Social prescribing: from rhetoric to reality

This one-day event explored the range of benefits of social prescribing, and how best to measure and evaluate the impact and outcomes.  | The King’s Fund

Pioneering local areas shared their approach, challenges and achievements, and provided practical resources for commissioners and practitioners to develop schemes in their own locality

Presentations: 

View the full event proceedings here

Mental health and new care models

GPs need to prioritise mental health more, say experts. | Mental health and new models of care | Kings Fund | OnMedica

While some of the vanguard sites developing new care models report promising early results from adopting a whole-person approach, the full opportunities to improve care through integrated approaches to mental health have not yet been realised.
This Kings Fund report draws on recent research with vanguard sites in England, conducted in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The report found that where new models of care have been used to remove the barriers between mental health and other parts of the health system, local professionals saw this as being highly valuable in improving care for patients and service users. But there remains much to be done to fully embed mental health into integrated care teams, primary care, urgent and emergency care pathways, and in work on population health.

The main vehicle for rolling out what vanguards are trying to achieve are England’s sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) and there are concerns, said the authors, that some STPs had limited content on mental health.

‘It is vital that STP leaders are encouraged to make mental health a central part of their plans, and that they are able to take heed of the emerging lessons from vanguard sites,’ says the report.

More mental health support is needed in GP surgeries, said the authors. They recommend strengthening mental health capabilities in the primary and community health workforce by improving the confidence, competence and skills of GPs, integrated care teams and others.

Leading Across The Health And Care System: Lessons From Experience

This paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face| The King’s Fund

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Image source: The King’s Fund

As the NHS seeks to move away from competition towards integration and to develop new models of care, individuals and organisations across the health and care system need to learn to work together to make the best use of collective skills and knowledge.

Part of our Leadership in action series, this paper offers those who are leading new systems of care some guidance on how to address the challenges they face. It draws on the Fund’s work on the development of new care models, sustainability and transformation plans, and accountable care organisations. It is also informed by the experience of people who have occupied system leadership roles and draws on case studies from our research and organisational development work.

Read the full report here

Compassionate leadership in health care

Caring to change:  How compassionate leadership can stimulate innovation in health care | Kings Fund

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This paper looks at compassion as a core cultural value of the NHS and how compassionate leadership results in a working environment that encourages people to find new and improved ways of doing things.  It describes four key elements of a culture for innovative, high-quality and continually improving care and what they mean for patients, staff and the wider organisation: inspiring vision and strategy; positive inclusion and participation; enthusiastic team and cross-boundary working; and support and autonomy for staff to innovate. It also presents case studies of how compassionate leadership has led to innovation. This work was supported by the Health Foundation.

Download the full report here

Related Kings Fund blog: Compassionate leadership – more important than ever in today’s NHS

Caring for acutely ill patients

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The King’s Fund has published Organising care at the NHS front line: who is responsible? 

The report looks at the reality of caring for acutely ill medical patients at the NHS front line and asks how care in hospitals can be improved. It comprises a series of essays by frontline clinicians, managers, quality improvement champions and patients, and provides detail about how clinical care is currently provided and how it could be improved.

The report highlights that providing safe and high-quality care for acutely ill medical patients has always been challenging but has become more so as the volume and complexity of work has increased. Amongst its recommendations is that there should be a much stronger focus on how care is organised on hospital wards and in clinics throughout the NHS and greater standardisation of care processes.

The full report can be downloaded here

How satisfied is the British public with the NHS?

Public satisfaction with the NHS in 2016 | British Social Attitudes | The Kings Fund

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This latest survey by the National Centre for Social Research’s British Social Attitudes (BSA) was carried out between July and October 2016. It asked a nationally representative sample of nearly 3,000 people about their satisfaction with the NHS overall, and of nearly 1,000 people about their satisfaction with individual NHS services.

Public satisfaction with the NHS overall was 63 per cent in 2016. Satisfaction with GP services was 72 per cent and, as in previous years, was higher than satisfaction with any other NHS service. The three main reasons that people gave for being dissatisfied were: long waiting times, staff shortages and lack of funding.

Read more at The Kings Fund

See also: If the NHS is in crisis, why is public satisfaction so high?

 

Cuts to sexual health services are putting patients at risk, says King’s Fund

Cuts to sexual health services in parts of England are placing the care of patients at risk, a new report has warned | The BMJ

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The research by the healthcare think tank the King’s Fund concluded that budget cuts of more than 20% to genitourinary medicine (GUM) services in some parts of the country had led to service closures and staffing cuts that have harmed patient care. Experts said that the findings were particularly worrying given that numbers of diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and gonorrhoea were rising.

Current pressures on services were also having a negative effect on staff morale and leading some staff to consider alternative careers, the report warned.

Problems identified in the Genitourinary medicine services:

  • Public health budgets were cut by £200m (6.7%) in 2015-16

  • Around a quarter of local authorities cut GUM spending by more than 20% between 2013-14 and 2015-16. Around one in seven increased spending by this amount

  • The commissioning of sexual health, reproductive health, and HIV services has been split between local authorities, CCGs, and NHS England, resulting in fragmentation

  • New attendances at clinics rose from 1.6 million in 2011 to over 2.1 million in 2015

“You give a blank sheet of paper to local government to do something really exciting, and then you take the money away”—consultant

Read the full article here

Read the original King’s Fund report here