Legal intelligence for professionals in health and social care

This Update contains brief details of recent Government publications, legislation, cases and other developments relevant to those involved in health and social care work, which have been published in the last month.

If you have been forwarded this update by a colleague and would like to receive it directly, please email Claire Bentley.

  Care   Governance
  Children   Information and Data Sharing
  Clinical Risk   Inquests
  Commissioning   Mental Health
  Complaints   Primary Care
  Employment/HR   Public Health
  Finance   Regulation 
  Foundation Trusts   General 



National audit of intermediate care report 2012. This audit highlights wide variation in service models being used nationally with differences evident in the extent of multiagency integration, the scale of services provided, and how intermediate care sits within the full range of health and community services, in each local health economy.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Carlton Sadler

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Arrangements to secure children’s and adult safeguarding in the future NHS: the new accountability and assurance framework – interim advice. This interim advice provides guidance to CCGs on arrangements to secure children’s and adult safeguarding. A covering letter reminds PCTs and SHAs of the vital importance of maintaining appropriate arrangements as the health system goes through transition.

Silent voices: supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse. This briefing outlines key findings and themes from a rapid evidence assessment on parental alcohol misuse. It outlines the need for earlier intervention and support from children's social care services and is aimed at policy makers and those who commission and provide local services.

Arrangements to secure children's and adult safeguarding in the future NHS: The new accountability and assurance framework – interim advice. In the final report of her review of child protection, Professor Eileen Munro expressed concern about the possible impact of the Health and Social Care Act reforms on effective partnership arrangements and the ability to provide effective help for children suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. The Government has since committed to establishing a co-produced work programme "to ensure continued improvement and the development of effective arrangements to safeguard and promote children’s welfare as central considerations of the health reforms". This advice focuses primarily on the new NHS commissioning system and provides additional information to emerging clinical commissioning groups linked to authorisation and beyond. It also sets out how the NHS Commissioning Board intends to fulfil its duties and responsibilities, both as the commissioner of some healthcare services and in its oversight role, and outlines the on-going work and timetable required to secure successful implementation.

National paediatric diabetes audit report 2010-11. This audit was commissioned by HQIP as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). It measures the prevalence of diabetes in children and young people across England and Wales and assesses whether the eight key care processes recommended by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) are being met. It found that, although standards have improved from 2009/10, the UK still falls short of standards in comparable countries. It also found significant variations in standards across the country.

Epilepsy12 UK-wide audit report 2012. This audit was undertaken by local paediatricians and nurses to find ways to continue improving the services they provide. 98% of children's NHS services took part. The audit found significant variation in the quality of care for children with epilepsy and their families. The report of findings from the audit is aimed at health providers and commissioners to facilitate better measurement and improvement in the quality of care for children and young people with seizures and epilepsies.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Deborah Jeremiah or Penelope Radcliffe

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Clinical Risk     

Hospitals on the edge? The time for action. The demand on clinical services is increasing to the point where acute care cannot keep pace in its current form. This report from the RCP highlights that there are a third fewer general and acute beds now than there were 25 years ago, yet the last decade alone has seen a 37% increase in emergency admissions.

NHS safety thermometer. This letter provides an overview of the collection of data for the NHS safety thermometer and advises the NHS on how they can help to provide an accurate interpretation of their data for interested parties.

Safe staffing for older people: RCN full report and recommendations. This report, from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), sets out guidance and recommendations for the provision of good quality, compassionate and safe nursing care for older people in hospital.

Organisation Patient Safety Incident Reports. This is the eighth release of the Organisation Patient Safety Incident Reports data for NHS organisations in England and Wales. The data release includes details of patient safety incidents in England and Wales that occurred between 01 October 2011 and 31 March 2012 were submitted to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) by the end of May 2012.

Antenatal care quality standard. This new quality standard on antenatal care requires that services should be commissioned from and coordinated across all relevant agencies encompassing the antenatal care part of the maternity pathway. An integrated approach to provision of services is fundamental to the delivery of high quality care to pregnant women.

Managing the after effects of serious patient safety incidents in the NHS: an online survey study. The conclusions of this report state that awareness of the importance of being open is high among patient safety managers in English NHS Trusts, but there is still considerable scope for improvement in the management of the after effects of patient safety incidents. More research is needed on patients' and healthcare professionals' preferences for support after patient safety incidents.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact  Joanna Lloyd or Julie Chappell.

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Procurement of healthcare (clinical) services: Briefings for CCGs. The NHS Commissioning Board has published a series of procurement briefings for CCGs that summarise the key elements of legislation and guidance currently governing NHS procurement of healthcare services. These briefings also provide an overview of the different procurement approaches that CCGs may adopt and outline some of the key considerations when undertaking a procurement process.

Designing and commissioning services for adults with asthma: a good practice guide. This guide sets out the 15 points that good asthma services need to include, with detailed advice for commissioners and service developers together with examples of good practice.

A clinical commissioner’s guide to the voluntary sector. This guide, produced in conjunction with NHS Alliance, calls for a revolution in NHS and community links. It sets out practical examples to support closer working between clinical commissioners and third sector organisations. It explores three key areas: QIPP, patient and public involvement and collaborative commissioning.

Clinical advisory group for prescribed services—final recommendations. Specialised health services will be subjected to more comprehensive planning under new proposals from the Clinical Advisory Group for Prescribed Services (CAG). The report outlines CAG's recommendations for which services should be commissioned nationally. Final decisions will be made by the NHS Commissioning Board.

Getting to grips with integrated 24/7 emergency and urgent care: a practical way forward for clinical commissioners This report is designed to help commissioners implement effective integrated urgent care strategies in their local areas.

A clinical commissioner's guide to the voluntary sector. This guide from ACEVO and the NHS Alliance is intended to support closer and more effective working between clinical commissioners and voluntary organisations. It explores models for successful collaboration between commissioners and sector organisations in the new landscape of clinical commissioning and developing provider markets. It calls for a revolution in NHS/community links, setting out practical examples to support closer working between clinical commissioners and third sector organisations. The Government has placed increasing emphasis on commissioning from voluntary sector providers and this guide gives a taste of that potential and some practical tips on how and where to get started.

Consultation response: draft mandate for the NHS Commissioning Board. This consultation response puts forward several changes to the draft mandate for the NHS Commissioning Board deemed necessary to ensure that the board can be effectively held accountable for £80 billion of public money. Suggested changes include: enhancing the coherence and focus of the mandate; introducing a narrative that communicates a vision for a better NHS; stronger and more specific commitments on integrated care; and recognition of the need to treat mental and physical health problems in a less fragmented way.

If you require further information about any of the items raised in this section please contact  David Owens

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GMC trialling new system to improve how complaints against doctors are investigated. The GMC will start two pilot schemes as part of its wider fitness to practise reforms. One will involve meetings with doctors who have been subject to an investigation and the other will test meetings with patients and relatives who have raised concerns about doctors.

The state of medical education and practice in the UK. This General Medical Council report says that complaints about doctors have hit a record high with patients more prepared to raise concerns about their treatment. The number of complaints increased by 23% between 2010 and 2011. The GMC states that medical standards are not falling but that more people are prepared to make a complaint. 

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact  Julie Chappell

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Reform of the NHS pension scheme: equality analysis. This equality analysis for the design of the new NHS pension scheme aims to ensure that further discussions with NHS pension scheme stakeholders, including the relevant trade unions, on the detailed provisions of the new scheme design, will meet the requirements of the Public Service Pension Bill.

Employment check standards survey. NHS Employers are evaluating the revised employment check standards and the resources that they provide to employers to support the undertaking of employment checks. This survey closes on 26th October 2012.

Planning for a secure transition: HR guidance. This letter sets out the principles underpinning the transitional arrangements for the structural reform of the NHS. It provides guidance to support NHS leaders develop local arrangements and manage the impact of transition on employees.

Medical appraisal guide pilot. These five reports summarise the work of the Revalidation Support Team's testing and piloting project in 2011-12. The project aimed to inform the implementation of revalidation and to provide information to inform the Department of Health’s business case for revalidation.

NHS employment checks: criminal record and barring checks decision tree. This decision tree tool has been produced to support employers in making decisions about eligibility for employee criminal record checks under the terms of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (as amended by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012). It prompts employers to answer key questions when assessing if checks are required, and eligibility for the level of check (basic, standard or enhanced). It also references legislation and other sources of information to assist employers in making informed decisions.

A shift in the right direction This guidance is primarily aimed at RCN safety representatives to assist them in their work with employers to protect members and patients from the negative impacts of shift working. It is also a useful resource for health care managers or specialist advisers responsible for managing shift systems or supporting the health, safety and wellbeing of health care workers.

The General Medical Council (GMC) has confirmed that it will recommend to the Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, that revalidation for doctors should begin in December this year.

If you require further information about any of the items raised in this section please contact Julian Hoskins or James Gutteridge

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NHS financial year 2011/12. This report from the Audit Commission summarises the findings from the 2011/12 audit of PCT, NHS Trust and SHA accounts. It also examines some of the productivity challenges in the NHS, concluding the Audit Commission's 'More for Less' series of reports. The report finds that PCTs, SHAs and NHS trusts reported a combined under-spend and surplus of £1.6bn in 2011/12. Most NHS trusts reported an improved financial position in 2011/12. Thirty two NHS trusts reported a reduced surplus compared to 2010/11 and a further seven deteriorated to the point of reporting a deficit.

Papering over the cracks: the impact of social care funding on the NHS. This briefing from the NHS Confederation outlines the current demographic and financial realities of social care and how these impact upon the NHS. It shows the additional pressure that will be put upon the health and care system in the coming years and it sets out recommendations for a lasting solution for the funding of social care. It calls for a redoubling of efforts to integrate care and for a cross-party consensus on solving the challenges raised.

Takeover: tackling failing NHS hospitals. This report from Reform explores options for saving failing NHS hospitals, and concludes that the government could consider the takeover of up to 30 NHS hospitals by private companies instead of encouraging mergers between failing hospitals. It refers to the example of Circle, the first private company to take over the management of a failing hospital.

Fair and transparent pricing for NHS services - A consultation on proposals for objecting to proposed pricing methodologies. This Department of Health consultation discusses the new arrangements for the National Tariff (covering the prices to be paid for NHS services) provided for in the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It includes consultation questions relating to the circumstances in which objections from providers and/or commissioners to the pricing methodology proposed by Monitor would require either re-consideration by Monitor of the proposal or a referral to the Competition Commission. The consultation is one of a number DH is carrying out in relation to the new arrangements for regulating healthcare services. It should be considered alongside current consultations on; a new licensing regime for NHS providers and procurement regulations for NHS commissioners. The consultation closes on 21 December 2012.

Work in progress: The franchising of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust. The National Audit Office is to study the 10 year franchise of Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust awarded to Circle Health in November 2011. Circle Health is the first private company to have the management functions of an NHS Trust transferred to it. The NAO intends to publish its report in autumn 2012.

If you require further information about any of the items raised in this section please contact David Owens

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Guidance /Publications
Mid Staffordshire inquiry report delayed until next year. The long-awaited report from the public inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust scandal will not be published until next year, it has been confirmed.

If you require further information about any of the items raised in this section please contact Vincent Buscemi

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Proposed changes to the governance arrangements for controlled drugs. The Department of Health is seeking views on proposed changes to the governance arrangements for controlled drugs in England and Scotland, including the role and functions of Controlled Drugs Accountable Officers (CDAOs). The consultation runs until 15 November 2012.

If you require further information about any of the items raised in this section please contact Vincent Buscemi

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Personal health records - putting people in control? This report is the result of research into the take up of personal health records, which allow patients to manage their own health details. The report revealed that where electronic health records are provided, the service is well liked by patients. However, public perception remains a big barrier to uptake, with many patients unfamiliar or sceptical about the government storing their health records online. 

Health Research Authority to take role in research access to patient data. The Health Research Authority will host transparent expert advice to support decisions on access to personal health information, the Department of Health announced today. All research applications needing access to identifiable patient information without consent require Health Secretary approval, when it is impractical to gain individual consent for that access or it is insufficient to anonymise the data.

Data Protection Act 1998: Guidance on the use of cloud computing. Information Commissioner's Office guidance provides advice on what companies should consider prior to a move to cloud computing for the processing of personal data. 

Information sharing to tackle violence: guidance for Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) on engaging with the NHS. This guidance aims to address part of the Government’s commitment to tackling violence through information sharing. It highlights how CSPs made up of local authorities, the police and other local agencies can reduce violence in their community by encouraging A&Es to collect and share information on time, type and location of assault. It includes: advice and tools to support CSPs to share information to reduce violence; advice on data collection, use and feedback; information on how to engage with health partners effectively; and relevant information on NHS and public health reforms.   

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Jane Bennett. 

Back to topInquests

Summary of Reports and Responses under Rule 43 of the Coroners Rules. A Ministry of Justice report gives details of coroners' reports and responses received from organisations asked to consider action to prevent future deaths between October 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

Chief coroner plans specialist groups to investigate complex cases: Peter Thornton QC considering introduction of specially trained coroners for deaths in custody and military fatalities. The first chief coroner of England and Wales, Peter Thornton QC, has pledged to use his new powers to intervene in cases that became highly complex or controversial. Addressing the annual conference of the Coroners Society, he also announced that he was considering the establishment of several specialist groups of coroners, including those to deal with military deaths and deaths in custody.

Death certification reforms in England and Wales - Update for coroners. This update has been prepared for coroners to respond to frequently asked questions about the proposed reforms to death certification.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Joanna Lloyd or Nadia Persaud

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Mental Health


Bevan Brittan Mental Health Extranet.
Free resource for Bevan Brittan NHS clients. Bevan Brittan has a wealth of mental health knowledge it would like to share with NHS clients. We have therefore developed an online searchable extranet designed to bring various sources of mental health information and guidance into one place.

The extranet also contains a forum for use by members to share knowledge and information. Forum issues currently being discussed are:-
  Guidance when determining residence and care of an elderly patient with dementia and complex physical health needs.
  Multi-lingual patient information leaflets and videos

If you would like information about how to access the Bevan Brittan Mental Health Extranet please email Claire Bentley by clicking here.

Training - If you would like to know about our lunch time training sessions just let Claire Bentley know. You can attend in our London, Bristol or Birmingham office.

How we support the rights and interests of people on community treatment orders (CTOs). This booklet prepared by the CQC is for anyone on a community treatment order under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Recovery, personalisation and personal budgets. This briefing paper produced by the Centre for Mental Health and in conjunction with the NHS Confederation Mental Health network, outlines eight core features that need to be put in place if personal health budgets in the NHS and personal budgets in social care are to support recovery.

Community mental health survey 2012. This survey of over 15,000 people on their experiences of community mental health services found that they are treated with dignity and respect by the health or social care worker they had seen most recently. However, some would have liked more support in getting help with aspects of day-to-day living.

Delivering quality care for drug and alcohol users: the roles and competencies of doctors. This guidance, produced in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners, highlights the need for services to employ teams with the right mix of skills and clinical expertise to support the recovery of people with drug and alcohol problems. It is also intended as timely assistance in the transition towards new commissioning arrangements for drug and alcohol services next year.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) Funding Factsheet for 2013-14. The Department has published the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) Funding Factsheet for 2013-14 . It announces funding for new local authority responsibilities for assessing and authorising a Deprivation of Liberty in a hospital setting. News

Scotland Yard to review deaths in custody of mentally ill. Scotland Yard has launched a review, chaired by Lord Adebowale, the chief executive of the charity Turning Point, of cases in which people with a mental illness have died or been seriously hurt in police custody. The review is to give its report in February 2013.

MPs back Mental Health Bill to put an end to "last legal form of discrimination". MPs have voted in favour of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill which will: end a ban on people with mental health problems participating in jury service and becoming or remaining a company director; and change a law stipulating that MPs must lose their seats if sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The Bill will go to committee stage before a final vote, which is expected in early 2013.

CQC chief 'sorry' for 'very personal' comments on whistleblower's mental health. Whistleblower attacks CQC chair for publicly airing personal information and giving MPs a "distorted and partial" version of events.

Down's syndrome patient challenges resuscitation order. A man with Down's syndrome is suing an NHS trust over a hospital's decision to issue a do-not-resuscitate order giving his disability as one of the reasons.

The National AMHP Survey 2012: Final Report. A profession survey has found that over a fifth of those trained as approved mental health professionals want to stop working in the  role. 504 approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) responded to the 2012 National AMHP survey. Of that 22 per cent said they no longer wanted to continue in their AMHP role and a further 18 per cent said they were “unsure” of whether they wanted to continue practising as AMHPs.

Community mental health survey 2012. This survey looked at the experiences of people receiving community mental health services. The majority of participants said that they were treated with respect and dignity and were listened to carefully, that they had their views taken into account and had enough time to discuss their condition and treatment, and that they had trust and confidence in the health or social care worker they had seen most recently. It was also found that participants felt the need to be more involved in some aspects of their care.

Factsheet - Detention and Mental Health. This factsheet has been prepared by the European Court of Human Rights and details cases which have relied on the European Convention on Human Rights 1950 art.3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment), requiring Member States to ensure that every prisoner is detained in conditions that are compatible with respect for human dignity. This factsheet carries on from a previous factsheet on mental health published in June 2012 .

Independent Investigation into the care and treatment of Mrs A. NHS Midlands and East has published the independent investigation report of a mental health service user homicide case in Cambridgeshire.

Service users play vital role in improvements. This case study from Bradford District Care Trust demonstrates how involving service users in the process of improvement has been central to work learning disabilities teams have done on the productive mental health ward. Improvements achieved include a 10% reduction in falls and improving staff well being levels to 97%.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in the above section please contact Simon Lindsay. 

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Primary Care

Designing and commissioning services for adults with asthma: a good practice guide. This guide sets out the 15 points that good asthma services need to include, with detailed advice for commissioners and service developers together with examples of good practice.

Home truths: how dysfunctional relationships between GPs and social care staff are driving demand for adult social care. This research argues that GPs inflate demand for residential care by at least 60,000 older people every year because they don’t understand the alternatives. The study, based on interviews with older people, social care professionals, GPs and directors of adult social care, suggests that by not addressing this, local authorities are failing to manage demand for residential care.

Patients and GPs: partners in care? This report discusses findings from a survey of patients into their experiences of general practice and practitioners. It makes recommendations on the four key areas covered: communication; referrals; deregistration; and integration.

£1.5m available for people to spend on own care. Announces funding to support the potential roll-out of personal health budgets to help individuals choose the most appropriate care for them. A pilot programme involving over 60 PCTs is currently underway across the country to understand how these budgets can benefit those who need them most, what they could be spent on and how best they should be implemented. The evaluation of the pilots is due in the autumn. In order to be ready as soon as the findings are known, the DH has identified £1.5m to be made available to support the first stage of a potential roll-out.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in the above section please contact David Owens. 

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Public Health

Public health transitional support funds available for local authorities. The DH has published details of the allocations to each unitary and upper tier local authority of public health transitional support funding to strengthen capacity to manage the change, and to address the costs that local authorities will incur arising from taking on new public health functions. (20 September 2012)

Health 2020: European policy framework supporting action across government and society for health and well-being. This evidence-based and peer-reviewed policy framework aims to support action across government and society to significantly improve the health and well-being of populations, reduce health inequalities, strengthen public health and ensure people-centred health systems that are universal, equitable, sustainable and of high quality.

Warm Homes Healthy People Fund 2012/2013 - Local Authority Circular LAC(DH)(2012)2. Invites local authorities to apply for a share of £20m grants from the Warm Homes Healthy People Fund, which supports local authorities in the coming winter to reduce the levels of deaths and illness in their local authority that are due to vulnerable people living in cold housing in partnership with their local community and voluntary sector and statutory organisations. The closing date for applications is 5 October 2012.

Health effects of climate change in the UK 2012: current evidence, recommendations and research gaps. This report complements previous reports from the HPA and others by providing scientific evidence of the wider risks to public health from climate change in the UK.

Information sharing to tackle violence guidance for community safety partnerships on engaging with the NHS. This Guidance highlights how Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) made up of local authorities, the Police and other local agencies can reduce violence in their community by encouraging A&Es to collect and share information on time, type and location of assault, as part of the Government’s commitment to deliver on Information Sharing to Tackle Violence.

Public health transitional support funds for local authorities. This letter outlines the availability of transitional support funds for local authorities. Financial support is available to each unitary and upper tier local authority, and will contribute towards the costs associated with administrating transition and minimising the diversion of staff and resources from day to day duties and delivery. The allocation of transitional support is to be issued through the local authority and paid by the PCT. PCTs have been notified of the amount and associated process through a separate letter and resource limited adjustment.

Local public health intelligence factsheets. The DH has published a series of factsheets that Set out the health intelligence requirements for local authorities and the actions that local areas may wish to take to support their new public health duties from an information and intelligence perspective.

Directors of public health in local government. These guides describe both the statutory and non-statutory elements of the role of director of public health. They outline the Department of Health’s vision for public health in local government, and highlight how the director of public health will lead and champion health improvement across the local authority. They will primarily be of interest to local authority elected members and officers, and local public health teams.

Local Healthwatch, health and wellbeing boards and health scrutiny: roles, relationships and adding value. This guide aims to help local leaders and others to understand the independent, but complementary, roles and responsibilities of council health scrutiny, local Healthwatch and health and wellbeing boards. It forms a basis for discussions about how existing and new bodies will work together, and how they can build on local agreements and legislative requirements.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in the above section please contact Olwen Dutton

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Dame Jo Williams announces her resignation as Chair of CQC.

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Carlton Sadler

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EU bibliographies: draft directive on cross-border health care - Commons Library Standard Note. A House of Commons Library Standard Note brings together documents relevant to the draft directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare.

Guidance for NHS trusts on the NHS friends and family test. This guidance details the background, requirements and implications of putting into practice a national friends and family test within the NHS. It aims to support those who will be implementing this work

Draft social media highway code. This guidance is aimed at GPs and provides advice on the appropriate use of social media. It aims to be a practical and encouraging guide for doctors and other healthcare professionals who use social media and want to ensure they get the most out of their online communications, while ensuring they meet their professional obligations and protect their patients.

Ward rounds in medicine: principles for best practice. This guidance sets out core recommendations and principles for best practice for conducting medical ward rounds. It calls for the multidisciplinary team: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and allied health professionals, to be given dedicated time to participate, with clarity about individual roles and responsibilities during and after ward rounds. It is also addressed to managers and the executive board, who are asked to protect time and resources for ward rounds, and to support the cultural change needed to maximise success.

HIV treatment for overseas visitors: guidance for the NHS. From 1 October 2012 an amendment to the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations means that HIV treatment will no longer chargeable to any overseas visitor. This guidance sets out the background to the policy change; information on prescribing antiretroviral therapies; the role of the Overseas Visitor Manager; and how the Department of Health will monitor the change.
See also the House of Commons Library's briefing NHS charges for overseas visitors that provides general guidance about the charging regime that applies to overseas visitors using NHS hospital services, and the circumstances where visitors may be exempt from charges.

Implementing a ban on age discrimination in the NHS: making effective, appropriate decisions. From 1 October 2012, it will be unlawful for service providers and commissioners to discriminate, victimise, or harass a person because of age. This briefing gives an overview of the ban on age discrimination. It is specifically aimed at those who plan, commission or provide NHS services, whether in the NHS, voluntary or private sectors. See also the summary.

British Social Attitudes 29. The National Centre for Social Research has released the latest British Social Attitudes report, a study of how people's lives are changing and their views on how Britain is run. It draws on three decades of data, and spans three recessions and seven elections. The results for health show a decrease in the public's satisfaction with the way the NHS is run.

A year of engagement – annual report of the National Allied Health Professions Patients' Forum 2011-2012. The Annual Report of the National Allied Health Professions Patients' Forum (PF) has now been published. The report provides the patients' perspectives on specific health services to guide the National Allied Health Professional Advisory Board's (NHAB) workforce planning and development decisions.

The health and care system from April 2013. This diagram gives an overview of the new health and care system from April 2013. It illustrates the statutory bodies that will make up the new system, oriented around people and communities and where they receive their local health and care services.

Information sharing to tackle violence – Guidance for Community Safety Partnerships on engaging with the NHS. Highlights how Community Safety Partnerships made up of local authorities, the Police and other local agencies can reduce violence in their community by encouraging A&E departments to collect and share information on time, type and location of assault. It also supports CSP partners to understand better ways of engaging with their health partners at a local level.

Stronger together: a UNISON guide to influencing the new NHS. This guide offers help and advice on working within the new NHS structure to influence key decisions about cuts or privatisation. It shows where there are opportunities for UNISON members and members of the public to get involved in foundation trusts at a number of different levels, how some of the work of clinical commissioning groups might be influenced, and how the role of local authorities in the NHS can be shaped, both by citizens and by councillors. 

Good Clinical Practice Guide. The ‘Good Clinical Practice Guide’ is a brand new publication prepared by the MHRA covering the legislation, guidance and good practice that relates to the conduct of clinical trials of medicinal products for human use in the UK.

Developing the culture of compassionate care: Creating a new vision and strategy for nurses, midwives and care-givers. Seeks views on a proposed new vision for nursing, midwifery and care-giving sets out the values of compassionate care and asks how they can be developed further across health and social care. The closing date for comments is 16 November 2012.

Medical frontiers: debating mitochondria replacement. The HFEA has launched a public consultation on the ethics of new IVF-based techniques designed to avoid serious mitochondrial diseases.

Equality Act 2010 (Age Exceptions) Order 2012 (SI 2012/2466). The ban on age discrimination in the provision of services and public functions (and associations)came into force on 1 October 2012. The intention is to ensure that the ban prohibits only harmful discrimination and permits beneficial or neutral differentiation because of age. This Order, which comes into force on the same date as the ban, inserts a number of specific age-related exceptions into Sch.3 and Sch.16 to, and s.195 of, the 2010 Act so as to put beyond doubt that such activities will always be excepted from the age discrimination prohibition in respect of services, etc.
See also the Explanatory Memorandum and DH's briefing Implementing a ban on age discrimination in the NHS: making effective, appropriate decisions.

Prisoners 'prevented from dying with dignity by use of restraint'. The Prisons and Probations Ombudsman warns of inappropriate restraints of inmates leaving prison for hospital treatment who pose little risk to public.

NICE to help drive standards in social care. Announces that the role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is to expand to include social care, from April 2013. The DH has agreed an initial list of joint NHS/social care quality standard topics for NICE to start working on. Standards in autism and mental well-being of older people in residential care quality standards should be published in 2013/14 with other quality standards published later. NICE is currently piloting two joint NHS/social care Quality Standards, covering the care of people with dementia and the health and well-being of looked after children and young people, which it aims to publish in April 2013.

Healthwatch England launched. Announces the launch on 1 October 2012 of the new national statutory champion for health and social care in England.

Pregnant women to be offered whooping cough vaccination. The DH is introducing a temporary vaccination programme that aims to boost the short-term immunity passed on by pregnant women to their newborn babies who normally cannot be vaccinated themselves until they are two months old. This follows a large rise in the number of whooping cough cases, with the most serious cases being in children too young to be protected by routine vaccinations.

The case of Tony Nicklinson, a sufferer of locked-in syndrome, brought by his wife has been refused leave to appeal. A second applicant, an unidentified man who suffered a severe stroke in 2008, was granted permission to appeal concerning his right to die.

NICE to help drive standards in social care. The role of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is to expand from April 2013 to include social care. The Department of Health has agreed an initial list of joint topics for NICE to work on which include: mental well-being of older people in residential care; transition between children and adult services; child maltreatment; and the transition between health and social care. 

If you wish to discuss any of the items raised in this section please contact Claire Bentley

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