Hull CCG pools entire budget with council in £600m fund

A Yorkshire clinical commissioning group is aligning its entire budget with a local authority to create a strategic commissioning fund of £600m | HSJ

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  • Hull CCG to align entire £400m budget with local authority
  • CCG chief officer joins Hull City Council’s corporate management team
  • Committee in common will approve decisions by new integrated commissioning board

Read the full article here

Understanding NHS financial pressures. How are they affecting patient care?

The Kings Fund has published ‘Understanding NHS financial pressures. How are they affecting patient care?’

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Image source: https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/

Financial pressures on the NHS are severe and show no sign of easing. However, we know relatively little about their impact on patient care.

This study sought to investigate the impact of financial pressures in four very different areas of the health service: genito-urinary medicine (GUM), district nursing, elective hip replacement and neonatal services. The research used data analysis and interviews to explore different experiences across the system.

The researchers found that GUM and district nursing services were under particular strain. Both access to services and quality of patient care have been affected in ways that are difficult to detect with currently available metrics.

Within elective hip replacement services, activity has increased in recent years and patients remain happy with the outcome of their operations, but the latest data shows that average waiting times for treatment are starting to rise. Neonatal services appear to have largely maintained quality and access despite a number of longstanding pressures, although there is variation between units.

The findings create a challenge to the direction of travel set out in the NHS five year forward view of strengthening community-based services and focusing on prevention.

Read more here

BBC analysis of STPs: Hospital cuts planned in most of England

Hospital services in nearly two-thirds of England could be cut or scaled back, BBC analysis of local plans shows.

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The BBC analysis found:

  • Plans to reduce the number of hospital sites in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland from three to two
  • In the Black Country a £700m funding gap means one hospital may have to be closed
  • Maternity and children’s services being “centralised” on to one site in Lincolnshire
  • A warning in West Yorkshire and Harrogate that having five hyper-acute stroke services may “no longer be viable”
  • The downgrading of two out of three A&Es in Mid and South Essex, with only one retaining specialist emergency care
  • In South West London, proposals to reduce the number of major hospitals from five to four
  • Plans in Nottinghamshire to significantly downsize City Hospital and reduce the number of beds across Nottingham by 200
  • In Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, consideration being given to centralising specialised orthopaedic trauma services at two local hospitals

Overall, a third of the 44 plans look to reduce the number of hospitals providing emergency care, while in another third of areas they have said they will consider moving non-emergency care to fewer sites.

Read the full analysis here

Nearly 200 GP practices closed in 2016 alone NHS data suggest

Up to 181 GP practices closed in the 12 months to January 2017, official data show | GP Online

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Image source: Nick Papakyriazis – Flickr // CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Data on GP practice populations released by NHS Digital this month list just 7,532 GP practices – down 181 from the total a year earlier in January 2016.

Part of the drop in GP practice numbers in the NHS Digital data is likely to be driven by mergers, which could mean that some of the practice locations no longer listed in official figures remain open, but under the wing of a larger group.

However, BMA leaders have warned that closures are at ‘record levels’ and the latest figures suggest that the trend is not slowing down as GPs wait for government pledges of investment through the GP Forward View to take effect.

Read the full news story here

Brexit means… an uncertain future for the NHS?

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Both Brexit and the new government under Theresa May have major implications for the NHS. The health service is already facing financial turmoil and chronic staff shortages – both thrown into further uncertainty by the UK’s departure from the EU. But with political attention dominated by Brexit negotiations, will the service get the help it needs? Nigel Edwards sets out the challenges ahead in his latest Nuffield Trust blog .

Royal College of Physicians: ‘Quality of patient care threatened’

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Members of the Council of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have  written to the prime minister, Theresa May MP, to set out their concerns about the capacity and resources needed to meet the demands on the NHS.

The letter was signed by RCP president Professor Jane Dacre and 49 members of Council, representing 33,000 doctors across 30 specialties as well as 750 physician associates.

They say in their letter that the increase in patient need is outpacing the resources available, that services are ‘too often paralysed by spiralling demand to transform and modernise’, hospitals are ‘over-full, with too few qualified staff’ and services are ‘struggling or failing to cope’, and there are ‘increasing reports of staff contemplating the sad decision to leave the NHS’.

The Council members say that ‘current investment levels are not sufficient to meet current or future patient needs’ and the immediate actions needed are ‘the reinvigoration of social care services and urgent capital investment in infrastructure’.

NHS England announces £101 million of new funding for new care model vanguards

£101 million of new funding to support and spread the work of the new care model vanguards | NHS England

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The vanguards are partnerships of NHS, local government, voluntary, community and other organisations that are implementing plans to improve the healthcare people receive, prevent ill health and save funds.

Considerable progress has been made since the vanguards were launched in 2015 and there is emerging evidence that they are making significant improvements at a local level. This includes reducing pressure on busy GP and A&E services.

In addition to the funding, the vanguards will continue to receive support from NHS England and other national bodies to implement their plans, including how they harness new technology including apps and shared computer systems. They are also receiving help to develop their workforce so that it is organised around patients and their local populations.

Read the full overview here