Life Expectancy Among Older Age Groups in England: Statistical Trends and Variations (BBC News / Public Health England)

Dementia and Elderly Care News


A report by Public Health England indicates that older people in England are living longer nowadays. Longevity statistics show that among persons aged 65, men can expect to live for a further 19 years and women a further 21 years.

There are some concerns remaining, however, concerning various health inequalities and the fact that many elderly people live with poor health.

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Life expectancy high among elderly. London: BBC Health News, February 12th 2016.

This relates to:

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Hemmings, P. (2016). Recent trends in life expectancy at older ages: update to 2014. February 2016. London: Public Health England, February 9th 2016.

Possibly also of interest, the previous year’s report:

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Hemmings, P. (2015). Recent trends in life expectancy at older ages: February 2015. London: Public Health England, February 12th 2015.

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Negative perceptions of aging predict longitudinal decline in cognitive function.

Robertson, D et al. Psychology and Aging, Vol 31(1), Feb 2016, 71-81.

Image source: Patrick

Perceptions of aging have been shown to impact the psychological and physical health of older adults. Experimental studies have found that priming older adults with negative attitudes toward aging results in immediate declines in psychological, physical and cognitive functions. Longitudinal studies have supported this work illustrating the longer term impact of negative and positive perceptions of aging on psychological and physical health.

However, it is surprising that there are a limited number of studies that have investigated the longitudinal association between perceptions of aging and cognitive function. The aim of this article is therefore to explore the association between perceptions of aging and cognitive function across a number of domains in a population representative sample of adults aged 50 and older.

The sample was assessed twice over 2 years. Negative perceptions of aging at baseline were independently associated with longitudinal decline in verbal fluency and self-rated memory over a 2-year period after adjustment for physical and mental health.

These findings suggest that negative perceptions of aging may play a role in cognitive decline in the older population. Furthermore, aging perceptions may be a modifiable factor to target for future interventions.

Read the abstract here

Healthcare-associated infections NICE quality standard [QS113]

This new quality standard covers organisational factors in preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections in secondary care settings.

NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers organisational factors in preventing and controlling healthcare-associated infections in secondary care settings.

Organisational factors include management arrangements, policies, procedures, monitoring, evaluation, audit and accountability.

Secondary care settings include hospital buildings and grounds; inpatient, day case and outpatient facilities and services; elective and emergency care facilities; and hospital maternity units and services.

nICE infections

View the full quality standard here

Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Steps to breathe better

The National COPD Audit Programme has published Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Steps to breathe better National Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Audit Programme: Clinical audit of Pulmonary Rehabilitation services in England and Wales 2015.

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This is the second COPD pulmonary rehabilitation audit report. Its recommendations are directed collectively to commissioners, provider organisations, referrers for pulmonary rehabilitation and to pulmonary rehabilitation practitioners themselves. The report identifies two broad areas for improvement: firstly action to improve referral and access to pulmonary rehabilitation; and secondly action to improve the quality of treatment when patients attend pulmonary rehabilitation.


The role of Dementia Champion in dementia care: Its aspirations, development and training needs (innovative practice)

Mayrhofer, A. et al. Dementia. Published online: February 9 2016

Image source: Flickr

Background:  The conceptualisation and development of the role of Dementia Champions in clinical practice is ongoing, and dementia specific training has a significant impact on the scope of the role.

Aim: This survey aimed to elicit Dementia Champions’ views on their role and associated training needs.

Methods: Data were collected via an online survey.

Findings: Of 188, 34 Dementia Champions (response rate 18%) participated. Most perceived dementia awareness training as useful, but limited. Areas suggested for further development were context specific skills training, education programmes that were formally recognised, and clarification around the expectations of the role.

Conclusion: Expectations of ‘champion roles’ in dementia need to be re-visited, specifically in relation to the remit of the role and the level of education, preparation and support required for Dementia Champions to become change agents in dementia care.


Read the abstract here

Which country has the world’s best healthcare system?

Guardian Health – A look at how patients pay for healthcare around the world and the general standard of care they might expect


Upfront payments: no

Data: The UK came first in the latest Commonwealth Fund assessment of healthcare systems around the rich world, but other surveys such as a European one earlier this month are not so flattering. Healthcare spending as a proportion of GDP is falling behind international averages, and an elderly demographic, the obesity epidemic and alcohol bingeing are all taking their toll. The UK also has the worst cancer outcomes of any rich country.

Image source: The Guardian


Upfront payments: no

Data: Middle of the pack. Germany was positioned fifth in the latest Commonwealth Fund rankings, spending more than the EU average on healthcare – but its lengths of stay in hospital tend to be higher than in other countries.

Image source: The Guardian


Upfront payments: yes

Data: The US scores poorly on many fronts, ranked 11th out of 11 in the Commonwealth Fund 2014 list. And yet it far outstrips all its peers in terms of the amount it spends on healthcare – a whopping 17% of GDP.

Image source: The Guardian

Read the full article here

The future of child health services: new models of care

Kossarova, L. et al. Nuffield trust. Published online: 8 February 2016

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Image source: Nuffield Trust

This report highlights what the problems are in current health care services for children and young people, and investigates how emerging new models of care could provide an opportunity to address these.

‘The future of child health services: new models of care’ sets out examples of emerging new ways of delivering care for children and young people.

The report describes the current state of child health and quality of care in the UK, including problems around increasing use of hospitals to treat conditions that could be dealt with in other settings; capacity issues in primary care; and the often disjointed care provided between hospitals and the community. It then looks some examples of new models of care – which have been emerging both within the Vanguard scheme and inspired by it – and how they are responding to these issues.

future child health2
Image source: Nuffield Trust

The report is based on a workshop run by the Nuffield Trust, as well as on presentations, discussions, case study materials submitted by representatives of the new models who attended the workshop, and published literature. It is the first report in our new series ‘The future of…’, which is looking at the future of service delivery in various specialisms within the health service.

Read the full report here

Read the related blog post here

New NICE Quality Statement: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adults

NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.
This quality standard covers the assessment, diagnosis and management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It does not cover prevention, screening or case finding. For more information see the COPD topic overview.

This quality standard was previously called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease quality standard.

In February 2016, this quality standard was updated. A new statement on emergency oxygen during an exacerbation has been added and the other quality statements have been updated.

Read the full guidance here

Summary of the latest news on digital innovation in the NHS

1. Grainger, T. NHS England News. What’s new in the world of digital primary care.

We are now well into 2016 and January has been such a busy month, moving full speed ahead with lots of public engagements, giving me the chance to talk about our key priorities and our great work in Primary Care as well as what we have planned throughout the year.

The children’s health digital strategy is gathering pace rapidly and our first design workshop was a great success. The level of feedback and involvement from participants has been extremely positive and creating a lot of energy amongst health care providers, commissioners and supplier market.

The input so far has really helped us to shape the Children’s Digital Strategy. We now have an initial draft that is being refined as we gather more intelligence and input from our different stakeholders.


Read the full article here


2. Illman, J. HSJ. Hunt says £1.8bn will be spent on ‘paper free NHS’.

  • Hunt announces £1.8bn of funding earmarked to “create a paper free NHS”
  • Appears to be an increase on £1bn over five years allocated in last year’s spending review
  • The announcement involves no new money for health overall
  • Details of the source of the funding and plans for spending it are not clear
  • The health secretary has indicated he is increasing the amount of funding allocated for moving to a paperless at the point of care NHS by 2020.

Jeremy Hunt said in an announcement today that £1.8bn was being earmarked to “create a paper free NHS”. However, details such as how it compares to previously announced funding, and the source of the money, remain unclear.

The £1.8bn announced is the largest figure so far linked to the programme to bring about paper free at the point of care services by 2020.

It appears to be an increase on the commitment in the government’s November spending review to spend £1bn by 2020-21 on the digital drive.

However, HSJ has confirmed today’s announcement does not involve any new money being assigned to the NHS by the Treasury. Instead it relates to how the Department of Health’s already agreed funding will be spent.

Read the full article here


Illman, J. HSJ. ‘Flip’ incentives to get NHS using tech, says US digital guru.

  • Finding ways to incentive digital adoption is one of “fundamental challenges” for Robert Wachter’s digital review
  • American “meaningful use” programme has been “mostly successful but still flawed”
Image source: Bob Mical

US digital health expert Professor Robert Wachter has said finding ways to change the financial and regulatory incentives in the NHS to encourage digital adoption is one of the “fundamental challenges” for his government-backed review.

Speaking exclusively to HSJ about his review, which Jeremy Hunt said in October was part of trying to ensure the NHS becomes a world leading digital health system, he talked about addressing several overarching challenges.

These included clinical engagement, the balance between central and local leadership, and financial and regulatory incentives.

Read the full article here