In the News

DHCan nursing still be called the ‘Caring Profession’? - The Government is to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) and will ask senior clinicians to sign off all end of life care plans, as part of its response to the findings of an Independent Review, Care & Support Minister Norman Lamb announced last week.

In its report, the Review found that 'in the right hands and when operated by well-trained, well-resourced & sensitive clinical teams the LCP does help patients have a dignified and pain-free death'.  But its findings included too many cases of poor practice, poor quality care of the individual, with families & carers not being properly engaged in the patient’s care.  Because of these failings in its use, the Review has recommended it should be phased out.

In future, anyone with worries about how their loved one has been treated at the end of their life will have access to an independent assessment of their case.  To support this independent assessment, the Government will make available a list of experts to provide local support for patients if needed - and all NHS hospitals will be asked to appoint a Board member with responsibility for overseeing any complaints about end of life care and for reviewing how end of life care is provided.

In addition, patients & families who have previously made complaints about care received on the LCP, but whose cases were not resolved satisfactorily, will have the opportunity to have their case reviewed.
Press release & links ~ Report by the Independent Review into the Liverpool Care Pathway ~ Keogh Mortality Review ~ Jeremy Hunt sets out plans to tackle mediocrity & inadequate leadership in the NHS ~ Health sector regulator puts 6 foundation trusts in special measures ~ ‘Compassion in Practice’  ~ NO: Complaints about the Liverpool Care Pathway ~ Demos calls for action to prevent ‘hit and miss’ end of life care ~ Demos: Ways and Means ~ People accept painful death to be with loved ones, finds Sue Ryder report ~ SR: A time and a place ~ WAG:  Delivery Plan for the critically ill ~ NICE: CMG42 Guide for commissioners on end of life care for adults ~ NICE: End of Life Care Quality Assessment Tool ~ ONS: National Bereavement Survey (VOICES) by Area Deprivation, 2011 ~ CQC requires improvement at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ~ TKF response to Sir Bruce Keogh's review ~ Health Ombudsman’s response ~ The Patients Association comments on the findings ~ Keogh Review: 'ostrich approach' not an option, says NHS Confederation ~ Chief Inspector of Hospitals announces inspection plans ~ NAO: 2012-13 update on indicators of financial sustainability in the NHS ~ TKF: Women continue to face barriers to taking senior leadership positions in the NHS new research finds ~ NO: Patient best interest – not cost alone – should be the overriding concern in care & treatment of people with learning disabilities ~ People with learning disabilities still face unacceptable inequalities in healthcare (see also ‘Policy Statements & Initiatives’ section)

CO:  No more silos in a future Civil Service? - The Civil Service is taking a new, joined-up approach to horizon scanning to help inform current policy making.  Following on from the recent Jon Day review of cross-government horizon scanning, the Cabinet Secretary is personally championing the joining-up of existing horizon scanning within government, and with his new Cabinet Secretary’s Advisory Group has commissioned several new strands of work to inform major areas of policy.

Horizon scanning is used as an overall term for analysing the future: considering how emerging trends & developments might potentially affect current policy and practice.  This helps policy makers in government to take a longer-term strategic approach and makes present policy more resilient to future uncertainty. In developing policy, horizon scanning can help policy makers to develop new insights and to think ‘outside the box’.

In contingency planning, horizon scanning helps to manage risk by planning ahead for unlikely, but potentially high impact events.  There are a range of possible methodological approaches, such as developing alternative future scenarios.
Press release & links ~ Jon Day review of cross-government horizon scanning ~ Foresight Horizon Scanning Centre website ~ Civil Service Quarterly launched ~ IfG:  Will change in the Civil Service be even harder to achieve than in the NHS? ~ CH: Governments & businesses under-prepared for high-impact low-probability events ~ IfG: Institute calls for major contracts review ~ NAO: Building capability in the Senior Civil Service to meet today’s challenges ~ Government improves management information to maximise savings ~ Details of government’s major projects revealed ~ Capabilities Plan for the Civil Service ~ IfG’s view on the machinery of government issues raised by the LSE Growth Commission’s report ~ Defra: Horizon scanning & futures ~ IfG: Connecting Policy with Practice - People Powered Change ~ IfG: Making Policy Better ~ CO: Business continuity guide launched

ICO:  Fining an organisation gets their attention, but a personal fine for the ‘responsible officer’ as well might ensure they became compliant -  The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued NHS Surrey with a monetary penalty of £200,000 after more than 3,000 patient records were found on a second hand computer bought through an online auction site.  The sensitive information was inadvertently left on the computer and sold by a data destruction company employed by NHS Surrey since March 2010 to wipe & destroy their old computer equipment.

The company carried out the service for free, with an agreement that they could sell any salvageable materials after the hard drives had been securely destroyed.  The ICO’s investigation found that NHS Surrey had no contract in place with their new provider, which clearly explained the provider’s legal requirements under the Data Protection Act, and failed to observe & monitor the data destruction process.
Press release & links ~ ICO:  Outsourcing a task does not mean an end to an organisation's legal responsibility ~ ICO:  Clouds don't obscure the fact that the law is clear, if it’s YOUR data, it’s Your responsibility (2nd item)

ScotGov:  So the rUK has no vote on these unions? - Only by restoring full political sovereignty to Edinburgh from Westminster can Scotland fulfil its true potential, First Minister Alex Salmond said in a keynote speech recently.  In the first in a series of speeches the First Minister will deliver over the summer, he highlighted six unions that impact on Scotland.

Mr Salmond set out how, following a vote for independence in next year’s referendum, Scotland will ‘continue to participate fully in five unions – the European Union, a defence union through NATO, a currency union, the Union of the Crowns and the social union between the people of these isles – embracing them and using the powers of independence to renew and improve them’.
Press release & links ~ ScotGov:  If the vote is negative the whole of the UK will need to answer the West Lothian question before deciding what new Devo Max powers could be agreed ~ WAG:  Scottish Devolution / Independence is ‘not the only game in town’

SOCAIs nothing sacred? - The Serious Organised Crime Agency is aware that its name & brand have been used by criminals attempting to defraud members of the public.  Computer users find that their screens are locked, and at the same time they receive a message purporting to be from SOCA which states that their computer screen will only be unlocked if they pay a fine.  In reality, the computer has been infected with malicious software (malware), disseminated by cyber criminals for financial gain.

Similar versions of the malware, often claiming to be from other law enforcement bodies or private companies, are also in circulation.  Anyone who thinks they have fallen victim to this, or any other, form of fraud, are advised to report it to Action Fraud.
Press release & links ~ Keeping the UK safe in cyberspace ~ Digital Agenda: European Commission supports research on Cyber security ~ MPs say Government must do more to keep public safe online

LSISService to the end - The RSC case studies currently held on the Excellence Gateway will transfer to JISC Advance from Learning and Skills Improvement Services before LSIS’s closure at the end of July 2013.   JISC Advance will shortly confirm the new location of the case studies.
Press release & links ~ Future of LSIS’s work on national occupational standards & apprenticeships ~ The future of the Excellence Gateway & other LSIS materials


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