Online Mental Health Support For Young People

This report from the Education Policy Institute aims to provide insight into the efficacy of online counselling for children and young people. 

The report reviews the current literature on online counselling for children and young people. Through an analysis of local data it also assesses how young people respond to the Kooth model, an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform, before setting out recommendations for further research.

The report  finds Kooth online counselling to be popular and effective in increasing access to care and providing choice. The anonymous nature of the service was found to be a big benefit for children and young people.

Full report: Online Mental Health Support for Young People

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High-impact innovations for patient benefit

App that helps pregnant women monitor hypertension among new NHS innovations that will save lives and improve treatment | NHS England

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A wireless sensor that better detects breathing rate in hospital patients, an app to help pregnant women monitor hypertension and another that directs patients with minor injuries to treatment units with the shortest queues are among the latest innovations set to be spread across the NHS.

Eleven projects are being backed in the latest round of NHS England’s programme to develop and spread pioneering ideas, equipment and technology that have the potential to save lives as well as money.

Further detail of this latest round of the NHS Innovation Accelerator (NIA) programme  can be found at NHS England

 

 

Cyber attack and the NHS

Investigation: WannaCry cyber attack and the NHS | The National Audit Office

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This report investigates the NHS response to the cyber attack in May 2017 and the impact it had on health services.  The report concludes that the attack could have been prevented if the NHS had followed IT security best practice.

The key findings of the investigation are:

  • The Department was warned about the risks of cyber attacks on the NHS a year before WannaCry and although it had work underway it did not formally respond with a written report until July 2017
  • The attack led to disruption in at least 34% of trusts in England although the Department and NHS England do not know the full extent of the disruption
  • Thousands of appointments and operations were cancelled and in five areas patients had to travel further to accident and emergency departments
  • The Department, NHS England and the National Crime Agency have said that no NHS organisation paid the ransom, but the Department does not know how much the disruption to services cost the NHS
  • The cyber attack could have caused more disruption if it had not been stopped by a cyber researcher activating a ‘kill switch’ so that WannaCry stopped locking devices
  • The Department had developed a plan, which included roles and responsibilities of national and local organisations for responding to an attack, but had not tested the plan at a local level
  • NHS England initially focused on maintaining emergency care
  • NHS Digital have said that all organisations infected by WannaCry shared the same vulnerability and could have taken relatively simple action to protect themselves
  • The NHS has accepted that there are lessons to learn from WannaCry and is taking action.

Full report: Investigation: WannaCry cyber attack and the NHS

See also: NHS ‘could have prevented’ WannaCry ransomware attack | BBC News 

‘Data revolution’ crucial to transformation

A ‘data revolution’ across health and care services in England is vital if local areas are to transform the way care is delivered | NHS Confederation

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The NHS Confederation has launched a new series of guides to help board members to better understand data across the healthcare system and its role in transforming care.

Produced in association with healthcare intelligence provider CHKS, the guides for non-executive directors (NEDs) aim to kick start a ‘data revolution’ by looking at how data can be used to drive improvement, provide effective oversight and support the transformation of care. The first guide is aimed at NEDs in acute care, and examines activity in both primary and secondary care settings and considers the role of data sharing in bringing about efficiency savings.

Full document: The non-executive director’s guide to NHS data. Part one: Hospital activity, data sets and performance

 

Digital Technology and health

Patient Carers and Service User Vision | National Information Board | Department of Health

This policy paper examines how changes in digital technology can be used to improve patient, carer and service user experiences of health services. The document will allow people to understand why and how changes are being introduced and to see whether the planned improvements are really happening.

New care models: harnessing technology

New care models: harnessing technology | NHS Confederation

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This report explores how five vanguards are implementing innovative digital technology solutions. It suggests that the starting point for the introduction of any new technology should always be from the perspective of the end user and that end-users should always be involved in the co-production of technological solutions.

Full report: New care models: harnessing technology

Additional link: NHS Confederation press release

Plans announced to fast-track NHS digital technology

New technology designed to improve patient access, won’t solve the GP workforce problem, lead doctors have said today | OnMedica

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Image source: opensource.com – Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s GP Committee, has responded to health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s promise that every patient should be able to access medical records and book an appointment via an integrated app in 2018.

The health secretary is to outline the measures at today’s Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester.

The digital expansion plans include:

  • The expansion of the existing NHS 111 non-emergency phone line service to include a new online ‘triage’ service for less serious health problems.
  • An NHS-approved health apps to guide patient choice – NHS England will launch a library of NHS-assessed apps, as well as advising on other wearable devices, to ensure people can select reputable and effective products to monitor and improve their health.
  • A relaunch of the NHS Choices website to improve the range of services – it will be relaunched as NHS.UK with a fuller range of online patient services, including the ability to register with a GP, see and book appointments, and order and track prescriptions.
  • Instant access to personal health records online – inspired by the ‘blue button’ app in the US, the new NHS.UK site will also enable patients to securely download their personal health records.
  • More interactive, local information about the performance of health services.

Read the full overview here