.

Commission to look at learning disabilities accusations The Healthcare Commission has said it will review six cases highlighted by learning disability charity Mencap of people with learning disabilities who died from physical illnesses. Mencap has accused the NHS of institutional discrimination against people with learning disabilities, saying their physical health needs are ignored.

Meanwhile the Department of Health has published its response to a Disability Rights Commission investigation into health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities and mental health problems.

Read the Mencap report here

Read the Department of Health response here

Overcrowding ‘raises MRSA risk’

NHS health check 2006: Facts and figures from the BBC

The Healthcare Commission has published its most in-depth analysis of the performance of England’s 570 NHS trusts across a range of categories.

SEE THE FULL RESULTS

Health-check ratings

See below (or click on the links) to see some of the key findings. For the full situation nationally and in your area, click on the link in the box to the right.

Overview

Regional breakdown

Best and worst

OVERVIEW

The commission assessed the trusts on a series of criteria, focusing on their quality of service and use of resources.

Each trust was graded either excellent, good, fair or weak.

Graph showing how different types of trust performed on quality of services

The services measure included patient access, safety and the way the services are run.

The ratings reflect how well the organisation met basic standards of care and how it performed against existing and new national targets.

Graph showing how different types of trust performed on use of resources

The resources measure gauged financial performance – not just whether it was in debt – and included how it monitors spending and whether it provides value for money.

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REGIONAL BREAKDOWN

MAPPING PERFORMANCES

Quality of services (PCTs) (212KB)

Quality of services (Acute trusts) (86KB)

Use of resources (PCTs) (188KB)

Use of resources (Acute trusts) (83KB)

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Download the reader here

The Central region fares well in the new-style assessment, with the highest percentage of organisations achieving an excellent or good ranking for quality of services, and the lowest percentage of weak rankings.

The South West has the highest percentage of organisations ranked weak.

On use of resources, the North region, which has the largest number of high-performing foundation trusts, fares best.

Graphs showing how the English health regions performed

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BEST AND WORST

Only two of the 570 trusts achieved ratings of excellent in both categories.

Both are foundation trusts, which generally received higher ratings overall.

HIGH PERFORMERS

MHT = Mental Health Trust

A total of 24 trusts scored weak in both sectors.

POOR PERFORMERS

PCT = Primary Care Trust, MHT = Mental Health Trust

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