Tobacco return on investment tool

NICE has developed a tobacco return on investment tool to help decision making in tobacco control at local and sub-national levels. The tool evaluates a portfolio of tobacco control interventions and models the economic returns that can be expected in different payback timescales. Different interventions, including pharmacotherapies and support and advice, can be mixed and matched to see which intervention portfolio or package provides the best ‘value for money’, compared with ‘no-services’ or any other specified package.  The tool is to support commissioners and policy makers, in local authorities and the NHS, in their investment decisions.


The World Alzheimer Report 2015: ‘The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends’ has found that there are currently around 46.8 million people living with dementia around the world, with numbers projected to nearly double every 20 years, increasing to 74.7 million by 2030 and 131.5 million by 2050. There are over 9.9 million new cases of dementia each year worldwide, implying one new case every 3.2 seconds.


The report shows that the current annual societal and economic cost of dementia is US $818 billion, and it is expected to become a trillion dollar disease in just three years’ time. The findings show that the cost of dementia has increased by 35% since the 2010 World Alzheimer Report.

New guidelines for diabetes care

New diabetes guidance includes tighter targets for blood sugar levels to help reduce variation in the management and care of condition.

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is issuing new guidelines to improve the management of diabetes in adults and children. It includes aiming for tighter blood sugar control to help manage the condition.

The update from NICE is designed to address the problem of varying standards of diabetes care in different parts of the country.

The new guidance covers type 1 diabetes in adults, type 1 and type 2 diabetes in children and young people, and diabetic foot care.


The Queen’s Nursing Institute has created a new online learning resource for nurses who are new to working in the school nursing service.

The new learning resource has been developed specifically for the school nurse environment and contains 11 chapters, on subjects including safeguarding, integrating children with special health needs, working with other community professionals, and career development.  As with the original ‘Transition’ resource, the new book is designed to be used with a mentor and is based on reflective learning principles.


Click here to read the press release. 

Universal flu vaccine a step closer as scientists create experimental jabs

Annual vaccinations could be a thing of the past as scientists have successfully tested vaccines on animals infected with different strains of influenza

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A universal flu vaccine that protects against multiple strains of the virus is a step closer after scientists created experimental jabs that work in animals. The vaccines prevented deaths or reduced symptoms in mice, ferrets and monkeys infected with different types of flu, raising hopes for a reliable alternative to the seasonal vaccine.

Doctors hope that a universal flu vaccine would do away with the need for people at risk to have flu jabs every year, and even protect the public from dangerous, potentially pandemic, strains that jump from birds or pigs into humans..

During the last flu season, mutations in the HA molecule on one of the most common circulating strains, H3N2, meant that the seasonal flu vaccine offered little protection. Public Health England said in February that the less effective vaccine was likely to have been behind a steep rise in flu deaths.

In two studies reported on Monday, separate research teams describe how they created novel flu vaccines that target the “stem” of the HA molecule instead of the head. The stem of the HA molecule is similar across different flu strains and mutates far less often. One of the teams, led by Barney Graham at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, created their vaccine by attaching part of a flu virus’s HA stem to tiny balls of protein. These protein nanoparticles kept the stem intact and made it easy for the immune system to spot once it was injected. In lab tests, one version of the vaccine completely protected mice and partially protected ferrets from injections of H5N1 bird flu virus, which was fatal in unvaccinated animals. The H5N1 flu strain has killed more than 400 people since 2003, most of whom caught the virus from infected poultry.

Read the full article via Universal flu vaccine a step closer as scientists create experimental jabs | Science | The Guardian.

Care and treatment reviews to become ‘business as usual’

NHS England has today set out how it intends that reviews of care and treatment arrangements for people with learning disabilities are to be embedded across the health and care system.

NHS England has today set out how it intends that reviews of care and treatment arrangements for people with learning disabilities are to be embedded across the health and care system.

Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) were developed as part of NHS England’s commitment to improving the care of people with learning disabilities or autism. They aim to reduce unnecessary admissions and lengthy stays in specialist hospitals, and have been rolling out since October 2014; over 1,400 people had their care reviewed up to March this year, with hundreds more since.

They bring those responsible for the care of those who are in, or at risk of being admitted to, specialist hospitals around the table with the individual themselves and their families, as well as independent clinicians and experts by experience, to ensure that the care needs of that individual are being met.

Care and Treatment Review: Policy and Guidance (also available in easy read) has been produced by building on the learning from the reviews which have taken place so far, including extensive engagement with people with learning disabilities, their representatives and their families.

The document will help local Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England commissioners implement the recommendation from this learning that CTRs should become ‘business as usual’.

via NHS England » Care and treatment reviews to become ‘business as usual’.

RPS launches patient engagement hub

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is encouraging of pharmacists and their teams to engage more with patients, carers and the public about the care that can be delivered through pharmacy.

With this is mind we have designed a patient engagement hub for pharmacy teams, which launches today (21 August). The hub includes a collection of resources, including leaflets, posters and videos, that have already been developed and used by pharmacy teams to speak directly to patients, carers and the public. The resources, including those from organisations like Asthma UK, Epilepsy Society and Parkinson’s UK, are mapped over nine themes:

  • What does pharmacy do?
  • How can pharmacy help me with my medicines?
  • How can pharmacy help me look after myself?
  • How can pharmacy help me when I am admitted to and leave hospital?
  • I’m ill where should I go for help?
  • I have XX how can pharmacy help me?
  • How can pharmacy help me with my child’s medicines?
  • I’m a carer how can pharmacy help me?
  • How can pharmacy help me with my repeat prescriptions?
  • How can pharmacy help me with the electronic prescriptions and the repeat dispensing?
  • The hub is aimed at pharmacy teams but can also be accessed by patient groups.

It is hoped these resources will also provide ideas and inspiration to stimulate and support other teams with engagement. Further resources will be added in due course.

View the RPS patient engagement hub.

via RPS launches patient engagement hub | Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

Action is needed to boost uptake of stop smoking services, say campaigners

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Smoking cessation campaigners are calling for action to reverse the current downward trend in people seeking support from specialist stop smoking services. They emphasised that smokers who get support from local stop smoking services are four times more likely to quit than by going “cold turkey.”

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed that, from April 2014 to March 2015, 450 582 people set a quit date with stop smoking services in England.1 This was 23% lower than the previous year and the third consecutive year that the number of people using the services has fallen. At the four week follow-up 229 688 people—just over 51%—reported that they had successfully stopped smoking.1

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training have said that Public Health England must better promote local stop smoking services through mass media campaigns and that local authorities must commission high quality, evidence based services. Local services should also do more to reach out to groups with high smoking rates, and local authorities and the NHS should better support smokers who want to quit by using electronic cigarettes, they said.

Read the full article via Action is needed to boost uptake of stop smoking services, say campaigners | The BMJ.

Would judicial consent for assisted dying protect vulnerable people?

BMJ 2015;351:h4437

The private members’ bills presented by Charles Falconer and Rob Marris require a High Court judge to confirm decisions by doctors to approve assisted suicide. Jacky Davis thinks that this is sufficient to protect vulnerable people; Ilora Finlay does not

Yes—Jacky Davis

Next month the United Kingdom’s MPs will debate the Assisted Dying Bill championed by the Labour MP Rob Marris.1It is based on Charles Falconer’s bill that made unprecedented progress through the House of Lords, only to run out of time before the general election.

The Marris-Falconer bill would offer the possibility of an assisted death for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. After meeting strict legal safeguards (including the involvement of a High Court judge) such people would be able to self administer life ending drugs. The bill is based on legislation in the US state of Oregon that has operated safely since 1997. Similar legislation has since been adopted by the states of Washington and Vermont and is being considered by several others.

No—Ilora Finlay

Rob Marris’s private member’s bill requires doctors to decide who should and should not qualify for assisted suicide and a judge to confirm those decisions. Would such a scheme protect vulnerable people from harm? We need to ask ourselves: how effective would be the proposed assessment by doctors? And would involving the court add protective value?

Read the full article via Would judicial consent for assisted dying protect vulnerable people? | The BMJ.