Royal College of Anaesthetists: Centre for perioperative care

Royal College of Anaesthetists| June 2019 | Centre for perioperative care

The Centre for Perioperative Care (Perioperative Care (CPOC)  is a cross-specialty centre dedicated to the promotion, advancement and development of perioperative care. It  is a new cross-organisational, multidisciplinary initiative led by the Royal College of  Anaesthetists to facilitate cross-organisational working on perioperative care for patient benefit.

Full details from the Royal College of Anaesthetists

Stub it out

Association of Optometrists | July 2019| Stub it out

The Association of Optometrists have launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the association between smoking and sight threatening conditions. A recent poll highlights that round 20 per cent of people (a fifth)  who smoke do not recognise that smoking can cause blindness or sight impairment. 



The campaign signposts smokers to free help that is available to encourage them to stop smoking.  They also underline that optometrists can provide a full eye health check as part of a routine appointment and can help detect diseases early, whether you are a smoker or not (Source: Association of Optometrists).

In the news:

BBC News Smoking ‘damages eyes as well as lungs’ 

Of interest:  Office for National Statistics Adult smoking habits in the UK Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2017 

Association Between Reported Long Working Hours and History of Stroke

Fadel, M. 2019 | Association Between Reported Long Working Hours and History of Stroke in the CONSTANCES Cohort | Stroke |

Long working hours are recognised as a risk factor for stroke.  Now French researchers have investigated the possible association in a large general population cohort.


Background and Purpose

Long working hours (LWHs) are a potential risk factor for stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate this association in a large general population cohort.


We used the French population-based cohort, CONSTANCES (Cohorte des Consultants des Centres d’Examens de Santé), to retrieve information on age, sex, smoking, and working hours from the baseline, self-administered questionnaire. Other cardiovascular risk factors and previous occurrence of stroke were taken from a parallel medical interview. We defined LWH as working time more than 10 hours daily for at least 50 days per year. Participants with primarily part-time jobs were excluded as were those with stroke before LWH exposure. We used logistic models to estimate the association between LWH and stroke, stratified by age, sex, and occupation. In additional modeling, we excluded subjects whose stroke occurred within 5 years of the first reported work exposure.


Among the 143 592 participants in the analyses, there were 1224 (0.9%) strokes, 42 542 (29.6%) reported LWH, and 14 481 (10.1%) reported LWH for 10 years or more. LWH was associated with an increased risk of stroke: adjusted odds ratio of 1.29. Being exposed to LWH for 10 years or more was more strongly associated with stroke, adjusted odds ratio of 1.45 . The association showed no differences between men and women but was stronger in white-collar workers under 50 years of age.


This large analysis reveals a significant association between stroke and exposure to LWH for 10 years or more. The findings are relevant for individual and global prevention.

Full article available from Stroke 


In the news: BBC News Long working hours ‘linked to stroke risk’

Investing in The NHS long-term plan

The Health Foundation | June 2019 | Investing in The NHS long-term plan

In a new briefing The Health Foundation analyses the challenges for health and social care following the publication of  the NHS long term plan, and looks at the implications of  the plan for activity levels and the workforce in the NHS in England  (Source: The Health Foundation).

Or download from here

Investing in  The NHS long term plan Job done?

Read the publication online from the Health Foundation 

Cochrane: Different ways to reduce consumption of sugary drinks

Cochrane | June 2019 |Different ways to reduce consumption of sugary drinks

The latest Cochrane review looks at how the consumption of sugary drinks might be reduced at population level. The review summarises evidence from 58 studies from 19 different countries, in North and South America, Australasia and Europe and South East Asia, all of which tested ways of reducing consumption of drinks containing sugar.


The review summarizes evidence of testing different ways of reducing consumption of sugary drinks, such  labelling and pricing of sugar sweetened drinks and healthy alternatives. The review also looked at broader policy initiatives such as community-based campaigns to encourage healthier choices

All of the studies included in the review were from a number of settings such as schools, homes, cafes and shops. The reviewers found some evidence that some of the measures implemented have been successful, and from this they identify a number of ways that consumption of sugar may be reduced:

These measures included:

  • Labels that are easy to understand, such as ‘traffic-light’ labels, and labels that rate the healthiness of beverages with stars or numbers.
  • Limits to the availability of sugary drinks in schools.
  • Price increases on sugary drinks in restaurants, stores and leisure centres.
  • Children’s menus in chain restaurants which include healthier beverages instead of sugary drinks as the default.
  • Promotion and better placement of healthier beverages in supermarkets.
  • Government food benefits (e.g. food stamps) which cannot be used to purchase sugary drinks.
  • Community campaigns focused on supporting healthy beverage choices.
  • Measures that improve the availability of low-calorie beverages at home, e.g. through home deliveries of bottled water and diet beverages.

Plain language summary Cutting back on sugar-sweetened beverages: what works?

Full Cochrane Review 

Further details are available from Cochrane 



NHS Trust develops text messaging service to help quit smoking

Digital Health Age | June 2019 | NHS Trust develops text messaging service to help quit smoking 

NHS patients in Gateshead who smoke and want to stop immediately are now able to access a behavioural change text message service, that is designed to provide daily ‘nudges’ of motivation and advice that can give them the support they need when they need it.

In the UK smoking is responsible for the deaths of one in five adults aged 35 and over, and around half of long-term smokers will die as the result of their addiction.


Rob Allcock, chest physician at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead said: “Whilst smoking rates across Gateshead have fallen by more than a third over the last eight years, smoking remains our largest cause of preventable death and it’s critical we continue to provide the region with education, information and support to help people put a stop to their addiction.”

The smoking cessation service was designed and developed by the Trust’s Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) team and launched in January 2019. Since its launch six months ago, hundreds of patients have accepted support to stop smoking and have benefited from daily support via their mobile phones.

GDE project lead Mark Hurrell said: “Patients discharged from hospital, those planned for admissions and outpatients are now asked if they smoke and all smokers who wish to stop are uploaded onto the mobile phone based service. Patients are then sent a series of motivational support messages over a three-month period and are also directed to appropriate stop smoking support”. (Source: Digital Health Age )

Full, unabridged story is available from Digital Health Age 

A data-driven approach to cancer care

This publication brings together healthcare experts to discuss the potential of a data-driven approach to cancer care. 


The following articles show how data are currently shaping the delivery of cancer care, how to gain the most from data that are currently available and how to maximise the potential of this data in the future:

  • Health inequalities data tell an unjust tale of two cities
  • Simple changes could improve cancer care now
  • The right data?
  • The evolution of cancer data to improve patient care
  • Accelerating research and improving patient care
  • Building a picture of patient benefit
  • How NICE can keep pace with science

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

Chairs and non-executives in the NHS: The need for diverse leadership

NHS Confederation | June 2019 | Chairs and non-executives in the NHS: The need for diverse leadership

A new report from NHS Confederation examines the arrangements for the recruitment and appointment of chairs and nonexecutives within the NHS (NHS non-executives include chairs and non-executives). As the report demonstrates, the progress and gains made in the early 2000s towards a more diverse board leadership in NHS trusts (including foundation trusts) has gone into reverse or made no progress. As a community of leaders, chairs and non-executive directors are often not representative of the communities they serve and the staff they govern.


Chairs and non-executives in the NHS: The need for diverse leadership

See also:

NHS Confederation Report finds NHS chairs and non-executives more white and more male – it is ‘a wake up call for the health service’

In the news:

BBC News NHS report on trust board diversity ‘a wake-up call’

Local authorities will continue to commission public health services

Review recommends that councils and the NHS work more closely to co-commission public health services, including health visiting and school nursing | Department of Health and Social Care

The review, conducted by the Department of Health and Social Care, recommends that the NHS work much more closely with local authorities on public health so that commissioning is more joined-up and prevention is embedded into a wider range of health services.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, the government committed to reviewing commissioning arrangements for some local authority-commissioned public health services.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the departmental review found that local authorities take an active and efficient approach to commissioning services. He also praised local councils for their work in commissioning public health services and confirmed they will continue to lead on this important work.

He acknowledged that many local authorities have taken steps to improve and modernise the services they commission, including through digital delivery, such as online STI testing.

Full story at Department of Health and Social Care


Government response to the ‘First 1000 days of life’ report

Department of Health and Social Care | June 2019 | Government response to the ‘First 1000 days of life’ report

The Department of Health and Social Care have published the Government’s response to the ‘First 1000 days of life’ report published by the House of Commons in February 2018. 

Government response to the Health and Social Care Select Committee report on ‘First 1000 days of life’