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Demand for NHS staff rises as EU applicants 'drop off a cliff' | Society | The Guardian

Demand for NHS staff rises as EU applicants 'drop off a cliff' | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The sharp slowdown in EU migrant workers coming to Britain has pushed the hiring needs of the NHS and the wider public sector to the highest levels in seven years.

According to a poll of 2,102 employers across nine different industry sectors by the recruitment firm ManpowerGroup, which is used by the Bank of England as an early indicator for changes in the jobs market, hiring intentions in the public sector were at the highest level since 2011.

A net balance of 8% of public sector recruiters said they planned to increase staffing levels rather than make cuts over the first three months of 2019. Although the economy has slowed in recent months, the snapshot of the jobs market showed the highest rate of hiring intentions among all companies for 18 months, because of growing jobs shortages.


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High court rejects challenge to 'hostile environment' NHS charge | UK news | The Guardian

High court rejects challenge to 'hostile environment' NHS charge | UK news | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A judge has rejected a challenge by a member of the Windrush generation to the government requirement for the NHS to charge overseas patients for treatment.

A 58-year-old man identified as “MP” who required urgent treatment for blood cancer had sought a judicial review of the relevant regulations, which formed a plank of the hostile environment policy.

Hundreds of patients have been denied treatment for serious health problems including cancer, arrhythmia and cardiac chest pains after ministers forced the NHS to impose upfront charges on migrants deemed ineligible for free healthcare.


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NHS told to ditch 'absurd' fax machines

NHS told to ditch 'absurd' fax machines | nhswatch | Scoop.it

he NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month - and has been told by the government to phase out the machines entirely by 31 March 2020.

In July, the Royal College of Surgeons revealed nearly 9,000 fax machines were in use across the NHS in England.

The Department of Health said a change to more modern communication methods was needed to improve patient safety and cyber security.

An RCS spokesman said they supported the government's decision.

In place of fax machines, the Department of Health said secure email should be used.


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NHS England’s flu target missed as uptake in over-65s drops on last year | News Article

NHS England’s flu target missed as uptake in over-65s drops on last year | News Article | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The number of over-65s vaccinated against flu in time for winter is down significantly compared to the same time last year.

Public Health England data for 2 December, published today, shows that only 65.4% of over-65s were vaccinated - a drop of nearly 4 percentage points compared with the same time last year.

This follows problems faced by GP practices in sourcing sufficient stock of the new adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV) recommended for patients over 65 this flu season.

It also follows reassurances from NHS England that stock would arrive in time to allow 'everyone who needs the vaccine' to be 'protected before December, when the flu season usually hits'.


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New pharmacy deal will save NHS £930m on medicines bill

New pharmacy deal will save NHS £930m on medicines bill | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS is expected to save around £930 million on its medicines bill across the UK under a new deal agreed with the pharmaceutical industry. Patients will also have access to new medicines up to six months earlier.

The government and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) have reached a final agreement in the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access, which will begin on 1 January and last for five years.

In 2019, the following savings are predicted for the NHS medicines bill:

England: £744m
Scotland: £93m
Wales: £56m
Northern Ireland: £37m

The scheme is designed to keep growth in the branded medicine bill predictable and affordable by placing a 2% cap on the growth in sales of branded medicines to the NHS.


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UK to carry out mass lung cancer screening trial in London

The biggest ever UK lung cancer screening trial will take place next year involving 50,000 people.

It is designed to show if an early diagnosis programme could be "achievable and affordable" on the NHS.

Currently in England, people are offered screening for breast, bowel and cervical cancer but not lung cancer, despite it being Britain's biggest cancer killer.

The study by University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and UCL will bring together healthcare organisations across north and east London to try to improve early cancer diagnosis, outcomes and care for patients.


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Collapsed OOH contracts transferred to new providers | HSJ Local

Collapsed OOH contracts transferred to new providers | HSJ Local | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Four clinical commissioning groups have appointed new organisations to run GP out of hours services after the collapse of multiple contracts held by Allied Healthcare and its subsidiaries.

Last week, out of hours provider Primecare told GP practices in Birmingham that it would cease providing all services by 1 December. The announcement followed parent company Allied Healthcare’s decision to hand back all contracts.

Primecare has also withdrawn from out of hours contracts with Walsall, Herefordshire, and Sandwell and West Birmingham CCGs, as well as an end of life care contract with Nene CCG.

Allied Healthcare is a major provider of domiciliary care services across England. In November, following financial difficulties, it announced it was seeking to sell its business and transfer all contracts to a new provider by 21 December.


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NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform • The Register

NHS supplier that holds 40 million UK patient records: AWS is our new cloud-based platform • The Register | nhswatch | Scoop.it

One of the NHS's major suppliers is upgrading its GP records system and moving millions of patient data to Amazon's cloud.
Man with head in the cloud
NHS OKs offshoring patient data to cloud providers stateside
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EMIS Group is one of four principal suppliers to the NHS. Its health suite is used by 10,000 organisations and holds more than 40 million records.

The firm today announced that it is upgrading its flagship health product EMIS Web – used by 56 per cent of GPs in England and Wales – and replacing it with a cloud-based solution, EMIS-X. A spokesperson confirmed that the cloud platform migrated to will be Amazon Web Services.

Shifting patient records to the cloud requires approval from NHS Digital, so there isn't a timeline yet, but EMIS was keen to emphasise that when it does happen the move will be a gradual one.


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Type 2 diabetes: NHS to offer 800-calorie diet treatment

Type 2 diabetes: NHS to offer 800-calorie diet treatment | nhswatch | Scoop.it

An ultra low-calorie diet that can reverse type 2 diabetes is to form part of a pilot run by the NHS in England.

The 800-calorie a day diet using liquid meals and shakes will be prescribed for three months, initially to 5,000 people, and follow-up support given.

Nine out of 10 people with diabetes in the UK have type 2, which is strongly linked to diet and lifestyle.

An NHS England programme to prevent people developing type 2 diabetes is also being expanded.

A trial at the end of last year of the very low-calorie diet has helped almost half of those involved to reverse the condition.

It is now set to be rolled out more widely to judge whether this success can be replicated in a broader population.


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NHS England faces permanent winter as it falls behind performance targets again

NHS England faces permanent winter as it falls behind performance targets again | nhswatch | Scoop.it
NHS England fell further behind its performance targets this summer despite hospitals seeing, treating, admitting and discharging more patients than ever.

Statistics show performance against key performance targets in the summer months of 2018 were worse than every winter between 2011 and 2015, further indication of what has been described as permanent winter in the health service.

NHS leaders have warned that pressure is only going to grow in the coming months, raising concerns that staff and patients will face even worse conditions this winter than last.
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Can big data and innovation save the NHS? 

Can big data and innovation save the NHS?  | nhswatch | Scoop.it

“Let me just try and work this one out.” They’re not exactly the words you would want to hear from anyone working in the NHS. Luckily, in this case it’s not life or death. It’s just someone trying to connect a conference call. But for an institution putting tech front and centre of its strategy, it’s not a great sign. Clearly the NHS still has a way to go in making itself a 21st century beast.

“There are reasons the NHS is the biggest purchaser of fax machines,” George Batchelor, a director of healthcare consultant Edge Health ....


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NHS to look into deaths of 100,000 mental health patients a year | Society | The Guardian

NHS to look into deaths of 100,000 mental health patients a year | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS is to start investigating the deaths of more than 100,0000 mental health patients a year in a drive to cut the number of fatalities linked to poor care.

England’s 54 specialist mental health trusts have been told to start looking into every death in an effort to learn from mistakes.

In future they should more fully investigate cases in which the patient may have received poor or unsafe care, especially if they had bipolar disorder or an eating disorder.

The first guidance to trusts on the subject has been drawn up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is being backed by NHS England. It is meant to end the existing ad hoc system whereby different trusts examine smaller or larger numbers of deaths.


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NHS England to give 'significant investment' to Healthwatch | News

NHS England to give 'significant investment' to Healthwatch | News | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Healthwatch England is to be given “significant investment” from NHS England and NHS Improvement in a noted change of policy.

The new money will be used to consult with staff, patients and public about how the NHS long-term plan will affect the healthcare offered in local systems.

The information was revealed in a November update by NHS England on the plan.

It said: “To help facilitate this ongoing engagement [on the plan], NHS England and NHS Improvement will be providing significant investment, via Healthwatch England, to support local Healthwatch to ensure that the views of patients and the public are heard.”


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NHS risks losing revenue without data strategy - PharmaTimes

NHS risks losing revenue without data strategy - PharmaTimes | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Think tank Reform has warned that the National Health Service risks losing out on huge potential revenue in the future if it does not put in place a strategy to capitalise on the increasing value of its medical data.

NHS data is a valuable resource, and as new technology develops and collaboration with private technology companies increases, the Department of Health and Social Care must make sure its full potential is harnessed for the public benefit.

The Reform report highlights the urgent need for the NHS and the private sector to work in partnership, in the best interest of patients, and calls for the creation of an independent body of legal and business experts to oversee deals and advise NHS services, including hospitals and GP practices, to ensure best outcomes.


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Four-hour waits on cramped A&E trolleys will hit NHS for North East's 'worst winter on record' - Chronicle Live

Four-hour waits on cramped A&E trolleys will hit NHS for North East's 'worst winter on record' - Chronicle Live | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Hospital patients in the North East will suffer the "worst winter on record" and thousands could spend hours lying on trolleys amid a severe bed shortage which threatens to push the NHS to breaking point.

It is predicted that people could endure more than four hours in cramped A&E waiting rooms before being treated.

The British Medical Association (BMA) estimates that cash-strapped North East hospitals need 180 more beds to meet the minimum standards of patient safety.

Hospitals are warned to not exceed an 85% bed occupancy rate - the number of beds used for pre-booked procedures - in order to keep some free for patients being admitted with unexpected illnesses which often occur in the winter months.


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Asbestos present in 'nine out of ten' NHS hospitals

Asbestos present in 'nine out of ten' NHS hospitals | nhswatch | Scoop.it

An inquiry has been demanded after 198 out of 211 trusts responded to Freedom of Information requests admitting that the hazardous material forms part of their buildings.

The naturally occuring mineral was widely used in construction between the 1950s and 70s, however it has since become subject to heavy regulation after being linked to mesothelioma, a cancer of the chest lining which causes more than 5,000 deaths in the UK a year.

The BBC investigation also found that 352 legal claims had been made against trusts between January 2013 and December 2017 by people claiming they had developed asbestos-related diseases from NHS premises.


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Ministers and NHS England chief at loggerheads over targets | Society | The Guardian

Ministers and NHS England chief at loggerheads over targets | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it
The head of the NHS and the government are at loggerheads over how much the health service can be improved for the £20.5bn extra Theresa May has pledged to give it, the Guardian can reveal.


Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, has been having major disagreements behind the scenes in recent weeks with Downing Street, the Treasury and Department of Health and Social Care about how much the forthcoming NHS long-term plan can promise to boost care.

“Tension” and “difficulties” have emerged during detailed horsetrading between the two sides amid sharp differences of opinion over the extent of the document’s ambitions, well-placed NHS and Whitehall sources have told the Guardian.


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NHS needs 10,000 extra hospital beds this winter to keep patients safe, BMA warns

NHS needs 10,000 extra hospital beds this winter to keep patients safe, BMA warns | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS has been warned it needs 10,000 additional hospital beds this winter in order to keep patients safe.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said the approaching winter period "could be the worst on record" for emergency departments, which are predicted to see an increase in patients and longer waiting times.

New analysis from the doctors' union suggests between January and March next year, the total number of emergency hospital admissions will rise to more than 1.6 million from 1.5 million this year.


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NHS Highland give out emergency packs for the winter months

NHS Highland give out emergency packs for the winter months | nhswatch | Scoop.it
A successful initiative to give a rucksack full of emergency items to vulnerable people is taking off in the Highlands.

Introducing Ultimate On Demand

NHS Highland’s drug and alcohol recovery service has trialled a new way of getting necessary basics such as hats, gloves and basic food to those most in need over the winter.

NHS Highland staff used a pot of money from a endowment fund to create a number of emergency packs to be given out over the winter months .

The packs were the idea of colleagues Cheryl Light, a senior nurse practitioner for the homeless service, and Jean Macleod, a health improvement nurse, who regularly work with people who are in desperate need of small useful items to keep them warm and fed.

Team leader Shona Urquhart, from the drug and alcohol and recovery service, said: “We are very much aware that there is a population of people who don’t have a safe place to stay or access to what many of us would say are basic provisions and we wanted to do something.


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NHS chiefs look to scrap four-hour A&E maximum wait | Society | The Guardian

NHS chiefs look to scrap four-hour A&E maximum wait | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

NHS bosses are considering a shake-up of A&E care that could lead to patients with only minor ailments no longer being guaranteed that they will be treated within four hours.

Under the plans being examined, people with non-urgent medical needs would be advised to seek help at a GP surgery, walk-in centre or pharmacy instead – or face a long wait in A&E.

Senior figures in the NHS are also looking at bringing in extra targets to complement the four-hour waiting time standard under which the most urgent cases are seen within an hour.


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NHS to introduce mental health checks for new fathers | Society | The Guardian

NHS to introduce mental health checks for new fathers | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

New fathers and fathers-to-be will be offered mental health checks if their partner is suffering anxiety, psychosis or postnatal depression, NHS England has announced.

While it is well recognised that pregnant women and and new mothers can experience mental health problems, little attention has been paid to their partners.

NHS England describes this offer as a radical initiative, arguing that men should not be allowed to suffer in silence, attempting to help their partner but possibly experiencing distress of their own. The help may take the form of peer support, couples’ behavioural therapy sessions, family and parenting interventions in community perinatal mental health settings, or other talking therapies.


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Government set to relax restrictions on non-EU doctors | Society | The Guardian

Government set to relax restrictions on non-EU doctors | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The government is set to relax its immigration rules to let more foreign doctors come to Britain to help tackle the NHS’s widespread shortages of medics, the Guardian can reveal.

Ministers have agreed to significantly expand the 1,500 doctors a year allowed to come and work in Britain under the medical training initiative (MTI). The move could result in the maximum number of non-EU medics able to come rising to as many as 3,000.

The length of time young doctors from outside the EU are able to stay in Britain under the scheme may also rise from two to three years, according to well-placed sources.

The change comes as the government is under pressure to explain how its intention to move to a new immigration system after Brexit, with right of entry dependent on skills, will help alleviate NHS under-staffing.


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NHS trust at centre of baby deaths inquiry deemed 'unsafe' | Society | The Guardian

NHS trust at centre of baby deaths inquiry deemed 'unsafe' | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The hospital trust at the centre of an inquiry into dozens of baby deaths and injuries has been declared inadequate by the NHS’s care regulator over its “unsafe” A&E and maternity care.

The move by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the latest blow to hit Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust, which has been under pressure over a growing catalogue of alleged breaches of care standards.

The trust – which runs two hospitals in Shropshire and provides care for 420,000 people – has 715 beds and employs 5,000 staff.

Prof Ted Baker, the CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, said he was “particularly concerned about the emergency department and maternity services [at the trust]. We have already taken urgent action to protect people and we are monitoring the trust extremely closely.”


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Workforce pressures presenting highest internal risk for NHS trusts this winter, NHS England says

Workforce pressures presenting highest internal risk for NHS trusts this winter, NHS England says | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Staff availability during the winter months is presenting the highest internal risk to trusts, NHS England has said.

Board papers discussed at NHS England’s board meeting today detailed how it will cope with surging demand on health providers over the coming months, and highlighted shortages in nurse and social care staff availability as one of the key limitations for the health service’s performance over winter.

In October NHS Providers said there are “clear warning signs” that the coming winter will be even worse for NHS trusts than last year, and that growing staff shortages— to which there were 42,000 vacancies in provider organisations in 2018-19— are putting additional strain on a workforce “already overstretched” service.


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NHS sees slight rise in GP numbers | Practice Business

NHS sees slight rise in GP numbers | Practice Business | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Provisional data released by NHS Digital shows that there are 34,132 FTE (full-time equivalent) GPs in the UK as of September this year, compared to 33,012 in June.

The research shows that a large number of GP registrars entered the workforce during this time, causing a small rise in much-needed staff that the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) says must be ‘sustained and accelerated’.

These additional GPs are sorely needed, as more and more consider leaving the profession – leading NHS England to invest £10m in keeping hold of GPs – and surgeries closing as a result.


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