Bevan Brittan Health and Social Care Update - February 2016

Publications, legislation, cases and other developments relevant to those involved in health and social care work.

29/02/2016

Claire Bentley

Claire Bentley

Associate

Bevan Brittan provides high quality, comprehensive advice to the NHS and independent healthcare sector. This update contains brief details of recent Government publications, legislation, cases and other developments relevant to those involved in health and social care work, both in the NHS and independent sector 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

Information Sharing

Children

Mental Health

Clinical Risk/Health and Safety

Primary Care

Commissioning

Providers

Employment/HR

Public Health

Finance

Regulation

Foundation Trusts

 General

 

Care

Publications/guidance

Prevention in action. This report from the Red Cross looks at the new duty placed on English councils under the Care Act 2014 to make sure preventative services are available locally. The research suggests that the Care Act’s vision for prevention is not being fully realised. While local authorities have made efforts to implement preventative services, the report highlights a disappointing lack of understanding, innovation and development in prevention on the whole across England. This includes a misunderstanding of the term ‘prevention’ itself despite the Care Act’s attempt to provide a clear triple-definition. Without a proper understanding of the duties required, local authorities cannot hope to provide effective services.

Suffering alone at home: a UNISON report on the lack of time. This report is based on an online survey of 1,100 homecare workers and data obtained from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to 152 local authorities in England that commission social care visits. It reveals that 74 per cent of councils in England are commissioning 15 minute home care visits, in contravention of NICE guidance which states that visits shorter than half an hour should only be made of visits are part of a wider package of support and allows enough time to complete tasks and check on patient wellbeing.

Health and housing guides provide roadmap for integrated working. Public Health England and the Housing Learning & Improvement Network have published two practical resources aimed at improving services around housing and end of life care and on the built environment's role in promoting active ageing. The documents are intended to build on a major undertaking by PHE, NHS England and its partners to improve integration and partnership working between health, social care and housing. The guides are:
Active Ageing and the Built Environment
End of Life care: Helping people to be care for and die at home

Cases 

Forge Care Homes Ltd v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board [2016] EWCA Civ 26 (CA). Seven Welsh Local Health Boards (LHBs) appealed against the court's decision to quash the Funded Nursing Care (FNC) rate set by each of the LHBs in 2014 for the following five years. The case concerned the interpretation of s.49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 and in particular, the term "nursing care by a registered nurse " for which the FNC scheme required the relevant LHB to pay. The High Court held that in restricting the services which s.49 prohibited local authorities from providing to those individual tasks which, by virtue of her expertise and experience, only a registered nurse could perform, the approach of the FNC Review Group was fundamentally flawed.
The Court of Appeal held, allowing the appeal, that the language of the excepting words at the end of s.49(2) required a distinction to be drawn between different services provided by a nurse or nurses at a care home. The provision plainly contemplated that some services needed to be provided by a registered nurse and some did not. The nature of the services invited attention to the contrast between clinical or medical tasks which by their nature needed to be provided by a nurse, and social or personal tasks which did not; the circumstances in which the services were provided invited attention to the fact that circumstances might dictate whether a particular task needed or did not need to be provided by a nurse. The judge had not recognised this distinction between different services. The judge's conclusion rested upon a non sequitur: it did not follow from the fact that a nurse needed to be on call at all times that everything she did on duty was to be treated as a service which "need[s] to be provided by a registered nurse". Indeed the statutory language expressly required the contrary. It was a matter of fact whether this or that task performed by the nurse did or did not "need to be provided by a registered nurse". The excepting words did no more than invite attention to a factual question: did this nurse's activities in the care home need to be provided by a registered nurse?

Consultations

Domiciliary care workforce. The Welsh Government is seeking views on ways to improve the quality of domiciliary care in Wales by having a positive impact on the recruitment and retention of domiciliary care workers. It explores ideas around increasing the desirability of domiciliary care as a career, and ideas which will encourage workers to remain working in domiciliary care. The closing date for comments is 5 April 2016.

Statutory definition of child sexual exploitation. The Home Office is seeking views on proposals to provide clarity on the definition of child sexual exploitation (CSE) as a form of child sexual abuse. This will ensure that all professions are using the same definition of CSE, as they create joint risk assessments and work together to target disruption and investigate offending. The consultation closes on 11 March 2016.

News 

Sentence passed in first care home corporate manslaughter case. Care home company Sherwood Rise Ltd has been fined £30,000 following the death of an 86-year-old following her stay at a care home in 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has announced. Yousaf Khan, a director of Sherwood Rise Limited who was in charge of the day-to-day operation of Autumn Grange, was sentenced to three years and two months imprisonment after pleading guilty to gross negligence manslaughter, and disqualified from being a company director for eight years. Mohammed Khan, employed as managers at Autumn Grange, was sentenced to one year imprisonment suspended for two years for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.

Bevan Brittan Articles

Ordinary Residence in R v Cornwall: what can be salvaged? The issue of ordinary residence is both a complex and confusing area of law. David Owens and Ruth Atkinson-Wilks examine the recent case.

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around care please contact Stuart Marchant.

Back to top 

 

Children

Publications/guidance

The future of child health services: new models of care. This report highlights what the problems are in current health care services for children and young people, and investigates how emerging new models of care could provide an opportunity to address these. 

Bevan Brittan Articles

Children and Vulnerable Individuals - Information Sharing. Guidance from HM Government document: Information Sharing – Advice for Practitioners providing Safeguarding Services to Children, Young People, Parents & Carers: March 2015.

Female Genital  Mutilation. In the UK female genital mutilation has been illegal since 1985. Since 31 October 2015 health and social care professionals and teachers have a legal obligation to report any cases of FGM of children to the police. This article looks at the key issues. 

National Framework for Children and Young People's Continuing Care (January 2016) The Department of Health has published a revised Framework to help clinical commissioning groups and other professionals to assess the care required for children and young people (0 – 17 years) whose complex health needs cannot be met by universal or specialist health services.

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around children please contact Deborah Jeremiah

Back to top

  

Clinical Risk/Health and Safety

Bevan Brittan Training - If you are a client and would like to know about our free lunch time training sessions just ask Claire Bentley. You can attend in our London, Bristol or Birmingham office.

Publications/Guidance

Better births: improving outcomes of maternity services in England: a five year forward view for maternity care. This is the final report of the NHS England commissioned review into the future of maternity services in England. It finds that despite the increases in the number of births and the increasing complexity of cases, the quality and outcomes of maternity services have improved significantly over the last decade. However, the review also found meaningful differences across the country, and further opportunities to improve the safety of care and reduce still births. It highlights seven key priorities to drive improvement: personalised care; continuity of carer; better postnatal and perinatal mental health care; safer care; a fairer payment system for providers; increased multi-professional working; and working across boundaries to provide and commission maternity services.

Improving quality in the English NHS: a strategy for action. This paper argues that the NHS in England cannot meet the health care needs of the population without a sustained and comprehensive commitment to quality improvement as its principal strategy. Despite a succession of well-meaning policy initiatives over the past two decades, the paper argues that the NHS in England has lacked a coherent approach to improving quality of care. It describes key features of a quality improvement strategy and the role of organisations at different levels in realising it, offering 10 design principles to guide its development. A quality improvement strategy of this kind has never been implemented at such a scale and the challenge in doing so is immense - yet the paper argues that the NHS has no real alternative.

OECD reviews of health care quality: United Kingdom 2016. This report reviews the quality of health care in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further quality gains in health care. It aims to understand why the NHS in the four nations of the UK do not consistently demonstrate strong performance on international benchmarks of quality despite being a global leader in quality monitoring and improvement.

Guidance on significant risks associated with Valproate during pregnancy. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a new toolkit designed to ensure female patients are better informed about the risks of taking valproate medicines during pregnancy. Valproate is a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder and is associated with a risk of birth defects and developmental disorders in children. 

‘Safer Healthcare: Strategies for the Real World’. The book is published by Springer and, through the generous support of the Health Foundation, is freely available in electronic form. A brief summary by the authors: "We have set out a system of safety strategies and interventions for managing patient safety on a day-to-day basis and improving safety over the long term. These strategies are applicable at all levels of the healthcare system from the frontline to the regulation and governance of the system. There have been many advances in patient safety but we now need a new and broader vision that encompasses care throughout the patient’s journey. We argue that we need to see safety through the patient’s eyes, to consider how safety is managed in different contexts and to develop a wider strategic and practical vision in which patient safety is recast as the management of risk over time. We need to make more use of strategies concerned with detecting, controlling, managing and responding to risk. Strategies for managing safety in highly standardised and controlled environments are necessarily different from those in which clinicians constantly have to adapt and respond to changing circumstances."

Crossing professional boundaries: a toolkit for collaborative working. The King’s Fund was commissioned by Future-Focused Finance to develop a toolkit designed to help finance and clinical staff think about how well they work together and find ways to improve collaboration. The toolkit is free to the NHS and is aimed at leaders from NHS clinical and finance teams who want to encourage collaboration across professional boundaries.

Bevan Brittan Events

Court of Protection Update - Leeds 16 March 2016 09:30. This half day series of presentations will provide a practical update on the current mainstream issues in the Court of Protection. It will offer guidance on the sort of problems that are faced by front-line practitioners and service planners. It is aimed at all those working in organisations responsible for the care of vulnerable or incapable people both as care providers or commissioners.

Bevan Brittan Articles

Acquittal in first NHS Trust Corporate Manslaughter case. Landmark manslaughter case against NHS Trust collapsing

If you wish to discuss any clinical risk or health and safety issues please contact Joanna Lloyd or Stuart Marchant.

Back to top

 

Commissioning

Publications/Guidance

Model Collaborative Commissioning Agreement. NHS England has published documents related to the NHS Standard Contract 2016/17: Model Collaborative Commissioning Agreement Multiple Contract Option, and Model Collaborative Commissioning Agreement Single Contract Option.

Briefing: NHS Planning Guidance 2016. National Voices has produced a short member briefing covering key information about the NHS Planning Guidance, which says that local organisations involved in planning and providing health and care services in England must prepare a five year plan setting out how they will improve quality of services, address funding challenges, and improve the health and wellbeing of people living in their area. The guidance says that local organisations should engage patients, service users, carers and the public in developing these plans; they should also engage voluntary and community groups. National Voices has created a template letter for member organisations to contact their local Clinical Commissioning Group requesting to be involved in the planning process.

Consultations

Consultation on Specialised Services clinical commissioning policies and service specifications – 2nd wave. Seeks views on proposed number of new products for specialised services, including service specifications and clinical commissioning policies. The consultation closes on 6 March 2016.

Bevan Brittan Publications

Bevan Brittan Commissioning Bytes. The new Public Contracts Regulations 2015 replace the old Part B services approach to health and social care contracts with a more formal set of obligations called the 'Light Regime'. We have produced a series of Commissioning Bytes that highlight some practical steps towards being light regime ready. The first five cover:

  • Commissioning Bytes (Introduction): The new public contract regulations are coming to the health sector - How to design a compliant light regime process;
  • Commissioning Byte 1: What steps can you take now with your existing contracts to renew or extend them before the April deadline?
  • Commissioning Byte 2: How do you comply simultaneously with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and the regime enforced by Monitor under the NHS (Procurement, Patient Choice and Competition) Regulations 2013 (No.2)?
  • Commissioning Byte 3: How flexible can your procedure be? How do you give best emphasis to your desired patient outcomes?
  • Commissioning Byte 4: How do you challenge-proof your procurement?

Bevan Brittan Events

Commissioners Light Touch Regime - 1 March 2016.- London The aim of this interactive seminar is to help commissioners of healthcare services get to grips with the new rules which are coming into force within April. Attending will help you understand the way the new regime applies and how to navigate the new rules. There will be a focus on practical advice and the management of the risks for NHS procurement of health care.

Commissioners Light Touch Regime - 15 March 2016 - Leeds. The aim of this interactive seminar is to help commissioners of healthcare services get to grips with the new rules which are coming into force within April. Attending will help you understand the way the new regime applies and how to navigate the new rules. There will be a focus on practical advice and the management of the risks for NHS procurement of health care.

Commissioners Light Touch Regime - 18 April 2016 - Bristol. The aim of this interactive seminar is to help commissioners of healthcare services get to grips with the new rules which are coming into force within April. Attending will help you understand the way the new regime applies and how to navigate the new rules. There will be a focus on practical advice and the management of the risks for NHS procurement of health care.

If you wish to discuss the issue of commissioning please contact David Owens.

Back to top

 

Employment/HR

Publications and Guidance

Summary of 2016/17 GMS contract negotiations. This briefing note sets out a summary of the key changes to the general medical service (GMS) contract in England for 2016/17. 

Evidence from NHS Improvement on clinical staff shortages: a workforce analysis. NHS providers have reported shortages of qualified clinical staff. This report looks at the causes and extent of current clinical staff shortages in acute hospitals, focusing on adult nurses and consultants. It also sets out the actions NHS Improvement is taking to help support providers facing workforce shortages.

Managing the supply of NHS clinical staff in England. This National Audit Office report finds that there are shortcomings in how the supply of NHS clinical staff in England is managed, in terms of both planning the future workforce and meeting the current demand for staff. The NAO concludes that, given the size of the NHS, workforce planning will never be an exact science, but it clearly could be better than it is. Equally, the way in which staff shortfalls are filled can be, and often is, unnecessarily costly and inefficient. Since clinical staff are the NHS’s main resource and cost, these shortcomings are serious and the current arrangements do not achieve value for money.

News

Independent review of junior doctors' morale, training and support. The DH has announced that Professor Dame Sue Bailey to lead an independent review of junior doctors' NHS training and employment in order to better understand and deal with the longstanding issue of low morale. The review will explore and make recommendations on the longstanding non-contractual issues that are known to affect morale. The review team will make recommendations to the DH, HEE and NHS Employers by the end of the year.

Bevan Brittan Events

Junior doctors banding claims - Birmingham 4th May 2016 Although there is a lot of uncertainty about the introduction of the new junior doctors' contract in 2016, NHS Trusts are continuing to face an increasing number of banding appeals and claims arising from non-compliant rotas. The BMA is supporting more and more claims and many Trusts are defending proceedings issued in the Employment Tribunal or the civil courts.

Junior doctors banding claims - Bristol 12th May 2016 Although there is a lot of uncertainty about the introduction of the new junior doctors' contract in 2016, NHS Trusts are continuing to face an increasing number of banding appeals and claims arising from non-compliant rotas. The BMA is supporting more and more claims and many Trusts are defending proceedings issued in the Employment Tribunal or the civil courts.

Bevan Brittan Articles

Employment news round-up, February 2016. Anne Palmer reports on the recent hot topics in employment law.

If you wish to discuss any employment issues please contact Julian Hoskins or James Gutteridge.   

Back to top

 

Finance

Publications and Guidance

Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations. Lord Carter of Coles has published his final report on how non-specialist acute trusts can reduce unwarranted variation in productivity and efficiency across every area in the hospital to save the NHS £5bn each year by 2020 to 2021.His review found unwarranted variation in running costs, sickness absence, infection rates and prices paid for supplies and services. The final report builds on the findings of the interim report and sets out further findings of variation across 32 non-specialist acute trusts. As part of the review, a 'model hospital' has been developed which will advise NHS trusts on the most efficient allocation of resources and allows hospitals to measure performance against other trusts.

Guidance on implementing the Overseas Charging Regulations 2015. Updated guidance for NHS bodies in carrying out their duties under the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 to make and recover charges for NHS hospital treatment from chargeable overseas visitors. It also includes guidance to safeguard the health of those not entitled to free hospital treatment and new guidance on sharing information on NHS debtors to subject them to immigration sanctions.

Reference costs guidance 2015-16. Sets out requirements for the collection of 2015 to 2016 reference costs from NHS trusts and NHS FTs between 20 June and 29 July 2016. It follows feedback from the NHS on draft collection guidance. The guidance forms Chapter 3 of Monitor's Approved Costing Guidance, which brings together NHS costing and cost collection guidance.

Crossing professional boundaries: a toolkit for collaborative working. The King’s Fund was commissioned by Future-Focused Finance to develop a toolkit designed to help finance and clinical staff think about how well they work together and find ways to improve collaboration. The toolkit is free to the NHS and is aimed at leaders from NHS clinical and finance teams who want to encourage collaboration across professional boundaries.

Consultations 

NHS National Tariff Payment System 2016/17: a consultation. Monitor is seeking views on this year’s national tariff proposals, which aim to give providers of NHS services the space to restore financial balance and support providers and commissioners to make ambitious longer term plans for their local health economies. The consultation closes on 10 March 2016.

If you wish to discuss any issues raised in this section please contact Claire Bentley.

Back to top

Foundation Trusts 

Quarterly report on the performance of the NHS foundation trusts and NHS trusts: 9 months ended 31 December 2015. This analysis of NHS providers' operational and financial performance shows the sector as a whole made £741 million in efficiency savings between April and December 2015. However, the report finds that NHS providers are under sustained pressure from an increase in demand for care, issues with discharging medically fit patients, and high costs. As a result, many providers missed several national waiting times standards, such as the A&E performance measure, in the last 3 months of 2015. In addition, the sector as a whole reported a deficit of £2.26 billion in the 9 months to the end of December 2015.

If you wish to discuss any issues raised in this section please contact Vincent Buscemi.  

Back to top

Information Sharing

Publications/Guidance

Guidance on implementing the Overseas Charging Regulations 2015. Updated guidance for NHS bodies in carrying out their duties under the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 to make and recover charges for NHS hospital treatment from chargeable overseas visitors. It also includes guidance to safeguard the health of those not entitled to free hospital treatment and new guidance on sharing information on NHS debtors to subject them to immigration sanctions.

Electronic health records. This briefing explains the plans to introduce electronic health records for everyone. As well as background on what information such records will contain, the paper discusses the opportunities and challenges implementing them will involve.

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

Back to top

 

Mental Health

Bevan Brittan Training - If you are a client and would like to know about our free lunch time training sessions just ask Claire Bentley. You can attend in our London, Bristol or Birmingham office.

Publications/Guidance

Public Guardian practice note: OPG's approach to solicitor client accounts. An Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) practice note explains its approach to the use of client accounts to manage deputyship funds, and how the deputy acts under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), the Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules 2011, and the MCA Code of Practice.

The Five Year Forward View for mental health. This is the final report of an independent taskforce set up by NHS England as part of its Five Year Forward View to build consensus on how to improve services for people of all ages. It gives a frank assessment of the state of current mental health care across the NHS, highlighting that one in four people will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime and the cost of mental ill health to the economy, NHS and society is £105bn a year. The report proposes a three-pronged approach to improving care through prevention, the expansion of mental health care such as seven day access in a crisis, and integrated physical and mental health care.

Time for change – The challenge ahead. This report by Sir Stephen Bubb follows on from his original report into the Winterbourne View scandal. His recommendations included radical changes to the way the nation treats people with learning disabilities. He now concludes that subsequent proposals to deliver these changes are based on over-optimistic assumptions and he demands the appointment of a Learning Disabilities Commissioner who would have a statutory duty to promote, enhance, and protect the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families in England and ensure the delivery of the reforms.

Old problems, new solutions: improving acute psychiatric care for adults in England: final report. This report, from an independent commission, highlights system-wide problems in mental healthcare in England including variable quality of care on inpatient units, inadequate availability of inpatient care or alternatives to inpatient admission, and patients remaining in hospital for longer than necessary due to inadequate residential provision. It recommends significant changes to how services are commissioned, organised and monitored across the whole mental health system. It also calls for faster access to acute care and an end to sending severely-ill mental health patients long distances for treatment.

Cross border placements. This guidance is intended to assist authorities in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) involved in cross-border placements as described in Schedule 1 to the Care Act 2014.

Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship Statutory Guidance Framework. This guidance published by the Home Office has been issued to accompany the new offence created by s.76 Serious Crime Act 2015. It is one of potential application in safeguarding cases where mental capacity arises. It provides a non- exhaustive list of indicative behaviours.

This free website www.mydecisions.org.uk allows a person to draft an Advance Decision or Advance Statement online. It has been designed in collaboration with patients, clinicians and lawyers and takes the website takes users through different conditions and scenarios they may experience, such as brain injury, dementia and terminal illness. Users are prompted to consider what they would want in these situations, and then get a personalised Advance Decision or Advance Statement to print, sign, witness and share.

Social work for better mental health. The DH has published three documents as part of the Social Work for Better Mental Health initiative that aims to help to improve social work across the mental health sector and to make sure the value of social work in improving mental wellbeing is recognised. The documents include: an overview of the strategy and importance of social work in mental health services; an assessment of social work in a mental health context; and guidance about how to get and use feedback on mental health social work practice from service users, carers and family.

Counselling in schools – A blueprint for the future. Departmental advice for primary and secondary schools in England on setting up and improving counselling services for pupils. It will also be of interest to NHS providers and local authority commissioners of counselling and other forms of psychological support.

Consultations

Consultation on Together for Mental Health – Delivery Plan 2016 - 2019. The Welsh Government has published its proposed 2016-19 delivery plan for its 10-year strategy for improving mental health and wellbeing, and improving the care and treatment of people using mental health services, their carers and their families. The closing date for comments is 4 April 2016.

Bevan Brittan Events

Court of Protection Update - Leeds 16 March 2016 09:30. This half day series of presentations will provide a practical update on the current mainstream issues in the Court of Protection. It will offer guidance on the sort of problems that are faced by front-line practitioners and service planners. It is aimed at all those working in organisations responsible for the care of vulnerable or incapable people both as care providers or commissioners.

Bevan Brittan Articles

Ordinary Residence in R v Cornwall: what can be salvaged? The issue of ordinary residence is both a complex and confusing area of law. David Owens and Ruth Atkinson-Wilks examine the recent case.

Journal Articles

The rights of children with mental disorders. Reviews case law on the rights of children and young persons with mental disabilities or mental illness, examining to what extent parents can authorise supervision and control with a view to the child's best interests. Contrasts cases about children younger than 16, and 16-year-olds. Considers potential problems if schools use a "calm room" for the seclusion of children with disruptive behaviour.

Fact-finding hearings in the health and social context. Reviews cases on the need for fact-finding hearings in disputes about the protection of adults or mental patients' detention. Examines how to justify the time and resource costs of investigating whether allegations against an individual were true, taking in account the interests of justice, and the relevance to the decision about future treatment.

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

Back to top

Primary Care

Guidance/publications

Summary of 2016/17 GMS contract negotiations. The Government, NHS England and the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee have agreed changes to the GP contract in England. The new contract will see an investment of £220m for 2016 to 2017, part of which will provide a pay uplift of 1% for GPs. This note sets out a summary of the key changes to the General Medical Service (GMS) contract in England for 2016/17.

Monitoring change in health care through statistical process control methods. The ability to detect real change in the way care is being delivered will be critical over the next few years as the NHS faces probably its greatest financial challenge. Using information in the right way will be especially important if managers and policy-makers are to make the right decisions about the effects that new models of care are having. The methods described in this research report by the Nuffield Trust are relatively uncommon as a means for monitoring change across health systems. However, realising the potential of these methods may not always be plain-sailing and the report describes a number of potential barriers in terms of access to the data, skills and a willingness to use analytical methods that are more complex than normal.  

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around primary care please contact David Owens.  

Back to top

Providers

Quarterly report on the performance of the NHS foundation trusts and NHS trusts: 9 months ended 31 December 2015. This analysis of NHS providers' operational and financial performance shows the sector as a whole made £741 million in efficiency savings between April and December 2015. However, the report finds that NHS providers are under sustained pressure from an increase in demand for care, issues with discharging medically fit patients, and high costs. As a result, many providers missed several national waiting times standards, such as the A&E performance measure, in the last 3 months of 2015. In addition, the sector as a whole reported a deficit of £2.26 billion in the 9 months to the end of December 2015.

Implementing the Forward View: Supporting providers to deliver. A joint report outlines key priorities for NHS provider organisations in delivering high quality health and care in 2016 and beyond. The report: outlines the challenges and changes ahead; describes a coherent set of activities for NHS providers in the coming years; shows how providers across the country are beginning to deliver these; and outlines the support providers can expect from NHS Improvement.

Health and wellbeing boards engaging effectively with providers. This LGA briefing highlights the importance of effective engagement between health and wellbeing boards and local NHS providers. It offers some short case studies of areas where engagement and genuine partnership working is leading to improved health outcomes in local areas.

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around providers care please contact Vincent Buscemi.  

Back to top

Public Health

Publications/Guidance

Public health grants to local authorities 2016 to 2017. Sets out the allocations to local authorities for public health spending and the conditions for using the money. In the financial year ending 2017 local authorities will receive £3.49bn public health grant for their public health duties. This includes public health responsibilities for children aged 0 to 5, which transferred to local authorities in October 2015.

PHE national polio guidelines: local and regional services. Guidance for public health professionals and laboratory staff on the surveillance, investigation and management of suspected polio cases in the UK, as part of the UK commitment to the WHO global polio eradication programme. It also includes guidance on enhanced enteroviral surveillance.

Faith at end of life: a resource for professionals, providers and commissioners working in communities. This resource aims to help frontline professionals and providers working in community settings and commissioners maintain a holistic approach to the people dying, caring or bereaved. It provides information to help ensure that commissioning and delivery of services and practice takes account of spiritual needs of the largest six faith groups in England and remains appropriate to the community setting in which they work.

Behavioural insights and health. This LGA paper looks at the variety of ways that people can be supported to make better choices. Councils are demonstrating this through the way they are making use of behavioural insights to improve health. From exploiting digital technologies to stressing social norms in a bid to encourage people to make lifestyle changes, local authorities have started using behavioural insights to make a difference to people's lives.

Combating loneliness: a guide for local authorities. In this guide, the LGA warns that loneliness needs to be recognised as a major public health concern, with fears it could pile further strain on to local services, unless action is taken. It sets out a range of actions for effectively combating loneliness building on the latest evidence. The guide focuses on older people but the recommendations will also be beneficial to other age groups.

Tomorrow’s world: The future of ageing in the UK. This report from the International Longevity Centre describes the future challenges and opportunities posed by an ageing population. It argues that our ageing society offers significant social and economic opportunities but only if policymakers plan better for the long term.

Equality in Public Health England: 2015. The equality duty is a general duty on public bodies and others that carry out public functions. It ensures that public bodies consider the needs of all individuals in their day to day work in shaping policy, in delivering services, and in relation to their own employees. This report looks at how PHE met the public sector equality duty in 2015.

Consultations

NHS National Tariff Payment System 2016/17: a consultation. Monitor is seeking views on this year’s national tariff proposals, which aim to give providers of NHS services the space to restore financial balance and support providers and commissioners to make ambitious longer term plans for their local health economies. The consultation closes on 10 March 2016.

News

Life expectancy at older ages is the highest it’s ever been. PHE reports that men can now expect to live for a further 19 years at age 65, 12 years at 75, 6 years at 85 and 3 years at 95; women can expect to live for a further 21 years at age 65, 13 years at 75, 7 years at 85, and 3 years at 95.

Membership of social groups after retirement 'boosts health and wellbeing'. NICE reports that new research published by BMJ Open suggests that membership of social groups such as book clubs or church groups after retirement is linked with improved health and wellbeing. The research backs NICE’s recent recommendations advising councils to do more to offer group activities to older people in order to tackle loneliness and improve wellbeing.

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around public health please contact David Owens. 

Back to top

Regulation

Publications/Guidance

Reference costs guidance 2015-16. Sets out requirements for the collection of 2015 to 2016 reference costs from NHS trusts and NHS FTs between 20 June and 29 July 2016. It follows feedback from the NHS on draft collection guidance. The guidance forms Chapter 3 of Monitor's Approved Costing Guidance, which brings together NHS costing and cost collection guidance.

Consultations

NHS National Tariff Payment System 2016/17: a consultation. Monitor is seeking views on this year’s national tariff proposals, which aim to give providers of NHS services the space to restore financial balance and support providers and commissioners to make ambitious longer term plans for their local health economies. The consultation closes on 10 March 2016. 

If you wish to discuss any queries you may have around regulation please contact Stuart Marchant.

Back to top

 

General

Publications/Guidance

What the planning guidance means for the NHS: 2016/17 and beyond. At a time when the NHS is planning for 2016/17 and beyond, this King's Fund briefing considers some of the key publications and policy announcements that have come out in the wake of the 2015 Spending Review and offers a commentary on what they might mean for the future landscape of the NHS.

Briefing: NHS Planning Guidance 2016. National Voices has produced a short member briefing covering key information about the NHS Planning Guidance, which says that local organisations involved in planning and providing health and care services in England must prepare a five year plan setting out how they will improve quality of services, address funding challenges, and improve the health and wellbeing of people living in their area. The guidance says that local organisations should engage patients, service users, carers and the public in developing these plans; they should also engage voluntary and community groups. National Voices has created a template letter for member organisations to contact their local Clinical Commissioning Group requesting to be involved in the planning process.

Guidance on implementing the Overseas Charging Regulations 2015. Updated guidance for NHS bodies in carrying out their duties under the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015 to make and recover charges for NHS hospital treatment from chargeable overseas visitors. It also includes guidance to safeguard the health of those not entitled to free hospital treatment and new guidance on sharing information on NHS debtors to subject them to immigration sanctions.

Procurement Policy Note PPN 01/16: Ensuring compliance with wider international obligations when letting public contracts. This PPN reminds contracting authorities of their international obligations when letting public contracts. It states that boycotts in public procurement are inappropriate, unless formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the UK Government.

Shared delivery plan 2015 to 2020. Each government department has published its Single Departmental Plan 2015 - 2020 that sets out the Government's objectives for this Parliament and how they are fulfilling their commitments. The plans will be revised annually, each April. This plan describes the DH's and its agencies' 10 priority objectives for 2015 to 2020.

The NHS Premises Assurance Model (NHS PAM) 2016. The NHS PAM is a management tool that provides NHS organisations with a way of assessing how safely and efficiently they run their estate and facilities services. It supports Boards, clinical leaders and Directors of Finance and Estates to make more informed decisions on the development of their estates and facilities services. It also provides important information to commissioners for use during the commissioning process and regulators in identifying risks. This 2016 version updates the 2014 version and includes changes in policy, strategy, regulations and technology.

Neurology: Integrating care through networks. This report from JMC Partners, on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Industry Neurology Group (PING), examines the current status of neurological services and the importance of managed care networks for neurology in the NHS. Its contents are attuned to the Five Year Forward View, with the scarcity of clinical expertise in neurology making new, more efficient models of care vital to the achievement of high quality outcomes for patients, wherever they happen to live. It sets out what the key elements of a networked service might be, and provides a series of recommendations to support a comprehensive roll-out of networked models of care for neurology.

Consultations

Have your say on a new support role for nursing. Health Education England has launched a consultation on a new support role for nursing. it seeks views on the new role, which will work alongside health care support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. The new role will help bridge the gap between health and care support workers, who have a care certificate, and graduate registered nurses. It also offers opportunities for health care assistants to progress into nursing roles. The consultation closes on 11 March 2016.

Consultation on apprenticeship targets for public sector bodies. Seeks views on which public bodies in England should be set targets on the number of apprentices working for them under changes to the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 that will be introduced under the Enterprise Bill. The proposed list includes CCGs and NHS Trusts. The consultation closes on 4 March 2016.  

If you wish to discuss any issues raised in this section please contact Claire Bentley.

Related Insights

Authority Update 27/6/18

by Claire Booth

Brief details of recent policy and legal developments relevant to those involved in local government work

Authority Update 8/6/18

by Claire Booth

Brief details of recent policy and legal developments relevant to those involved in local government work

Authority Update 25/5/18

by Claire Booth

Brief details of recent policy and legal devleopments relevant to those in the local government sector

CMA publishes Joint Venture Business Advice

by Trevor Watt

Joint Misadventure: specialist laundries fined £1.7m for market...

by Trevor Watt

We are truly privileged to advise you!

by Louise Robling

Mr Justice Akenhead has held in the case of Walter Lilly and Company Limited v Mackay and DMW [2012] EWHC 649 (TCC) that advice...

Keep up to date With Bevan Brittan

What interests you?

About you?

You can view our privacy policy here