Here are the health-related links that have caught our eyes between October 30th and November 19th:
- BBC News – Consultants warn care hit by poor deals on supplies – For this investigation, Ernst and Young looked at 10 NHS hospital trusts out of 166 – and found the prices paid for the same box of medical forceps ranged from £13 to £23.
For an identical box of blankets the lowest price was £47, the highest more than £120.
- CCG constitutions – frequently asked questions – Guidance from law firm Hill Dickinson
- Jimmy Savile scandal shows mental health inpatient voice is crucial | Society | The Guardian – Is it any wonder, then, that the last CQC survey of psychiatric inpatients in 2009 found that fewer than half of them reported always feeling safe on psychiatric wards? And yet they have abolished the only means by which many patients can express their concerns and hope to be listened to.
It is only in numbers that the ignored can hope to make an impression. When the first few women began to speak up about Savile's behaviour, his nephew, Roger Foster, was brutally dismissive, describing himself as "disgusted and disappointed" that such claims were being made. With a further 300 people now stepping forward, his tone has changed markedly.
The charity, Rethink Mental Illness, has launched an e-campaign to persuade the government to reintroduce the mental health inpatient survey. It can be accessed via its website rethink.org, and I would urge you to sign it.
- Changes to the GP contract for 2013-14 | Department of Health – These proposals have been sent to the British Medical Association for consideration and include:
new measures to improve care for patients with long term conditions and help prevent unnecessary emergency admissions to hospital
ensuring that quality rewards for GPs reflect expert advice, from NICE, so that patients receive the very best care in line with the most up to date evidence
stopping additional rewards for organisational tasks like good record keeping, which should be part of any good health organisation. This money will instead go into rewarding the quality of services that GPs offer patients.
ensuring that more patients benefit from best practice in areas such as keeping blood pressure low and reducing cholesterol levels, especially those in most need or hardest to reach.
- HSJ Briefing: general practice services and policy – The DH also last week set out to make significant changes to the quality and outcomes framework. If they are enforced, practices would have to provide a new set of enhanced services, directed by the DH and NHS Commissioning Board, to continue earning the same income. They would also be required to step up performance on QOF measures, many of which are focused on population health and prevention.
The department has not said what the new enhanced services would be but it is expected they would include:
A requirement to risk-stratify their population for likelihood of illness and deterioration, and provide support/attention to them
Improving services for those with chronic conditions and for older people
Promotion of patients’ self care, including through access to their own records.