Last month it was NG 97: Dementia, this month an equally important one NICE Guideline 100: Rheumatoid arthritis in adults: management
As with Dementia, the flowchart has also been updated making it easy to follow.
At the same time, they have also updated the Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality Standard (now Q33) which has 7 recommendations that it would be worth becoming aware of. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects over 400,000 people in the UK making it one of the most prevalent long-term conditions health professionals see. If you need to know more about rheumatoid arthritis its worth looking at the NHS Direct entry which you can see by Clicking Here
In the wake of the celebrations to mark #NHS70 and in the light of recent negative publicity about the health of the NHS, it’s probably a good time to mention this. A new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank has claimed low-quality healthcare services are holding back progress on improving health in countries at all income levels. (i.e. the NHS is not alone in the problems its facing).
te report highlights that 1 in 10 patients is adversely affected during treatment in high-income countries. Adherence to clinical practice guidelines in eight low- and middle-income countries was below 50 per cent in several instances. Also, 10% of hospitalised patients in low- and middle-income can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, as compared to 7% in high-income countries. The report outlines the steps health services, health workers, governments, citizens and patients needed to take to improve healthcare quality. It would be a shame to let this important report slip under the radar because of #TrumpVisitUK and the Brexit mess. See:
OECD/WHO/World Bank Group (2018). Delivering Quality Health Services: A Global Imperative. World Health Organization. Geneva, Switzerland.
So this week I am at the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) Conference 2018. I don’t think that I have ever been to a larger Conference and there is so much in the Conference Programme that it is almost big enough to require a wheelbarrow!
Anyway, later today I am speaking with Becky Moran the Care Home Educational Facilitator (CHEF) from NHS Lanarkshire talking about the BSG study day we held back in August 2017. See This Link for our report to Ageing Issues
At the conference the following has been announced that other people might be interested in.
Firstly, the Centre for Better Ageing at https://www.ageing-better.org.uk/ is releasing a new report today called Home Adaptations: A Typical Journey, which explores personal and professional perspectives on home adaptations. Go to the website and download it.
Secondly, Ageing and Society have released some full-text versions of some of its most interesting articles online. There are a range of topics so if you want to take a look at what is available see www.cambridge.org/ASO-BSG18
Finally, the Centre for Policy on Ageing has pooled together some of its Information Resources. An interesting one to look at is called “Policies on Ageing” which is an online resource providing easy access to government policy documents and key national reports and briefings that are raising the profile of issues around the support of older people and an ageing population. See:
Hope you find something interesting.
Two important documents that have been published this week. One from NHS Improvement and another from Public Health England.
Despite their importance though you’d be hard-pressed to know they were available.
So there is now a guide to reducing long hospital stays and further guidance on falls and falls prevention and you probably haven’t even noticed.
So first of all reducing long hospital stays. In NHS England, nearly 350,000 patients currently spend over three weeks in acute hospitals each year. Many are older people with a reduced functional ability (frailty) or who have a cognitive impairment. The benefits to the UK NHS and other healthcare systems of reducing hospital bed occupancy are clear. However, as everyone knows trying to achieve this is very difficult, particularly during the winter pressure for beds. So what can be done?
This week NHS Improvement released their “Guide to Reducing Long Hospital Stays”. Click the link and you’ll get to the page you can download it from.
Their guide is primarily aimed at acute and community trusts, but also makes reference to how system partners can play a supporting role.
Also this week (yesterday June 14th.) Public Health England’s Guide on Falls was updated. Called Falls: applying All Our Health the guide includes core principles for healthcare professionals to follow and a large number of resources and examples of good practice from some key national agencies. Click on the link and go and explore, and see if you can adopt some of the measures suggested or check if you are doing these already.
So if these are such an important phenomenon to tackle why did these document releases not get more publicity?
Today the Royal Society for Public Health, here in the UK has published a report called “That Age Old Question” which examines how our attitudes to ageing can affect our health and wellbeing. Sad to say of course that they conclude that societal Ageism is well and truly with us and have listed 10 key recommendations from the report on their website at That Age Old Question
I think the worrying thing for me is the reported attitudes of younger people who seem to either believe a number of myths about ageing or accept them as truth! We also seem to have created a culture that is still obsessed with trying to stay young looking. The RSHP is calling for an end to the use of the term “anti-ageing” because I am sorry to say there is no such thing (but don’t forget your sunscreen and give up the fags).
To download the full report and watch a video about the report CLICK HERE
To see what the reaction has been to their call go to #ThatAgeOldQuestion
Well, if that depresses you then here is some inspiration for Dementia Awareness Week in Scotland #DAW2018 If you haven’t seen it, the winner of NHS Patient Award for Nursing and Midwifery was Fiona Chaabane. Fiona works with people with cognitive disorders focusing on Young-onset Dementias. To find out more about her, and her work Click Here
She features from 8:00 mins through to 16:12 mins.
Good news this week that more than twice as many people over 75 use the internet as they did in 2011. But despite this rapid increase, millions of people in later life are not online. The UK Office of National Statistics released figures this week that showed 4.8 million people over the age of 55 are not online – making up 91% of all ‘non-users’. As a result, they are at risk of missing out on essential services as these continue to move online, and companies increasingly offer online-only deals.
The problem, of course, is that those not online are people with the lowest levels of wealth, health and education. In other words the very people most likely to benefit from crossing the digital divide and getting online.
A report by the Centre for Better Ageing and the digital charity the Good Things Foundation released this week urges the government, companies and organisations to ensure that the most vulnerable people don’t get locked out of essential services and benefits particularly since a number of people may be digitally excluded for many years to come. As the report concludes;
“It is easy to think that with the increasing digitisation of society everyone will eventually be online, and so the digital divide will simply fade away. In fact, the opposite is true. As our services and interactions become ever more digitised, the digital divide between the most and least advantaged in society will grow and may become amplified across the life course.We need to take action now to prevent this gap between the digital haves and have-nots from becoming entrenched.”
To access the full report and the Centre’s views of “The digital age: new approaches to supporting people in later life get online” Click Here
I owe my followers an apology. I have missed two weeks in a row for the very first time! Found myself subject to #DigitalExclusion in Crete.
Some weeks are bad weeks but this week could rank as one of the worst for bad news about the NHS and its relationship with older people in a long time.
Firstly we had the revelation that 450,000 women aged between 68-71 had not been invited to routine breast cancer screening due to a computer error, that has been traced back to 2009!. Public Health England has said that it was not aware of a national problem with the screening programme until January 2018, which seems a bit worrying when they were aware at the same time that screening uptake amongst older women was falling. Watch out for the public inquiry and subsequent report particularly since NHS “everywhere else” didn’t have the same problem. Most people are probably unaware that a full review of the NHS breast screening programme was undertaken in 2012. So if you are affected by this systems failure in any way it’s worth looking at THIS REPORT and making your own mind up about the impact that it may have had on you or your loved one. My concern is that if this had been any other group would it have been noticed sooner and acted upon earlier?
As if that wasn’t bad enough a report released today (May 4th. 2018) is probably worse and even more significant. The annual report for 2017 of the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) was released today and did make the national news. Their findings are very worrying and point to problems with institutional discrimination across services dealing with people with learning disabilities to the extent that life expectancy at birth if you have a learning disability is 19.7 years lower than for people without learning disabilities. Equally disturbing is that more than a third of deaths of people with learning disabilities were potentially amenable to health care interventions. Again much more will be said about this in the coming days and months so it’s worth taking a look at the primary source, which you can see and download from THIS SITE.
I haven’t even mentioned the dementia care ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital, in Denbighshire which closed in 2013 and it’s culture of “institutional abuse”. Too sad to go there but if you want to know more see this BBC Wales TIMELINE
Apologies to my MSc in Gerontology students first; because a number of them have just finished their Frailty in Older People Module. So this is too late to help them with their assignment. However, it’s still useful to know its here.
The journal “Age and Ageing” have released a Virtual Edition called “Frailty” that covers many of the main issues in Frailty, including describing the condition conceptually, reporting its epidemiology, contrasting different options for clinical assessment, detailing the adverse outcomes of frailty in older subjects and some insights into what interventions might improve outcomes for frail older people (and their carers). They have made them available on-line. To have a look at what you can access and to learn a bit more about this important topic CLICK HERE.
Looking forward to next Thursday when Atul Gwande is joining a QI Connect Webinar hosted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. If you don’t know who Atul Gwande is the I would have a look and listen to these. The Reith Lectures 2014
If you want to join the webinar go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/qi-connect-atul-gawande-tickets-42419687427