NHS Networks – Editors Blog

UntitledChristmas gift ideas

As it’s very nearly that time of year, here is the editor’s pick of the best Christmas gifts.

The NHS Settlement Magic Set – Astound your friends with this amazing trick. Ask someone to put £10bn on the table. Which cup is it under? Keep moving the cups around, then watch their faces as you show them the empty cups. The £10bn was in your imagination the whole time!


  • The Magic Ringfence – see it move before your very eyes
  • The Old Rope Trick – take two or more NHS regulators and keep throwing money at them until they merge
  • The Vanishing Doctor – keep rubbing the profession up the wrong way until it disappears, then announce that you’re going to bring it back by magic – but don’t tell anyone how the trick is done. Also works with nurses.

(Argos, £6.99)

Hornby Improvement Engine –This OO-gauge locomotive comes in a number of models including a primary care diesel shunter and an FT-class steam engine.

Complete with an NHS England designed railway management system with fail-safe signalling and points, realistic miniature ageing population and 500-page instruction manual.

Have fun reorganising your railway as often as you like. Available track layouts: circular.

(Toys R Us, £59)

Transformation and Sustainability Piggybank – This frontloading moneybox allows you to save for the things you really want while paying for the things you really need. Each time you deposit a coin it goes straight down the back passage to keep hospitals running. Keep saving until you have nothing left.

Great way to teach children the value of creative accounting.

(John Lewis, £1.8 billion)

Clueso! – The ever-popular murder-mystery board game.  Fun for all the family as Professor Field, chief inspector of general practice is found in the library with a knife in his back clutching a copy of the Daily Mail.

Who did it? Was it Ms Hackette the journalist with an overblown exclusive or Mr Flack the CQC press officer who arranged the interview in the first place?  And where was Dr Bluster from the BMA…?

(WH Smith, £4.99)

Airfix New Model of Care – Authentic 1/72 scale model of future healthcare services with real flight capability. Flight modes include: vertical take-off, running out of fuel and crash-landing.

Choking hazard – contains unbelievable parts. Note: finished model may bear no resemblance to picture on box.

(Hobbycraft, £200 million)

Secretary of State Action Figure – Completely lifelike Jeremy Hunt doll. Roll up his shirt sleeves as he gets ready to go on a hospital visit with Simon Stevens and a BBC camera crew or goes into battle with junior doctors.

Outfits: ministerial briefs, full combat dress.

Batteries not included. Simon Stevens figure sold separately.

(Hamleys, £134,500)


Retail editor: Julian Patterson




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Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals

NHS England has commissioned and published a revised version of Transforming end of life care in acute hospitals: The route to success ‘how to’ guide.

image source: http://www.nhsiq.nhs.uk

The first version of this guide was published in 2010, this revised guide has been led by NHS Improving Quality, with contributions from The National Council for Palliative Care, Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Trust Development Authority. It aims to provide practical advice and support for front-line clinicians and leaders for the work required to transform end of life care in acute hospitals.

The Spending Review – what does it mean for health and social care?

The King’s Fund the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation have combined to publish The Spending Review: what does it mean for health and social care?  This briefing concludes that health spending will not rise by as much as expected when the NHS settlement was announced, and that funding for social care will continue to fall short of meeting need.

image source: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/

End of life care

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) dissemination centre has published Better Endings. This is the centre’s first themed review which brings together evidence from the NIHR, focusing largely on the quality and organisation of care. The review aims to help those delivering, planning or using end of life services to ensure that the right care is delivered in the right place at the right time.


Sustainability and financial performance of acute hospital trusts

This report from the National Audit Office highlights that the financial performance of acute hospital trusts has deteriorated sharply and their financial performance looks set to worsen in 2015-16. The deterioration in the financial position of NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts has been worse than expected, with their £843 million deficit in 2014-15 representing a sharp decline from the £91 million deficit reported in 2013-14.

image source: http://www.nao.org.uk

Overall, the financial position of NHS bodies worsened in 2014-15, as NHS commissioners, NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts together moved from a surplus of £722 million in 2013-14, to a deficit of £471 million.

Read the full report here

View press release here

Most cancer cases are avoidable, say researchers

Study says environment and lifestyle factors such as toxic chemicals and radiation are main cause of disease

Most cases of cancer result from avoidable factors such as toxic chemicals and radiation, according to research published online in the journal, Nature.

The findings clash with research published earlier this year which found that differences in cellular processes were the chief reason some tissues became cancerous more frequently than others. That study led to claims that certain cancers were mainly the result of bad luck, and suggested these types would be relatively resistant to prevention efforts.

The new study used four approaches to conclude only 10-30% of cancers were down to the way the body naturally functions or “luck”.

Link to the research: Substantial Contribution of Extrinsic Risk Factors to Cancer Development. Song Wu, Scott Powers, Wei Zhu & Yusuf A. Hannun  Nature. Published online 16 December 2015