The needs of dental patients with dementia

Health Education England has launched a new film aimed at dental professionals to raise awareness of the issues faced by patients with dementia when attending a dental appointment. The film looks at the process of attending a dental appointment through the eyes of a dementia sufferer, highlighting just how daunting the whole process can be.  It aims provide dental teams with information on how difficult things can be for sufferers and provide some ideas on how to make arrangements to make the process smoother and easier for their patients.

Employing more people with learning disabilities

NHS Employers has made available a range of free resources to help NHS organisations develop local and national solutions to increase employment of people with learning disabilities.  Over the next few months NHS Employers will work with NHS England to provide: examples of how to facilitate local networks and peer-to-peer learning to demonstrate where other organisations have been successful; practical tools and guidance that can be used locally; and support to help organisations understand and use these tools.

Physical activity in primary schools

Ukactive Kids has published Generation Inactive: an analysis of the UK’s childhood inactivity epidemic and tangible solutions to get children moving. This report explores the current understanding of children’s physical activity in primary schools and investigates the measures that are used to track the activity and fitness levels of pupils.  The report found that more could be done to support both primary schools and primary academies in this agenda and make a number of recommendations.

Additional link: Royal College of Paediatrics and Childhealth press release

Improving General Practice

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has published A blueprint for building the new deal for general practice in England. This document sets out in the RCGP’s view that urgent and medium-to long-term measures that must be implemented to secure vital improvements to general practice. The Blueprint sets out five overarching actions that must be taken by the new Government to strengthen general practice for the future: invest 11% of the NHS budget in general practice; grow the GP workforce by 8,000; give GPs time to focus on patient care; allow GPs time to innovate; and improve GP premises.

Additional link: RCGP press release

The key to improving learning disability services lies with the people

Empowering people and their families has been a priority for NHS England as it looks to develop and improve its learning disability services.

Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, said: giving people with learning disabilities their families and carers more say over their care was fundamental to the planning of future services.

The CNO was addressing NHS staff as part of an event to mark Learning Disability Week which runs to 21 June.

  • For updates on Learning Disability Awareness Week follow #LDWeek15

NHS jobs pledge for people with learning disabilities

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens has today (17 June) thrown down a challenge to the health service to open up suitable job opportunities to people with learning disabilities.

To mark Learning Disability Week, NHS Employers and NHS England are today launching a new national network providing advice, ideas and impetus to all NHS organisations – from local hospital trusts to national bodies – to remove barriers and take steps to accelerate employment of people with learning disabilities in the NHS.

Mr Stevens said: “The NHS family is the biggest employer in the country, and one of the largest in the world. Listening to what people with learning disabilities say about how they want to lead their own lives, now we want to expand the number of NHS employers who successfully harness the talents, expertise and experience of people with learning disabilities.”

Over the next few months, NHS England and NHS Employers will develop practical support and a network of NHS organisations committed to making progress across the NHS to increase employment of people with learning disabilities.

The new programme comes during Learning Disability Week 2015 (15-19 June) and is the next step in a commitment made in the NHS Five Year Forward View to make NHS workforces more representative of the local communities they serve.


Use of technology and data can help plug NHS funding gap

Rapid advances in the use of technology and data will see the NHS improve patient care and help meet the predicted £22billion deficit in its budget.

Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information, told the Digital Health and Care Congress at the King’s Fund  that “technology has a hugely important role to play in delivering the health service’s productivity challenge – the shorthand for which is the £22billion”.

“I would put a health warning on some of the figures being talked about, but the use of technology and data along with new models of care could save as much as a third.”

“Our focus needs to be on how we are going to make the most of this opportunity to solving one of the greatest problems man has ever faced – caring for a growing and ageing population.”

“Since March 93% of GPs have signed up to providing online appointments, online access to records and online repeat prescriptions. They are to be applauded.

“The pace at which clinicians are grabbing hold of technological advances is incredible. The prize is an effective healthcare service for all.”

Read Tim Kelsey’s blog on unleashing the power of technology and data to improve patient care

Prevention Programme can ease burden of diabetes on NHS

The new National Diabetes Prevention Programme will help ease the burden on primary care doctors and nurses as it is rolled out across the country over the next few years.

Dr Matt Kearney, National Clinical Advisor to NHS England and Public Health England, says the programme will not only help GPs with their burgeoning workload in treating children and adults with the condition, but it will also provide high quality local services to them to refer high-risk patients into.

He adds in a blog to mark Diabetes Week 2015: “This will provide patients with comprehensive and intensive support to modify their behavioural risks, based on evidence of what works. And the evidence is impressive with a 30 to 60 percent reduction in incidence of diabetes being achieved”.