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Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution' • The Register

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution' • The Register | nhswatch | Scoop.it
Given the track record of project failures in NHS IT, some might say that Matt Hancock - former Minister for Fun who now runs the Department of Health - is marching with ill-founded confidence towards what he describes as a “tech revolution”.


A little bit of knowledge - Hancock once coded an app criticised for flouting data privacy regs he used to tout in his day job - in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing.

“The tech revolution is coming to the NHS,” he boldly claimed yesterday, as he outlined his “vision” to erect a modern tech architecture that will provide the basis for a new generation of digital services.

These digital services and IT systems will, he said, meet open standards so they can “talk” to each other and ensure that vendor lock-in becomes a thing of the past.


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Mum's heartfelt thank you to NHS hospital staff working in 'war zone' conditions - Plymouth Live

Mum's heartfelt thank you to NHS hospital staff working in 'war zone' conditions - Plymouth Live | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A mother has praised Derriford Hospital staff after walking into what she described as a "war zone".

Kelly George rushed her six-year-old son to hospital on Monday evening and was left shocked when he was wheeled through the ward which was filled with more than double the patients it is intended for.

Kelly said her son Lincoln rapidly became poorly and was admitted to hospital after he started showing symptoms of meningitis.

The mum of twins said she has been to A&E a few times recently and that she has never seen it as busy as it was on Monday night, but thought the staff were "absolutely amazing" working in the "stretched" conditions.


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Dudley chief nurse leaves crisis-hit NHS trust | Express & Star

Dudley chief nurse leaves crisis-hit NHS trust | Express & Star | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The chief nurse at Dudley’s crisis-hit NHS trust left her post yesterday, it can be revealed.

But hospital bosses have dismissed claims that Siobhan Jordan’s departure is in connection with a whistleblowing investigation.

It is said Ms Jordan, who joined the much-criticised trust in April 2017, is leaving to seek new challenges closer to home and to be near her family.

She said: “I would like to acknowledge the contribution of all the staff and volunteers that I have worked closely with during my time at Dudley and I wish everyone all the very best in the future.”

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Diane Wake said: “On behalf of the trust, I would like to extend my very best wishes to Siobhan and thank her for her energy and commitment to improving the care delivered to our patients.


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NHS announce big clampdown on free prescriptions fraud

NHS announce big clampdown on free prescriptions fraud | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS has announced it will be clamping down on patients who fraudulently claim for free prescriptions. Patients claiming free prescriptions will now be subjected to checks by pharmacists before medicine is dispensed to them.


The process will be digitised, allowing pharmacies to check whether the patient is exempt from paying a charge or not. This will be piloted next year across England – the only part of the UK that charges for prescriptions – before being rolled out across the NHS as part of a drive to prevent up to £300 million a year of fraud by April 2020.

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The NHS in numbers: What the service does in one day

The NHS in numbers: What the service does in one day | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS is huge. It's the world's fifth-biggest employer and around 10% of government spending in the UK goes on it, so it's easy to get bogged down by the numbers.

So let's break it down. What does the NHS do in a single day?

Figures given to BBC Radio 5 Live show that Wednesday is the busiest day of the week for hospital admissions.

Last year there were 56,000 on the average Wednesday in England. That's just admissions - it doesn't include outpatient appointments or A&E visits if the patient wasn't then admitted to hospital.


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NHS supplier stripped of contracts after human body parts and organs found ‘piling up at facilities’

NHS supplier stripped of contracts after human body parts and organs found ‘piling up at facilities’ | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A company has been stripped of its NHS contracts after hundreds of tonnes of hospital waste, including human body parts, had piled up at its facilities, health minister Stephen Barclay has announced.

Healthcare Environment Services (HES) held contracts with several NHS trusts to dispose of clinical waste, but last week the Environment Agency said it had breached its permits at five sites and had launched a criminal investigation over the “excess waste”.

The sites affected include one in Normanton, in West Yorkshire, which had reached 350 tonnes of medical waste in September – five times higher than the company’s upper limit.


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Delays in NHS mental health treatment 'ruining lives' | Society | The Guardian

Delays in NHS mental health treatment 'ruining lives' | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

People with mental health problems are waiting so long for NHS care they are ending up jobless, divorced or in financial distress because of the delay, according to a report.

A Royal College of Psychiatrists survey of the experience of 500 diagnosed mental health patients found that some had waited up to 13 years to get the treatment they needed.

“It is a scandal that patients are waiting so long for treatment”, said Prof Wendy Burn, the college’s president. “The failure to give people with mental illnesses the prompt help they need is ruining their lives.”

The survey, undertaken by Comres, also found that more than a third (37%) of those who faced a wait to access specialist help saw their mental health deteriorate during that time.


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Brain damaged boy, 6, awarded £37m in NHS compensation

Brain damaged boy, 6, awarded £37m in NHS compensation | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A six-year-old boy who suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury after his birth in hospital has received £37m in compensation from the NHS.

The child contracted the herpes simplex virus at Watford General hospital, which led to a brain fever.

His barrister, Henry Witcomb QC, told London's High Court the virus "was not detected and acted upon" soon enough.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust had previously apologised and agreed to settle his case.

The boy's solicitor said the payout was the "highest award ever" in a clinical negligence case against the NHS.


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NHS England sets sights on Australia | Practice Business

NHS England sets sights on Australia | Practice Business | nhswatch | Scoop.it

NHS England continues its strained quest to take on new GPs, having now widened its scope to include Australia

We previously reported that the organisation was accused of ‘poaching’ new doctors from Ireland, offering attractive incentives to tempt them away from their home country.

Now, Pharma Times has reported that the NHS is targeting GPs who moved from the UK to Australia for new opportunities and may be looking to return home.

It is also aiming to acquire Australian GPs themselves, as they might want the opportunity to work abroad.

Since the creation of this current international recruitment drive, which was designed to bring in 2,000 new general practitioners by 2020, 1,200 have applied from Europe.

Dominic Hardy, NHS England’s director of Primary Care Delivery, said:

“We are pulling out all the stops to solve the shortage of GPs – that’s why we are commissioning two specialist UK recruitment agencies to target Aussie doctors and stretch our search for top talent from Europe to the other side of the world.


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Theresa May announces new cancer strategy for NHS

Theresa May announces new cancer strategy for NHS | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The prime minister has announced a new cancer strategy for the NHS which will see “a step change in how we diagnose cancer” and improve cancer survival rates.

Theresa May said she wants to increase early detection rates for cancer from one in two today to three in four by 2028, and have 50,000 more people alive five years after getting their diagnosis by the same year.

Delivering the closing speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, she said: “Survival rates are increasing but we are lagging behind other countries, so today I can announce a new cancer strategy, funded by our NHS’s 70th birthday present.”


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Applications open for next cohort of NHS Digital Academy students

Applications open for next cohort of NHS Digital Academy students | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Future digital leaders are being called on to sign up for the next cohort of the NHS Digital Academy.

The academy, which is run in partnership with Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School, is a year-long training programme which results in a Post Graduate Diploma in Digital Health Leadership.

The first cohort of 100 delegates from around the health and care system in England started in April 2018 and included CCIOs, CIOs and those in charge of leading digital change, from both clinical and non-clinical backgrounds.

The virtual programme features six modules, including health information systems and technologies as well as citizen-driven informatics.

Applications for cohort two, which starts in April 2019, are now open.


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Helping NHS 'can't be done without more money'

Helping NHS 'can't be done without more money' | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Matt Hancock announced £240m for social care in England to help people get home so the NHS can better cope with winter pressures.

He said the money would help more people "who don't need to be in hospital, but do need care".

The health secretary, speaking at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, added that he was writing a long-term plan for the NHS to "guarantee its future".


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NHS pays out record £19.8m compensation to brain injury teenager | Society | The Guardian

NHS pays out record £19.8m compensation to brain injury teenager | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it
The NHS has agreed to pay a record £19.8m in damages for failings in the care of a woman who suffered catastrophic brain injuries when she was deprived of oxygen as a baby.


The woman, who is now 18, is seriously disabled as a result of not being given oxygen for half an hour when she was in hospital aged five-months-old being treated for reflux.

The payout, which has been valued at £19,774,265, is to reflect the severity of the injuries she sustained and the lifetime costs of her receiving care at home around the clock. It is the biggest compensation package the NHS has ever been obliged to pay.

It will be paid by Cardiff and Vale University health board in Wales, which runs the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where the girl received poor care in early 2000.


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NHS trusts in Shropshire raise almost £2m in parking charges | Shropshire Star

NHS trusts in Shropshire raise almost £2m in parking charges | Shropshire Star | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, collected £1.6m in 2017/18.

Meanwhile, the Robert Jones And Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH) received £361,190 from parking fees.

The figures, which were released by NHS Digital, have been described as a ‘tax’ on hard-pressed employees and the sick.
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SaTH made £1.1m from parking charges paid by patients and visitors to its sites, while it collected £517,030 from charges and penalty fines incurred by NHS workers.


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NHS figures reveal obesity crisis at primary schools in Suffolk | Latest Suffolk and Essex News

NHS figures reveal obesity crisis at primary schools in Suffolk | Latest Suffolk and Essex News | nhswatch | Scoop.it

New NHS Digital figures have exposed the extent of Suffolk’s childhood obesity crisis – with 17% of Year Six pupils classed as obese in 2017/18, of which 3% were deemed severely obese.

In addition, 14% of Year Six children were found to be overweight – meaning 31% of Suffolk’s youngsters were carrying too much weight when they left primary school.

The data shows that children often develop weight problems while at school, with just 9% of Suffolk’s Reception pupils classed as obese in 2017/18 – a figure that pales in comparison with the proportion of Year Six children in the same bracket.


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Medicinal cannabis should be available for all NHS patients, campaigners say

Medicinal cannabis should be available for all NHS patients, campaigners say | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Medical cannabis should be made available for all NHS patients, campaigners have said, amid expectations it will only be prescribed to help treat three conditions.

The Telegraph understands formal NHS England guidelines, due to be released before November 1, will advise specialist doctors on prescribing cannabis for epilepsy, chronic pain and nausea caused by chemotherapy.

Although new legislation technically allows cannabis to be taken for any condition, doctors are expected to strictly follow the guidelines, meaning they are unlikely to prescribe it for conditions other than those listed.


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Patients given 'needless' appointments because NHS funding pays hospitals to create work, trust chief warns

Patients given 'needless' appointments because NHS funding pays hospitals to create work, trust chief warns | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Doctors in overstretched hospitals feel forced into giving patients needless appointments so that they don’t lose funding, an NHS trust boss has said.

The health service’s financial system means that hospitals are given more money for generating work for themselves – and penalised for helping patients avoid coming in for treatment.

With hospitals facing record demand and a 50 per cent rise in patients having to wait six months or more, Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said these payment rules were hampering efforts to modernise the health service.


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NHS watchdog warns good healthcare is becoming more of a postcode lottery | Society | The Guardian

NHS watchdog warns good healthcare is becoming more of a postcode lottery | Society | The Guardian | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Patients in England are increasingly being subjected to “care injustice” in which they can access either no or poor quality hospital, mental health and social care services, the NHS watchdog has warned.

Access to good care is more and more of a lottery depending on where people live, with some areas providing only services that have been deemed substandard, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“Some people can easily access good care, while others cannot access the services they need, experience ‘disjointed’ care or only have access to providers with poor services,” the CQC’s annual report says.


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NHS England staff must explain if they refuse to have flu jab

NHS England staff must explain if they refuse to have flu jab | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Health workers in England who refuse to take up the offer of a free flu jab will be asked to explain why they do not want to be vaccinated.

The measures have been introduced in an effort to cut sickness rates and protect patients over winter.

Members of staff who decline the jab could be moved away from critical areas if they work with vulnerable patients.

Last year saw the worst flu season in a decade but only 64% of staff received the flu vaccine.


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Exclusive: A quarter of a million staff opt out of NHS pension | News

Exclusive: A quarter of a million staff opt out of NHS pension | News | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A quarter of a million NHS workers opted out of the pension scheme over the past three years, with experts blaming a “punitive” government tax regime and the current cost of living, HSJ can reveal.

An HSJ investigation found 245,561 people opted out of the scheme between 2015 and 2017, with 102,755 opting out in 2016 alone, representing a 78 per cent increase from the previous year.

The government reduced the amount of tax relief that can be applied to pension schemes in April 2016 and dropped the lifetime allowance to £1m.

The figures suggest the government’s pension reform may well have had a significant impact on the number of opt outs in 2016.

The group with the highest increase in opt outs were 46-55 year olds, with a 94 per cent increase in 2016. This was followed by the 16-25 year old and 36-45 year old age groups, which saw an 86 per cent and 83 per cent increase in opt outs respectively.


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Pension tax relief will be cut to pay for the NHS, Chancellor expected to announce

Pension tax relief will be cut to pay for the NHS, Chancellor expected to announce | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Pension tax relief will be cut to pay for the NHS, Philip Hammond is expected to announce in the Budget.

Last week the Chancellor gave his strongest suggestion to date that he will raise taxes to fund the Government’s £20billion funding boost for the health service.

This will include stripping back the benefits from tax-free pension contributions, a senior Treasury source told the Daily Telegraph.

The cost of pensions tax relief to the Treasury is £39billion a year, according to the latest official figures. The source said this amount has been considered to high not to be used to fund the NHS pledge.


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NHS hospitals 'unsafe' for diabetics as quarter of a million experienced potentially life threatening errors last year, charity warns

NHS hospitals 'unsafe' for diabetics as quarter of a million experienced potentially life threatening errors last year, charity warns | nhswatch | Scoop.it

Diabetic patients in NHS hospitals are being put at risk of serious harm or death as a lack of specialist staff contributed to 260,000 medication errors last year, charities have warned.

Statistics released by Diabtes UK show emergency treatment was needed for 9,600 diabetic patients who fell into comas after their blood sugar fell to dangerously low levels, also known as a severe hypoglycaemic attack. There were 58,000 cases of severe hypoglycaemia reported in 2017 and the condition is usually caused by receiving too much insulin or insufficient carbohydrates from meals and snacks.

Meanwhile, 2,200 patients receiving too little insulin developed diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening emergency where the body starts poisoning itself with the byproducts of the other bodily tissues it is using for energy.


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‘Tech tsunami’ putting NHS services at risk, GP leaders warn

‘Tech tsunami’ putting NHS services at risk, GP leaders warn | nhswatch | Scoop.it

A “tech tsunami” being championed by the likes of health secretary Matt Hancock is destabilising the NHS in a way that increases health inequalities and profits private firms, GP leaders have said.

Warning about the growing “digital divide” the chair of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, has called government to invest in NHS technology to ensure all patients can benefit.

Opening the RCGP annual conference in Glasgow on Thursday, she is expected to warn about privately run tech schemes “siphoning off” younger, healthier patients.

“Those with the latest smart phone, those who speak English and live in cities, those who have high speed broadband, are being offered something that others are not,” she will say.


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MP's 'horror' at getting £4.2bn to digitise NHS with no plan

MP's 'horror' at getting £4.2bn to digitise NHS with no plan | nhswatch | Scoop.it

 former minister has described his "horror" at being handed £4.2bn to create a "paperless" NHS in England by 2020 without a plan how to do it.

George Freeman's role was digitizing the NHS - but he had not been involved in the 2016 public spending talks.

And he said his civil servants were ordered to set out how they would spend the money only after it was allocated. This is how things are done in government, said Mr Freeman, and, he suggested, why they go wrong.

"The deal was done between Jeremy (Hunt) and George (Osborne) - it was a good thing, a big chunk of money to digitalize the NHS," he told a fringe meeting at the Conservative conference.

As Life Sciences Minister he belonged to two departments - business and health - so was frozen out of the spending talks.

His civil servants were delighted to have secured the money, he said, but when they were asked to produce a delivery plan, involving 26 different "work streams", the "system" proved incapable of doing it.


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NHS must follow the lead of driverless cars and embrace technology – even if it doesn't work perfectly, Health Secretary says 

NHS must follow the lead of driverless cars and embrace technology – even if it doesn't work perfectly, Health Secretary says  | nhswatch | Scoop.it

The NHS must follow the lead of driverless cars and embrace technology - even if it doesn't work perfectly, the Health Secretary has said.

Matt Hancock urged GPs to do more to adopt innovations such as virtual consultations via video, and the use of artificial intelligence.

The minister, who became Health Secretary in July, personally uses an app called “GP at Hand” which uses artificial intelligence to assess symptoms and offers smartphone consultations.

Last month he criticised NHS attempts to block use of such schemes, saying every patient should be able to benefit from such services.

This fuelled a backlash from some GPs who said the service run by private healthcare firm Babylon has not been properly evaluated, with fears its systems could miss serious symptoms.


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