Low job satisfaction driving managers out of NHS

Survey finds three in five managers plan to leave the NHS within five years.
Over half would not recommend a career as an NHS manager. | via Health Service Journal

Four fifths of managers planning to leave the NHS say changes in workload and job satisfaction are to blame. According to a survey by trade union Managers in Partnership, 60 per cent of 394 of its members are planning to leave the NHS in the next five years, either to retire or seek alternative employment.

Of this 60 per cent, the majority said changes in the NHS affecting their job satisfaction was their main reason for wanting to leave the health service. Slightly fewer respondents said changes that have affected their workload and health was their reason for leaving.  Over half – 54 per cent – of all respondents said they would not recommend a career as an NHS manager to family and friends.

Full story at Health Service Journal

Britain’s High Streets are getting unhealthier

New report finds Britain’s High Streets are getting unhealthier, with a clear link between deprived areas and unhealthy High Streets | Royal Society for Public Health

In 2015 the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) published the report ‘Health on the High Street’. The publication looked at the impact of different outlets on health and the potential cumulative effect these outlets could have on a local population. This report seeks to rerun the analysis to assess whether there has been much change in the last three years.

high street
Image source: http://www.rsph.org.uk

Based on the findings, the Royal Society for Public Health has ranked 70 of Britain’s major towns and cities by the impact of their high streets on the public’s health and wellbeing. The rankings are based on the prevalence of different types of businesses found in the towns’ main retail areas and rate Grimsby as having the unhealthiest high street, with Edinburgh coming out as the healthiest.

The top 10 “unhealthiest” British high streets were ranked as being in Grimsby; Walsall; Blackpool; Stoke-On-Trent; Sunderland; Northampton; Bolton; Wolverhampton; Huddersfield; and Bradford.

The top 10 “healthiest” British high streets were ranked as Edinburgh; Canterbury; Taunton; Shrewsbury; Cheltenham; York; Brighton & Hove; Eastbourne; Exeter; and Cambridge.

The RSPH said that average life expectancy for people living in areas with the top 10 healthiest high streets was two and a half years longer than for those in the 10 unhealthiest ranked areas.


The report makes the following recommendations that aim to inject new life into our high streets:

  • HM Treasury to review how businesses are taxed to ensure that online businesses are not put at an unfair advantage compared to the high street
  • Facebook and Google to provide discounted advertising opportunities to local, independent health-promoting businesses
  • Local authorities to support meanwhile use of shops by making records on vacant commercial properties publically accessible
  • Vape shops to ensure all customers who smoke are aware of their local stop smoking service
  • Councils to set differential rent classes for tenants based on how health-promoting their business offer is
  • Business rates relief for businesses that try to improve the public’s health
  • Industry and all businesses selling food on the high street – cafés, pubs, fast food outlets, convenience stores, leisure centres – to reduce the calories in their products
  • The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to provide local authorities with the power and support to restrict the opening of new betting shops and other unhealthy outlets where there are already clusters
  • Local authorities nationwide to introduce A5 planning restrictions within 400 metres of primary and secondary schools

Full report: Health on the High Street: Running on empty | RSPH


Work-related stress, anxiety and depression is estimated to be responsible for 57 per cent of work absences

Work-related stress and mental illness now accounts for over half of work absences | Health and Safety Executive (HSE)  | Daily Telegraph


For the first time, work-related stress anxiety or depression accounts for over half of all working days lost due to ill health in Great Britain.

In total, 15.4 million working days were lost in 2017/18 as a result of the condition, up from 12.5 million last year. This equates to 57.3 per cent of the 26.8 million work days lost to ill health according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A spokesperson from HSE said: “The fact that work-related stress, anxiety and depression is estimated to be responsible for 57 per cent of the working days lost to ill health shows how important it is for employers to take action.”

Full document: Health and safety at work: Summary statistics for Great Britain 2018 | HSE

News article: Work-related stress and mental illness now accounts for over half of work absences | Daily Telegraph

Latest alcohol and drug treatment statistics

Public Health England has published the latest alcohol and drug treatment statistics, which are for April 2017 to March 2018


The report contains a wide range of data, which includes trends over recent years. This Public Health Matters article focuses on the following issues that this year’s statistics have shown:

  • Alcohol treatment numbers are still falling
  • Crack cocaine treatment numbers are still rising
  • Better data on drugs and mental health problems
  • Better data on parental substance misuse
  • Housing and homelessness

All the data points towards treatment services needing to reach out to the most vulnerable people in their population and to make sure they are able to respond to changing patterns of need.

More information on the treatment statistics can be found in the report summary  and in the full report, including all the data tables and charts.

Full article: What we’ve learned from the latest alcohol and drug treatment statistics

Full report: Substance misuse treatment for adults: statistics 2017 to 2018

Public Health England has conducted a rapid inquiry to better understand what was behind the fall in numbers of people in treatment for alcohol dependence in England. The report,PHE inquiry into the fall in numbers of people in alcohol treatment: findings’ sets out findings from the inquiry as well as recommendations and next steps.

Breast screening: leading a service

Information for local providers and commissioners on leading NHS breast screening services | Public Health England

This guidance sets out the principles for the organisation and leadership of local breast screening services.  The guidance is aimed at those who are responsible for making sure breast screening services are managed in a professional and effective way. This involves meeting agreed standards and continually striving to improve performance.

The guidance looks at the following areas:

1.Senior leadership team roles

2.Core management skills for the senior leadership team

3.Organisation of screening services

4.Breast screening service workforce

Full guidance: Breast screening: leading a service

The NHS breast screening programme (BSP) covers the screening pathway from identification of the eligible population to diagnosis of women with breast cancer.

Related content:  NHS breast screening (BSP) programme

Cannabis-based products for medicinal use

Some doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients from today as a change in the law comes into effect throughout the UK | story via OnMedica

However, the power to legally issue prescriptions for cannabis-based medicines will not apply to GPs and will only be given to specialist, expert doctors who focus on one field of medicine such as neurology or paediatrics and are listed on the GMC’s specialist register.

NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care published guidance yesterday on the subject, providing details of how the change should work in practice.

Personalised cancer care

This report considers how a better collection and use of data can significantly improve cancer outcomes | Reform

This report finds that a more effective use of data could bring about much-needed improvements in cancer care. The new model of cancer care proposed in this paper looks at how data could be examined and used at every stage of the treatment journey, from prevention and diagnosis through to treatment and recovery. Making better use of data will not only improve cancer outcomes but will also enable the NHS to manage the disease far more effectively, now, and in the future.

The cancer dashboard, currently run by Public Health England, is an online interface for all cancer related information. Going forward, the authors recommend the dashboard  be extended to become the single point of access for cancer outcomes data in England.

Alongside an improved cancer dashboard, the report also recommends data must be shared effectively and promptly between different stakeholders to ensure patients have the best possible care experience. This is especially important in cancer care as a patient normally interacts with many different parts of the health service.

Full report: A data-driven approach to personalised cancer care | Reform

Stronger protection from violence for NHS staff

The NHS violence reduction strategy includes measures to better protect staff and prosecute offenders more easily | Department of Health and Social Care

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock is announcing the first ever NHS violence reduction strategy. The new, zero-tolerance approach aims to protect the NHS workforce against deliberate violence and aggression from patients, their families and the public, and to ensure offenders are punished quickly and effectively.

The strategy includes:

  • the NHS working with the police and Crown Prosecution Service to help victims give evidence and get prosecutions in the quickest and most efficient way
  • the Care Quality Commission (CQC) scrutinising violence as part of their inspection regime and identifying trusts that need further support
  • improved training for staff to deal with violence, including circumstances involving patients with dementia or mental illness
  • prompt mental health support for staff who have been victims of violence

The most recent NHS staff survey showed that more than 15% of NHS employees have experienced violence from patients, their relatives or the public in the last 12 months – the highest figure for 5 years.

To understand the reasons behind the rise in reported violence, the strategy will allow staff to more easily record assaults and other incidents of abuse or harassment.

Full detail at Department of Health and Social Care


Plant-based or vegan diet linked to better diabetes control and wellbeing

New research shows that plant-based diets were associated with improvement in several areas for adults with type 2 diabetes including emotional well-being, physical well-being, depression, quality of life and general health | BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care | via OnMedica


Research published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care analysed 11 trials of diet interventions, including a total of 433 adults with type 2 diabetes, that had clearly defined health outcomes and were peer-reviewed. The findings revealed that plant-based diets were associated with significant improvement in emotional well-being, physical well-being, depression, quality of life, general health, HbA1c levels, weight, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in adults with type 2 diabetes compared with several diabetic associations’ official guidelines and other comparator diets.

Whilst the review authors noted the  limitations of the study, they concluded that plant-based diets can significantly improve psychological health, quality of life, HbA1c levels and weight and therefore the management of diabetes.

Full reference: Toumpanakis A, et al. |  Effectiveness of plant-based diets in promoting well-being in the management of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review | BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care | published online 30 October 2018

See also:

Social media boost for breast screening

More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

An NHS project using social media to improve health by boosting digital inclusion has led to a 13 per cent increase in first time attendances for breast screening in Stoke-on-Trent over four years.

The local initiative saw information about screening posted on Facebook community groups, which empowered and enabled women to make appointments by reducing their anxiety around breast examinations. It also allowed them to communicate quickly and easily with health practitioners to ask questions about the screening process.


Through this project, the North Midlands Breast Screening Service promoted their Facebook page on local community groups which their target group – women aged over 50 – regularly visited.

The screening team posted information such as patients explaining about how the screening process works and how it has affected them, and videos showing the rooms where it takes place. Posts were designed to encourage women to share them and so spread the message about the benefits and importance of screening.

The service’s Facebook page also answered questions in the group and by direct messaging, enabling women to book appointments more easily.

Full detail: More women attend for breast screening thanks to success of digital inclusion project | NHS Digital

See also: Social media could help raise breast screening take-up | OnMedica