Sir David Nicholson – Still making headlines!

With his retirement now on the horizon, Sir David Nicholson continues to make headlines. At NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool yesterday has said he wants there to be a major review of NHS strategy including further closure of services and hospitals.

Some links covering this story include:

One comment about his leaving received from Alan Woolliscroft…

How is Nicholson able to retire next year, when he clearly has not reached sixty, and I assume his job is not being made redundant? Does he operate under a different set of rules to the rest of the public sector?

It seems that Sir David Nicholson is determined to make his feelings known right up to the end. That is until he is recruited into another government funded position as a consultant!

Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing

Although nominations have now closed (May 15th), The Bevan Foundation has announced that the Bevan Prize  for Health and Wellbeing will be awarded in recognition of an individual and group or organisation in any part of the UK who have made an outstanding contribution to health and wellbeing in their field in 2012, who promote the founding values of the National Health Service and work to ensure equality of access and equality of health outcomes.

The aim is to establish the Prize as an annual event to celebrate the values of the NHS. The Foundation is seeking nominees from a wide range of backgrounds. Nominees could include health care practitioners; voluntary and support groups; campaigners and activists; journalists, authors or bloggers; scientists, academics or researchers. The prize will be awarded this summer at an event in London on 1 July.

Information Sharing and the NHS

Dame Fiona Caldicott recently completed the report of her independent review of information sharing in the NHS.

The background behind the review was to see how the NHS needed to strike a balance between the protection of patient information and the use & sharing of information to improve patient care.

There have been a number of reactions to it’s initial findings, but this interesting report in last weeks Computing Magazine examines some of the background issues where existing (and some new) conflicts between the different departments operating under the NHS umbrella may still prevent a successful integrating of information. Not least of all with many Patients still not wanting to have their patient records shared around the NHS organisation.

With all of us very aware of the cost of the last NHS Programme for IT (NPfIT), let’s hope that any shift in policies & procedures required to implement any changes under Caldicott won’t run up yet another huge bill for tax payers with no perceived results

You can download a full copy of the Caldicott report here.

NHS 111 – Is it really working?

NHS 111 was launched as a new service to make it easier to access local NHS healthcare services. People could call 111 when they needed medical help when it was not considered to be a 999 emergency.

However, a number of areas in the UK have found that the service has not been delivering the expected results. As recently as April 26th, the advice line has been withdrawn in Worcestershire after concerns over patient safety.

It has also added to unnecessary patient admissions at Basingstoke hospital and with Doctors in Cornwall claiming that NHS 111, will put “even more pressure” on Cornwall’s emergency services before it even starts, it begs the question if it was really ready for use before being rolled out.

One recent poll carried out by poll, found that 70 per cent of members thought the NHS 111 hotline should be scrapped and that It was to blame for a 50 per cent rise in A&E attendance at some hospitals.

Let’s hope that someone in the NHS – though we wonder where the ownership for this now exists with all the recent changes that have happened – gets to grip with this and solves the problems.

Until then we suspect that NHS 111 will be costing more money doing nothing that it is actually saving. Now where have we heard that before?

Job Losses Announced

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust has started a 45-day consultation with staff about potential job losses of some 260 posts across the hospitals that it runs.

The action comes as the NHS Foundation Managers need to drop an estimated £32 million from their spending. The full story and some additional background can be found in this BBC article.

As we mentioned in previous posts, the number of potential job losses within the NHS seems to be on the rise again.


NHS Job Losses

With Worcester Acute Hospital Trust just announcing that they intend to cut up to 300 jobs as part of a £60 million cost saving exercise, it looks like this could be the start of another round of job losses across the whole NHS.

Just last week Royal Bolton Hospital announced that it was looking to cut some 500 jobs as part of a cost-cutting plan.

If  both of these plans go ahead, this will mean that nearly 1,000 jobs will be lost in just one week.

We will be starting up our Job Cuts/Losses table again in the next few days. If you know of impending Job Cuts or Losses in your local NHS Trust, then please let us know as soon as possible.


Nurses to train in basic care for a year

It would appear that the body of this story disappeared, so we have re-written again.

Under new government initiated changes to their training, nurses look likely that they will have to spend a year on wards to train on the feeding & washing patients before they can finally qualify as fully trained nurses, this is part of the government plans to ensure compassion in hospitals. This article covers some of the changes.

However, it has emerged that the standard training courses for nurses in the UK will not be extended beyond their current three years. How this squares with the extra year for the work on the wards is not clear yet.

Electronic Patient Record Systems – Are we making progress?

It seems that Electronic Patient Record’s systems for NHS Trusts are about to raise their heads again as news has surfaced that the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust & the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust are looking to invest millions of pounds in a new electronic patient record system (EPR).

In a joint procurement for a system that will be shared, the two Trusts have issued a tender for an EPR record system which could be worth up to £35 million for the suppliers, see more details here. The plan will be to initially run the system for 10 years with an option to extend it for another five years.

What strikes us as odd is that the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is already one of nine Cerner Millennium EPR live sites in the South of England, so why would they need to procure a replacement when the Millennium system has only been in place since 2007 as part of the then NPfIT, later re-badged as NHS Connecting for Health multi-billion IT upgrade project.

A report last July based on information obtained under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation indicated that the Cerner EPR system had not delivered all the benefits that was expected of it and that work was still on-going to…

“…eliminate “dis-benefits”, but a number of these cannot be addressed “due to them being either fundamental to the way that Millennium is configured or due to contractual /specification issues not within the current remit of the trust to easily influence.”

Will the procurement of a new EPR system look to replace the single Cerner Millennium system with another that can be shared between the two Trusts or will a completely new EPR system be purchase to be shared between the two Trusts? Whichever option is chosen, it looks like the British Taxpayer will be footing a large bill again, so soon after the initial Cerner Millennium implementation.

We’ll keep an eye on this one and report any updates as and when we find them.

Car Parking Charges – Updates

We continue to add more NHS Trusts to our Car Parking Charges page which continues to grow. We understand that a number of NHS Trusts’ may make changes their car parking charges after the lasted changes that will happen to the NHS in April.

We think that most of them will be due to the amalgamation of some NHS Sites/Trusts, however as yet we don’t have any details. As soon as we do, we will adjust the list. If you know of any impending changes to NHS Trust car parking charges, then please let us know as soon as possible via our Contact Page or via email to info[@]

Car Parking Charges and Waiting Times

We’ve updated the website pages for Car Parking charges and Waiting Times with new information.

Car Parking Charges

We’ve added a few more Trusts to the list including an entry for the Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, which seems to have some very high charges – £1.00 for every 30minutes of parking time! We’ll continue to add more Trusts as we come across new changes.

Waiting Times

In light of the recent news that many of the NHS Trusts have missed their targets for A&E waiting times, we have updated this page with information on what the benchmark details are that the government pledges to meet. We don’t think we have heard anything from the Government that there have been changes to these.

Maybe these goal posts will be moved in the coming weeks?