Leadership in integrated care systems (ICSs)

Social Care Institute for Excellence | November 2018 | Leadership in integrated care systems (ICSs)

The NHS Leadership Academy commissioned SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) to undertake  research to further expand the understanding of systems leadership and leadership of integrated care systems. The research will inform the Leadership Academy’s long-term plans for supporting leaders in integrated care systems.

This Future of Care paper, aimed at chief executives, directors and senior managers from the NHS, local authorities, housing organisations and voluntary and community sector, is based on findings from interviews with systems leaders and a review of the literature (Source: SCIE).


Report available from  SCIE

See also: Free online webinar 

Voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access: heads of agreement

Department of Health and Social Care | November 2018 | Voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access: heads of agreement

A new policy paper outlines the terms agreed between DHSC and the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) for a new voluntary scheme.


The heads of agreement sets out how the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access will meet the following 3 objectives:

  • improve patient access to medicines by getting the best value and most effective medicines into use more quickly
  • keep the branded medicine bill affordable for the NHS
  • support innovation and a successful life sciences industry in the UK

Full details from the Department of Health and Social Care

The Independent Breast Screening Review report

Department of Health and Social Care | December 2018 | The Independent Breast Screening Review report

The Department of Health and Social Care have  published their findings of  the Independent Breast Screening Review, which was established to look into the failings in the breast screening programme in England. The report sets out their findings and recommendations.

Breast screening

The review makes 15 recommendations for the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and NHS England (Source: NHS England)

The report includes chapters on:

  • History of the breast screening programme in England
  • IT and processes
  • Governance and accountability
  • Handling the incident
  • Impact on women
  • The age extension trial- AgeX

Read the full report here

Enabling NHS staff to contribute to research Reflecting on current practice and informing future opportunities

RAND Corporation | December 2018 |Enabling NHS staff to contribute to research Reflecting on current practice and informing future opportunities

The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) commissioned RAND Corporation to produce a rapid review of the evidence base on engaging NHS staff in healthcare research.  

RAND used four questions to guide their review:

  1. Why do NHS staff engage with research?
  2. How do NHS staff engage with research?
  3. What are the challenges to NHS staff involvement in research and how can they be addressed so that contributions are effectively enabled and rewarded?
  4. What is the impact of engaging NHS staff in healthcare research?

The report Enabling NHS staff to contribute to research Reflecting on current practice and informing future opportunities, has now been published by RAND.  It finds that NHS staff S have important expertise to contribute to healthcare research. However, they also face competing demands on their time, not least delivering patient care. 



Key Findings

  • NHS staff choose to engage with research for a variety of reasons, including: (i) personal interest in a research or evaluation topic; (ii) cultural expectations in some clinical disciplines that involvement in research is part of the job; (iii) a belief that research and evidence can improve the quality and safety of healthcare and patient outcomes; (iv) a positive prior experience with research; and (v) prospects for career development.
  • NHS staff can contribute to research in a variety of ways (e.g. responding to requests for views or for advice, in advisory board roles or as members of clinical research networks, as co-researchers or members of project steering committees).
  • While there are a range of challenges to effective NHS staff engagement with research (e.g. time-related, skills-related, organisational governance-related), there is an evolving evidence base on enabling mechanisms and rewards that could be pursued. The rewards for engagement that matter most to NHS staff include career progression and professional development opportunities related to learning new skills, recognition in professional communities and reputational awards, and seeing the impact of their research contributions on clinical practice.
  • Key impacts from NHS involvement in research include impact on research studies (e.g. on identifying research priorities, on the quality and relevance of study designs, on influential communications and dissemination); impact on the wider research system (e.g. attracting funding); influence on clinical practice (e.g. promoting the uptake of evidence) and personal impact (e.g. professional development and career progression).


  • Identify the most meaningful types of contribution on a case-by-case basis.
  • Ensure that research roles and responsibilities are clear and well defined.
  • Frame opportunities for involvement in a way that aligns with what motivates NHS staff to engage with health research.
  • Consider how best to use established and trusted professional networks, in combination with online or other types of direct awareness-raising and recruitment.
  • Make engagement opportunities user friendly.
  • Establish and nurture relationships with leadership in healthcare provider organisations
  • Ensure that opportunities to recognise and reward involvement in research are created and communicated to healthcare professionals. (Source: RAND Corporation)

Full report is available as an eBook  from RAND Corporation 

Smoke-free implementation in the Sheffield NHS trust

Public Health England | December 2018 | Smoke-free implementation in the Sheffield NHS trust

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust is  reducing harm from tobacco to service users and staff, addressing complex implementation challenges.

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC)  are working to address the prevalence of smoking in the city. In 2016 over 66% of people admitted to their inpatient wards, and over 40% of people on the mental illness register in Sheffield, were recorded as smoking. This compared with a smoking prevalence of just 16% in the general Sheffield population (Source: Public Health England).


The case study from Public Health England covers the key successes and challenges of the project and identifies the next steps.

Read the full case study from Public Health England

Patients in Yorkshire set to benefit from revolutionary medical imaging due to University of Sheffield fundraising campaign

University of Sheffield | December 2018 | Patients in Yorkshire set to benefit from revolutionary medical imaging thanks to £2 million fundraising appeal

A campaign launched by the University of Sheffield in 2017 has raised £2million to make possible a revolutionary scanner in Yorkshire.  During the last 18 months, staff, current  students, alumni and members of the public and local business community, and friends of the University have supported the Sheffield Scanner campaign.

The high-tech scanner will provide unprecedented views of inside the human body by combining the power of both MRI and PET images in a single scan. It will help leading scientists and medics tackle some of the most devastating diseases facing millions of people including dementia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease (MND).

The facility will also bring more clinical trials to the region, giving patients in Yorkshire access to ground-breaking new innovative treatments that are being developed. The scanner will be the only MRI-PET scanner in Yorkshire, the new Sheffield Scanner Facility will be attached to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Dame Pam Shaw, Vice-President and Head of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health at the University of Sheffield, and Director of the Sheffield NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience, said:

“The combination of these two imaging techniques – MRI and PET – in one machine will let us detect extremely small abnormalities very accurately. We are hoping, and expecting, this will allow us to diagnose medical conditions much earlier. We will also be able to monitor how new innovative treatments are working much more nimbly than we have in the past.

Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “The success of this fundraising campaign is a fantastic achievement and marks the beginning of an exciting journey for the University, the Sheffield city region and beyond. I am extremely proud that Sheffield will now be home to one of only eight MRI-PET scanners in the UK.”

(Source: University of Sheffield)

Snowed under? Understanding the effects of winter on the NHS

Nuffield Trust | December 2018 | Snowed under? Understanding the effects of winter on the NHS

A new explainer from the Nuffield Trust unpacks what winter means for the NHS, in terms of its impact on health, demand for services, and how the NHS responds.winter-snow-nature-60561.jpeg

Key points

  • Even moderately cold weather (an average temperature of 5­–8 degrees celsius) results in increased illness and higher death rates.
  • Flu epidemics have a major impact when they occur, but there is significant variation from year to year in how many people and which groups are affected.
  • Primary care deals with most of the increase in winter-related illness. Small changes in the ability of primary care teams to manage peaks in demand become amplified across the wider care system.
  • The number of A&E attendances actually decreases in winter, but the proportion of people admitted increases.
  • A higher proportion of patients with longer lengths of stay in winter means hospitals have less flexibility to manage demand.
  • Given recent trends, we can expect the pressure on the NHS this winter to be similar to last year.
  • Although A&E waiting times tend to grab the headlines, health systems should consider a broader range of factors when assessing winter pressures, from deaths related to cold temperatures and provision of services in the community through to the way acute medical patients are managed in hospital. (Source: Nuffield Trust)