How red bags are bringing NHS and care homes closer

  • 27 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Care home residents are sent to hospital with a red bag containing belongings and vital information Image copyright Other

Like many good ideas, the way the NHS and care sectors in the London borough of Sutton are working together more closely is a relatively simple concept.

When a care home resident needs to go into a hospital, a red bag is packed for them.

It contains their details, vital information about their health conditions, supplies of medicine, and a change of clothes for when they are ready to be discharged.

"You would not believe how many people face delays simply because clothes can't be found for them," says Mary Hopper, a senior NHS manager in Sutton. "You have staff going to lost property trying to find them something to fit."

The initiative also sees a member of the care home staff visiting the patient in hospital within 48 hours of admission.

Read full article How red bags are bringing NHS and care homes closer

Has NHS failure become the new norm?

  • 21 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Nurse Image copyright wavebreakmedia

With both the doctors' and nurses' annual conferences taking place in Belfast and Glasgow respectively, this would normally be a week when the state of the NHS takes top billing.

But not this year. The coverage is pretty muted. Of course, the EU referendum has something to do with that.

Read full article Has NHS failure become the new norm?

Gardening and volunteering: The new wonder drugs?

  • 13 June 2016
  • From the section Health
Volunteers Image copyright Thinkstock

Last week was national volunteers' week, a chance to celebrate the role volunteers play in society.

Their impact is immense. Some studies have put the value at over £50bn, making the voluntary sector as big as the energy industry.

Read full article Gardening and volunteering: The new wonder drugs?

Is the ambulance service in crisis?

  • 23 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Back of ambulance Image copyright Thinkstock

It is perhaps one of the untold stories of the health service. While there has been acres of coverage of the junior doctors dispute, the rising waiting times in A&E and the money problems bedevilling the NHS, the plight of the ambulance service has slipped, by-and-large, under the radar.

But of all the parts of the NHS, it is arguably the one under the most strain and where delays have the greatest impact.

Read full article Is the ambulance service in crisis?

Junior doctor deal: Which side has won?

  • 18 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Man with arms raised Image copyright Thinkstock

After months of deadlock, five strikes, including the first-ever all-out stoppage, and thousands of postponed operations, the government and British Medical Association have finally reached an agreement on a new contract.

Vast swathes of the old deal will now have to be re-written. So how are things changing?

The basic pay rise is not as generous

Read full article Junior doctor deal: Which side has won?

What yoghurt tells us about the obesity fight

  • 9 May 2016
  • From the section Health
Bowl of yoghurt Image copyright Getty Images

When it comes to understanding the challenge facing the nation on obesity, yoghurt is a good place to start.

It's one of the most common items in our shopping basket. We spend more on it than we do on crisps and bacon.

Read full article What yoghurt tells us about the obesity fight

Junior doctors' dispute: Who will break first?

  • 27 April 2016
  • From the section Health
Chain breaking Image copyright Thinkstock

Two things have become clear during the first ever all-out doctors' strikes. One, with good planning hospitals can cope for a few hours without junior doctors.

And, two, this is going to be a fight to the bitter end. While consultants and nurses were stepping into the void left by the striking junior doctors, both sides have been briefing about how determined they are not to give ground.

Read full article Junior doctors' dispute: Who will break first?

Are all-out strike days actually going to be safer?

  • 25 April 2016
  • From the section Health
Doctor running Image copyright Thinkstock

The warnings about the forthcoming all-out junior doctor strikes have been coming in so thick and fast that you could be forgiven for thinking it will be Armageddon.

NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh says he worries they will put vulnerable people "at risk", while chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies says they will "inevitably lead to patients suffering" and Health Minister Ben Gummer claims they will be put in "harm's way".

Read full article Are all-out strike days actually going to be safer?

Chorley A&E closure: A cautionary tale?

  • 14 April 2016
  • From the section Health
A/E nurses Image copyright SPL

The problem with central dictats is they can have unintended consequences in an organisation as large as the NHS.

When ministers in England last year announced they were going to cap how much hospitals could pay agency staff, they felt they had found a solution to a factor increasingly cited as a cause of the financial problems engulfing the health service.

Read full article Chorley A&E closure: A cautionary tale?

Dawn of the nanny state?

  • 28 March 2016
  • From the section Health
Measuring obesity Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Three-quarters of middle-aged men are overweight or obese

The government certainly seems to be on a mission to get people in England healthier, if the recent flurry of announcements is anything to go by.

Last week, it was supervised gym sessions for people at risk of type-2 diabetes.

Read full article Dawn of the nanny state?