RCGP: Mental health and wellbeing resource

Royal College of Physicians | February 2020 |Mental health and wellbeing resource 

A new online resource from the RCP aims to shine a spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of physicians by opening up the conversation about mental health issues and their impact. 


Burnout, work-related stress, mental illness and suicide are increasingly recognised within the physician workforce. Doctors are not good at seeking help: often denying there is a problem, not recognising there is a problem, being fearful of any stigma, feeling guilt about burdening others with difficulties, or even having anxieties about possible job loss.

This mental health and wellbeing resource has been created to help you recognise the warning signs in yourself and others, as well as know about the steps you can take to stay well and seek the right support when you need it. It also shines a spotlight on what the RCP is doing to influence and improve the healthcare system in which we work.

Visit the resource here RCP


RCGP press release 


NHS Employers: Financial wellbeing guide

NHS Employers | January 2020 | Develop a financial wellbeing strategy

NHS Employers has recently developed a new financial wellbeing guide to support employers in developing a robust and supportive financial wellbeing strategy for their staff.

Their guide has a four-step approach to follow and can be used by all organisations regardless of which stage they might be at.

It looks at how to embed a strategy and get senior-level support, what resources and help you can signpost your staff to and what positive interventions there are.

Having financially healthy staff is important to your organisation as it could:

  • improve staff productivity
  • reduce sickness absence
  • increase performance and productivity.

What does being financially healthy look like?

If a person has good financial health, they are likely to be able to:

  • manage debts
  • save for the future
  • be worry free from financial stress

Financial wellbeing guide
Full details from NHS Employers 

£1.5 billion to deliver Government commitment for 50 million more general practice appointments

Government and NHS commit an additional £1.5 billion in total for general practice | Department of Health and Social Carestethoscope-1584223_1920

The Government and NHS England have committed at least an additional £1.5 billion for general practice over the next four years for additional staff, a key step towards delivering 50 million more appointments in general practice by 2024.

In addition to the Government’s commitment to invest in general practice under the Long Term Plan, this funding is for the recruitment of 6,000 more primary care professionals as well as for initiatives to support the recruitment and retention of doctors in general practice.

In agreement with the profession, the General Practice Contract for 2020/21 will also offer more check-ups for new mums as part of a major deal with England’s family doctors.

Also included in the agreement are regular visits for care home residents, assessing medication and new incentives to increase uptake of vaccinations and learning disability health checks, expand social prescribing referrals, and improve prescription safety checks.

Expanding the new workforce will allow GPs to focus on the sickest patients and will in time allow them to provide longer appointments to people who need one.

Full story at Department of Health and Social Care

Matron’s handbook for aspiring and experienced matrons

NHS Improvement | February 2020 |Matron’s handbook

This handbook is a practical guide for those who aspire to be a matron, those who are already in post, and for organisations that want to support this important role.

It can be used to prepare ward, department and service leaders for the matron’s role, and to support newly appointed matrons. 

Although some aspects remain the same: providing compassionate, inclusive leadership and management to promote high standards of clinical care, patient safety and experience; prevention and control of infections; and monitoring cleaning of the environment. The role has also grown significantly, to include: workforce management; finance and budgeting; education and development; patient flow; performance management; and digital technology and research (Source: NHS Improvement). .

The matron’s handbook

Commissioning liaison psychiatry services

The research in this report sought to identify the challenges faced by commissioners of liaison psychiatry services, and to see if these challenges were shared by hospital managers and mental health clinicians working within the services | Centre for Mental Heath

liaison psychiatry
Image source: http://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/

Commissioning liaison psychiatry services identifies four key issues facing commissioners:

  • It was felt that liaison services were subject to more tightly defined national frameworks than previously, which could limit their flexibility to respond to local needs
  • Liaison services were not always well connected with other mental health services
  • The creation of Integrated Care Systems provides an opportunity for joint commissioning of liaison services which could help to improve their consistency and connectedness
  • It was felt that there was insufficient data about activities or outcomes of liaison services, which made it more difficult to implement improvements

The report outlines a number of recommendations, including calls for acute hospitals to take a thorough audit of all mental health provision, and to adopt the outcome measurement framework proposed by Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Full document: Commissioning liaison psychiatry services | Centre for Mental Health

Population Health Management

Population Health Management (PHM) is a new approach which helps us understand
people’s health and care needs and how they are likely to change in the future. It aims to
improve physical and mental health outcomes, reduce health inequalities and help us live our extra years in better health. This case study looks at how integrated care systems are using population health management to improve health and wellbeing.

Full document: Population Health Management: Understanding how integrated care systems are using population health management to improve health and wellbeing

Thinking differently about commissioning

In recent years, national policy within the English NHS has promoted collaboration as a
key tool for improving health services. This report explores the implications of these ways of working for the development of integrated care systems, how NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams operate, and wider ways of working among NHS national bodies.  


This report aims to understand the approach being taken by some CCGs and local systems that are rethinking the role of commissioning; draw out learning for other areas as they work to change their approach; and explore the national policy implications of this new way of working and what national NHS bodies can do to support its development.

It is based around two CCGs (South Tyneside and Tameside and Glossop) and one group of CCGs (Bradford district and Craven).

Full report: Thinking differently about commissioning: learning from new approaches to local planning | The King’s Fund

Review of capital expenditure in the NHS

Review of capital expenditure in the NHS |National Audit Office

The NHS capital budget is for the construction of new buildings and the replacement of medical and other equipment. Capital investment is essential for modernising and improving the quality of care and for achieving the changes that will make the NHS sustainable in the longer term. This report sets out the facts on capital investment in the NHS. It draws on and expands on issues we cover in our annual report on NHS financial sustainability.

It includes:

  • the age of the NHS estate and rising maintenance costs;
  • the allocation of the capital investment budget;
  • sources of capital funding;
  • challenges to planning and delivering an effective capital strategy.

Full report: Review of capital expenditure in the NHS

NHS financial management and sustainability

This eighth report on the financial sustainability of the NHS summarises the financial and operational performance of the NHS as a whole in England in 2018-19; examines the financial performance of local NHS organisations; and examines NHS service transformation and sustainability.  

The report finds that the NHS is treating more patients but has not yet achieved the fundamental transformation in services and finance regime needed to meet rising demand. It argues that the short‑term fixes that DHSC, NHS England and NHS Improvement put in place to manage resources in a constrained financial environment are not sustainable. The extra money brought in to stabilise the finances of NHS bodies has continued to drive volatility and variability among trusts, while patient waiting times continue to deteriorate and the number of people waiting for treatment continues to increase.

To bring about lasting stability, the report states that the NHS needs a financial restructuring programme not just a recovery programme. If integrated care systems are to be successful it claims, funding mechanisms and incentives need to support collaborative behaviours.

Full report: NHS financial management and sustainability| National Audit Office