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Health and Well-being news alert Issue 17

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Any Qualified Provider

Smaller providers might be interested to know more about the NHS policy on Any Qualified Provider. Under the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) policy, patients will be able to choose from a range of providers that meet NHS standards and prices. This might be an NHS hospital department, social enterprise, local voluntary organisation, independent provider or a clinic on the high street.

By September 2012, many patients will be able to choose from any qualified provider in three locally selected community and mental health services. Local commissioners have decided which services would benefit from extending patient choice of provider, based on local need, informed by engagement with clinicians and patients. In future, clinical commissioning groups will decide which services they wish to commission using an AQP approach.

Find out more on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the AQP Resource Centre.

Health and Wellbeing Boards – one year to go

Shadow health and wellbeing boards have one year to go until they are fully established. Clinical commissioning groups of GPs, councillors, social care, public health, children’s services and local Healthwatch form the core membership of boards and they will also need to work with partners including public sector and voluntary and community organisations, to tackle the wider factors that influence health.

See a short guide to Health and Wellbeing Boards here [215kB, PDF]

Alcohol Strategy published

The Government’s Alcohol Strategy, which includes a package of health measures, has been published.

The health measures included in the Strategy build on the introduction of ring-fenced public health grants to local authorities and the new Health and Wellbeing Boards, to enable organisations at the local level to work together in partnership.

Read more here

Building Recovery in Local Communities

This joint letter from the Department of Health, Home Office and Ministry of Justice says that newly elected police and crime commissioners will be responsible for cutting crime and improving community safety from 22 November and that from April 2013, upper tier and unitary local authorities will take on responsibility for commissioning drug and alcohol prevention, treatment and recovery services.

Read more about the letter here

Providing Drug and Alcohol Recovery through Payment by Results
A Department of Health event - Monday 21st May 2012

The Department of Health is hosting a provider event in May aimed at dispelling some of the myths around government plans for Payment by Results (PbR) in substance misuse. Please see the invitation [160kB, PDF], agenda [168kB, PDF] and venue [252kB, PDF] details

Introducing the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge

Improving the experience of patients is a key aim for all NHS organisations and this year’s NHS Operating Framework places a clear responsibility on the NHS to actively seek out, respond positively and improve services in line with patient feedback.

This is why the NHS Institute is launching the NHS Patient Feedback Challenge - backed by a £1 million challenge fund - to identify, share, spread and implement excellent patient experience work across the NHS.

For further information, see here

£4 million for technological solutions to tackle healthcare problems

The Department of Health has opened two new competitions with up to £2 million of funding each to develop technological and innovative solutions to tackle two major health challenges.

The challenges are to:
• change people’s behaviour in order to reduce the impact of obesity and alcohol related diseases
• improve the number of patients taking their medication as prescribed

For further details of the competitions, see here

From Transition to Transformation – new public health resource

The Department of Health, together with the Local Government Association, has developed a web-based resource to support the transition of public health to local government. The resource brings together fact sheets, case studies, a glossary and policy summary to assist local authorities and public health to develop a local public health system that is designed to have the greatest potential for improving health, not just in councils but with all local partners.

Read more here

Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia

The Prime Minister has launched a programme of work which aims to deliver major improvements in dementia care and research by 2015. The Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia builds on the achievements of the existing National Dementia Strategy.

For more, go to: The Prime Minister’s challenge - or
Living well with dementia: A national dementia atrategy


King’s Fund new publications

How can we improve care for older people?

Consistent, reliable care is what all patients want and health workers aim to provide, but how often does the reality fall short?

Two new papers from the King’s Fund expose the unacceptable standards of care faced by frail older people in some of our hospitals and care settings.
See reports at ‘Continuity of Care for Older Hospital Patients: A call for action’ and
The Care of Frail Older People with Complex Needs: Time for a revolution

Will health and wellbeing boards succeed?

The Health and Social Care Act emphasises the need for an integrated health and social care system, with health and wellbeing boards integral to this.

But, faced with complex organisational change, unprecedented financial pressures and rising demand for services, will these boards be able to fulfil these expectations and achieve greater success than previous bodies?

See report here [639kB, PDF]

The role of the health workforce in tackling health inequalities: action on the social determinants of health

This draft report explores actions the health workforce can take to positively influence the social determinants of health and tackle health inequalities.

See draft report here [629kB, PDF]

Transformers and Enablers – the New Patient Leaders

David Gilbert, a former mental health service user, and Mark Doughty, who lives with arthritis, are leading the charge to up the patient participation game by launching Patient Leaders. This will be a hub or centre that offers learning and development and a community of practice for a new generation of Leaders.

David's idea is founded on a profound experience and knowledge of health services both as a service user and a public engagement consultant. He says: ”Patient leaders have a valuable role to play in tackling the problems facing health and social care at a national and local level, but we need to improve the development of and access to learning opportunities in order to grow this pool of talent properly.”

Read the full blog post about David and Mark's ideas here