Health & Care Review

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Health & Care Review

March 24, 2016

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.

First wave of NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme national rollout is announced 

The world’s first nationwide diabetes preventative programme will be starting in England over the next few months.

The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme will start its first wave, across 27 areas covering half of the English population. There will be 20,000 places available and when the rest of England follows by 2020, an expected 100,000 places will be available each year after.

Patients referred on to the programme can expect to receive personalised assistance to help reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes. Education on healthy eating and lifestyle will be provided, as well as physical exercise programmes to help lose weight.

Once on the programme, patients will be offered at least 13 education and exercise sessions of one to two hours per session, at least 16 hours face to face or 1-to-1 in total over nine months.

The programme is run collaboratively by NHS England, Public Health England (PHE) and Diabetes UK.

In March 2015, seven innovative ‘demonstrator’ sites from around the country were announced to take part in the initial phase of the programme. The demonstrator sites tested their local programmes and provided learning points to help co-design and implement the national programme.

Health matters: midlife approaches to reduce dementia risk 

PHE has published its fourth edition of Health Matters, focussing on midlife approaches for reducing the risk of dementia.

The PHE resource provides a guidance overview on the scale of the challenge, discussing the risk factors involved and the steps that can be taken to lower the risk of dementia.

There is also a pack of infographics to help when highlighting the risks of dementia in local areas.

Health Matters is a resource for professionals which brings together the latest data and evidence, makes the case for effective public health interventions and highlights tools and resources that can facilitate local or national action.  

Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published a guideline covering community engagement approaches to reduce health inequalities, ensure health and wellbeing initiatives are effective and to help local authorities and health bodies meet their statutory obligations.

The NICE guideline is aimed at:

  • Health and Wellbeing Boards, directors of public health and other strategic leads who plan, commission, scrutinise or provide local health and wellbeing initiatives in collaboration with local communities;
  • Local authorities, the NHS and other public sector organisations with a statutory;
  • Obligation to carry out community engagement activities;
  • Commissioners of community engagement initiatives;
  • Community and voluntary sector organisations; and
  • Members of the public.

The guideline complements work by PHE on community engagement approaches for health and wellbeing.

New PHE data on salt consumption levels

Results from PHE’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey results have been published.

The published report presents results of estimated salt intake in 689 adults aged 19 to 64 years in England in 2014.

The report shows that the average salt consumption for adults in 2014 was 8 grams per day, a reduction from 8.5 grams in 2011.

Since the 2005/6 survey, overall salt consumption fell by 11%.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said: “Our analysis makes clear that there is a steady downward trend in salt consumption. While people are having less salt than 10 years ago, we are still eating a third more than we should.”

Antibiotic prescribing falls since launch of financial incentives

The introduction of financial incentives in April 2015 by NHS England and PHE has seen antibiotic prescribing fall by two million, in comparison to the same period in 2014.

The data on prescribing shows:

  • overall in 2015, antibiotic prescribing reduced by 5.3% compared to 2014 – a total of 2,166,489 fewer items; and
  • within this total there were 480,450 fewer ‘broad spectrum’ antibiotics, reducing the use of which not only helps tackle resistance, but also reduces the likelihood of healthcare-acquired infections like C. difficile, improving patient safety.

Dr Mike Durkin, NHS National Director of Patient Safety, said: “Vaccinations make an important contribution to the fight against antimicrobial resistance as they both prevent infections in the first place and reduce the need for antibiotics.”

Accountable care organisations explained

The King’s Fund has added a web feature on their website, which explains issues surrounding accountable care organisations (ACOs).

The feature explains what ACOs are, why they are relevant to the NHS, whether they will deliver any benefits for patients and next steps required.

Medicines optimisation quality standard published

The medicines optimisation quality standard has been published on the NICE website.

NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area.

Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements designed to drive measurable improvements for a particular area of health or care.

There is a list of quality statements in the standard:

  • shared decision making;
  • patient involvement in reporting medicines-related patient safety incidents;
  • learning from medicines-related safety incidents;
  • medicines reconciliation in primary care; and
  • structured medication review.

They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.



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