As parliament breaks for summer recess and MPs head off on holiday, we look ahead to the Autumn and provide an overview of key NHS announcements.
Local health and care partnerships cover 23.5 million
In May, NHS England announced three areas, covering 14 million people, had been chosen to become ‘Local Health and Care Record Exemplars’ (LHCRE). New partnerships will each receive up to £7.5 million over two years to put in place an electronic shared local health and care record that makes the relevant information about people instantly available to everyone involved in their care and support.
In June, NHS England announced two more areas:
- Yorkshire and the Humber, covering West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside
- Thames Valley and Surrey, covering Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey
High Court rejects legal challenge by the British Homeopathic Association to overturn plans to no longer routinely fund homeopathy on the NHS
The legal challenge by BHA is a response to the NHS England’s action to clamp down on waste. At the end of last year NHS England published guidance to curb prescriptions for 18 ineffective, unsafe or low clinical priority treatments, such as co-proxamol, some dietary supplements, herbal treatments and homeopathy, saving up to £141 million a year. Earlier this year NHS England published a further list of 35 minor, short-term conditions for which over the counter medicines should not routinely be prescribed, saving around a further £100 million a year.
NHS England and UK Space Agency launch multi-million pound drive to improve patient car
The UK Space Agency announced in June that it is allocating up to £4 million to find hi-tech solutions to the major health and care challenges facing the NHS in its 70th anniversary year in a joint initiative with NHS England. Challenges include:
- Managing long term conditions including joining up health and care services
- Earlier diagnosis of cancer
- Transforming GP services and other primary care
- Meeting mental health needs
Previous examples of space tech being adapted for NHS use include a pill camera that can be swallowed by patients, dementia tracking slippers, breast screening vans that beam images back to assessment centres, wearable monitors to help prevent falls among the elderly and apps that help prevent skin cancer.
Multi million pound TV advertising campaign to recruit thousands of nurses launched in July
We will watch with interest to see if the NHS’s biggest recruitment drive in its 70 year history is a success. The £8 million campaign, funded by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care, will highlight the vast range of opportunities available in the NHS for potential new recruits and will initially put the spotlight on nursing, prioritising key areas such as mental health, learning disability and community and general practice nurses.
The new campaign, which kicked off in the week of the NHS’s 70 birthday on July 5, features TV and radio advertising, posters and social media, primarily targets school children aged 14-18.
Social Care Green Paper
In June 2018, the Health and Social Care Secretary announced a further delay to the Social care Green Paper, which is now due in the “autumn”.
Ten Year Plan
Teresa May’s announcement that NHS funding will increase over five years, beginning in 2019/20, came alongside the request to come up with a 10-year plan for how this funding will be used.
The plan, which is designed to build on the Five Year Forward View’s vision of moving care out of hospitals and into local communities, will largely focus on four areas including workforce, technology, buildings and productivity, the final plans of which are expected at the end of the year.
NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens, is currently formulating the long-term plan for the NHS, which will include more detail on approaches to tackle priority areas over the next ten years.
Results of the ACO consultation
Now that both high court challenges against the introduction of Accountable Care Organisations (JR4NHS and 999 Call for the NHS) have been lost, we await the results of the ACO consultation.
GP contract reform
GPs, patients and healthcare professionals are being given the chance to have their say on plans by the NHS which will help shape the future of a modern general practice.
In particular, with a wide range of partners, NHS England has reviewed the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) which provides payments for achieving outcomes that reflect high quality care in general practice. It is also looking at how general practice payments might change to fairly support the rollout of digital technology across the country. Feedback has been requested by August 31.
Information taken from www.england.nhs.uk