15. June 2012 17:24
A blueprint for integrated and patient-centred care in Kent has been hailed by health secretary Andrew Lansley as a “bold move”.
The report from Kent Health Commission proposes a new community-based service delivery model, combining health and social care budgets.
Kent Health Commission said it aimed to empower patients and GPs, creating a new market in health provision, while saving £5m per district.
The report’s recommendations include the development of community hospital facilities and services available to people in local areas.
This approach would increase the availability of district nurses and other mobile health workers to deliver intermediary and home-based care, including telehealth systems.
The Commission aims to accelerate joint commissioning between health and social care to provide new services.
Lansley commented that he welcomed “the work underway to make sure the new health reforms provide the very best health and social care services,” and hoped it could provide “a model for other areas to follow”.
Focusing on Dover and Shipway, the report claims it can both improve patient outcomes and save £59m – an average of £5m per district.
Local GP Dr Joe Chaudhuri commented: “Strong, trusting relationships among different agencies are key and the fact that we have a shared vision gives me real confidence that we can achieve our collective ambitions.”
15. June 2012 16:20
A new learning and support web tool has been published on the NHS Commissioning Board Authority’s website to help developing clinical commissioning groups.
The tool offers access to development resources that meet current learning needs to support CCGs as they prepare for authorisation and further responsibilities.
The website has been designed as a series of pages organised according to the domains of authorisation and aims to bring together focused learning outcomes for 2012-13.
Online resources provided by the Authority and the Department of Health are joined by information from key national bodies such as the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the NHS Leadership Academy and the NHS Alliance and National Association of Primary Care.
In addition, the previously published Self Assessment Diagnostic Tool for proposed CCGs has also been refreshed. The diagnostic facility now aligns with the authorisation process for commissioning groups.
15. June 2012 15:41
The NHS could save as much as £3.4 billion each year if procurement and commissioning teams within the health service improved their commercial skills, a new report says.
The CBI’s The right care in the right place claims that commissioning services closer to the homes of patients and utilising technologically advanced working measures would save billions.
According to the business lobbying group, “procurement and commissioning teams often lack commercial savvy” at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
The report found that issuing staff with the means to work remotely through the use of smart phones could contribute to annual savings of £1.9bn. It predicts the wider adoption of homecare would also contribute a further £1.3bn.
The report also advised commissioners to share best practice around England and conduct market testing to find the most effective private sector partners to deliver healthcare cheaper and more efficiently.
“Some commissioners are already working with the private sector to successfully put these advanced healthcare systems into practice, but there are still too many barriers preventing them from becoming widespread,” said Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Advisor.
Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts, the report advises, should also consult with private sector organisations to develop simplified financial and regulatory checks.
The Department of Health, the report recommends, should take its lead from the Cabinet Office and create a secondment team to develop improved commercial awareness in the public sector.
15. June 2012 15:28
NICE has failed to recommend Roche’s cancer drug Zelboraf (vemurafenib) for the treatment of unresectable locally advanced or metastatic BRAF V600 mutation-positive melanoma in draft guidance.
Its independent Appraisal Committee had uncertainties over the evidence supplied by NICE and deemed the treatment too expensive.
Sir Andrew Dillon, Chief Executive of NICE, said Zelboraf is an “expensive drug” and that its “long term benefits are difficult to quantify”.
Roche’s data came from the BRIM3 trial which compared Zelboraf with a current treatment, dacarbazine. Results showed how Zelboraf was effective for patients with skin cancer with the BRAF 600 mutation.
But its long-term effectiveness was “uncertain”, NICE said, due to patients receiving dacarbazine taking other treatments after their disease had progressed.
Roche had agreed a Patient Access Scheme for the use of Zelboraf on the NHS. However, the discount failed to convince NICE the treatment offers value for money.
It’s estimated that less than 1,000 people in England and Wales each year would be eligible for treatment with Zelboraf.
15. June 2012 14:48
Allocation of public health funding to local authorities is likely to be based on relative mortality rates for people aged below 75.
The population health metric recommended by the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) has been provisionally accepted by the Government.
The recommendation reflects the shift of the needs-based resource allocation model from the NHS to local government, which will have an estimated £2.2bn public health budget.
It follows Andrew Lansley’s statement in May that the health impact of economic deprivation was now an issue for local government, not for the NHS – which would shift to a funding model based only on population age.
The new DH report Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Update on Public Health Funding quotes ACRA’s proposal that resource allocation for public health should be based on the standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for those under 75.
Small areas (containing about 7,000 people) with the highest SMRs should receive a weight per head three times greater than those with the lowest SMRs, the Committee said.
In addition, a new health premium incentive should reward local authorities for improvements in population health.
The DH has pledged to ensure that the new public health funding is ring-fenced and will not negatively affect other local authority budgets.
However, it warned: “The current restrictions on growth in public health spending will mean that, initially, progress towards the preferred distribution is likely to be slow.”