Increasiing use of Antidepressant: Recent research by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation shows how the use of anti-depressants has rocketted during the recession years. This emphasies how the NHS acts as a lightining rod and pressure valve for wider social and economic problems and how these issues so easily become medicalised through presscribed durgs use.
The total fertility rates of UK-born women increased by around 18% from1.56 in 2001 to1.84 in 2011. The total fertility rates of non-UK born women in England and Wales were the same in 2001 and 2011 (2.21 in both years respectively. In 2011 there were 724,000 live births in England and Wales, a 22% increase on 2001. For full information go to Office of National Statistics
Now for the 'Summer Health Check' ?
The Winter Health Check showed an increasing pressure on NHS Hospitals compared to previous years with rising emergency admissions and delayed patient transfers. This was despite 2013/14 being a much milder winter. As the Monitor report referred to elsewhere on this page shows, growing financial pressures are causing an increasing number of NHSFTs problems and to 'miss targets'. while Locla Authorities increasingly struggle to provide social care as their budgets are cut. As might have been predicted delayed transfers from hostpital have continued to rise even with the onset of summer and July 2014 reporting the highest proportion (65.4%) of delayed transfers since the collection of data began in August 2010. The number of emergency admissions through A&E Departments also continued to rise.
NHS Policy Cracks Begin to Show?
While Monitor's Report on Foundation Trusts for 2013/14 headlined an increase in staffing it also showed a big increase in NHS Hospitals missing waiting time targets, including GP cancer referral waiting times. With an increase in Trusts experiencing financial difficulties, 40 (almost a third) reporting budget deficits for the year, there was also a total of 29 in 'breach of their licence'.
The majority of Trusts continue to do an excellent job but an increasing number are finding the going hard from a combination of increasing demand, budget cuts and shortages of skilled staff. Generally it is the smaller hospitals that are finding it most difficult to survive-ironically considering Simon Stevens statement that the NHS should focus more on delivering through smaller hospitals. In this sense the Monitor Report illustrated how a marketisation strategy concentrates provision with the 'biggest and strongest'. Any study of markets shows how they drive 'consolidation' and centralisation into fewer larger enterprises focusing on 'economies of scale' as small 'less economic' units fail.
The present policy environment appears to have reached contradiction point in evolving the NHS towards a model of delivery leading to more centralisation,and fragmented services, completely at odds with the health needs of communities and the avowed intentions of Government and NHS leaders.So perhaps the NHS is about to enter an impasse (or prepare for a major reversal.Monitor Report in Full
Preventing suicide in England: one year on The first annual report on cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives while indicating that suicide rates had shown a slight increase in recent years also stated that the Policy Research Programme is investing £1.5m over three years into six projects:
• Understanding and helping looked-after young people who self-harm
• Understanding lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans adolescents' suicide, self-harm and help-seeking behaviour
• Self-harm in primary care patients: a nationally representative cohort study
examining patterns of attendance, treatment and referral, and risk of self-harm
repetition, suicide and other causes of premature death
• Exploring the use of the Internet in relation to suicidal behaviour and identifying priorities for prevention
• Understanding the role of social media in the aftermath of youth suicides
• Risk and resilience: self-harm and suicide ideation, attempts and completionamong high risk groups and the population as a whole.
To read the full report click on link Preventing suicide in England: One year on
Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat - Improving outcomes for people experiencing mental health crisis
When the Government announced a new concordat to impove outcomes for people experiencing mental health crisis we also read of children being sent many miles from home to be treated in adult mental health beds due to shortages of appropriate care. At the same time the number of people detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act continues to rise as a survey by Community Care showed the severe pressure being placed on mental as health services beds close. See Blog for more
Securing a health service fit for the future
In early February it was announced that Monitor, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority had agreed to fund a series of projects to help groups of commissioners and providers in 11 'financially challenged areas work together to develop integrated five-year plans that effectively address the particular local challenges they face.
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Local Authority Excess Weight data published by Public Health England confirms 64% of adults overweight or obese. To view information go to PHE Obesity