The week: issue 223

Time is running out to register for the NHS Chief Executives Conference 2011. Find out how in this week’s edition which also includes a number of publications items.

Download ‘the week’: issue 223, 11 – 17 November 2011 (PDF, 85K)
Download ‘the week’: issue 223, 11 – 17 November 2011 (RTF, 523K)

On the agenda

1. NHS Chief Executives Conference 2011
This year’s conference is taking place next Thursday 24 November at 1pm at the London Hilton Metropole Hotel on Edgware Road. The conference will bring together existing and future system leaders so that all have a common vision for the new health and care system. Senior leaders, including chief executives of NHS and non-NHS providing organisations, SHA and PCT clusters, arms length bodies and clinical commissioning groups are invited.

To register, please send your name, organisation and contact details to:
NHSchiefexecutiveconference2011@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Policy news

2. Warm Homes Healthy People Fund: 2011/ 2012
3. Accelerated Learning Sets for health and wellbeing boards

Consultations and evaluations

No news this week

Publications

4. NHS staff survey – reminder
5. Management of blood-exposure in public and voluntary services
6. Referrals to the Independent Safeguarding Authority
7. Safeguarding children across services: messages from research
8. 2010/11 reference costs publications
9. Antimicrobial Stewardship: “Start Smart – Then Focus”
10. Public Health HR Concordat

Conferences and events

i. what’s new

11. Healthy Communities: Building on the past, shaping the future together

ii. places still available

No news this week

Patient safety alerts

Refer to website below

Extra notes

Chief executives are reminded that all communications requiring the attention of NHS and local authority management must include a Gateway reference number. In order to streamline the number of communications issued by the Department, these will continue to be summarised in ‘the week’ every Thursday.

Policy news

2. Warm Homes Healthy People Fund:  2011/ 2012
(Gateway reference number: 16867)
The Cold Weather Plan established the Warm Homes, Healthy People Fund for winter 2011/12 to support local authorities in England to reduce the levels of death and morbidity due to cold housing in the coming winter in partnership with their local community, voluntary sector and statutory organisations. This local authority circular explains arrangements for applying to the fund for 2011/12.

Action: Local authority chief executives and their partners are invited to bid to the Warm Homes Healthy People Fund by Thursday, 8 December 2011. Applications should be sent to warmhomesfund@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Read more about Warm Homes, Healthy People Fund

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3. Accelerated Learning Sets for health and wellbeing boards
(Gateway reference number: 16869)
A programme of Accelerated Learning Sets has launched to help emerging health and wellbeing boards to work together on the biggest challenges that face them on their way to statutory running from April 2013.

Action: NHS chief executives can encourage colleagues and teams to get involved in the National Learning Network activities via registering at Communities of practice

Read more about the national programme

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Consultations and evaluations

No news this week

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Publications

4. NHS staff survey – reminder
(Gateway reference number:16904)
The Department has commissioned GFK NOP, an independent research agency, to conduct a survey among NHS staff from October to December 2011 to gauge staff awareness around a range of key issues including major NHS policy initiatives and attitudes towards them. The survey is being conducted across all SHA clusters in order to ensure that staff views are represented across the country.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to encourage their staff to take part in this survey if they are approached

NHS staff survey

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5. Management of blood-exposure in public and voluntary services
(Gateway reference number: 16903)
This letter from Professor Matthew Cooke, National Clinical Director for Urgent and Emergency Care, reminds the NHS of the need to provide personnel of public and voluntary services such as the fire, rescue and prison services, with appropriate emergency care when they are exposed to the blood of others, in the same way as they do for police officers.

Action: NHS trusts will wish to ensure that local protocols are up to date

Read more and access the letter

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6. Referrals to the Independent Safeguarding Authority
(Gateway reference number: 16888)
Organisations are reminded of their legal duty to inform the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) if they dismiss a member of staff because they have harmed a child or vulnerable adult.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives and directors of adult services and children’s services will wish to ensure that their organisations are compliant with this legal duty to refer.

More information about your legal duty and about recent figures from the NHS Information Centre about abuse of vulnerable adults

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7. Safeguarding children across services: messages from research
(Gateway reference number: 16899)
The Safeguarding Children Research Initiative is an important element in the Government response to the inquiry following the death of Victoria Climbié. Its purpose is to provide a stronger evidence base for the development of policy and practice to improve the protection of children in England.

Eleven studies were commissioned and this overview focuses on the findings and also refers extensively to a further four important research studies that were also reported during the same time.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives will wish to study this research which provides an overview of the key messages, distilled to meet the needs of those professionals who seek to utilise such research findings to shape their day-to-day work

Read the messages from research

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8. 2010/11 reference costs publications
(Gateway references 16788 and 16703)
2010/11 reference costs, including national schedules of average unit costs, the reference costs index (RCI) and source data, have been published on the DH website. Amongst other uses, they will support benchmarking and contracting for non-tariff services in 2012/13. The results of the 2011 patient level and information costing systems (PLICS) survey were also published.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to discuss content with finance colleagues. See:
Reference costs
and PLICS survey results

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9. Antimicrobial Stewardship: Start Smart – Then Focus
(Gateway reference number: 16853)
The Department has published new guidance entitled Start Smart – Then Focus which will help hospital prescribers ensure best practice is followed on antimicrobial prescribing for patients. This guidance has been produced by the Department of Health’s Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection (ARHAI).

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to ensure their Antimicrobial Stewardship team/committee consider this guidance in helping them assess whether they meet Criterion 9 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.

Read more on Start Smart, Then Focus

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10. Public Health HR Concordat
(Gateway reference number: 16870)
The Public Health HR Concordat provides a best practice framework for organisational changes affecting staff as part of the transition between the NHS and local government. The Concordat sets out a range of agreed principles which have been jointly agreed by the Department of Health, NHS employers and the Local Government Association.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives will wish to take into consideration this guidance.

Read more about the concordat

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Conferences and events

i. what’s new

11. Healthy Communities: Building on the past, shaping the future together
(Gateway reference number: 16895)
The Healthy Communities programme are running three regional free of charge events on 25 November (Bristol), 28 November (London) and 8 December 2011 (Leeds). These offer the opportunity to learn and discuss what the changes in the Health and Social Care Bill mean for those implementing them at local level. The Healthy Communities programme is inviting colleagues from the NHS, local government and the third sector to discuss how the future of public health will be delivered.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives along with their colleagues can book a place by contacting Cynthia Taylor on 020 7664 3163, or at the Healthy Communities programme

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ii. places still available

No news this week

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Patient safety alerts

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has sent the NHS the latest medical device alerts in the link below. NHS trusts are expected to take the specified action by the date given.

MHRA Medical Device Alerts

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Unless otherwise stated, guidance referred to in the bulletin has not been commissioned or endorsed by the Department of Health ? it is evidence that organisations and professionals may find helpful in improving practice. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is the Department’s provider of accredited evidence and guidance, which can be found on the Institute’s website

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