Health & Care Review

Health & Care Review

November 24, 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.

NHS spending: Autumn Budget 2017 brief

The HM Treasury has published a briefing outlining details of the Government’s policy on NHS spending, announced in the Autumn Budget 2017.

The Budget 2017 announced £6.3 billion of new funding for the NHS in England.

Key announcements also include:

  • £2.8 billion of additional resource funding over 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 to the NHS in England for day to day spending;
  • £3.5 billion of capital investment for building and facilities; and
  • a commitment to funding pay awards for NHS staff on the Agenda for Change contract.

Evaluation and recommendations for PHE: IANPHI review

Public Health England (PHE) as an organisation has been peer reviewed by the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), and the findings have been published in a report.

The review concludes that “In less than 5 years PHE has, under strong and visionary leadership, transformed a geographically and functionally siloed group of 129 bodies into a strong, capable, coordinated, united and efficient public health agency that rivals any in the world.”

The evaluation was conducted in June 2017, at the request of PHE’s Advisory Board. The IANPHI team was asked to assess progress in three key areas:

  • Does PHE demonstrate the leadership, strategy and delivery required to fulfil its responsibilities, taking account of the UK Government Cabinet Office model of capability?
  • Is PHE set up most effectively and efficiently to deliver its mission and discharge our functions?
  • Does PHE have the necessary impact and influence it needs to fulfil its mission?

PHE announces areas for IPS alcohol and drug dependency trial

PHE will be launching a randomised controlled trial of individual placement and support (IPS) for people in or dependent on either drugs, alcohol or both in community treatment services. It has announced the seven local authority areas that have been selected to take part in the trial.

The trial was recommended in the report, An independent review into the impact on employment outcomes of drug or alcohol addiction, and obesity by Dame Carol Black published in December 2016.

The trial is expected to help build the evidence base to enable effective future commissioning; anticipated outcomes could include:

  • improved job outcomes;
  • shared accountability;
  • closer collaboration;
  • cultural alignment;
  • information sharing; and
  • the opportunity to make better, more integrated, use of employment and treatment funding.

NHS screening programmes: annual report

PHE has published a report which highlights NHS screening programmes’ activity across 2016/17.

Key facts in the report include:

  • 3 million women were screened for cervical abnormalities;
  • 6 million people were screened for bowel cancer;
  • 3 million women were tested for abnormalities in breast tissue; and
  • around 460,000 people required further testing and treatment following a positive screening test result.

Ombudsman highlights the power of complaints to improve social care

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsmen has published a report in which they reviewed adult social care complaints over 2016/17.

The report highlights how many complaints and enquiries the organisation received, how they were handled, and the decisions made.

The Ombudsman also makes recommendations to improve services for others by changing policies and procedures, training staff, or recommending a service be provided. Within the Ombudsman’s 1,318 recommendations, councils and care providers made nearly 180 procedural changes and committed to train staff on nearly 50 occasions.

Widespread ageism in alcohol treatment ticking time-bomb

The International Longevity Centre has published a new report which finds that ageism and age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research is denying older people the treatment they need to recover from harmful drinking.

Key facts from the report include:

  • practitioners discriminating against older adults including managing issues relating to alcohol rather than referring them for alcohol treatment;
  • young adults are being prioritised over older people;
  • some of the reasons given are perceptions that older people are too old to change and that it’s not worth intervening because of life expectancy; and
  • adults over the age of 65 are excluded from 46% of clinical trials for alcohol treatment/interventions.

The authors of the report make key recommendations for organisations and the Government to implement to ensure older people get the support they need.

Progress report on the UK AMR strategy: 2016

The Department of Health has published the third annual progress report on the UK’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy 2013-2018.

The report highlights what progress has been made against the five-year AMR strategy and the Government’s ambition for the remaining two years of the strategy.

Media monitoring:

On Saturday 18th the following story was published:

  • Over the weekend a cross-party group of 90 MPs wrote to the Prime Minister to urge her to launch a cross-party convention on the future of the NHS and social care in England. The group was organised by Health Select Committee chair Sarah Wollaston, former Care Minister Norman Lamb and former Shadow Care Minister Liz Kendall. The letter was covered by the Guardian and BBC.

On Tuesday 21st November 2017, the following story was published:

On Wednesday 22nd November 2017, the following stories were published:

  • The Times reports that a drug company faces a fine of tens of millions of pounds after it was accused by the UK’s competition watchdog of overcharging the NHS by millions of pounds for a thyroid treatment taken by thousands of patients.
  • The Daily Mail has reported on a major national audit whose results show that some 675 patients have falls on NHS wards every day. Many are preventable and caused by patients not having walking frames or being unsteady from medication.

On Thursday 23rd November 2017, the following stories were published:

  • The BBC and Telegraph have reported that the effectiveness of online GP consultations is “limited” following the results of a recent study.
  • The Times has reported that the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health has called for abortion in the UK to be fully decriminalised.

On Friday 24th November 2017, the following stories were published:

  • The Sun reports that we may be on the brink of a measles epidemic in the UK, after both Leeds and Liverpool have suffered recent outbreaks.
  • The International Longevity Centre has published a report, covered in the Guardian, which says that although people are living longer their health as they get older is much poorer.



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