News in brief – March 2012

Let’s Get Moving campaign launched

Let’s Get Moving (LGM) is an evidence-based behaviour change intervention to promote physical activity and was first launched in 2009. The LGM commissioning guidance has been reviewed to reflect the proposed changes to the health and social care system and the new UK Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity (Start Active, Stay Active. July 2011).

This guidance is intended to equip commissioners with the necessary knowledge to commission LGM. It supports local areas in meeting the health needs priorities in their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, and demonstrates the value of working with local partners to commission a high quality LGM service. The guidance also creates flexibility for the commissioner to establish the best model locally and identify the most appropriate service providers to deliver LGM. Alongside the commissioning guidance, we have published a revised partners’ booklet to summarise LGM.

Physical activity is integral to national public health policy. LGM can help individuals to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity for health as set out in the UK CMO’s guidelines. LGM will contribute to the Public Health Outcome Framework physical activity indicator and the National Ambition for physical activity, by supporting local areas to increase physical activity levels of their local population.

Links & info


The Health Foundation logoFree monthly e-newsletter launched by The Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK. It has recently set up a monthly e-newsletter for clinicians and non-clinicians, offering a range of perspectives on topical themes in healthcare improvement and patient care. The e-newsletter also has information on funding opportunities, latest publications, blogs and upcoming events.

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National lung cancer awareness campaign to launch in May

The Department of Health (DH) will be launching a national lung cancer awareness campaign on 8 May 2012, following the success of a regional pilot lung cancer campaign in the Midlands in October and November 2011. The campaign will encourage anyone who has had a cough for three weeks to visit their GP. The campaign is part of the drive for earlier diagnosis of cancer in England to improve cancer survival rates. Results of the pilot campaign show GPs had, on average, an additional 2.4 patients per practice per week, presenting with the relevant symptoms and there were increases in referrals for both chest x-rays and CT scans.

Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, has written to chief executives and medical directors to make sure providers are aware of the plans for the campaign.

Links & info


Secondhand smoke logoCampaign warns of the dangers of secondhand smoke in the home and car

A national advertising campaign will be launched to emphasise the dangers of secondhand smoke in the home and car. More than 80 percent of cigarette smoke is invisible and odourless and smokers are warned there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, particularly around children.

Children breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke resulted in 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital admissions last year in the UK and up to 5 million children are thought to be regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home.

The campaign aims to encourage smokefree homes and cars in England and to increase the number of quit attempts by smokers. The campaign will run from 31 March – 31 May 2012.

Links & info

  • Smokers will be able to order a new Smokefree Kit by texting TOXINS to 63818 or by visiting the Smokefree website
  • For more information visit


Female radiographer with elderly patientThe Diagnostic Imaging Dataset

The Department of Health and the NHS Information Centre will be opening a new monthly data collection – the diagnostic imaging dataset from 14 May 2012. Trusts are required to submit data in May, based on imaging carried out in April 2012. The deadline for this first submission is noon on Monday 28 May 2012.

This data should be submitted by the trust’s radiology information system (RIS) manager or administrator, rather than by informatics departments (those submitting the data will need a good understanding of the RIS).

This collection will not be via Unify2 but via the DID website Guidance is available on the site.

Preparation before trusts can submit data:

  • Local national interim clinical imaging procedure (NICIP) codes: If your trust uses local versions of NICIP examination codes please contact as soon as possible, the system will not allow submission without prior notification.
  • Foreign film: Please be aware if other trusts or independent sector providers do imaging on behalf of your trust this information should only be submitted once. Advice on the approach to take is on the DID website.

Please make your radiology department and RIS/picture archiving and communications system (PACS) managers or administrators aware of this collection.

Links & info


NHS Choices now most popular health website in the UK

NHS Choices has grown to become the most popular health website in the UK and has more than 11 million visits each month.

NHS Choices is increasingly used by the public, as well as health professionals, who in addition to finding information on health, are able to find, compare and comment on local services.

The NHS Choice Annual Report 2011 has been published giving an overview of the NHS Choices service and its achievements over the past year.

Links & info


Revised guidance and test protocol for C. difficile infection issued

On 6 March 2012, the Department of Health (DH) issued new guidance for use by healthcare providers.  It includes a testing algorithm and step-by-step advice on how to test, report and manage C. difficile infections. In particular, the revised guidance assists healthcare providers by identifying which two types of tests, when used in combination, will deliver the most accurate results for C. difficile infection.

The guidance provides a cost effective and evidence-based way of improving the accuracy of testing for the infection, and delivering better patient management and care.

Links & info


Consultation on the UK Plan for Rare Disease

On 29 February 2012, the four UK health departments launched a consultation on the UK Plan for Rare Diseases. This follows a 2009 European Council Recommendation on Rare Diseases, which obliges member states to produce written plans or strategies on rare diseases by the end of 2013.

This will be the first time the UK has ever developed a plan on tackling rare disease and the consultation brings together a number of recommendations designed to improve coordination of care and lead to better outcomes for people with rare diseases.

This consultation seeks the views of everyone who may come into contact with someone with a rare disease at some point in their careers.

Consultation responses are invited by 25 May 2012.

Links & info


Proposed final agreement on reforms to NHS Pension Scheme

The Department of Health has been engaged in detailed discussions with health sector trade unions and employer representatives over the remaining details for the new NHS Pension Scheme. These discussions have concluded and the outcome reflected in a Proposed Final Agreement. This represents the Government’s final position on the design of the new pension scheme.

The Health Secretary has written to leaders in the NHS to highlight the proposed final agreement.

Readers of the Medical Directors bulletin are encouraged to read the letter and available factsheet, so they are aware of the details.

Links & info


NHS Constitution – whistleblowing and expert group

The Health Secretary announced to Parliament on 8 March 2012 that the NHS Constitution now includes whistleblowing changes. He also announced the formation of an NHS Future Forum group to advise the Government on its forthcoming report on the Constitution, including the ways it could be strengthened.

Links & info

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