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Welcome to the Latest Health News online newsfeed. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.

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Individual funding requests

NHS England has published a series of documents in relation to Individual Funding Requests (IFR). The following documents update existing published standard operating procedures for the management of IFRs and outline how the process for managing IFRs for NHS England will operate:

Advanced clinical practitioners framework

Health Education England has published National Framework for Multi-Professional Advanced Clinical Practice.  This document sets out a vision for the further development of Advanced Clinical Practitioners.  It provides national definition of the role as well as requirements for entry.  It will provide ACPs with guidance and principles to follow throughout their careers.

Alcohol policy and older people

The International Longevity Centre UK has published Calling Time: addressing ageism and age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research.  This report examines ageism and age discrimination in alcohol policy, practice and research.  It also contains research on age discrimination legislation and policy in the UK and includes examples of positive practice.

National clinical audit benchmarking

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) has launched an online portal National Clinical Audit Benchmarking (NCAB).  This tool provides access to national audit data benchmarked searchable by speciality, Trust, hospital or unit.  The specialities currently available are lung cancer treatment, upper GI cancer surgery, lower GI cancer surgery, vascular surgery, hip fracture care and intensive care.

NHS trusts predicting worse deficit than originally anticipated

Quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector | NHS Improvement

The quarterly performance of the NHS provider sector for the second quarter (July to September) of the 2017-18 financial year reveals that NHS trusts and foundation trusts are collectively predicting a full-year deficit of around £623 million – £127 million worse than planned.

The data from NHS Improvement also showed that despite the NHS treating more patients than even before, more people were seen within four hours in A&E and within 18 weeks for planned care.

Between July to September of this year, 90.2% of emergency patients were seen within four hours – meeting the national ambition of 90% by September while 3.43 million patients were seen within 18 weeks, compared with 3.36 million during the same period last year.

Cost improvement programmes had delivered £1.25 million of improvements in the first six months of the year and hospitals had delivered a £119 million reduction in temporary staffing for the first six months of the financial year, compared to the same period last year.

Full detail at NHS Improvement

NICE approves breakthrough breast cancer drugs

NICE confirms that it will recommend that breakthrough cancer drugs palbociclib and ribociclib be provided on the NHS for women with advanced breast cancer| story via OnMedica

There are around 45,000 new diagnosis of breast cancer each year in England and it is estimated that around 8,000 of these people would be eligible for treatment with either palbociclib or ribociclib.

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In draft guidance, NICE said breast cancer patients should have routine access to these two life extending drugs after a new deal with their manufacturing companies who agreed to lower the price and who gave more evidence for their effectiveness.

Palbociclib (Ibrance) from Pfizer and ribociclib (Kisqali) from Norvatis, are recommended for people with hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2 negative locally advanced or secondary breast cancer.

NICE said that although there were some uncertainties on how long they extend the life expectancy of people with this type of breast cancer, these promising new drugs were found to stall the growth of cancer for an extra 10 months on average.

Spending constraints associated with a higher than expected number of deaths

Study published in the British Medical Journal suggests cuts to public funding of health and social care since 2010 could be linked to almost 120,000 excess deaths in England | BMJ | OnMedica

The study reports that between 2010 and 2014, the NHS in England had a real-term annual increase in funding of 1.3%, despite rising patient demand and healthcare costs. Real-term spend on social care has fallen by 1.19% every year during the same period.

Researchers compared actual death rates for 2011 to 2014 with those that would be expected, based on trends before spending cuts came into play, and taking account of national and economic factors, such as unemployment rates and pensions.

The researchers’ analysis of the data showed that between 2001 and 2010, deaths in England fell by an average of 0.77% every year, but rose by an average of 0.87% every year between 2011 and 2014.

The spending restraints were associated with 45,368 higher than expected numbers of deaths between 2010 and 2014 compared with equivalent trends before 2010.

Full reference: Watkins J. et al. |  Effects of health and social care spending constraints on mortality in England: a time trend analysis | BMJ Open 2017

Related: Excess deaths could be linked to health spending cuts