Hospital waiting lists at a five-year high, improving dementia care and the rest of today’s news and comment
4.00pm: This week’s HSJ supplement focuses on how NHS organisations can use the Electronic Staff Record system to makesure the best workforce and skills to deliver high quality patient care. The supplement is free to download as a PDF for all readers.
1:52pm: HSJ Local Briefing is our in-depth analysis of key issues facing some of the health service.
This week we look at the steps being taken to address shortcomings in Manchester’s mental health provision. Subscribers can read the full briefing online or download the full analysis as a PDF.
1:12pm: More on the waiting list story. An exclusive analysis by HSJ reporter Sarah Calkin reveals in the year to June there were 11.8m referrals from GPs. It is the highest in any 12 month period since reporting began in 2008, and a 3.2 per cent increase on the year to June 2012.
HSJ’s analysis has also found:
- Emergency admissions are also continuing to rise. Between April and June 2013 there were more than 928,000 admissions through type 1 accident and emergency units, which deal with major cases. That is more than for the same period in any year since reporting began in 2004-05.
- The past year has seen more elective operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons than in any 12 month period since 2004, a sign hospitals are struggling for beds.
Read the full story, along with the interactive graphs, here.
1:01pm: NHS England has acknowledged there is little scope for any redistribution of funding levels between clinical commissioning groups without real-terms cuts for some areas.
Documents published by the central commissioning body suggest “radical strategies” may be necessary to move CCGs from their current allocations to their “target” resource levels.
Read the entire story by HSJ reporter David Williams here.
12:10pm: HSJ Local Briefing is our in-depth analysis of key issues facing some of the health service. This week we look at the steps being taken to address shortcomings in Manchester’s mental health provision. Subscribers can read the full briefing online or download the full analysis as a PDF.
11:02am: In our opinion section, John Deffenbaugh, director at Frontline Consultants, writes that it will require a change in mindset among commissioners to establish and appreciate what commissioning support units can really offer CCGs.
He says: “Commissioning support has been an afterthought. The focus over the past couple of years has been on getting clinical commissioning groups set up. Commissioning support has been the ‘great unknown’. It has been difficult to shape commissioning support when the CCGs themselves have been in such a state offlux.”
10:25am: The Daily Telegraph has a public health story on page two – “almost one in five deaths may be down to obesity”.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that over a 20 year period in the US about 18 per cent of deaths were obesity-linked. Previous estimates had been around 5 per cent.
10:20am: The Times is reporting that hospital waiting lists have reached a five-year high. There were almost 2.9 million people in England waiting for an operation or other treatment in June - 240,000 more than a year earlier.
The Department of Health said that NHS was coping well, saying that waiting times in the lead-up to the treatment were “low and stable.”
The data from NHS England comes shortly after ministers signed off a £500 million bailout for A&E units in England amid fears that waiting times could spiral out of control.
This won’t be news to regular readers of HSJ’s NHS GooRoo blog, which provides all the waiting times analysis you need.
8:15am: Dementia is one of the biggest challenges the NHS faces. Statistics demonstrate that one in three people over the age of 65 will develop the condition. The Alzheimer’s Society predicts this number will double in the next 40 years.
Today on HSJ’s innovation and efficiency channel, Debra Keeling writes that it is time to make care less institutionalised and more focused on the people it’s for.