Library cuts harm young people’s mental health services

Professional body Cilip highlights work helping troubled youngsters and warns that reduced funding will shunt problems on to NHS and police | via The Guardian

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Public libraries’ significant role supporting the mental health of young people risks being undermined by swingeing budget cuts forced on local authorities, the head of their professional body warned this week. He added that, if funding is not protected, the work of libraries as frontline information resources for young people in need will be pushed on to the already overstretched police, health and social services.

It is estimated that one in 10 UK children experience mental health problems, as do one in four adults. Nick Poole, head of the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (Cilip),  told the Guardian that cuts to local library services would “continue to bite the availability of dedicated resources such as advice on anxiety, stress, exams and bullying”. He warned: “Under-investing in our libraries simply pushes costs elsewhere and means that a young person growing up today has less help and is more vulnerable to the impact of mental health problems on their life.”

Read more at The Guardian

 

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NHS Indicators: England, January 2017

The House of Commons library has published NHS Indicators: England, January 2017.

The full briefing paper looks at trends in the following areas:

  • Accident & Emergency attendance and performance
  • Ambulance demand and response times
  • Waiting times and waiting lists for routine treatment
  • Waiting times for cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Cancelled operations
  • Delayed discharges and transfers of care
  • Diagnostic waiting times and activity
  • Waiting times for mental health treatment
  • Workforce numbers for doctors, nurses and other staff
  • Hospital activity, referrals and admissions
  • Bed availability and occupancy

Access the full report here

Hospital performance

The NHS Combined Performance Summary is a monthly release of data on key performance metrics for the NHS. Here are some of the most important aspects relating to quality. The Health Foundation has issued a statement about this month’s data release, which can be read here.

For more in-depth analysis of the data over time, visit the QualityWatch indicators.

 

Revalidation and appraisal of General Practitioners

The General Medical Council has published Sir Keith Pearson’s review of revalidation Taking Revalidation Forward: improving the process of relicensing for doctors

 

The report highlights evidence that patients expect there to be systems in place for checking that doctors continue to be safe to practise, but they are not generally aware of the important role they can play in this process.  The report includes recommendations for easing the burden on doctors engaging in the revalidation and appraisal process.

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence & Digital Diagnosis

How artificial intelligence could provide some respite for the NHS | The Conversation

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Earlier this month, the  NHS announced plans to trial an artificially intelligent mobile health app to a million people in London. The aim is to help diagnose and treat patients by engaging them in a real time text message conversation which will complement the NHS 111 phone based service.

The NHS app is simple to use and has been likened to using the social messaging service WhatsApp – but with one crucial difference: the conversation takes place with a computer, not a person. Once the app is downloaded, users log their basic health information, and then start explaining their symptoms. The robotic “responder” will say things like: “I just need a few details from you before we get started,” and “nearly there” to keep the conversation going.

Read more via The Conversation

 

Child ‘sugar scourge’: thousands having teeth removed in hospital

More than 40,000 children and young people a year are having rotten teeth removed in hospital in further evidence of what doctors call the “costly scourge of sugar” | via The Guardian

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Experts say annual figures for England obtained by the Local Government Association (LGA) show the need for tougher curbs on sugar in children’s diets. The NHS figures obtained by the LGA show that 40,800 under-18s in England had at least one tooth taken out last year under general anaesthetic because of decay.

Performing the procedures cost £35.6m. The children involved had such advanced decay that they could not be treated by a dentist and had to go to hospital instead. NHS surgeons carried out 161 such operations each working day.

Full story via The Guardian

Royal College of Physicians: ‘Quality of patient care threatened’

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Members of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have  written to the prime minister, Theresa May MP, to set out their concerns about the capacity and resources needed to meet the demands on the NHS.

The letter was signed by RCP president Professor Jane Dacre and 49 members of Council, representing 33,000 doctors across 30 specialties as well as 750 physician associates.

They say in their letter that the increase in patient need is outpacing the resources available, that services are ‘too often paralysed by spiralling demand to transform and modernise’, hospitals are ‘over-full, with too few qualified staff’ and services are ‘struggling or failing to cope’, and there are ‘increasing reports of staff contemplating the sad decision to leave the NHS’.

The Council members say that ‘current investment levels are not sufficient to meet current or future patient needs’ and the immediate actions needed are ‘the reinvigoration of social care services and urgent capital investment in infrastructure’.