Long term conditions and prescription charges

The Prescription Charges Coalition has launched a new survey looking at the ways in which prescription charges affect the lives of people in England with long-term conditions.


At the moment, people with long term conditions in England who work have to pay for their medicines, because the list of illnesses that qualify for free prescriptions is limited and out of date.  The prescription charges coalition is campaigning for all people with long-term conditions to receive free prescriptions.

Find out more about the campaign, at the Prescription Charges Coalition website.

Working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

The Local Government Association has published Public health working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector: new opportunities and sustainable change.

The case studies in this report show how public health and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) are working together to make a real difference to people’s health and wellbeing.

Download the full report here

Screening tests and early pregnancy scanning leaflets updated

Public Health England has updated and rebranded its leaflets on screening tests and pregnancy scans: 

Screening tests for you and your baby:

This booklet gives information on the screening tests offered during pregnancy and after the baby is born. It is available in English and 12 other languages.

Information about the first trimester scan:

This publication sets out early pregnancy ultrasound scan information which has been updated with rebranded artwork:

  • purpose of the scan
  • what will happen in the scan room
  • procedures for after the scan
  • what happens if a problem is found or suspected
  • what will happen if the scan cannot be completed

General practice nursing

Health Education England has published The General Practice Nursing Workforce Development Plan.

Image source: http://www.hee.nhs.uk

This report aims to offers guidance and steps that can be taken to improve general practice nursing recruitment and retention, and encourage nurses to return to the profession by setting out how best to respond to the current and anticipated workforce challenges at both strategic and local levels.


Key report recommendations include:

  • improving training capacity for the general practice nurse workforce by providing access to accredited training to equip them for each level of their role;
  • raising the profile of general practice nursing, to increase the uptake of the role as a first-destination career;
  • developing GPN educator roles to cover all CCG areas, including the promotion of mentor training for all GPNs  to retain the knowledge and expertise of existing GPNs; and
  • the development of a sustainable and easily accessible ‘how-to’ toolkit and web based resource to support the implementation of general practice nursing workforce initiatives.
  • a nationwide standardised general practice nursing ‘return to practice’ education programme which includes a general practice placement, mentorship and appropriate support to meet the NMC requirements for ‘return to practice’.

Full report is available here

Smoking cessation in secondary care: acute and maternity settings

Self-assessment framework for NHS acute trusts to develop local action to reduce smoking prevalence and the use of tobacco. | Public Health England

This self-assessment tool breaks down the NICE guidance into 4 areas:


  • systems required to implement the guidance
  • communication required
  • training that will help staff to successfully implement the recommendations
  • treatments that should be available to support staff and service users

This self-assessment tool supports all of the recommendations applicable to acute services in the NICE guidelines on Smoking cessation in secondary care.

Public Health England has also developed a suite of resources including a self-assessment tool to support the implementation of NICE guidance in mental health settings.

NHS staff survey results 2016

NHS England publishes latest staff survey results

This year’s NHS staff survey has found that overall staff engagement has reached a peak, indicating that staff felt that they have opportunities to show initiative and contribute to improvements at work.


The proportion of staff reporting witnessing errors and adverse incidents is the lowest it has been since 2012. This year’s survey data is available in an interactive dashboard format which enable users to benchmark their data against other organisations more easily.

See also:

Domestic abuse: a resource for health professionals

Responding to domestic abuse: a resource for health professionals | Department of Health

Image source: http://www.gov.uk

This resource looks at how health professionals can support adults and young people over 16 who are experiencing domestic abuse, and dependent children in their households.

It will help health staff to identify potential victims, initiate sensitive routine enquiry and respond effectively to disclosures of abuse. Commissioners will gain insight into services to support people experiencing domestic violence and abuse, and the importance of joined-up local strategic planning.

The resource draws on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence multi-agency guidelines on domestic violence and abuse, and provides:

  • the legal and policy contexts of domestic abuse in England
  • information for commissioners on effective integrated care pathways
  • information for service providers on shaping service delivery
  • what health practitioners need to know and do
  • information to ensure the right pathway and services are in place locally

Full document: Responding to domestic abuse: a resource for health professionals

Budget announcement is ‘good news’ for health and social care

Spring Budget 2017 | NHS Confederation


Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond yesterday announced a series of measures to support better integration of health and social care. The move has been welcomed by the NHS Confederation as news that the government has ‘finally woken up’ to the struggles faced by hospitals and community services.

Yesterday’s announcements included:

  • an extra £2bn in funding for social care across the next three years, with £1bn available in the next year to allow local authorities to act now to commission new care packages. This funding will act as a bridge to the Better Care Fund, which becomes available towards the end of this parliament
  • a Green Paper to be published in the autumn setting out the options for the future funding of social care
  •  £100m investment to go towards accident and emergency departments in 2017-18 to help them prepare for winter and provide more on-site GP facilities
  • £325m investment in a small number of STPs that are ready ahead of schedule, to allow the plans to proceed
  • further investment where necessary for other STPs, with a further announcement in the Autumn Budget around a multi-year capital investment programme for the implementation of STPs across England




National Diabetes inpatient audit

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership has published National Diabetes Inpatient Audit, England and Wales 2016.

The report finds that the prevalence of all hypoglycaemic episodes in hospital, both mild and severe, has decreased from 26 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2016. It also highlights that there has been an overall reduction in the prevalence of the most severe, life-threatening hypoglycaemia which requires injectable rescue treatment for inpatients with diabetes. This has fallen from 2.2 per cent in 2011 to 1.7 per cent in 2016.

Full report and findings available here

Knowledge transfer partnership programme announced

Knowledge Transfer Partnership announced at CSO Conference ‘Bringing Science and Innovation to the Heart of the NHS’


NHS England is set to launch its first Knowledge Transfer Partnership Programme, a 12 month development programme, aimed at clinical leaders in healthcare science.  Successful applicants who secure a place will work with other leading healthcare scientists and build long-term collaborations across clinical, research and industry sectors, whilst identifying new approaches to measuring improved outcomes, ultimately for NHS patients.