Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings

Although literature describing and evaluating training programmes in hospital settings increased in recent years, there are no reviews that summarise these programmes | Aging & Mental Health 

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Objectives: This review sought to address this, by collecting the current evidence on dementia training programmes directed to staff working in general hospitals.

Results: Fourteen peer-reviewed studies were identified with the majority being pre-test post-test investigations. No randomised controlled trials were found. Methodological quality was variable with selection bias being the major limitation. There was a great variability in the development and mode of delivery although, interdisciplinary ward based, tailor-made, short sessions using experiential and active learning were the most utilised. The majority of the studies mainly evaluated learning, with few studies evaluating changes in staff behaviour/practices and patients’ outcomes.

Conclusion: This review indicates that high quality studies are needed that especially evaluate staff behaviours and patient outcomes and their sustainability over time. It also highlights measures that could be used to develop and deliver training programmes in hospital settings.

Full reference: Scerri, A. et al. (2017) Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings – a systematic review of the literature. Aging & Mental Health. Vol. 21 (no. 8) pp.783-796

NHS acute hospitals report

The Care Quality Commission has published The state of care in NHS acute hospitals: 2014 to 2016: findings from the end of CQC’s programme of NHS acute comprehensive inspections.

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Image source: http://www.cqc.org.uk

The report has been derived from three years’ worth of CHC inspections into the quality of care being provided by NHS acute hospitals. It finds that most hospitals are delivering good quality care and looking after patients well, however, some trusts have blind spots about the quality of care they are delivering in a particular core service, even in some trusts rated good overall.

Related: CQC right to say care is at risk due to unprecedented pressure on hospitals | NHS Providers

NHS Indicators: England, January 2017

The House of Commons library has published NHS Indicators: England, January 2017.

The full briefing paper looks at trends in the following areas:

  • Accident & Emergency attendance and performance
  • Ambulance demand and response times
  • Waiting times and waiting lists for routine treatment
  • Waiting times for cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Cancelled operations
  • Delayed discharges and transfers of care
  • Diagnostic waiting times and activity
  • Waiting times for mental health treatment
  • Workforce numbers for doctors, nurses and other staff
  • Hospital activity, referrals and admissions
  • Bed availability and occupancy

Access the full report here

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’.

Safe staffing for adult inpatients in acute care

A guide to help standardise staffing decisions in adult inpatient wards in acute hospitals | NHS Improvement

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This resource is based on the National Quality Board’s expectationsopens in a new window that to ensure safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led care, trusts will employ the right staff with the right skills in the right place and at the right time.

We’ve designed this to be used by everyone involved in clinical establishment setting, approval and deployment – from the ward manager to the board of directors.

The resource:

  • outlines a systematic approach for identifying the organisational, managerial and ward factors that support safe staffing
  • makes recommendations for monitoring and taking action if not enough staff are available on the ward to meet patients’ needs
  • builds on NICE guidelinesopens in a new window on safe staffing for nursing in adult inpatient care in acute wards

Read the full overview here

Pressure on NHS beds could risk patient safety

Pressure on beds in the NHS in England has become so acute that on any given day last winter, the equivalent of more than five extra hospitals’-worth of beds had to be brought into service to cope with surges in demand | Nuffield Trust

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Image source: Nuffield Trust

On the single busiest day last winter, an extra 4,390 beds had to be opened, equivalent to more than seven extra hospitals in one day.  And on average, over 95% of beds across English hospitals were occupied every day last winter, despite evidence that once bed occupancy rates exceed 85%-90%, there is an increasing risk of infection (see note 1). Given that pressures on the health service have not lessened over the last 12 months, Trusts will face similarly high bed occupancy rates this winter.

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here

The State of health care and adult social care

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published The state of health care and adult social care in England 2015/16.

This annual report provides an overview of health and social care in England looking at trends, highlighting examples of good and outstanding care, and identifying factors that maintain high-quality care.

It finds that most services provide people with good care, but variation exists. Some care services are closing, increasing pressure on other services including GPs and hospitals.  The report highlights that the sustainability of the adult social care market is approaching a tipping point.

Additional links:  CQC press release | Health Foundation