We’re delighted to have heard this week that Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN will be designated and licensed.
In his letter of congratulations, Sir Ian Carruthers asked us to pass on his thanks to everyone who has been involved in developing the AHSN. Please accept my thanks too.
This gives us momentum to build on what we’ve achieved since our licensing panel interview, highlights of which include:
- Mobilising a region-wide CLAHRC bid (see below)
- Introducing more industry engagement into our Enhanced Recovery programme
- Developing our industry offer with input from European industry accelerator organisations
- Developing for NHS stakeholders, the High Impact Innovations CQUIN pre-qualifier framework
- Measuring and supporting NHS organisations to achieve 100% compliance with NICE Technology Appraisals and developed, with NICE, a three-level definition of compliance to encourage legally compliant providers to be even better
- Introducing patient experience measures in whole system heart failure care covering over 1,000 patients and preparing six e-learning packages for clinicians involved in EQ pathways.
I expect to learn more next week about our 2013/14 funding from NHS England, their requirements for match-funding and the implications for our work programme.
Please get in touch with us via email for more information or to get involved.
CLAHRC bid submitted
The CLAHRC bid was submitted on Monday 13 May. Congratulations to Lisa Rodriguez, Sube Banerjee and Tanya Telling for taking the lead on this, supported by our AHSN. That we have produced such a high quality bid, based on a truly collaborative effort across the region, is an important ‘first’ for Kent, Surrey and Sussex and we look forward to learning the outcome later this year.
An important task now is to maintain momentum and build on the cross-KSS relationships we have built over recent weeks.
Managing Director (interim)
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Academic Health Science Network
Dementia diagnoses rates must rise, says PM
In a front page report, the Daily Telegraph writes about David Cameron calling for a significant improvement in diagnosis rates for dementia in the next two years. In the run up to the next election the Prime Minister has made tackling the illness one of his main aims and he wants to ensure that two thirds of dementia sufferers are diagnosed by 2015, up from just below 50% at present. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has described the current diagnosis rate as ‘shockingly low’ and he described Cameron’s drive as a ‘major step forward’.
The PM promised to use his presidency of the G8 leaders’ summit to reach an agreement on a new international approach to dementia research, and he will be hosting an international summit on the disease in September. The Daily Mirror reports that Cameron pledged to increase dementia research funding to £66m, while the Sun says the PM has declared that Britain will lead the world’s fight against the disease.
New assessment tool for patients with dementia
A team of specialist pain nurses at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals is introducing a new assessment tool for patients with confusion and dementia. The Bolton Pain Assessment Scale was devised at the Royal Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in 2011 and is now used at many hospitals nationally. It is designed to enable staff to make a much wider assessment of a patient, rather than simply asking if they are in pain. They can then score different factors to give an overall pain score indicating if the patient has no pain, mild, moderate or severe pain.
Lead pain nurse Harriet Barker said: “Like every acute hospital, we care for many patients with confusion, dementia and also some with learning disabilities. “These conditions can make it much harder for people to vocalise and explain their pain. They may say they do not need any pain killers, but often do not really understand the pain they are in or how the medication will make it better.” She said that using the Bolton Pain Assessment Scale is a very common sense approach.
NHS to be fully integrated with social care ‘by 2018’
The health and social care system in England will be fully joined together by 2018, with CCGs urged to put aside 2% of their funding each year to encourage more integrated care, the government has pledged. The bold plans aim to prevent patients ‘falling through the cracks’, with new ‘pioneer’ areas around the country – to be announced in September – to trial more integrated care for patients with local providers, including GPs.
The national ‘shared commitment’ to integrating care, will be unveiled by health and care minister Norman Lamb today, with ten ways that each NHS organisation will work towards joining up their services with other local services. The plans come despite an official evaluation of 16 Department of Health pilots looking at more integrated care published last year concluding they had a broadly negative effect on patient satisfaction and did not deliver any tangible cost savings.
A DH statement said: ‘The document lays out how local areas should use existing structures like Health and Wellbeing Boards to bring together local authorities, the NHS, social care providers, education, housing services, public health and others to bring about better integration of local services.’
International clinical trials day
International Clinical Trials day is on Monday 20 May. The ‘OK to ask’ campaign, run by the National Institute for Health Research, is encouraging people to ask their doctor about participating in clinical trials.