The week: issue 220

In this edition, read an update on the document Developing the NHS Commissioning Board, learn how to take part in a consultation to help make public services better and download the latest medical device alerts from the MHRA.

Download ‘the week’: issue 220, 21 – 27 October 2011 (PDF, 108K)
Download ‘the week’: issue 220, 21 – 27 October 2011 (RTF, 516K)

On the agenda

1. Update on Developing the NHS Commissioning Board
In July this year Developing the NHS Commissioning Board was published which set out initial thinking for how, subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, the new commissioning system could work in the future and provided some early thinking about the role of the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) within that system. This short update note provides further information on the development of the NHS CB.

Read more about the NHS CB and access the updated and original documents

2. Prison substance misuse commissioning arrangements after April 2013
This joint letter from the DH Director of Offender Health and the Director of Delivery for the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse explains the commissioning of prison-based substance misuse services post April 2013.

Further information and access the letter

Policy news

3. Accessing the flu vaccine strategic reserve in England

Consultations and evaluations

4. Tell Us How
5. Organ transplantation: EU directive into UK law

Publications

6. Long Term Health Conditions 2011
7. Strategic vision for volunteering
8. Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator
9. NHS Blood and Transplant commercial review
10. Personal Health Budgets ? 4th interim evaluation report
11. Providing practical support to primary care

Conferences and events

i. what’s new

No news this week

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

3. Accessing the flu vaccine strategic reserve in England
(Gateway reference number: 16772)
The Department holds a strategic reserve of 400,000 doses of flu vaccine for use in England in the 2011/12 flu immunisation programme. GPs and other providers should have ordered sufficient flu vaccine for their clinical needs and the stockpile is an ‘insurance policy’, in case there are problems with supply. This document describes the circumstances in which the reserve would be made available and the ordering process.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to consider the implications and discuss with relevant professionals in their organisations.

Read the guidance

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Consultations and evaluations

4. Tell Us How
(Gateway reference number: 16811)
The Government recently launched a call to public sector workers to tell us how we can do things simpler, cheaper or quicker, in order to make public services better.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives as well as their colleagues who wish to respond should visit Tell Us How or contact: tellushow@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk

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5. Organ transplantation: EU directive into UK law
(Gateway reference number: 16308)
An eight-week consultation began this week on draft regulations to implement Organ Directive 2010/53/EU by 27 August 2012. The aim is to  establish a new UK-wide regulatory framework in organ donation and transplantation.

Action: NHS chief executives are invited to respond by 21 December 2011.

Read more about the consultation

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Publications

6. Long Term Health Conditions 2011
(Gateway reference number: 16781)
Results of the third and final wave of a tracking study by Ipsos MORI exploring attitudes towards self-care of those people with a long term condition and the public’s perceptions and behaviour with regard to both their own health and the NHS in general have been published.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to encourage their staff to read the report

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7. Strategic vision for volunteering
(Gateway reference number: 15867)
The Department  has published Social action for health and well-being – building co-operative communities. This vision for volunteering in health and care provides a framework, under four strategic themes, for action that promotes and encourages volunteer involvement and enables more people who want to give their time to do so.

Action: NHS and local authority chief executives and directors of adult social care will wish to consider the key messages of the vision and the strategic significance of volunteering within organisational and/or local context.

Read the vision

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8. Summary hospital-level mortality indicator
(Gateway reference number: 16809)
The NHS Information Centre has published the new summary hospital-level mortality indicator (SHMI) for all non-specialist acute trusts. The indicator covers all deaths of patients admitted to hospital and those that occur up to 30 days after discharge from hospital. NHS Choices is also publishing the indicator.

Action: NHS chief executives of non-specialist acute trusts are encouraged to note the SHMI for their organisation and discuss with their trust boards.

Read the SHMI

Read more about the publication of the SHMI

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9. NHS Blood and Transplant commercial review
(Gateway reference number: 16588)
The Department of Health has published key recommendations to Government on the commercial review of NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). The review considered ways to deliver better value for public money through improvement in the quality and cost effectiveness of the service being provided, including estates, testing, processing and logistics.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to consider the implications and send any enquiries to: nhsbtcommercialreview@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Read more about the recommendations

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10. Personal health budgets ? 4th interim evaluation report
(Gateway reference number: 16775)
This evaluation report from the personal health budgets pilot has been published by an independent research team. Early experiences of personal health budget holders interviews 58 budget holders about their experiences of personal health budgets after three months.

Action: NHS chief executives will wish to make themselves aware of the learning so far, available in preparation for roll out from October 2012 as well as the right for people funded through NHS Continuing Healthcare to ask for a personal health budget from 2014, subject to the final evaluation.

Read the report

Read more about the Personal health budgets Learning Network

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11. Providing practical support to primary care
(Gateway reference number: 16812)
NHS Improvement has a proven track record in primary care, delivering free practical service improvements across clinical areas. Its new publication, developed with GPs and clinical commissioning groups, features case studies on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma clinics in GP practices and an online tool to manage patients with atrial fibrillation and reduce their stroke risk.

Action: NHS chief executives can access free online resources including toolkits and case studies as well as support and guidance from service improvement experts by visiting the NHS Improvement website or calling 0116 222 5184.

Download the report from the NHS Improvement website in Portable Document Format (PDF, 411K)

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Conferences and events

i. what’s new

No news this week

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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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