Health & Care Review

Health & Care Review

May 15, 2017

Keeping up with all the latest developments in health and care policy could almost be a full time job and PSNC regularly receives questions from LPCs and pharmacy contractors about what is going on in the wider health and care landscape beyond community pharmacy. To help answer some of these questions and to help contractors and LPCs stay up to date, PSNC provides this update service outlining the latest information in an easily digestible format. Weekly updates are published on our website and contractors can ensure they do not miss them by signing up to PSNC’s email newsletter service here.

The reviews extend the work we have been doing for some time to help LPCs stay informed about the NHS changes, and they inform the more detailed PSNC briefings which we continue to publish on this topic; these can be accessed in the Healthcare Landscape section of the website.

Seasonal flu vaccine uptake in GP patients in England: winter season 2016 to 2017

Public Health England has published a report on the uptake of the flu vaccine amongst eligible GP patient groups from 1st September 2016 to 31st January 2017.  

The percentages for national vaccine uptake were as follows:

  • 5% for those aged 65 years and over – this was a slight decrease from 71% in 2015/16; however, the number of vaccinations has increased overall;
  • 6% for those aged six months to under 65 years in one or more clinical at-risk groups – this has increased from 45.1% in 2015/16;
  • 9% for pregnant women  – this has increased from 42.3% in 2015/16; and
  • 9% for carers.

The report also includes information on the number of patients vaccinated in a community pharmacy (this data also includes vaccinations to people in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities):

  • 5% of patients aged 65 years or older were vaccinated by a community pharmacist;
  • 6% of patients aged 6 months to under 65 years in risk groups excluding pregnant women without other risk factors (please note, for the community pharmacy service, pharmacists only vaccinated patients aged 18 years to under 65 years in risk groups); and
  • 5% of pregnant women including those in risk groups.

Please note, whilst the report states that the number of vaccinations reported as being given in community pharmacies can be taken as correct, the report highlights that there may be a lag in data being fed back into the GP record. In addition, the community pharmacy Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Advanced Service was commissioned until 31st March 2017; therefore, the final number of vaccinations given in a community pharmacy may differ to that provided in this report.

Large national survey finds 2.9 million people now vape in Britain: For the first time over half don’t smoke

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has published the findings from its annual survey on the use of electronic cigarettes and vapourisers in Great Britain.

Key findings include:

  • an estimated 2.9 million adults in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes, up from 700,000 in 2012, the first year ASH collected figures;
  • for the first time, there are more ex-smokers who use e-cigarettes than current smokers;
  • over half of e-cigarette users (52%) are now ex-smokers and 45% are smokers; and
  • public perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes remain inaccurate with only 13% accurately understanding in 2017 that e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than smoking.

Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health

The Mental Health Foundation has published a report to showcase the findings of a survey conducted by NatCen, aimed to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems, levels of positive and negative mental health in the population and actions taken by people to deal with those problems.

A total of 2,290 interviews were completed, online and by telephone; key findings include:

  • only a small minority of people (13%) report living with high levels of good mental health;
  • people over the age of 55 report experiencing better mental health than average;
  • people aged 55 and above are the most likely to take positive steps to help themselves deal better with everyday life;
  • the most notable differences are associated with household income and economic activity – nearly 3 in 4 people living in the lowest household income bracket report having experienced a mental health problem, compared to 6 in 10 of the highest household income bracket; and
  • the great majority of people (85%) out of work have experienced a mental health problem compared to two thirds of people in work and just over half of people who have retired.

Leading across the health and care system: lessons from experience

The King’s Fund has published a paper intended to provide guidance to leaders of new systems of care on how to address the challenges they face. It draws on work carried out on the development of new care models, Sustainability and Transformation Plans and Accountable Care Organisations and on the experience of people who have occupied system leadership roles.

Provision of community care: who, what, how much?

The Health Foundation has published a briefing which analysis information on the community care contracts held by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

Key facts from the briefing include:

  • in recent years, spending on community care delivered by non-NHS providers has increased substantially – and faster than in any other any area of NHS care;
  • NHS providers hold over half (53%) of the total annual value of contracts awarded for community services. Contracts are also provided by organisations including general practices, local authorities, charities and private companies; and
  • of the community care contracts in the sample, private providers held 5% of the total annual value, but 39% of the total number of contracts issued.

Impossible cost: dementia care bill would take 125 years to save for

The Alzheimer’s Society has published the results of an investigation relating to the costs of dementia care.

Turning up the Volume: unheard voices of dementia highlights the challenges of the condition and how it can make life more difficult for those who are diagnosed with it. The report also provides an overview of the key themes arising and the action that needs to be taken to address them.

Key findings in the report include:

  • more than half of the public (54%) agree the Government should pay for their care and support if they develop dementia;
  • around three in five carers (61%) say their health has been negatively affected by caring for someone with dementia;
  • 87% of people who were interviewed receive help from family in their day-to-day life but only 14% receive help from a paid carer; and
  • Almost half (48%) of people living with dementia who were interviewed worry about becoming a burden.

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Health & Care Review

Keeping up with all the latest developments in health and care policy could almost be a full time job and...