Extra NHS Funding Provision For Winter Pressures (BBC News / Department of Health / NHS England)

Summary

Further emergency funding has been made available for the NHS in England to help prepare for the recurrent winter crisis in rising demands for health care. This special funding is reported to have been increased by 75% compared to last year, with an extra £300m being diverted from other areas; raising total winter-related provision to £700m.

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Triggle, N. (2014). NHS winter fears ‘prompt cash boost’. London: BBC Health News, November 14th 2014.

More BBC News analysis:

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Triggle, N. (2014). Why the NHS is facing a tricky winter. London: BBC Health News, November 14th 2014.

NHS plans for winter are in place early, involving plans to help keep people out of hospital, with closer involvement of GPs and social service organisations, and publicity campaigns encouraging people with non-urgent medical problems to use the full range of NHS services and local pharmacies.

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NHS well prepared for cold winter pressures. London: Department of Health, November 14th 2014.

Possibly related back-story / context:

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Colchester Hospital declares ‘major incident’. London: BBC Health News, November 15th 2014.

92.9% of patients were seen within four hours after arrival at A&E in early / mid November 2014; the lowest percentage since April 2013.

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A&Es miss four-hour wait standard. London: BBC Health News, November 21st 2014.

Related interest:

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Pym, H. (2014). The NHS this winter – how chilly will it get? London: BBC Health News, November 21st 2014.

NHS Winter Project: NHS Local Performance Tracking Service (BBC News)

The BBC now offers the public their NHS Winter Project, subsequently also known as their “NHS Tracker” service, which allows people to keep track on how well the health service (particularly A&E) is performing locally, down to individual hospital trust level.

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Triggle, N. (2014). Hospital face pressures as winter hits – health leaders. London: BBC Health News, December 12th 2014.

Alternative (Embellished?) Reference

Triggle, N. (2014). Hospitals struggling as winter hits. London: BBC Health News, December 12th 2014.

Further discussion:

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Triggle, N. (2014). Why are hospitals under so much pressure? London: BBC Health News, December 13th 2014.

and:

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West Midlands A&E and ambulances ‘stretched to limit’. London: BBC Health News, December 14th 2014.

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Pym, H. (2014). A&E units ‘creaking under pressure’. London: BBC Health News, December 16th 2014.

The situation by mid-December 2014:

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Triggle, N. (2014). A&E has ‘worst week’ in England. London: BBC Health News, December 19th 2014.

Further statistics on Northern Ireland:

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A&E has ‘worst week’ in England (Northern Ireland). London: BBC Health News, December 18th 2014.

Further statistics on Wales:

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A&E has ‘worst week’ in England (Wales). London: BBC Health News, December 18th 2014.

Possibly of interest, on the question of opening hours and availability of GP practices (regarding the paucity of community-based alternatives to hospital A&E attendances and admissions):

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Pym, H. (2014). Christmas closures – plan ahead. London: BBC Health News, December 23rd 2014.

Ambulance Response Time Targets: Potential Re-Definition to Improve Target Compliance?

The target times allowed for ambulances to reach some seriously ill patients could be relaxed, the BBC has learned, presumably on the grounds of their increasing impracticability and unachievability. The Department of Health maintains that no decisions have been made yet regarding this confidential consultation, and that any proposed changes could be linked to improving response times for more urgent cases.

It is unclear whether patient safety is being traded-off against political expediency, by moving the goal posts.

“President of the College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Clifford Mann, said the proposals appeared sensible but they needed to be trialled to provide evidence to prove it was not a cosmetic exercise”.

Interestingly, the term “confidential consultation” is a curious oxymoron, and would appear (at face value) to be contrary to the premise that the “NHS belongs to us all” which is a cornerstone of the NHS Constitution.

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Ambulance targets: plan for longer times revealed. London: BBC Health News, December 21st 2014.

Further BBC analysis on the pros and cons of NHS “target chasing” in general:

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Triggle, N. (2014). Are we too obsessed with NHS targets? London: BBC Health News, December 30th 2014.

NHS 111: In Need of Considered Tweaking?

Dr Clifford Mann, President of the College of Emergency Medicine, has questioned whether the NHS 111 urgent care helpline service might – as it is configured presently – be adding to Winter A&E pressures.

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Reference

Pym, H. (2014). Winter pressure – how helpful is NHS 111? London: BBC Health News, December 16th 2014.

Increasing numbers of people have been referred to GP surgeries and A&E, according to an analysis of NHS 111 urgent care line calls in England.

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111 line increasing pressure on NHS, say leading doctors. London: BBC Health News, February 4th 2015.

Into 2015: More Statistics on Winter Pressures

Further coverage:

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Triggle, N. (2015). NHS set for a bumpy start to 2015. London: BBC Health News, January 5th 2015.

Official statistics from NHS England:

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A&E figures published for festive period. London: NHS England, January 6th 2015.

Pinch of Salt: Reverse-Acting “Hawthorne Effect” Arising From Media Attention?

Back to the textbooks on this matter… Whilst in no way wishing to minimise the crisis in A&E / winter pressures, it is perhaps timely to speculate whether the act of giving the problem heightened and prolonged media coverage might be causing interested parties to modify their performance (perhaps unwittingly at rank-and-file level) in response to their awareness of the topic being the focus of attention.

A&E waiting times in England would appear to have fallen to their worst level for a decade:

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Reference

Triggle, N. (2015). A&E performance in England ‘likely to hit new low’. London: BBC Health News, January 6th 2015.

A growing number of hospitals in England have already declared (or seem likely to be about to declare) major incidents due to problems handling patient numbers.

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‘Major incidents’ declared at English hospitals. London: BBC News / BBC Health News, January 5th 2015.

Would interested-parties, interest groups, wily NHS managers and other political players be inclined, in their turn, to “spin” such developments for self-interested purposes? ’Twas ever thus.

Problems go on to deepen, seemingly:

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Reference

Triggle, N. (2015). A&E waits in England ‘getting worse’. London: BBC Health News, January 9th 2015.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Circle Holdings, the private company which operates Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, has announced it will pull-out of its contract (coincidentally on the day the hospital was rated as “inadequate” by the CQC).

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Hinchingbrooke Hospital: Circle to withdraw from contract. London: BBC Health News, January 9th 2015.

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Hinchingbrooke Hospital asks for £9.6m bailout as Circle withdraws. London: BBC News Cambridgeshire / BBC Health News, February 10th 2014.

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MP fears Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough hospital takeover deal. London: BBC News Cambridgeshire / BBC Health News, January 5th 2016.

Public Accounts Committee comments:

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Hinchingbrooke Hospital privately-run hospital scheme ‘poor’. London: BBC News Cambridgeshire / BBC Health News, March 18th 2014.

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Privately-run Hinchingbrooke Hospital returns to NHS. London: BBC News Cambridgeshire / BBC Health News, April 1st 2014.

Further BBC News commentary:

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Pym, H. (2015). NHS: A testing week for the health service. London: BBC Health News, January 9th 2015.

A&E waiting times in Wales and Northern Ireland worsened moving into the first month of 2015; dropping below performance in England.

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Triggle, N. (2015). Wales and NI A&E waits ‘worsen’. London: BBC Health News, January 16th 2015.

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Pym, H. (2015). A&E departments: More bad news. London: BBC Health News, January 16th 2015.

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Hospital discharge delays tackled with £100m of funding. Scotland: BBC News Scotland / BBC Health News, January 20th 2015.

Worsening figures from Scotland:

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Bradford, E. (2015). More Scots waiting longer in A&E. Scotland: BBC News Scotland / BBC Health News, February 3rd 2015.

Waiting times for A&E in England have declined further, slightly.

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Reference

Triggle, N. (2015). A&E waits worsen slightly in England. London: BBC Health News, February 6th 2015.

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About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
This entry was posted in Acute Hospitals, BBC News, Commissioning, Community Care, Department of Health, Falls, For Carers (mostly), For Doctors (mostly), For Nurses and Therapists (mostly), For Researchers (mostly), For Social Workers (mostly), In the News, Integrated Care, Management of Condition, National, NHS, NHS England, Northern Ireland, Quick Insights, Scotland, Standards, UK, Universal Interest, Wales and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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