What makes us healthy?

The Health Foundation has published What makes us healthy?

This infographic is part of a new series of infographics and accompanying blogs and commentaries to describe and explain the social determinants of health in an accessible and engaging way. This infographic shows the extent to which health is primarily shaped by factors outside the direct influence of healthcare and invites people to look at this bigger picture.

Hospital performance

The NHS Combined Performance Summary is a monthly release of data on key performance metrics for the NHS. Here are some of the most important aspects relating to quality. The Health Foundation has issued a statement about this month’s data release, which can be read here.

For more in-depth analysis of the data over time, visit the QualityWatch indicators.

 

Care quality measures

The Health Foundation and Nuffield Trust have published Quality at a cost: QualityWatch annual statement 2016.

This report looks at a range of care quality measures across the NHS in England. It highlights several areas of health care where standards have improved, but the authors point to slowing improvement in other areas, growing waiting times and continuing financial pressures.

QualityWatch routinely monitors over 300 indicators spread across all domains of quality. This report considers a selection of areas from within this set, covering different stages of a patient’s experience of the health service, to give a picture of quality in 2016.

It looks across six main areas:

  • Public health
  • Primary care
  • Ambulances
  • Hospital care
  • Mental health
  • Condition-specific care (stroke and hip fracture)

The report observes that the pressure of austerity did not impact on quality measures straight away, but took a few years to be felt. Authors conclude that further ‘delayed decline’ could occur in other aspects of care quality, such as effectiveness of treatment or patient safety, given the extent of the challenges faced and ongoing austerity in health and social care spending.

A clear road ahead

This report from The Health Foundation recommends the creation of a single, coherent and compelling quality strategy for the NHS in England.

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image source: Dave Young – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A clear road ahead sets out a practical and feasible set of actions for policymakers to safeguard and improve care within current priorities, as well as support the development of the NHS for years to come. It recommends that national bodies undertake coordinated action to:

  • articulate a single set of quality goals and common definition of quality
  • provide unified national leadership for quality
  • build on experience and evidence
  • update a set of core quality metrics
  • articulate a shared understanding of how improvements in quality and costs are linked – and pursue both in tandem
  • provide unified regional leadership for quality
  • inform the future quality agenda

Download the full report: A clear road ahead Creating a coherent quality strategy for the English NHS

 

Staffing matters; funding counts

Workforce profile and trends in the English NHS | The Health Foundation

Staffing matters; funding counts examines the profile and features of the NHS workforce in England, including; health labour market trends; relevant international data and comparisons from other countries.

General practice and nursing workforces in particular are examined in detail – two key components that have been the subject of much recent policy analysis and media scrutiny – as areas that continue to need a strong policy focus. There is also a supplement giving more detailed information about the profile and recent trends of the workforce of the NHS in England.

Key findings

  • Mismatches between funding and staffing levels, along with repeated reorganisation, have led to a ‘boom and bust’ approach to the NHS front line.
  • The less costly, reactive and short-term solutions – being used by national and local leaders to tackle current problems – are quick fixes, and will only put a sticking plaster on deep-seated and systemic problems for the NHS.
  • Effective use of temporary staff and international recruitment will help to buy time while a more long-term, sustainable approach is introduced.
  • Investment in current staff should not be downplayed by an over-emphasis on new roles; some new roles are necessary but will not have a major impact unless there is significantly more central support for scale up.

The report concludes that the greatest threats to the delivery of the NHS’s Five year forward view are funding constraints and workforce shortages.

Download the main report: Staffing matters; funding counts

Download the Staffing matters:  Funding counts slide pack

A healthier life for all

The Health Foundation and the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group have published A healthier life for all: the case for cross-government action.

The report is a collection of essays setting out the current and emerging threats to health and wellbeing and what we know about what works to address them.  The collection concludes that addressing the wider determinants of health is critical to ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of British society as well as easing pressure on the NHS.

The essays support the view that a more proactive approach to tackling poor health across all policy areas is urgently needed.

The impact on NHS finances of the UK leaving the EU

Health Foundation analysis

Leading economists are almost unanimous in concluding that leaving the EU will have a negative effect on the UK economy, which in turn will impact on public spending.

A new report from the Health Foundation, NHS finances outside the EU, concludes that it is difficult to see how the NHS can escape the consequences.

The report looks at how different decisions following the UK vote to leave the EU might affect funding of the NHS in England, the current state of finances for NHS providers in 2015/16, what this implies for the total Department of Health budget, and the scale of the financial challenge facing the health service for the near future.