On the same day that David Cameron / Jeremy Hunt renewed pledges to maintain NHS funding, recruit 5,000 new GPs and create an NHS health service operating seven-days a week, Simon Stevens has spoken of action in pursuit of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View on three broad fronts: (i) prevention, (ii) care re-design, and (iii) focus on NHS efficiency linked to new investment.
Simon Stevens call for bold action to make NHS fit for the future. London: NHS England, May 18th 2015.
Prime Minister’s Plans for a Seven-Day NHS
Plans for 7-day NHS services, and commitment for funding to increase by £8 billion per year:
PM on plans for a seven-day NHS. London: Department of Health, May 18th 2015.
David Cameron renews NHS funding pledges. London: BBC Health News, May 18th 2015.
Jeremy Hunt: message to NHS staff on the new deal for GPs. London: Department of Health and Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, June 26th 2015.
Department of Health Factsheet on 7-day NHS Services
The following factsheet discusses why and how the government plans to make NHS services safer. Hospitals and community services are working together on services 7 days a week.
Policy paper. 7-day NHS services: a factsheet. London: Department of Health, July 24th 2015.
Reactions Not Universally Positive
Gallagher, J. (2015). Doctors hit out at plans for seven-day GP surgeries. London: BBC Health News, May 21st 2015.
Pym, H. (2015). Consultants, a seven-day NHS and that petition. London: BBC Health News, August 7th 2015.
Further commentary / analysis:
Pym, H. (2015). Seven-day NHS – claims and counter claims. London: BBC Health News, August 13th 2015.
Hughes, D. (2015). Government ‘chasing headlines on NHS’, says doctors’ union. London: BBC Health News, August 15th 2015.
At the time of the NHS Confederation Annual Conference, NHS England asked for a suspension of the NICE safe staffing programme. NHS England intends to pursue staffing issues as part of a wider programme of service improvement, involving alternative approaches to helping NHS providers achieve suitable staffing levels and mix.
NHS England asks NICE to suspend safe staffing programme. London: National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), June 4th 2015.
NHS England’s Chief Nursing Officer, Jane Cummings, has written a “Safe Staffing Letter”, featuring profuse heavy underlining, to Nursing Directors, CCGs, ALBs etc. about ensuring the NHS is safely staffed:
Ensuring the NHS is safely staffed. Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer England. London: NHS England, June 11th 2015.
The Royal College of Nursing has pointed-out that a fall in the number of staff employed in senior nursing roles could jeopardise seven-day services. The NHS has 2,295 fewer nurses working in expert or leadership roles than in 2010, despite recruitment initiatives regarding nursing shortages.
Triggle, N. (2015). Nurse cuts ‘put 7-day plan at risk’. London: BBC Health News, June 21st 2015.
This RCN briefing is about the need for further investment in the nursing workforce:
Seven day care in England: update for RCN Congress 2015. London: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), June 2015.
Similarly – at the other end of the pay scale – new immigration rules, involving a pay threshold for non-European workers whereby migrants not earning at least £35,000 may have to leave the UK after six years, are likely to impact on nurse staffing levels.
Triggle, N. (2015). Migrant salary rules may cost NHS nurse jobs, union warns. London: BBC Health News, June 22nd 2015.
The heads of 10 NHS Trusts, and NHS Employers, have written to the home secretary recommending that nurses should be added to the list of occupations for which there is an official shortage.
Dreaper, J. (2015). NHS warns nurse immigration rules ‘harm patient safety’. London: BBC Health News, September 10th 2015.
Possibly of interest, regarding the enhanced roles of nurse consultants, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners:
Triggle, N. (2015). Are nurses the new doctors? London: BBC Health News, June 23rd 2015.
A recent report by the Health Service Journal (HSJ) highlighted the potential contributions of specialist nurses for “reducing costs and increasing efficiencies, supporting service re-design, bringing care closer to home and delivering person-centred care”.
Time for some advanced thinking? The benefits of specialist nurses. Health Service Journal (HSJ) / AbbVie, February 27th 2015.
Better Procurement: Clampdown on Spending Via Expensive Staffing Agencies
Simon Stevens the Chief Executive of NHS England has plans to curb excessive spending on staffing agencies “ripping off the NHS”. NHS hospitals have been over-spending on temporary staffing.
Obesity is the new smoking, he also observed.
NHS to target ‘rip-off’ staffing agencies. London: BBC Health News, May 31st 2015.
The cost of agency and contract staff for the NHS in England last year was £3.3 billion, and has been rising sharply. The government has announced that there will be a defined maximum hourly rate for “temps”, and a cap on the amounts that hospital trusts can spend on agency staff.
Roberts, M. (2015). Sanctions target ‘rip-off’ NHS temps. London: BBC Health News, June 2nd 2015.
This relates to:
Clampdown on staffing agencies charging NHS extortionate rates. London: Department of Health / The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, June 2nd 2015.
Monitor’s Provider Sustainability Directorate: New Team Investigating Spending on Agency Staff
Monitor has reported that NHS spending on temporary staff increased by 29% to £2.4 billion in 2013-14. A team will conduct an initial three-month trial at three foundation trusts to try to identify weaknesses in staffing management and deliver savings.
Regulator sets up team to tackle billion pound agency black hole. London: Monitor, June 26th 2015.
Plans to save the NHS £1 billion on agency staff costs over the next three years will involve NHS trusts being prevented paying over 55% more to agencies than the costs of paying a regular comparable member of staff.
NHS agency staff cap ‘to save £1bn’. London: BBC Health News, October 13th 2015.
Concerning the Costs Versus Benefits of Seven-Day Hospital Services
Questions about the cost-effectiveness of 7 day emergency services:
Meacock, R. Doran, T. [and Sutton, M. (2015). What are the costs and benefits of providing comprehensive seven-day services for emergency hospital admissions? Health Economics. May 22nd 2015. [Epub ahead of print].
National Conversation on the New Smoking
Pym, H. (2015). Obesity – the ticking time bomb which starts young. London: BBC Health News, June 24th 2015.