Dementia and comorbidities

Dementia Rarely Travels Alone: living with dementia and other conditions | Alzheimers Society

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A report on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia’s inquiry that was held last year in to dementia and comorbidities. The inquiry has brought to light the scale of difficulty faced by people living with dementia and other health conditions.

Despite significant progress to deliver integrated care services and support, the health and social system frequently treats conditions in isolation so that people with dementia and other health conditions receive disjointed, substandard care and treatment.

The report identifies the changes needed across the healthcare system so that the NHS can meet the challenge of caring for people living with dementia and other conditions, supporting them to live fulfilled lives and makes recommendations as to how this can be achieved.

View the full report: Dementia  Rarely Travels Alone: living with dementia and other conditions

Statistics on Smoking, England – 2016

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This statistical report presents a range of information on smoking which is drawn together from a variety of sources. The report aims to present a broad picture of health issues relating to smoking in England and covers topics such as smoking prevalence, habits, behaviours and attitudes among adults and school children, smoking-related ill health and mortality and smoking-related costs.

The topics covered include:

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Part 1: Smoking patterns in adults

Part 2: Smoking patterns in children

Part 3: Availability and affordability of tobacco

Part 4: Behaviour and attitudes to smoking

Part 5: Smoking-related costs, ill health and mortality

Each part provides an overview of the key findings on these topics, as well as providing links to sources of further information and relevant documents.

The future of public services: digital patients

This report highlights the important role app and wearable technology will play in healthcare. It finds that the emergence of wearable and app technology in healthcare presents policymakers with an unprecedented opportunity to engage patients in their own healthcare. It concludes that, if care teams had access to user-generated data, it could enrich their understanding of the patient and how best to manage their condition.

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Read the full report: The future of public services: digital patients.

Watch the interview with researcher William Mosseri-Marlio below:

Lung cancer survival rate increases by 73 percent if caught early

The UK Lung cancer screening trial has demonstrated that patients with a high risk of developing lung cancer can be identified with early stage disease and have up to a 73 percent chance of surviving for five years or more. | via Science Daily

B0007212 Lung cancer cells
Image shows Lung cancer cells. Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK. Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The UK Lung cancer screening trial (UKLS) has been successfully completed and demonstrated that patients with a high risk of developing lung cancer can be identified with early stage disease and have up to a 73% chance of surviving for five years or more. The UKLS trial was conducted by experts in the University of Liverpool.

The UKLS was undertaken in partnership with Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital, Papworth Hospital and the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital with the aim of highlighting the need for a screening programme to help benefit people who are at risk of developing lung cancer.

The results of the UKLS trial provide further evidence for the UK National Screening Committee (UKNSC) to consider when making a decision whether to implement a national screening programme in the UK in the future.

Funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme the trial was the first and only lung cancer screening trial to take place in the UK and has provided in depth information on how to set up a national lung cancer CT screening programme, including using a risk prediction model to identify high risk individuals in the population.

Read more from Science Daily here

Link to the research: Field, J.K. et. al.  The UK Lung Cancer Screening Trial: a pilot randomised controlled trial of low-dose computed tomography screening for the early detection of lung cancer. Health Technology Assessment, 2016; 20 (40): 1

Discharging older patients from hospital

The National Audit Office has published Discharging older patients from hospital.  The report finds that the health and social care system’s management of discharging older patients from hospital does not represent value for money. The spending watchdog estimates that the gross annual cost to the NHS of treating older patients in hospital who no longer need to receive acute clinical care is in the region of £820 million.  The report highlights that, while some efforts to rectify the situation have been made, an ageing population and an increase in older people being admitted to hospital requires there to be a step change in performance to resolve the problem.

bed days
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Additional links: BBC News report    Healthwatch

Related: Kings Fund Blog:  David Oliver looks at the findings of the new National Audit Office report and considers why hospitals are still failing to discharge older people in a timely way. Why is it more difficult than ever for older people to leave hospital?

Suicide by children and young people in England

Bereavement, bullying, exams and physical health conditions such as acne and asthma are some of the experiences linked to suicide in children and young people according to a new report by The University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH).

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Researchers studied the reports from a range of investigations and inquiries on 130 people under the age of 20 in England who died by suicide between January 2014 and April 2015, extracting information about their personal circumstances that the reports highlighted. This is the first time there has been a national study of suicide in children and young people in England on this scale.

The researchers found that 28% of the young people who died had been bereaved, in 13% there had been a suicide by a family member or friend. 36% had a physical health condition such as acne or asthma, and 29% were facing exams or exam results when they died. Four died on the day of an exam, or the day after.

The full report is available to download here

An infographic summary of the report can be downloaded here

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GPs use of alternatives to face-to-face consultations

A study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, aims to identify the frequency and range of ways general practice teams are providing alternatives to face-to-face consultations, or have plans to do so.

Using alternatives to face-to-face consultations: a survey of prevalence and attitudes in general practice is published in the British Journal of General Practice and concludes that despite policy pressure to introduce consultations by email and internet video, there is a general reluctance among GPs to implement alternatives to face-to-face consultations. This identifies a substantial gap between rhetoric and reality in terms of the likelihood of certain alternatives changing practice in the near future.

Full reference: Brant, H et. al. Using alternatives to face-to-face consultations: a survey of prevalence and attitudes in general practice British Journal of General Practice. 

Improving the physical health of patients with serious mental illness

New toolkit for mental health trusts and commissioners | via NHS England

NHS England have produced a practical toolkit for mental health trusts and commissioners, designed to help them improve the physical health of patients with serious mental illness. The toolkit looks at different approaches to implementing the Lester screening tool.

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NHS England has worked with staff and patients in four mental health trusts to improve the cardiovascular (CVD) health outcomes and reduce premature mortality in people with serious mental illness.

CVD is the biggest cause of death in this patient group. The toolkit builds on the findings from this project and shares materials from the four pilot sites that other trusts can build on and adapt for their own use locally.

The project was independently evaluated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists which found that:

  • Inpatients receiving all five recommended CVD screens increased from 46% across all sites at baseline to 83% at follow-up.
  • Interventions delivered to those who needed them as a result of appropriate screening rose from 79% to 94%.

Full document: Improving the physical health of patients with serious mental illness – a practical toolkit

GPs cut antibiotic prescriptions by 2.6m in just one year

NHS Improvement says overall reduction in antibiotic prescriptions of 7.3% in just one year
image source: samantha celera – Flickr//CC BY-ND 2.0

The number of antibiotics being prescribed to patients by GPs in England has fallen significantly according to latest figures.

NHS Improvement say prescriptions for all types of the drug were down by more than 2.6m, compared with last year, to about 34m in 2015-16.

Heralding the drop as a “fantastic result” the health watchdog said the figures showed doctors were being careful not to over-prescribe antibiotics, the BBC reported.

More from  NHS Improvement here

BBC News: GPs praised for ‘dramatic’ cut in antibiotic prescriptions