Funding for research into brain tumours announced

Each year around 11,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour and just 14% of people survive their disease for 10 or more years. Brain tumour research in the UK to receive £45 million in funding from the Department of Health and Social Care and Cancer Research UK.  An estimated £20 million will be invested through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) over the next five funding from Cancer Research UK  will support 2 new specialised centres, The Children’s Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence, based at the University of Cambridge and The Institute of Cancer Research, London.
A centre specifically for adults with brain tumours will open later this year.

This announcement follows the release of the report of the Task and Finish
Working Group on Brain Tumour Research led by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Chris Whitty.  There will be a formal call to research teams to put forward innovative new proposals, to access NIHR funding in April.

For further details see the links below

NIHR: £45 million investment for brain cancer research

Department of Health and Social Care: Brain cancer research to receive £45 million funding

Choosing the right care home is stressful say 7 in 10 adults

Participants in a survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) rated choosing residential care for family as one of life’s more stressful experiences. Their survey (n equal to 1000) asked participants to rank their stress level during key life events, such as organising a wedding and finding a child a nursery or school place. 70% of the sample who were responsible for choosing care in a care home or at home – for themselves or a loved one – within the last three years rated choosing a care home as the most stressful life event. (via Healthwatch)

Over half (52%) of people surveyed  cited choosing a care home and 31% had cited choosing care at home in their top three most stressful life decisions.

There was some variation in experience across the country, with the highest proportion of people in the North East (60%), Yorkshire and Humber (56%) and the North West and East Midlands (both 54%) saying that choosing a care home was their most stressful life decision.  These regions are some of those where CQC has found the highest proportion of adult social care services rated as Requires Improvement and Inadequate.

The findings have been published to raise awareness of how CQC’s inspection reports can be used to inform decision making about care, currently only 50 per cent of those looking into care options were consulting CQC’s reports. Of these, three-quarters acknowledged they provided them with a better understanding of the quality of care provided.

Care Quality Commission Choosing care is one of life’s most stressful experiences but trusted information can help, finds CQC

Healthwatch  Choosing care can be stressful

Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors

This report shares learning and insight from services that are using innovative ways to address the problem of multiple unhealthy risk factors in their populations | The King’s Fund

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This new report from the King’s Fund draws on interviews and information from eight case studies in local authorities and the NHS and updates the evidence base on tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors.

Previous research by The King’s Fund has shown that unhealthy behaviours cluster in the population. Around seven in ten adults do not follow guidelines on tobacco use, alcohol consumption, healthy diet or physical activity, yet most behaviour change services address these behaviours separately, not reflecting the reality of people’s lives.

Most services included in the report are local authority led and are integrated health and wellbeing services. These provide behavioural advice and support to people across a range of different behaviours, including smoking, weight management and physical activity.

Full report: Tackling multiple unhealthy risk factors: emerging lessons from practice

Summary available here

Under pressure – a long hard winter for our health service

Nuffield Trust Newsletter: February 2018


As the cold weather continues, the Nuffield Trust reflects on how the health and social care sectors have been coping with extra pressure this winter in a series of blogs.

Meeting the demands of winter and beyond:

The resilience of those working in the NHS and social care is being tested to its limits this winter. With the current cold snap postponing any early end to the pressure on services,  Assistant Director of Policy, Ruth Thorlby, looks back at how health and social care have been surviving this season’s extra pressures, and where action is needed now in advance of next winter.

What do winter pressures mean for paediatric care?

Children make extensive use of the NHS, yet adult care tends to dominate the winter pressures debate. Clinical Fellow Dr Susannah Pye looks at how pressures on services impact on patients like 9-month-old Ollie.

Winter pressures data: where are the blind spots?

Clinical Fellow Dr Becks Fisher says the pressures reported in hospitals are painfully felt in the community too, but we don’t have comprehensive data to show what this means in practice.

NHS 111: understanding the impact on urgent and emergency care

NHS 111 has been criticised for directing a high proportion of patients to A&E, which may add to pressures felt during winter. But are callers to NHS 111 less likely to visit A&E if they speak to a doctor or nurse?

Two projects aiming to relieve pressure on busy services

Two improvement projects supported by the Health Foundation have been thinking differently about ways of reducing pressure on stretched services – pressures which often become most visible and acute during winter.

The Health Foundation Newsletter is available here

Diabetes diagnosis has doubled since 1998

The incidence of diabetes has doubled in the last twenty years according to figures released by Diabetes UK, the leading UK diabetes charity.   This analysis shows 1.9 million more people living with a diagnosis of the condition in the UK, since 1998.  The number of individuals diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes has increased by almost 100,000 since last year to 3,689,509.   (Diabetes UK)

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Nationally, 6.6 per cent of the population live with the condition.  In Bradford, West Yorkshire over 1 in 10 people have diabetes, this is  the highest incidence  according to the figures. Richmond, London had the lowest at 3.6 per cent.

Diabetes UK calls on the Government to introduce stricter restrictions on junk food advertising to children and on supermarket promotions of unhealthy foods. Chief Executive Chris Askew said: “We want the Government to recognise the seriousness of the growing diabetes crisis, take action to help those at increased risk, and help us turn the tables on this devastating condition.”

To support this Diabetes UK partners the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme in England. This programme supports adults who are at high risk of Type 2 diabetes to make lifestyle changes that could reduce their risk.

The full news story can be read at Diabetes UK 


The Royal College of General Practitioners  Doubling of diabetes cases could reflect better early diagnosis, but is still ‘dramatic and disappointing’, says RCGP


In the media:

The Guardian: Diabetes diagnoses have more than doubled in 20 years, UK analysis suggests

The Pharmaceutical Journal:  Diabetes diagnoses have almost doubled in the last 20 years, says leading UK charity


NICE consultations

Endometriosis Quality standard consultation 

The consultation is open until 16 March, the comments form can be downloaded from NICE

The briefing paper includes a brief description of the topic, a summary of each of the
suggested quality improvement areas and supporting information it can be accessed here 

Acute coronary syndromes:Draft scope consultation 

This guidance will partially update the following:

  • (CG94)
  • (CG172)
  • (CG167)
  • (CG130)

The consultation closes 19 March 2018, details and project documents from NICE

Unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment-resistant essential tremor: Interventional procedure consultation: 2

The consultation closes 22 March 2018

The consultation documents are available from NICE

Intranasal phototherapy for allergic rhinitis: Interventional procedure consultation

The consultation closes 22 March 2018

The consultation documents are available from NICE

Laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy for internal rectal prolapse

The consultation closes 22 March 2018

Interventional procedure consultation document  can be accessed here 

Women are more likely to cut out foods than go to their GP if they experience persistent bloating, finds cancer charity

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, the charity Target Ovarian Cancer are raising awareness of the major symptoms of the cancer through their ‘Take Ovar’ campaign. This follows research by the charity which shows that women in the UK are more likely to make changes to their diet, for example by eating more probiotic yoghurts or cutting out gluten rather than visit their GP, when they experience bloating,  a major symptom of ovarian cancer. 

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Previous research by Target Ovarian Cancer also showed that women over 55 – who are most likely to develop ovarian cancer – are least likely to google their symptoms, leaving them at risk of a delayed diagnosis. Just a third of women over 55 (34 per cent) would do this, compared to almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of 18-24 year olds.

The full campaign details are available at  Target Ovarian Cancer 

The King’s Fund and The Nuffield Trust’s analysis of the British Social Attitudes survey reveals decline in patient satisfaction with the NHS

Robertson, R. et al  |2018 | Public satisfaction with the NHS and social care in 2017: Results and trends from the British Social Attitudes survey | Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund.

A survey conducted between July and October 2017 asked 3004 adults in England, Scotland and Wales them about their satisfaction with the NHS overall. The Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund have analysed the responses from the annual British Social Attitudes Survey. 

Their analysis highlights public opinion on the NHS, it found satisfaction with GP services fell to 65% in 2017,  which is the lowest level of satisfaction with GP services since the survey began in 1983 and the first time that general practice has not been the highest rated service.

Key findings

Satisfaction with the NHS overall

  • Public satisfaction with the NHS overall was 57% in 2017 – a 6 percentage point decrease from the previous year. At the same time, dissatisfaction with the NHS overall increased by 7 percentage points to 29% – its highest level since 2007.
  • Older people were more satisfied than younger people: 64% of those aged 65 and over were satisfied with the NHS in 2017 compared to 55% of those aged 18 to 64. Between 2016 and 2017, satisfaction fell among all age groups.
  • 4 main reasons given for being  satisfied with the NHS overall were:
  1. the quality of care
  2. the fact that the NHS is free at the point of use
  3. the attitudes and behaviour of NHS staff
  4.  the range of services and treatments available
  • 4 main reasons that people gave for being dissatisfied with the NHS overall were:
  1. staff shortages
  2. long waiting time
  3. lack of funding
  4. and government reforms.

The full analyses can be viewed at The Nuffield Trust  and The King’s Fund 

The full briefing is available here

In the media:
The Financial Times Public satisfaction with the NHS declines sharply

BBC News Satisfaction with GP services at record low

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report on breast cancer finds inequalities in diagnosis, treatment and care based on where you live

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer | A Mixed Picture: An Inquiry into Geographical Inequalities and Breast Cancer | 2018

A Mixed Picture: An Inquiry into Geographical Inequalities and Breast Cancer has found that people in England are experiencing differences in their diagnosis, care and treatment due to their location rather than their clinical need. In response to this the APPG ran an inquiry from October 2016 to November 2017 to discover where and why inequalities arise and what the possible solutions might be.

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Evidence presented to the inquiry showed some innovative and high performing services, but  unacceptable differences exist at every level of geography. Some regions of the country perform better in certain areas of care or treatment than others. Stark differences in the availability of services can also occur within very local geographies, from town to town or even within individual towns and cities.

This report outlines key recommendations to address these disparities, the authors call on NHS England and Public Health to address these inequalities through better workforce planning and data collection; as well as calling for  improving the consistency, transparency and accountability of commissioning and delivery of cancer services through new NHS improvement and structures.

The report can be read here 


Public Health England recommends a community-based approach to health and wellbeing

Public Health England | Health matters: community-centred approaches for health and wellbeing

New guidance from Public Health England (PHE) focuses on community centred approaches to health and wellbeing, outlining to professionals how to create the conditions for community assets to thrive. 

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PHE’s guidance includes successful interventions and case studies from across England.

As well as having health needs, all communities have health assets that can contribute to the positive health and wellbeing of its members, including:

  • the skills, knowledge, social competence and commitment of individual community members
  • friendships, inter-generational solidarity, community cohesion and neighbourliness
  • local groups and community and voluntary associations, ranging from formal organisations to informal, mutual aid networks such as babysitting circles
  • physical, environmental and economic resources assets brought by external agencies including the public, private and third sector

Community-centred ways of working are important for all aspects of public health, including health improvement, health protection and healthcare public health. It’s not about expecting communities to do more and saving public money but about investing in more sustainable and effective approaches to reduce health inequalities.

The guidance outlines a range of community-centred approaches: strengthening communities, the role of peers and volunteers, collaboration and partnerships with communities and local services and improving access to community resources.

The guidance can be read in full at PHE