Final report into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust public inquiry published
Following an extensive inquiry into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Francis QC published his final report on February 6 2013. It highlights a whole system failure, and not just one NHS trust. The system should have had checks and balances in place, and have been working to ensure patients were treated with dignity and suffered no harm, but it fell well short. The 1,782 page report has 290 recommendations which have major implications for all levels of the health service across England. This includes a more patient-centred approach, better medical training and nursing, as well as better complaints handling and service governance and regulation.
The Keogh Mortality Review
On February 6 2013, the Prime Minister announced that he had asked Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director for England, to review the quality of care and treatment provided by those NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts that are persistent outliers on mortality indicators. A total of 14 hospital trusts were investigated as part of this review.
The review was guided by the NHS values set out in the NHS Constitution and underpinned by the following key principles:
- patient and public participation
- listening to the views of staff
- openness and transparency
- co-operation between organisations
Find out more about the Keogh Mortality Review and the 14 NHS hospital trusts investigated.
First NHS Change Day
NHS Change Day started with a single tweet in March 2013. The NHS Change Day is a frontline-led movement that aims to inspire and mobilise people everywhere - staff, patients and the public – to make pledges that will help to improve patient care.
The first NHS Change Day saw 189,000 people pledge actions that could improve the NHS. Find out more about the latest achievements for NHS Change Day.
The new NHS
The NHS is undergoing major changes in its core structure. The new health and care system became fully operational on April 1 2013. It delivers the ambitions set out in the Health and Social Care Act. Public Health England, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Health Education England took on their full range of responsibilities at the same time.
NHS England is an independent body, seperated from the government. Its main aim is to improve health outcomes for people in England. It will do this by creating the culture and conditions for health and care services and staff to deliver the highest standard of care and ensure valuable public resources are used effectively to get the best outcomes for individuals, communities, and society now and for future generations.
Locally, clinical commissioning groups, made up of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, buy services for patients, while local councils formally took on their new roles in promoting public health. Health and wellbeing boards bring together local organisations to work in partnership and Healthwatch England provides a powerful voice for patients and local communities.
Find out more about the new NHS, its structure, new organisations and all changes involved in the process.
Putting Patients First: The NHS England Business Plan for 2013/14 – 2015/16
Putting Patients First explains how NHS England’s commitment to transparency and increasing patients’ voices are fundamental to improving patient care. The plan, published in April 2013, describes an 11 point scorecard which NHS England will introduce for measuring performance of key priorities, focused on receiving direct feedback from patients, their families and NHS staff.
This supports the cultural change needed to put people at the centre of the NHS, a key theme in the report by Robert Francis QC, by making sure patients’ voices are heard and used to deliver better services.
You can download the business plan from NHS England's website.
Updated version of the NHS Constitution published
An updated NHS Constitution was published on April 1 2013, following a consultation that sought views on a number of proposed changes. Important areas that were improved include:
- patient involvement
- duty of candour
- end of life care
- integrated care
- patient information
- staff rights, responsibilities and commitments
- dignity, respect and compassion
There were also some technical amendments to ensure that the NHS Constitution is in line with the new health and care system introduced in April 2013.
Find out more about the NHS Constitution and learn about your rights as an NHS patient. For more detailed information about the updates to the NHS Constitution or the consultation process visit the GOV.UK website.
Phase 2 of NHS dental contract pilot programme
On October 5 2012, the government announced the publication of its proposals for a second stage of dental contract piloting.
Following a review of the selection process, a further 20 to 25 additional pilots will be recruited into the programme. For the first time, salaried primary dental care services will also be taking part.
Training and induction for successful applicants ran early in 2013, and the second pilot stage went live on April 1 2013.
The NHS friends and family test
Starting from April 2013, patients will be asked whether they would recommend hospital wards and A&E departments to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment. This means every patient in these wards and departments will be able to give feedback on the quality of the care they receive.
From October 2013, the test will also be available to women who use maternity services, and as soon as possible after that to everyone using NHS services. Learn more about the NHS friends and family test. Alternativerly, you can download guidance for maternity services and case studies from NHS England's website.
E-cigarettes to be regulated as medicines
Electronic cigarettes are to be licensed and regulated as an
aid to quit smoking from 2016, it has been announced.
Until this happens, e-cigarettes are only covered by general product safety legislation, meaning they can legally be promoted and sold to children. However, it is currently
uncertain what ingredients are used or how much nicotine they contain. The MHRA will not ban the products entirely during this interim period, but will encourage e-cigarette manufacturers to apply for a medicine licence.
Read the full story E-cigarettes to be regulated as medicines.
World's first liver kept alive outside the human body and then transplanted successfully
Researchers from Oxford University and King's College Hospital have successfully taken a human liver and kept it alive and functioning on machine outside the patient’s body and then transplanted into a recipient patient. Ian Christie, 62, is the first person to receive a transplanted liver kept alive on the new device.
The National Health Service 65th anniversary
The NHS turned 65 on July 5 2013. The NHS is looking back at the achievements since its launch in 1948 to highlight champions and heroes who make the health service what it is today. Visit the NHS anniversary section.