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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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The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services

Guidance for commissioners, providers and clinicians on the roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England. | Public Health England

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs.

The document outlines:

  • The roles of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment including the contribution they can make to health and social care outcomes
  • The added value nurses can bring to alcohol and drug treatment
  • The competences and skills that should be expected of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment
  • What is required to develop and maintain these competences

Full document: The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services:  A resource for commissioners, providers and clinicians

Digital Technology and health

Patient Carers and Service User Vision | National Information Board | Department of Health

This policy paper examines how changes in digital technology can be used to improve patient, carer and service user experiences of health services. The document will allow people to understand why and how changes are being introduced and to see whether the planned improvements are really happening.

Antibiotic awareness resources

Public Health England have published a series of antibiotic awareness resources to support the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and local initiatives.

Antibiotic awareness: toolkit for healthcare professionals in England
Guidance to help the NHS, local authorities and others support European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, to encourage responsible use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: quizzes and crosswords
Quizzes and crosswords about antibiotic resistance for the public, healthcare prescribers and pharmacists.

Antibiotics: secondary care prescriber’s checklist
Prescribers in secondary healthcare can use this checklist to help make decisions about prescribing antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: posters and leaflets
Posters and leaflets (in 11 languages) for the public and healthcare professionals to support antibiotic awareness campaigns in the UK.

PHE have also produced a short video to help explain the issue of antibiotic resistance:

New collaborative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness

Equally Well: A new collaborative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness | via Centre for Mental Health

In October 2016, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published the report ‘Improving the physical health of adults with severe mental illness: essential actions’  The report outlined the changes that were needed to make a sustained impact on the physical health of people living with a mental illness. It highlighted that coordinated national effort would be needed to bring good practice to scale and support further innovation and improvement across the country.

Equally Well  is an initiative from New Zealand which seeks to promote and support such collaborative action to improve physical health among people with a mental illness.

Now in the UK, the Centre for Mental Health, Kaleidoscope and Rethink Mental Illness are working together with support from the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to create an Equally Well collaborative in this country.

Emergency department survey

Emergency department survey 2016 | The Care Quality Commission (CQC) . 

Findings of this survey set out the experiences of people who attended a major 24-hour consultant-led emergency department (Type 1 department) during September 2016. talk-2076968_1280

In addition, the CQC also surveyed patients who had used a Type 3 department, typically a minor injuries unit or urgent care centre run by an acute trust.  Patients were generally positive when answering questions about their interactions with staff and information provision/communication regarding care in the department but were less positive about receiving timely pain relief, emotional support and information provision when leaving the department.

The results of the 2016 survey indicate some positive aspects of care.

Patients were generally positive when answering questions about their interactions with staff (doctors and nurses). For example, most people said that they:

  • had enough time to discuss their health or medical problem
  • had confidence and trust in the doctors and nurses examining and treating them
  • were listened to
  • felt they were treated with respect and dignity

Positive responses were also received to questions asking about information provision and communication regarding care and treatment whilst in the emergency department.

However, there were less positive results for questions asking about:

  • receiving timely pain relief
  • emotional support (if needed)
  • information provision when leaving the emergency department.

Full details at Care Quality Commission

New £15 million grant scheme to improve mental healthcare

The Beyond Places of Safety fund will focus on improving urgent mental healthcare in local areas | Department of Health 

The Department of Health has launched a £15 million fund to better support people at risk of experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Beyond Places of Safety scheme aims to improve support services for those needing urgent and emergency mental healthcare. This includes conditions such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders that could cause people to be a risk to themselves or others.

The Beyond Places of Safety scheme will focus on:

  • preventing people from reaching crisis point in the first place
  • helping to develop new approaches to support people who experience a mental health crisis

Full story at Department of Health