Unfinished Business: An assessment of the national approach to improving cancer services in England 1995–2015

The Health Foundation | November 2018 | Unfinished Business: An assessment of the national approach to improving cancer services in England 1995–2015

A major report of the progress in cancer care during the last two decades has been released by The Health Foundation. It reports that progress has been made on reducing mortality, and improving the chances of survival and the experience of care, for people in England diagnosed with cancer. 

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Image source: .health.org.uk

Unfinished Business sets out recommendations to help close the gap in survival between England and other comparable countries.

These include: radical improvements in early diagnosis and detection of cancer, such as increasing investment in diagnostic equipment, building public understanding of cancer symptoms, improving resourcing of primary care, greater support for GPs to refer more patients and supporting collaboration across primary and secondary care (Source: The Health Foundation).

Read the report in full from The Health Foundation 

Read The Health Foundation’s press release 

Understanding the health care needs of people with multiple health conditions

The Health Foundation | November 2018 | Understanding the health care needs of people with multiple health conditions

Meeting the needs of people with multiple conditions at the same time as the NHS
is treating more patients than ever is a complex challenge. Preventing people from
developing conditions or delaying the onset of conditions will have the greatest benefits for individuals, their families, the economy and the NHS.  New research published by The Health Foundation demonstrates the importance of linking anonymised NHS data across primary and secondary care to gain greater insight into people’s care.

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  • Analysis of data in the period between 2014 to 2016 of 300,000 people in England found that a quarter of adults (25%) had 2+ health conditions, equivalent to approximately 14.2 million people in England.
  • More than half (55%) of hospital admissions and outpatient visits and three quarters (75%) of primary care prescriptions are for people living with 2+conditions.
  • Those who live in the  most affluent fifth of areas, people can expect to have 2+ conditions by the time they are 71 years old, but in the most-deprived fifth, people reach the same level of illness a decade earlier, at 61 years of age.

To improve care for people with multiple conditions it is critical that the NHS long-term plan identifies and addresses the complexity of their needs. The report sets out six steps the NHS could take to achieve this.

These are:

  • supporting those with multiple conditions to live well, for example by investing in
    self-management support for people with multiple conditions
  •  developing new models of NHS care for those with multiple conditions
  • resourcing the vital role of primary care, particularly in deprived areas
  •  designing secondary care around those with multiple conditions
  • using data and sharing information to improve care for those with multiple
    conditions, including greater data linkage
  • robustly evaluating what works.

Key points

  • Analysis of data from 2014 to 2016 for 300,000 people in England found that one in four adults had 2+ health conditions, equating to approximately 14.2 million people in England.
  • Over half (55%) of hospital admissions and outpatient visits and three quarters (75%) of primary care prescriptions are for people living with 2+conditions.
  • In the least-deprived fifth of areas, people can expect to have 2+ conditions by the time they are 71 years old, but in the most-deprived fifth, people reach the same level of illness a decade earlier, at 61 years of age (Source: The Health Foundation).

    Read the full report from The Health Foundation 

Increasing continuity of care in General Practice

The Health Foundation is supporting five large-scale GP practices and federations to carry out targeted improvement work to increase continuity of care in their practices.

The Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice programme will explore what continuity of care will look like, considering relationships between GPs and patients, and also examining whether better information and management practices can help increase continuity with the aim of bringing benefits to both staff and patients.

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This programme is inspired by recent Health Foundation research which demonstrated that patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions who see the same GP a greater proportion of the time have fewer unplanned hospital admissions. The programme has been developed with the advice and support of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Each project will run for up to two years and each project team will receive up to £250,000 of funding to support the implementation, evaluation and dissemination of findings from their work.

Full story at The Health Foundation

Health Foundation selects 11 projects to join programme to improve analytical capability in health and care services

Health Foundation | September 2018 | Health Foundation selects 11 projects to join programme to improve analytical capability in health and care services

The Health Foundation has selected 11 projects to take part in the latest round of its Advancing Applied Analytics programme – which aims to improve analytical capability in support of health and care services.

These include:

1. ABCi Mathematical Modelling and Analytics Academy
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

2. Personalised medicine analytics dashboard for triaging patients in emergency departments
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

3. Use of novel modelling techniques and routinely collected data to explore responses to winter pressures 
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy)

4. Developing a versatile tool for modelling pathway capacity in NHS organisations
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

5. Building analyst capabilities to demonstrate the value of connected health and council data
Care City

6. Mind the gap: developing effective communications between decision makers and analysts in health and care
Devon Partnership NHS Trust

7. Simulation modelling in mental health services 
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sustainability and Transformation Partnership

8. A clinically driven multidisciplinary team approach to data science
NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group

9. Applying best-in-class analytics to a whole-system approach to managing knee problems
NHS Forth Valley

10. Can interactive data visualisation help clinicians improve patient care?
Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

11. System-wide early warning tool for acute pathways based on actionable intelligence
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Full details from The Health Foundation 

Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence

The Health Foundation | July 2018 | Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK:international evidence

A new working paper from The Health Foundation uncovers how 16 other high-income countries have considered and implemented changes to their funding systems for health and social care to better meet the challenges ahead. 

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The paper aims to:

  • provide examples of funding configurations for health and social care, as well as changes that have been implemented, or are being considered, in a range of high-income countries
  • explore the drivers of recent or planned health and social care funding changes and reforms and the contexts within which decisions around funding were taken
  • highlight key points that can inform the range of conceivable options for funding health care and social care in the four countries of the UK.

Key conclusions

  • Most reviewed countries fund health care primarily from public sources, such as taxation and mandatory health insurance, but funding of social care often relies more than health care on individuals paying privately.
  • Health and social care funding reforms tend to be incremental rather than radical, are path-dependent, and are catalysed by changes in economic conditions rather than by rising demand for care.

High-income countries have taken diverse approaches to tackling the need to increase health and social care funding and there is no single optimal, or commonly preferred, solution to achieving sustainable revenues (Source: The Health Foundation).

The working paper can be downloaded here 

Expression of interest: Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice

The Health Foundation | July 2018 | Expression of interest: Increasing Continuity of Care in General Practice

The Health Foundation have launched a new initiative- a funding programme to help improve patient care and outcomes by exploring ways to increase continuity of care within general practice.
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The launch comes after research conducted by the Health Foundation  found that for patients with ambulatory care sensitive conditions, appointments with the same GP a greater proportion of the time have fewer unplanned hospital admissions (Source: The Health Foundation).

Full details and how to apply for the programme are available from The Health Foundation

What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients? 

What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients? | The Health Foundation |  Institute for Fiscal Studies |  The King’s Fund | The Nuffield Trust

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This final briefing in the series marking 70 years of the NHS looks at the uptake and potential of the following trends in technology: genomics and precision medicine; remote care; technology supported self-management such as apps and wearables; and data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Key findings:

  • Technological advances offer significant opportunities to improve health care but
    are not a silver bullet for the pressures facing the NHS. While there are really exciting developments in areas like genomics and precision medicine, we are a long way from being able to realise their full potential.
  • Technology has the potential to deliver significant savings for the NHS but the service does not have a strong track record in implementing it at scale and needs to get better at assessing the benefits, feasibility and challenges of implementing new technology.
  • Patients are embracing new technology and increasingly expect their care to be
    supported by it. For example, the majority of people say they would use video
    consultations to consult their GP about minor ailments and ongoing conditions.
  • New technology could fundamentally change the way that NHS staff work – in
    some cases requiring entirely new roles to be created. The impact of these changes should not be underestimated.
  • People generally have relatively little knowledge about how the NHS and
    commercial organisations use data for health research, which may be responsible
    for mistrust in some cases. Transparent public dialogue is needed about how data
    is currently used; what the opportunities are for the future; and how risks can be
    mitigated. While it is vital to balance the benefits of sharing data with concerns
    about security and confidentiality, these concerns should not be used as a barrier
    to progress.

Full report: What will new technology mean for the NHS and its patients?

Additional link: Nuffield Trust press release