The Department of Health has published its annual Heatwave Plan for England. The plan aims to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent, the major avoidable effects on health during periods of severe heat in England. It recommends a series of steps to reduce the risks to health from prolonged exposure to severe heat for: the NHS, local authorities, social care, and other public agencies; professionals working with people at risk; and individuals, local communities and voluntary groups.
Carers UK and Age UK have published Caring into later life: the growing pressure on older carers. The report rings together and analyses evidence from national data sources and older carers themselves to set out some of the key facts about this growing and diverse group and look at what steps must be taken to better support older carers. The report is accompanied by statistics showing number of carers by local area.
The Prime Minister has set out his vision for a modern NHS that will work for patients 7 days a week. The speech set out the government’s plans to prioritise patient access to all services – from GP access to hospital care – backing NHS England’s plan for modernising the NHS. Investment into the NHS will increase by £8 billion a year by the end of the Parliament to support the transformation of services across the country, including an increase in the number of GPs, faster access to new drugs and treatments and a greater focus on mental health and healthy living.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has published Dying without dignity: investigations by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman into complaints about end of life care. This report is intended to inform the debate about how, as a society, standards to improve the quality of end of life care offered across the country can be developed. It features 12 cases that illustrate the issues the Ombudsman regularly sees in casework on end of life care. The examples represent a diverse collection of stories, drawn from a range of different health care settings.
NHS England has reported that the number of GPs offering appointments, repeat prescriptions and access to summary information in medical records online has tripled in the first three months of the year with almost every GP surgery in England offering the service. Data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre shows that over 97% of patients in England can now take advantage of online services, an increase from the 3% in April 2014.
The British Heart Foundation’s latest publication Physical Activity Statistics 2015 shows that 44% of British adults perform no moderate physical activity. A comparison of 28 countries from the European Union ranks the UK in 16th position based on the frequency of moderate physical activity performed in the last seven days. The Netherlands lead the way in Europe with only 14% of adults performing no moderate physical activity followed by Finland and Denmark (23%). The British Heart Foundation express their concern that physical inactivity is contributing to the rise of coronary heart disease.
Additional link: BBC News report
NHS Employers are supporting Dementia Awareness Week and have published new resources and thought pieces aimed at employers and employees with caring responsibilities. These guides and real life experiences aim to help employees to continue in their role within the NHS and support a clear commitment to providing an inclusive workforce. The week is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Society, and aims to raise awareness and understanding of dementia, offering support and services to those living with dementia.