NHS ConfedWorking together by design costs less than working in ‘silos’ - A study commissioned by the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network shows the integration of mental & physical health services in one city centre hospital has improved care for patients, while making estimated savings of  £3.4 - £9.5m a year.

The study looked at an award winning scheme at Birmingham City Hospital called Rapid Assessment Interface & Discharge (RAID) that integrates physical & mental health care.  It is available to any adult patients in the hospital who self-harm, are alcohol dependent, have substance misuse issues or have mental health difficulties associated with old age.

The RAID service aims to make sure patients with mental health problems get treated in the most effective way. Often this means diverting people to alternative services.  For example, A&E departments are unsuitable for many people with dementia and can be cared for more effectively on specialist wards.
Press release ~ NHS Confederation Mental Health Network ~ An economic evaluation of a liaison psychiatry service ~ NHS Future Forum sends interim recommendations to Secretary of State ~ National programme launched to accelerate learning for health & wellbeing boards ~ How can we create a more integrated service? ~ Social enterprise stories – Your Healthcare CIC, Kingston ~ DH Progress report: evaluation of the national integrated care pilots ~ The King’s Fund: Integrated Care ~ London Deanery: IC ~ Nuffield Trust: Integrated Care ~ NHS Scotland: What are Integrated Care Pathways? ~ Building integrated care: lessons from the UK and elsewhere ~ Mental health integrated care pathways toolkit ~ Principles for Integrated Care ~ Mental Health and Housing: Resources for Commissioners and Providers - Integrated care ~ Think tanks work together to support integrated care for patients

NAOBetter, but not good enough yet - Action taken by the Ministry of Defence to balance its overall budget in the short term following the SDSR has contributed to a near £500m in-year cost increase in the 15 largest defence projects, a report by the National Audit Office has revealed.  When coupled with previous cost growth, these projects are now £6bn above forecasts made when the main investment decisions were taken.

For the third successive year, central planning decisions taken by the MoD, including delaying the Astute submarine project, have had the biggest impact on cost growth, accounting for £237m of the increase.  Of this, £113m relates to decisions to enhance capability.  Macro-economic factors, such as adverse foreign exchange rates, accounted for £176m of the increase.  Cost overruns from project-specific technical issues accounted for £53m.

During 2010-11, there was a total increase of 30 months (with an average 2 months per project) in the forecast time to complete these projects and bring them into service.  This brings the total delay on all 15 projects to 26.8 years.  

The most significant changes were a 12-month delay in the timetable for the Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicle project, which was largely due to the contractor’s failing to deliver against the agreed schedule, and a 13 month delay on the Astute project.
Press release & links ~ MoD comments ~ RUSI:  Has the MoD finally managed to combat the previously irresistible gravitational pull of its funding Black Hole? (First item)

BISAnd now for something completely different - A £5m investment scheme to help Service heroes start up, called Be the Boss, is being expanded to include all Service-leavers.  The initiative offers business start-up training, grants & loans up to £30,000 as well as mentoring.  Funded by BIS and delivered by the Royal British Legion (RBL), the scheme has attracted over 1,000 registrations so far.
Press release & links ~ Be the Boss ~ Royal Navy and Army release redundancy scheme details ~ Details of RAF redundancy scheme announced ~ Armed Forces Redundancy Schemes ~ Armed Forces Redundancy Calculator ~ MoD: Information for service leavers ~  HMForces.co.uk ~ UK Armed Forces resettlement service ~ Leavingthearmedforces.com ~ RBL: Returning to civilian life? ~ Are you leaving Service?

EU News:  They may be small, but they are a big problem - With about 25,000 patients dying per year in the EU from infections caused by drug resistant bacteria and related costs of over €1.5bn in healthcare expenses & productivity losses, antimicrobial resistance is a growing health problem in the EU.

Last week, on the eve of European Antibiotic Awareness Day, the European Commission tabled a comprehensive Action Plan on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which unveils 12 concrete actions to be implemented in close cooperation with the Member States.

EU-wide data published last week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on antibiotic resistance shows that resistance to last-line antibiotics is increasing in Europe.  For example, resistance to pathogens which frequently cause pneumonia & urinary tract infections in hospitals is increasing across the EU and is now established in several countries.
Press release & links ~ Related HPA press release ~ DH: New Bedside furniture designs to reduce HAI ~ HPA:  Prevention is much better than the battle to cure (Third item) ~ STFC: New knowledge will boost fight against superbug ~ HPA - Scientists reveal new immunotherapy treatment option for C.Difficile

DHIt's like a gun with a magazine of bullets; when you have fired them all the gun will be useless - Doctors & nurses are being asked to think twice before they prescribe antibiotics in a bid to prevent patients being given them too much and developing resistance to these life saving drugs.

New guidance, ‘Start Smart, Then Focus’, provides hospital prescribers with best practice advice on antimicrobial prescribing.  It will help ensure patients receive the right drug, at the right time, at the right dose and the right duration for the individual - 'avoiding unnecessary lengthy duration of antibiotic treatment and inappropriate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics'.

Misuse of antibiotics is causing bacteria to become resistant.  Some antibiotics aren’t as effective as they used to be because the bacteria they are designed to tackle have become resistant to them.  These important medicines need to be used wisely to maximise the NHS’s ability to treat infections in the future.
Press release & links ~ Antimicrobial stewardship: Start smart - then focus ~ HPA: Drug resistance developments in the UK ~ STFC: From new antibiotics to electricity flow in the national grid - ISIS is back online ~ DH:   Get well soon without antibiotics! ~ DH:;Antibiotic Resistance ~ European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) ~ Related press release – Helping children learn about bugs at home ~ Related ScotGov PR

DCLG:  Snuff a light, not a life - Fire & Rescue Services across the country were asking people to take care last week during Candle Fire Safety Week and snuff out the risk of fire in their homes.  With over 50 fires started by candles every day, the Fire Kills Campaign is asking people to take extra care with candles this winter.
Press release ~ CFOA: Candle Fire Safety Week

Latest Whitepaper: As Online Threats to the Public Sector Increase, Security Suffers - Ten years ago the threat to online security came mainly from lone hackers looking to make a name for themselves with high-profile attacks on corporate and government networks. Organisations then busied themselves with building perimeter defenses to keep these attacks out.
Since then, the number and kinds of attack have increased dramatically, and economic and political gains are now the driving motivations. And the lone wolf is no longer the main threat. Well-funded and sophisticated criminal gangs and state-sponsored groups patiently probe defenses looking for valuable data, or planting viruses meant to disrupt and damage infrastructure.
A new paper entitled ‘Security-In-Depth Using Integrated, Risk-Conscious Controls’ investigates how your organisation may already have most of what you need to meet with ever-increasing compliance demands and protect against today’s data security threats.

Click here to view and download your free copy the paper.

Forthcoming event: Gartner Master Data Management Summit 2012 - Assured Business Outcomes Through Trusted Master Data, 8-9 February 2012, London, UK - In today’s business, organizations demand their investments get results — whether they wish to target revenue growth opportunities, improve efficiency, increase quality of service, improve accuracy of decision-making, or address regulatory compliance directives. And high-quality, consistent, well-understood master data is the key.
The Gartner Master Data Management Summit (MDM) is designed to give you the insights, tools, and actionable advice that you will need to make a difference. You will be able to address these challenges and prove results. Your path to success can start by creating an effective vision, strategy, roadmap, while gaining an insight into MDM future trends, the impact of social networking, cloud computing and “Big Data”.
The Gartner Master Data Management Summit provides you with world class research and practical advice to achieve the full business value that comes from well-understood, consistent, trusted master data.  The MDM Summit addresses all maturity levels needs - from those just getting started with MDM, to those seeking advanced guidance on “what’s next” in MDM.

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