News in brief w/e 8 December 2023
Health and Social Care Secretary commits to supporting older people to maintain independence
Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins has issued a statement committing to making health and social care services faster, simpler and fairer for patients, ensuring children are protected from health harms, health outcomes are not determined by where people live, government supports older people to maintain their independence for longer and delivers a more productive NHS. She also said she would continue to work with the NHS to manage winter pressures.
Having a secure and safe place to live is essential to the wellbeing of people living with mental health issues. The right support at the right time can help them to live independently and build a fulfilling life - and it can reduce the need for emergency or acute care. Join this Care Provider Alliance and NHS England online learning summit which will explore how integrated care partnerships can bring together housing, social care, primary, community and hospital care to better support local people living with mental health issues. The session has been planned in partnership with the National Housing Federation. Find out more and book online. Register for ICS Learning Network updates. Access recordings, presentations and reports from previous learning summits
Government response to the consultation on visiting in care homes, hospitals, and hospices
The government is intending to work with CQC on developing and introducing a new fundamental standard on visiting in care homes, against which CQC will assess certain registered settings as part of its existing inspection framework. Regulations will be laid to introduce this additional standard as soon as possible, with CQC publishing guidance for the health and social care sector. Government response
The NHS is asking people to get vaccinated before the NHS online booking system, NHS App and 119 phone service close for bookings from 15 December. The 119 booking service will also close but remain open for queries until 22 December. It will be possible to book COVID vaccinations after 15 December through local NHS vaccination services until 31 January. After that, COVID vaccinations will close, and people will be need to wait for a future campaign unless they develop a new health condition or start treatment that severely weakens the immune system. For those eligible for a free flu vaccine after 15 December, it will be possible to book by contacting a GP or finding a pharmacy if people are 18 or over. The free flu vaccine offer closes on 31 March 2024.
The UKHSA is urging people from ethnic minority groups to protect themselves with vaccines. This follows statistics which show differences in emergency hospital admission rates between ethnic groups.
Cold weather working: Helping workers stay safe and warm
The Health and Safety Executive has issued advice stressing the importance of protecting workers during the cold weather. The HSE’s guidance Is it too cold or hot to work? gives employers advice on temperatures at work and risk management. United Kingdom Health Security Agency/Met Office Cold health alerts.
Almost 1 in 5 council leaders and chief executives fear issuing Section 114 notice this or next year
Almost one in five council leaders and chief executives in England surveyed by the Local Government Association think it is very or fairly likely that their chief finance officer will need to issue a Section 114 notice this year or next due to a lack of funding to keep key services running. The LGA estimates that councils in England face a £4 billion funding gap over the next two years just to keep services standing still. The Chancellor's Autumn Statement failed to provide the additional funding needed to protect services from further cuts. More information from LGA website.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHS England and the National Police Chiefs’ Council are holding a webinar on 13 December from 1-2pm about the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) Right Care, Right Person (RCRP), which is a collective agreement to work to end police involvement in responding to people with mental health needs, where there is no criminality, risk to life or of serious harm. Registration: Microsoft Virtual Events Powered by Teams. National Partnership Agreement: Right Care, Right Person.