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  • Last modified date:
    26 April 2011

'Healthy Lives, Healthy People: A Tobacco Control Plan for England'

This document, published in March, sets out how the Government will support ambitions to reduce smoking rates by the end of 2015, from 21.2 to 18.5 per cent or less for adults; from 18 to 12 per cent or less for 15 year-olds; and from 14 to 11 per cent or less throughout pregnancy. There is a particular focus on groups with a high prevalence of smoking, such as people with routine or manual jobs. An academic review, published by the Government alongside the plan, has found that smoke-free legislation in England has had a clear beneficial effect on health.

Possible changes to pneumococcal vaccination programme

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that the routine pneumococcal vaccination programme for people aged 65 and over be stopped. The advice comes after a review of the impact of the programme and on the clinical effectiveness of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, during which the JCVI concluded the vaccine provided poor protection that did not last long in older people. However, the vaccine should still be offered to patients with increased risk of pneumococcal disease due to underlying health conditions such as HIV. The DH will be asking professional and patient groups for their views before making a final decision. In the meantime, clinicians should follow existing Green Book guidance.

Consultation on pandemic flu preparedness

Nurses are invited to comment on the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy. It will replace and update the National Framework of 2007 in light of lessons learned from the H1N1 (2009) pandemic, the findings of the Independent Review of the Swine Flu response and the latest scientific evidence. The strategy does not include operational matters or issues relating to the new health system in England. The consultation closes on 17 June 2011, and the DH intends to publish the final strategy document later this year.

Commissioning for mental health

'Practical Mental Health Commissioning – Volume One: Setting the Scene' is the first in a planned series of documents for people involved in commissioning and providing mental health and social care services. 'Setting the Scene' covers the changing commissioning landscape, what mental health commissioning looks like now, and what's important for mental health commissioning in the future. These documents were commissioned and supported by the National Mental Health Development Unit’s (NMHDU) National Mental Health Commissioning Programme and published by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, which is a new collaboration between leading organisations with an interest in mental health, learning disabilities, and wellbeing.

Scholarships for leaders in the care of children and young people

The Florence Nightingale Foundation is offering leadership scholarships for registered sick children’s nurses or registered nurses (child) involved in the care of children and young people. Applicants should aspire to a leadership position, or wish to become a director of nursing, or leader in new and emerging children’s services. Recipients of The Florence Nightingale Leadership Scholarship are awarded up to £10,000 to help them explore and develop their leadership potential, nationally or internationally, and undertake a programme geared to his or her individual needs, based on current performance assessment. The closing date for applications is 13 May 2011.

Research scholarships for nurses and midwives

The Florence Nightingale Foundation Research Scholarships award funds to undertake a course in the research methods, research modules or a dissertation/thesis as part of an academic course of study. The Foundation will also consider doctoral studies and post doctoral nursing research projects. The outcome of the research will result in clinical improvement and evidence-based care for patients and clients. There are also scholarships available as part of a new partnership with The London Network for Nurses and Midwives. These are for nurses and midwives who are working within London in an organisation providing patient care funded by the NHS. A further partnership with Teenage Cancer Trust provides scholarships for nurses working in the specialist field of teenage cancer.

Are you delivering joined-up care?

The NHS Institute has developed a suite of products for joined-up care for managers and anyone involved in referring patients. The aim is to help eliminate the duplication, inefficiency and waste that can create a poor experience as patients pass between organisations on their healthcare journey. The NHS Institute’s Joined-up care initiative has identified those areas that will make the biggest difference to care, and has integrated these into three new resources: 'A practical guide to making change happen', outlining the principles and methods recommended for successful joined-up care; case studies and tips for success from NHS sites who have successfully used a joined-up approach; and suggested tools and methodologies to help implement joined-up care.

Joined-up care conference

This NHS Institute event, on 19 May in Manchester, will give delegates the opportunity to hear from and network with a variety of healthcare professionals on the key topics relating to joined-up care. It will be chaired by Dr Lynne Maher, Director of Design and Innovation at the NHS Institute.

Downward trend in UK stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates

According to the 'Perinatal Mortality 2009' report, published by the Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE) on 25 March, these rates have shown an overall downward trend since 2000. The stillbirth rate decreased from 5.4 per 1,000 total births in 2000, to 5.2 per 1,000 total births in 2009. The perinatal mortality rate showed a downward trend from 8.3 per 1,000 total births in 2000 to 7.6 per 1,000 total births in 2009 and the neonatal mortality rate decreased from 3.9 per 1,000 live births in 2000, to 3.2 per 1,000 live births in 2009. The report also includes mortality rate comparisons between nations, SHAs, PCTs, Neonatal Networks and maternity service providers. The South East Coast had the lowest stillbirth rate of 3.8 per 1,000 total births and Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest stillbirth rate of 5.3 per 1,000 total births.

The Big Lunch is back

This year’s Big Lunch, on Sunday 5 June, is supported by NHS Choices, and nurses – especially those who work with local communities – are asked to help get people involved. The aim of the Big Lunch is to encourage as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to have lunch with their neighbours once a year. NHS Choices wants to encourage healthy lifestyles and sees this as a great way to promote communities, healthy eating and having fun in the process.

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