The Open University | May 2018 | The Open University: Tackling the nursing shortage
Tackling the nursing shortage, the new publication from The Open University considers the financial impact of temporary staffing to address the shortage, which the report describes this as “an expensive, short-term approach to plugging the gaps – [as] it costs the NHS nearly £1.5 billion a year.” It also outlines many of the factors driving the shortage, suggesting that new routes into the profession, like apprenticeships, can help to plug the gap and future-proof the nursing workforce in the long-term (Open University).
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Using data obtained by The Open University under the Freedom of Information Act, the report calculates that if the hours currently worked by temporary staff were instead covered by permanent nurses, the NHS could save as much as £560 million a year. This funding could otherwise be used to pay for continuing professional development or improved services.
The report can be downloaded from The Open University
In the media:
The Telegraph Nurse shortages cost the NHS up to £2.4 billion last year
The Independent NHS spending £1.5bn a year on temporary nurses as staff leave in droves, study reveals
A flexible tool to support local authorities make transparent, evidence-based spending decisions across public health programmes | Public Health England
Local public health teams are facing increasingly complex and challenging decisions over what services to invest in and disinvest from. The Prioritisation Framework is designed to help local authorities conduct a systematic prioritisation exercise, by greatly reducing the burden and complexity of the task.
The approach is based on Multi Criteria Decision Analysis, a recognised decision support technique which has been successfully used in a variety of contexts.
Throughout the tool users are provided with extensive guidance and links to other relevant resources. A supporting materials pack is available from the PHE Health Economics team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHS Improvement has published Special measures for finance reasons: guidance for trusts. This guidance describes how special measures work for financial reasons. A list of the trusts currently in special measures is also available.
This report aims to take stock of what has happened within the NHS over the past quarter.
The report finds that more patients are facing long waits for hospital treatment, with those experiencing the longest waits often most in need of treatment. With demand for services continuing to rise, the authors suggest it is very unlikely that meeting waiting time targets will become more achievable.
The report also finds that:
- nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of finance directors felt that patient care has worsened in their local area in the past year. Just 4 per cent said it had improved
- more than half (52 per cent) of trust finance directors said they expected their organisation to end 2017/18 in deficit. A third (32 per cent) were fairly or very concerned about meeting financial targets agreed with national NHS bodies
- demand for services continues to soar – admissions from A&E jumped by 6.8 per cent in January 2018 compared to January 2017, reaching 389,649
- more positively, progress on reducing delayed discharges from hospitals has continued to improve, with 145,3180 total days delayed in December 2017, the lowest total since September 2015.
Full report: How is the NHS performing? March 2018 quarterly monitoring report
NHS Improvement has published documentation relating to Approved Costing Guidance. The Approved Costing Guidance forms a co-ordinated approach to patient-level costing (PLICS), the reference costs collection and the reference costs assurance programme.
NHS England has published Commissioner Sustainability Fund and financial control totals for 2018/19: guidance. This document provides details of a targeted fund to support those clinical commissioning groups that would otherwise be unable to live within their means for 2018/19.