Acute medical care in England: Findings from a survey of smaller acute hospitals

Nuffield Trust | September 2018| Acute medical care in England: Findings from a survey of smaller acute hospitals

The Nuffield Trust surveyed  smaller hospitals to assess the current state of acute medical care. They interviewed medical directors and lead clinicians for acute/emergency medical care during a  six-month period and found evidence of the huge challenges faced by smaller acute trusts in England, particularly in maintaining sufficient numbers of medical staff.

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The responses generated from the survey indicate that acute trusts are aware of these issues and are  experimenting with new approaches in an attempt to address them. Some of these are short-term fixes; others are more medium and long-term solutions. But no trust felt they had the ‘ideal’ model of care or anything very close to it (Source: Nuffield Trust).

The full release is available from Nuffield Trust
Download the slide deck [report] at Nuffield Trust

State of maternity services

State of Maternity Services Report 2018 – England | Royal College of Midwives

This report provides an overview of some of the ‘big picture’ trends that are taking place in the midwifery workforce and identifies some of the challenges that face the profession and maternity services. The main findings reveal that the number of NHS midwives in England rose by just 67 in the last year, despite universities turning out over 2000 newly-trained staff.

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This year the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has published individual reports for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The full RCM report can be read here
Additional links:
Press release  | RCM
From Brexit to the birth rate: why midwives are leaving the NHS – and causing a crisis | The Guardian

New flu vaccine available this winter for those aged 65 and over

A more effective flu vaccine is available this winter for those aged 65 and over, which could prevent deaths and reduce the burden on the NHS | Public Health England


Public Health England (PHE) has announced that a more effective flu vaccine will be available this winter for those aged 65 and over. The broader flu vaccination, for eligible adults under 65, will also be improved and the nasal spray vaccine to primary school children will be extended to those in year 5.

PHE’s annual flu marketing campaign will launch on 8 October. NHS England has also announced the extension of NHS seasonal influenza vaccination to social care workers and staff in the voluntary managed hospice sector.

People who are eligible for the flu vaccine this year include:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • adults aged 18 to 64 with a long term health condition
  • children aged 2 to 3 at their GP practice
  • school children in years reception, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  • pregnant women
  • health and social care workers
  • carers
  • morbidly obese people

Full detail here

See also: Flu vaccination: What you need to know about this year’s programme | Public Health Matters blog

Better physical health support for people with mental health conditions

The leaders of more than 50 organisations will meet this month at the Royal College of Nursing in London to sign an historic Charter for Equal Health and launch a new nationwide collaborative, Equally Well UK | story via Centre for Mental Health

The Charter for Equal Health offers a vision for improved physical health support for anyone living in the UK with a severe mental illness. It sets out how organisations working nationally and locally will tackle one of the biggest inequalities in health anywhere in the UK.

Today, people living with a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia have a life expectancy that is up to 20 years shorter than average. Equally Well UK will bring together organisations that have a part to play in reducing this inequality to take concerted action to achieve significant and sustained change.

Equally Well UK has been set up by Centre for Mental Health in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness and Kaleidoscope Health and Care. It is supported by the Royal College of GPs, Royal College of Psychiatrists, NHS England, Health Education England, Public Health England, NHS Improvement, Royal Collage of Nursing and many more.

More than 50 organisations have already come forward to commit to take action to ensure people with a severe mental illness get the help and support they need for their physical health. They are coming together at the Royal College of Nursing to sign the Charter for Equal Health and make their own pledges for the action they will take.

Further detail at Centre for Mental Health



Government response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme 2nd annual report

Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England| September 2018  |Government response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme 2nd annual report

This policy paper sets out a plan for action for the recommendations of the LeDeR 2nd annual report. The LeDeR 2nd annual report was published earlier this year (May 2018). It gave 9 recommendations based on the evidence from 103 reviews of deaths of people with learning disabilities undertaken between July 2016 and November 2017.

The actions will help address the inequality in life expectancy between people with learning disabilities and the wider population by ensuring that staff supporting people with a learning disability understand their needs and can make adjustments to the way care is provided, to help people reach their full potential (.

The government response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme 2nd annual report

Easy read: a response to the LeDeR report on deaths of people with learning disabilities

National conversation with health and care staff begins

Department of Health and Social Care | September 2018| National conversation with health and care staff begins

A  new digital platform called ‘TalkHealthandCare’ has been launched by the Department of Health and Social Care, for health and care staff in England to use to post ideas, questions and challenges for government.



The platform will be available on computers, phones and tablets. It will continually update to reflect the views and ideas of staff. The platform will also include events, forums and webinars for staff across the country.

TalkHealthandCare has been launched following feedback from staff that too often they do not feel valued at work.

Some of the known issues that TalkHealthandCare will seek views on include:

  • improving shift patterns and juggling home and work lives
  • speeding up the use of helpful technologies that cut out paperwork
  • training and development (Source: Department of Health and Social Care)

See the Department of Health and Social Care for the full details 

New ‘gateway tool’ Mental Health at Work

Mind | September 2018 | Half of workers have experienced poor mental health in current job

A new online ‘gateway’ tool Mental Health at Work has been launched. The gateway brings together information, advice, resources and training that workplaces can use to improve wellbeing and give employees the mental health support they need (Source: Mind).


The tool includes:

Access the Mental Health Network  here 


Mind Half of workers have experienced poor mental health in current job

In the news:

BBC | Poor mental health at work ‘widespread’


CQC calls for new national guidance to improve sexual safety on mental health wards

Care Quality Commission | September 2018 | Sexual safety on mental health wards

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) report -Sexual Safety on Mental Health Wards report- shares  findings and recommendations after reviewing incidents related to sexual safety on mental health wards. 

Their analysis of almost 60,000 reports found 1,120 sexual incidents involving patients, staff, visitors and others described in 919 reports – some of which included multiple incidents. More than a third of the incidents (457) could be categorised as sexual assault or sexual harassment of patients or staff.

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Providers and people who use services told CQC:

  1. People who use services do not always feel that they are kept safe from unwanted sexual behaviour
  2. Clinical leaders of mental health services do not always know what is good practice in promoting the sexual safety of people using the service and of their staff
  3. Many staff do not have the skills to promote sexual safety or to respond appropriately to incidents
  4. The ward environment does not always promote the sexual safety of people using the service
  5. Staff may under-report incidents and reports may not reflect the true impact on the person who is affected
  6. Joint-working with other agencies such as the police does not always work well in
  7. practice (Source: CQC)

Read the press release in full from CQC 

The report is available as a summary, easy to read format or in full from CQC

Of interest:

The BMJ  CQC: Trusts must do more to protect mental health patients from sexual abuse

Nursing Times CQC warning on sexual incidents in mental health settings

In the media:

The Guardian NHS care regulator says sexual incidents ‘commonplace’ in mental health units