New standards for nurses and midwives

NHS Employers | May 2018 | New standards for nurses and midwives

The nursing and midwifery council (NMC) has launched a new framework for the education and training of nurses and midwives, and new standards of proficiency that nurses will be required to meet before they can apply for registration. The new standards were updated yesterday.

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The new standards represent the knowledge, skills and attributes that all future registered nurses must demonstrate to deliver safe, compassionate and effective nursing care. The framework for education and training sets out what nurses and midwives will need to know, and be able to do, by the time they apply for registration (NHS Employers).

They are available from the NMC 

How do people feel about their data being shared by the NHS?

Healthwatch | May 2018 | How do people feel about their data being shared by the NHS?

Healthwatch, in conjunction with ComRes,  polled a little over 2,000 people earlier this year to find out more about their views and concerns on sharing their data. Later this month (25 May), the NHS will give patients the choice to opt out of their confidential patient information being used for reasons other than their individual care. Now Healthwatch have shared the results of this survey on their website (via Healthwatch).


The key findings:

  • Nearly three quarters of adults (73%) told Healthwatch they would be happy for the NHS to use their information to improve the healthcare treatment of others
  • 53% said they were more aware of data security issues than they were three years ago.
  • A little over half (57%) also said they were more concerned about how their data generally is being used.
  • Most of the respondents (85%) were aware of the hacking scandal
  • Just over half of the people we polled (53%) said they were more aware of data security issues than they were three years ago.
  • 57% also said they were more concerned about how their data generally is being used.

The full news item is available from Healthwatch

Health, ageing and support survey: 2017

Results of Ipsos MORI research into the views of people aged 50 or over on health, ageing and support for 2017 | Department of Health and Social Care


This report provides the results from an Ipsos MORI survey of the views of people aged 50 or over on health, ageing and support. The survey was conducted on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care, and fieldwork took place between 3 January and 19 February 2017.

Key findings:

  • People aged 50 and over are slightly less positive about their health than a year ago, but still take their physical and mental health seriously. Eating healthily is seen as important for both physical and mental health, though nearly half do not think a healthy lifestyle can prevent dementia.
  • Fewer people than last year say they would take to their GP if they were worried about their memory.
  • Loneliness continues to be seen as a big problem for older people and most think society is not doing enough to prevent it.
  • Views are less positive than a year ago about whether the government has the right policies about care and support services, and about whether care and support services work well with the NHS to provide co-ordinated care.
  • People continue to be more confident about the safety of older people in hospitals than in nursing or residential homes.
  • Concern about meeting the cost of care and support services has increased since last year. However, this has not translated into greater action and people are still not preparing substantially for the financial cost of care and support they might need.

This report is the second of 2 surveys. The first survey took place in 2016.

Full document: Health, ageing and support: survey of views of people aged 50 and over

Taking prevention drug in combination with aspirin- may prevent major stroke risk, says US study

Science Daily | May 2018 | Stroke prevention drug combo shows promise, study says

According to new research patients who have a minor stroke or TIA,  who then take preventative medication may reduce their risk of having a major stroke in the next three months.  Experiencing minor stroke and TIA are warning signs that an individual has up to a 15 per cent chance of having a more severe stroke within the next 90 days.

The research from the University of Texas was part of the Platelet-Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and minor ischemic stroke (POINT) trial — a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted between May 2010 and December 2017. It included patient information from 10 countries throughout North America, Europe and Australia. Patients were included if they had a minor stroke or a transient ischemic stroke and were at high risk of having a major stroke.

The trial has found that taking the clot-preventing drug clopidogrel along with aspirin could lower the risk of experiencing a major stroke in the  three months after the TIA (via Science Daily).

The findings have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine
where the full article can be read



Combination antiplatelet therapy with clopidogrel and aspirin may reduce the rate of recurrent stroke during the first 3 months after a minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). A trial of combination antiplatelet therapy in a Chinese population has shown a reduction in the risk of recurrent stroke. We tested this combination in an international population.


In a randomized trial, we assigned patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk TIA to receive either clopidogrel at a loading dose of 600 mg on day 1, followed by 75 mg per day, plus aspirin (at a dose of 50 to 325 mg per day) or the same range of doses of aspirin alone. The dose of aspirin in each group was selected by the site investigator. The primary efficacy outcome in a time-to-event analysis was the risk of a composite of major ischemic events, which was defined as ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction, or death from an ischemic vascular event, at 90 days.


A total of 4881 patients were enrolled at 269 international sites. The trial was halted after 84% of the anticipated number of patients had been enrolled because the data and safety monitoring board had determined that the combination of clopidogrel and aspirin was associated with both a lower risk of major ischemic events and a higher risk of major hemorrhage than aspirin alone at 90 days. Major ischemic events occurred in 121 of 2432 patients (5.0%) receiving clopidogrel plus aspirin and in 160 of 2449 patients (6.5%) receiving aspirin plus placebo, with most events occurring during the first week after the initial event. Major hemorrhage occurred in 23 patients (0.9%) receiving clopidogrel plus aspirin and in 10 patients (0.4%) receiving aspirin plus placebo (hazard ratio, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.10 to 4.87; P=0.02).


In patients with minor ischemic stroke or high-risk TIA, those who received a combination of clopidogrel and aspirin had a lower risk of major ischemic events but a higher risk of major hemorrhage at 90 days than those who received aspirin alone. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; POINT number, NCT00991029.)

Full reference:
Johnston, S. C., et al. |Clopidogrel and Aspirin in Acute Ischemic Stroke and High-Risk TIA| New England Journal of Medicine| 2018 | DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1800410

Obesity services

The current landscape of obesity services |  The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Obesity 

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This report presents the findings of an inquiry which sought to gather a body of evidence highlighting the current provision of obesity services, identify the barriers to better provision and sought to establish a consensus around potential solutions.  The report makes a number of recommendations which includes the development of a national obesity strategy.

Key findings of the report: 

  • 88% of people with obesity who took part in the survey have been stigmatised, criticised or abused as a result of their obesity.
  • 94% of all respondents believe that there is not enough understanding about the causes of obesity amongst the public, politicians and other stakeholders.
  • 42% of people with obesity did not feel comfortable talking to their GP about their obesity.
  • More than one third of people with obesity who completed the survey stated that they have not accessed any lifestyle or prevention services.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including:  

  1. A national obesity strategy for both adult and childhood obesity should be developed and implemented by the Government, with input from key stakeholders. This should look to strengthen existing services and replicate best practice across the country.
  2. Obesity/weight management training should be introduced into medical school syllabuses to ensure GPs and other healthcare practitioners feel able and comfortable to raise and discuss a person’s weight, without any stigma or discrimination.
  3. The Government should implement a 9pm watershed on advertising of food and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt to protect children during family viewing time.
  4. The Government should lead or support efforts by the clinical community to investigate whether obesity should be classified as a disease in the UK, and what this would mean for the NHS and other services.
  5. The Government should commission or support the development of a thorough, peer-reviewed cost benefit analysis of earlier intervention and treatment of people with obesity.

Full report: The current landscape of obesity services

Housing- Getting People Home from Hospital

Housing LIN| May 2018 | New interactive map shows a wide range of projects preventing delayed discharges from hospital due to a housing issue

A new interactive tool developed by the Housing LIN and Foundations provides an insight into a wide range of projects across England, delivered by providers of housing support and local housing authorities to prevent delayed discharges from hospital due to a housing issue
(Housing LIN)


The map shows NHS England- reported data showing the number of delayed discharges of care as a result of housing issues across England. In the 2017 calendar year, NHS hospital trusts reported over 110,000 days lost due to delayed discharges due to a housing or related issue.
The interactive tool can is available here