New guidance to support shift workers in healthcare

NHS Employers | February 2020 | New guidance to support shift workers in healthcare

NHS Employers have produced guidance to support the significant number of staff that deliver around-the-clock care are shift workers.

Poorly designed shift patterns together with irregular sleep patterns and environmental factors can have a detrimental impact on employee health and patient outcomes.

The Health Safety Executive reported that poorly managed shift patterns can increase sickness absence rates, presenteeism, increased at-work errors and patient safety incidents, and associated costs.

The publication contains information on:

  • how shift work can impact on health, safety and wellbeing
  • what actions employers and employees can take
  • the importance of partnership working on shift working patterns. Full details from NHS Employers

NHS RightCare: Epilepsy toolkit

NHS RightCare | February 2020 | Epilepsy toolkit 

NHS RightCare  in partnership with Epilepsy Action, SUDEP Action and Young Epilepsy, this Epilepsy Toolkit will support systems to understand the priorities in epilepsy care and key actions to take. It provides opportunity to assess and benchmark current systems to find opportunities for improvement. It is produced with reference to an expert group of stakeholders and is supported by NICE.

RightCare epilepsy toolkit

Full details from NHS RightCare

Population health management

This report describes population health management (PHM) approaches across ten different areas of England.  It sets out the benefits these approaches are bringing to patients and organisations, and the challenges that are being faced | NHS Clinical Commissioners

Population health management (PHM) – the use of data to identify specific groups within a population that may have similar characteristics and similar needs, and develop targeted interventions to meet those needs – was a notable theme of the NHS Long Term Plan.

This report brings together PHM stories from ten different areas of England to demonstrate the progress that has been already been made in advancing this approach to healthcare, and what more will need to be done.

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It shows that clinical commissioners are a key enabler of population health management approaches because they are well-connected across primary care and secondary care, with strong clinical leadership embedded in real-world practice. However, the report also identifies some real challenges around information governance and data sharing between organisations.

There are already some examples of where PHM is making a positive difference to patients, as well as wider benefits such as increased satisfaction among frontline clinical teams and closer collaboration between organisations.

This report clearly demonstrates that, while CCGs are at different stages of the PHM journey and may be approaching it in different ways, those who are going down this route are seeing the benefits and providing useful learnings for others to follow.

Full report: Advancing population health management | NHS Clinical Commissioners

See also: NHS Confederation blog

Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems

This report describes the extent of inequalities that contribute to poor mental health in the UK today. It explains how certain circumstances interact with our individual risk and discusses communities that are facing vulnerabilities | Mental Health Foundation

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For centuries, mental ill-health has been overlooked, misunderstood, stigmatised and, for a long time, inappropriately treated. Much of this is now changing, although misunderstanding and stigma are not yet things of the past.

As a society, we have some way to go before the extent of mental health problems and their damage to our individual and collective wellbeing is fully recognised and comprehensively responded to. The authors of this report argue that reducing mental health problems and their effects warrants the most urgent and committed public health effort of our generation.


As this paper will show, addressing social, economic, cultural and environmental inequalities will take us a long way towards achieving this goal. It makes a clearly evidenced case for why addressing inequalities can help to reduce the prevalence of mental health problems and makes a strong call for cross-sectoral action on mental health. The report concludes with proposed actions to address mental health inequalities.

Full report: Tackling social inequalities to reduce mental health problems: How everyone can flourish equally | Mental Health Foundation

A Strategy for healthier longer lives

The Health of the Nation: a strategy for healthier longer lives | All Party Parliamentary Group for Longevity

This document sets out a strategy and action plan to realise the Government’s ambition “for everyone to have five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035 and to narrow the gap between the richest and poorest”. It makes a number of recommendations and finds that improving the health of our society needs to become a national objective, owned and driven in all places, by charities, businesses and the public, as well as government.

See also: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s speech

Improving primary and community care

Realising the neighbourhood NHS: delivering a new deal for primary care in England | The Institute of Public Policy Research

This paper provides new evidence and ideas to improve the provision of primary and community care.  It argues there should be a ‘new deal’ for general practice which should consist of:

  • creating neighbourhood care providers to deliver the ‘neighbourhood NHS’
  • offering all GPs the right to NHS employment
  • reforming new GP roles to create career progression, time to care and realistic workload
  • a radical transformation of the primary care infrastructure.

New mothers in England to receive health check six weeks after giving birth

The Guardian| February 2020 | New mothers in England to receive health check six weeks after giving birth

From April 2020 new mums in England who have babies in England will undergo an assessment of their health and wellbeing with either a GP or practice nurse at the surgery. 


The appointments will be dedicated to exploring the mother’s health and be separate to the six-week check that all babies already receive. However, many of them will occur immediately before or after the infant’s check, to make the best use of mothers’ and NHS staff’s time.

As reported in The Guardian 

NICE: appeal panel rules that NICE needs to request evidence for erenumab effectiveness in subgroup of people with chronic migraine

NICE | February 2020 | Appeal panel rules that NICE needs to request evidence for erenumab effectiveness in subgroup of people with chronic migraine

NICE has recently  published the outcome of the appeal against its final draft guidance (FAD) on erenumab (also called Aimovig and made by Novartis) for preventing chronic migraine.

Full details from NICE

NICE Neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management in people with cancer

NICE | February 2020 | Neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management in people with cancer

NICE has published its surveillance decision on Neutropenic sepsis: prevention and management in people with cancer;  NICE will not update its  guideline on neutropenic sepsis.

NICE will amend recommendation about fluoroquinolones for prophylaxis of neutropenic sepsis to add a link to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Drug Safety Update on fluoroquinolone antibiotics.

Full details available from NICE