Latest NICE rapid guidelines

In recent weeks NICE has been supporting the NHS and social care by developing a series of rapid guidelines.

These have covered both caring for patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 infection, and patients without COVID-19 infection, in a number of clinical areas.

Two new guidelines have been published this week covering chronic kidney disease and interstitial lung disease.

There are currently no further COVID-19 rapid guidelines in development. 

NICE is planning to return to its normal, monthly publication schedule for NICE News and Update for Primary Care newsletters.

Any updates to published COVID-19 rapid guidelines will be highlighted in the monthly newsletters and on the website from now on. 

NICE will communicate directly with affected stakeholders if urgent updates are made. 

Realising the true value of integrated care

The International Foundation for Integrated Care (IFIC) has published a thought leadership report stating COVID-19 presents an opportunity to reset 'fragmented health and care systems'.

Realising the true value of integrated care: Beyond COVID-19, calls for health and care systems to be integrated, driven by people and communities and resilient in the face of future systemic shocks. 

IFIC proposes nine building blocks to help steer health and care system leaders towards a radically different future. They are:

  • Shared values and vision
  • Population health and local context
  • People as partners in care
  • Resilient communities and new alliances
  • Workforce capacity and capability
  • System wide governance and leadership
  • Digital solutions
  • Aligned payment systems
  • Transparency of progress, results and impact

Click on the link below to read the full report.

International Foundation for Integrated Care

Restarting services 'will take months'

A joint letter from the Health Foundation, Nuffield Trust and the King's Fund warns it will take months before NHS and social care organisations are able to fully restart services.

The letter was sent to the Health and Social Care Select Committee for the evidence session on delivering core NHS and care services during the pandemic and beyond.

It outlines five challenges that will need to be addressed by leaders in government and the health and care system.

These include appropriate infection and prevention measures for all settings delivering care and reducing public fear over using NHS and and social care services.

Click on the link below to read the letter in full.

Nuffield Trust

COVID-19 data hub for NHS Wales

A new data hub keeping track of the NHS Wales response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched by the NHS Wales Informatics Service.

It will allow NHS Wales leaders and decision makers to interpret vital data from all health boards and trusts to understand capacity and the demand for care of patients with COVID-19.

Data shown includes GP appointments, emergency department capacity, calls to NHS 111, statistics for positive COVID-19 tests, the number and location of beds, and beds with ventilators.

In response to a changing situation the data hub will be constantly developed and upgraded.

NHS Wales

Easy read staying alert and safe

Easy Read Online has released a new easy-read version of the Government's latest rules on staying alert and safe.

A PDF of the booklet is free to download by clicking on the link below.

Easy Read Online

Key worker guidance and family support package

New guidance has been released to help key workers have potentially difficult conversations with their children and families.

Key workers across the country may be facing the pressure of having conversations about their roles and how this could impact on the safety and dynamics of their family.

In collaboration with clinicians at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published written and audio guidance to support key workers to have those conversations.

The guidance is available by clicking on the link below.

Our NHS People

Compassionate visiting arrangements for end of life care

Guidance focused on supporting compassionate visiting arrangements for those receiving end of life care has been published.

It provides advice on how visiting at the end of life can be facilitated across a range of settings including healthcare inpatient settings (including mental health and learning disability), care homes, hospices and at home.

Click on the link below to view the guidance and other guides on speciality patient management.

NHS England

Poll reveals opinions on NHS contact-tracing app

A Digital Health News poll has revealed readers don’t feel the NHS has been transparent enough about the Covid-19 contact-tracing app, but many do not have any concerns about it.

The poll asked three questions on issues raised about the app, which uses Bluetooth technology to alert users if they have come into contact with someone experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

When asked whether the NHS is being transparent enough regarding data and privacy surrounding the app, just under three quarters (74%) said they did not think it was.

When asked what concerns them most about the technology, 31% said they had none. This was closely followed by ‘other’ (28%) and data, privacy and security (27%).

Digital Health

Supporting vulnerable and excluded people

Organisations currently working with people or households that are digitally excluded, on a low income and at extremely high risk of severe illness from coronavirus in Scotland are being invited to share the issues they have encountered as a part of the Connecting Scotland Initiative. 

The new £5 million programme will offer internet connection, training and support, and a device to vulnerable people who are not online.


Digital transformation in the NHS

The National Audit Office has published a report on digital transformation within the NHS prior to COVID-19. 

The report reveals that, prior to the pandemic, uptake of digital services has been slow, expensive, and largely unsuccessful. 

It also argues new funding plans are still not sufficient to deliver the Digital Transformation Portfolio by 2021. 

However, it also highlights a growing recognition of the important role HealthTech can play in driving a more cost-effective, time efficient health service.

National Audit Office

Internet learning guides

Learn My Way has published a series of internet learning guides which are free to download from its website.

The guides are designed for anybody helping someone else to learn how to navigate the internet.

Short guides cover practical topics like using a keyboard and touch screen, how to use email and video calls.

There are also communication checklists and tips for staying safe online.

Learn My Way

Study: Involving young people with a chronic condition in health and social care projects

A study has found 'limited progress' in the evidence base of the impact of Patient and Public Involvement with young people with a chronic condition.

Authors said the involvement of young people with a chronic condition in research and implementation projects in health and social care receives growing attention.

Their scoping review aims to gain insight into developments in the existing literature.

Authors found, over the years, studies continue to report similar experiences and challenges. 

To move forward, they suggest future research makes connections to existing work, includes thorough descriptions of what is understood by PPI and how this is translated into activities, and uses systematic and objective, but also flexible, methods to measure impact.

Wiley Online Library

Study: Interactive digital tools to engage patients and caregivers in discharge preparation

Poor discharge preparation during hospitalisation may lead to adverse events after discharge.

A new study aimed to evaluate the implementation of a suite of digital health tools, integrated with the electronic health record (EHR), to engage patients, caregivers, and their care team in preparing for discharge.

Patients who agreed to participate were coached to watch a discharge video, complete a checklist assessing discharge readiness, and request post-discharge text messaging with a physician 24 to 48 hours before their expected discharge date.

Authors concluded a suite of EHR-integrated digital health tools to engage patients, caregivers, and clinicians in discharge preparation was feasible, acceptable, and valuable.

However, important challenges were identified during implementation. 

The study authors offer strategies to address implementation barriers and promote adoption of digital health tools.

JMIR Publications