Showing posts tagged with: government
Nurses' leaders have branded parts of the government's plans to reform the profession as "stupid".
The Royal College of Nursing said ministers had missed an opportunity to improve patient care after the Stafford Hospital scandal public inquiry.
The strongest criticism was given to the plan to get trainee nurses to work for a year as healthcare assistants.
A survey by the union of more than 2,000 senior nurses also raised concerns about unsafe staffing levels.
A total of 71% said they were not confident that staffing levels were always adequate, with more than a third saying they were unsafe on a weekly basis.
To read the full article, click here.
Only 40% of people eligible for drugs to combat multiple sclerosis in the UK are actually taking them, says a report from the MS Society.
A survey of more than 10,000 adults with MS showed that many were missing out on the seven licensed medicines approved for use.
The charity said a lack of information and access to specialists was to blame.
It is calling for the government to provide a personalised care plan to every person with MS.
To read the full article please click here.
Outbreaks of measles are putting Europe's commitment to eliminate the disease by 2015 under threat, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
Levels of vaccination have been too low in some countries, particularly in rich western European nations.
It says catch-up vaccination campaigns, such as the one launched in the UK, are needed across the continent.
Experts said it was not too late to hit the target, but "extraordinary" effort was needed.
To read the full article please click here.
Personalisation is at "high risk of failure" unless bureaucratic council approaches that restrict service users and social workers are overhauled, care services minister Norman Lamb has been warned in an open letter.
The letter comes from some of the organisations that have most fervently championed personal budgets and the opening up of the social care market to increase choice for service users: In Control, Shared Lives Plus, Community Catalysts, Inclusive Neighbourhoods and Inclusion North.
They said that while research showed how personal budgets could be used to most effectively improve outcomes for service users, many councils were taking the opposite approach.
"We too often find unsuitable systems for resource allocation, burdensome support planning approaches not controlled by people themselves, rigid rules on spend, social workers not trusted to make judgements, people left without information, advice and advocacy, under-developed markets and restrictive preferred provider lists," it said.
The letter warned that the next couple of years were "absolutely critical" in determining whether personalisation delivered big improvements for people or became a "tragically missed opportunity". "As things stand there is great potential but a high risk of failure," it added.
It called on Lamb to follow some of the recommendations of the recent review by David Boyle for the Cabinet Office on extending choice and control in public services. These included phasing out preferred provider lists, replacing assessments of need with assessments that took account of people's capabilities and informal resources, and placing a duty on councils to signpost people to independent sources of support on how they could spend their personal budget.
It said implementing Boyle's recommendations could "dramatically" change a situation in which the local delivery of personalisation "too often corrupts its key principles".
Carers should be routinely screened for signs of depression by their GP to ensure their health needs are not neglected, doctors' leaders say.
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) estimates one in every 20 patients registered with a GP practice is providing unpaid care.
About 40% of carers are thought to be at risk of depression or stress because of their caring role.
Carers UK said GPs had a vital role to play in supporting carers.
It is estimated that seven million people in the UK currently provide unpaid care to a sick or disabled child or an adult who could not otherwise live independently.
Many of them are already known to GPs, but the RCGP says more should be done to improve the support and services offered to carers.
It says the "screening" process for depression should involve "a small number of general, non-invasive, questions about mood and mental wellbeing".
The RCGP has also drawn up a list for clinical commissioning groups - groups of GPs that plan local care - to ensure carers' needs are taken into account.
- Improve GP access by allocating routine appointments and vaccinations at convenient times for carers
- Appoint a carers' "champion" in all GP surgeries
- Maintain a carers' register within the GP practice
- Carry out audits to measure improvements in carer support
Dr Clare Gerada, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said carers often found it hard to admit they were struggling.
"Carers often neglect their own healthcare needs and in many cases it is only a matter of time before they themselves become ill.
"GPs can play a crucial role in identifying potential problems in the early stages and 'screening' for depression is something that many GPs are doing already.
"Commissioners need to invest in supporting carers as a critical asset.
"They already save the public purse £119bn a year and this initiative could save even more by ensuring that carers stay well enough to keep on caring."
Fear and anxiety
Helena Herklots, chief executive of Carers UK, said caring full-time for a family member could leave people cut off from the outside world.
"This isolation, alongside the pressures, fears and anxieties of supporting an ill or disabled loved one can take a serious toll on carers' mental health," she said.
"NHS and social-care services, particularly GPs, are often the first port of call for families with caring responsibilities - they have a vital role to play in identifying carers and helping them access the support they need."
The government's care bill will help people find what support is available to them, a Department of Health spokesperson said.
"We know far too many carers can suffer depression, emotional and physical exhaustion - and it is important that they do not bear this responsibility alone.
"GPs have a critical role to play in identifying people with a caring responsibility and assessing their needs for support, including with depression."
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