Why do clinicians and managers struggle to work together?

We asked NHS staff to share their personal experiences of this fragile relationship. The results are surprising | The Guardian

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With an army of more than 1.5 million staff, a £116bn budget and millions of patients to look after, it’s crucial that the NHS is well managed. But three years ago the landmark Francis report warned of serious problems. “Clinicians must be engaged to a far greater degree of engagement in leadership and management roles,” it said. “The gulf between clinicians and management needs to be closed.”

Has the relationship between clinical and managerial staff improved since then? Last year, research by the Nuffield Trust suggested financial pressure was compounding the problem, with many staff worried that “relationships are likely to deteriorate over the coming year”. The report concluded: “There is a long way to go.” We asked clinicians and managers to share their personal experiences of this fragile relationship.

Read the full news story here

Eight elements of workplace wellbeing

A new poster and web section has launched to show the eight elements that are critical to delivering a robust and effective health and wellbeing offer for your staff | NHS Employers

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Image source: NHS Employers

All eight elements need to be in place in order to ensure your wellbeing strategy is as effective as possible. Communication and leadership are essential to create a healthy culture in your organisation, where staff are fully supported.

For more information on the featured points, view the vital signs: eight elements of workplace wellbeing web section.

NHS efficiency map: updates

The HFMA and NHS Improvement have worked in partnership to update and revise the NHS efficiency map.

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Image source: HFMA

The map is a tool that promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes (CIPs) in the NHS. The map contains links to a range of tools and guidance to help NHS bodies improve their efficiency.

The national focus on improving efficiency and productivity will mean taking local action to deliver savings remains a priority for all NHS organisations. Aimed at NHS finance directors and their teams and other NHS staff with an interest in the delivery of CIPs, the purpose of the NHS efficiency map is to highlight existing resources on eliminating waste, increasing efficiency and at the same time improving quality and safety.

The map is split into three sections: enablers for efficiency, provider efficiency and system efficiency. The map highlights the successes some NHS providers have had in delivering specific efficiency schemes and provides sign-posts to existing tools and reference materials. It also includes updated definitions for different types of efficiency.

The map will be updated as new tools and case studies are produced.

The case studies produced to date are:

Information and Digital Technologies: Clinical Requirements 2020

Breakthroughs in the use of data and technology are changing the way we live our lives. Adaptation of these changes has been relatively slow in healthcare, but there is now an increasing focus on learning how to use these technologies to improve the way we deliver care for our patients | Academy of Royal Medical Colleges

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Image source: AoMRC

Policy developments in the digital agenda at a national level have been supported by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges setting out its vision for NHS information systems in 2013 and the National Information strategy for a digital NHS in 2014.

The aim of this document is to ensure that clinical priorities are met and reflected at a national level. It is the list of clinical requirements setting out what information and communication technologies clinicians would expect in 2020 in the work environment. These standards have been designed to establish a level of detail that will inform decision-making and enable accountability.

As 2020 approaches Clinicians should see the tangible areas of improvement in data and technology and use it to modernise and improve the quality of care we are able to deliver for our patients.

Read the full report here

How #bigdata is being mobilised in the fight against leukaemia @ConversationUK @GUcancersci

In a project funded by Bloodwise and the Scottish Cancer Foundation, we have created LEUKomics. This online data portal brings together a wealth of CML gene expression data from specialised laboratories across the globe | Lorna Jackson & Lisa Hopcroft for The Conversation

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Image source: Paulo Henrique Orlandi Mourao – Wikimedia // CC BY-SA 3.0

Our intention is to eliminate the bottleneck surrounding big data analysis in CML. Each dataset is subjected to manual quality checks, and all the necessary computational processing to extract information on gene expression. This enables immediate access to and interpretation of data that previously would not have been easily accessible to academics or clinicians without training in specialised computational approaches.

Consolidating these data into a single resource also allows large-scale, computationally-intensive research efforts by bioinformaticians (specialists in the analysis of big data in biology). From a computational perspective, the fact that CML is caused by a single mutation makes it an attractive disease model for cancer stem cells. However, existing datasets tend to have small sample numbers, which can limit their potential.

Read the full blog post here

Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline

Tea drinking reduces the risk of cognitive impairment in older persons by 50 per cent and as much as 86 per cent for those who are genetically at risk of Alzheimer’s, new research suggests | ScienceDaily

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The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50 per cent, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86 per cent.

The research team also discovered that the neuroprotective role of tea consumption on cognitive function is not limited to a particular type of tea — so long as the tea is brewed from tea leaves, such as green, black or oolong tea.

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research article here

Frequent interactions with grandparents lowers the age of autism diagnosis

Children who have older siblings or frequent interaction with grandparents are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) earlier than those who do not, according to new research | ScienceDaily

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Study results show that approximately 50 percent of friends and family members reported that they had suspected a child to have a serious condition before they were aware that either parent was concerned. Maternal grandmothers and teachers were the two most common relationship categories to first raise concerns

While interactions with grandparents and friends played an important role, family structure also impacted the age of diagnosis. Children with no siblings were diagnosed 6 to 8 months earlier than children with siblings. Among children with siblings, children with older siblings were diagnosed approximately 10 months earlier than those without older siblings, suggesting that older siblings may serve as a reference point, helping parents calibrate whether younger siblings are on target developmentally.

Read the commentary here

Read the original research article here