Digest News

Staff struggle with volume of safety guidance

A REPORT looking at ‘never events’ in 18 hospital trusts in England found that NHS staff struggle to cope with large volumes of safety guidance, with little time and space to implement the guidance effectively. This is a key conclusion from research conducted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at the request of the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, aiming to understand the barriers to delivering safe care and identify learning that can be applied to improve patient safety. The CQC report, Opening the door to

change, examines the issues that contribute to the occurrence of never events and wider patient safety incidents in NHS trusts in England. It found that staff often try to implement guidance, but on top of demanding and busy roles which make it difficult to give such measures the required priority. The report also concluded that within the wider healthcare system, different bodies at national, regional and local level do not always work together in the most supportive way, with confusion over roles and where trusts and other organisations can find the most appropriate support. Education and training for patient safety could also be significantly improved, with more appropriate training at undergraduate level and after staff have embarked on clinical careers. Professor John Dean, clinical director for quality improvement and patient safety at the Royal College of Physicians, commented: “We must move from a place where we assume care is safe until something goes wrong, to working in a way as teams that minimises the chances of harm. This should build in safety to daily practice, and be open and supportive when error occurs.”

GDC sets out revised principles for specialist listing

A CONSULTATION on the fundamental principles governing the GDC’s approach to specialist listing is now underway. The GDC is seeking views on proposals to change the way it approaches three key areas: • Revised purposes for specialist listing, setting out what the GDC expects listed specialties to fulfil, and the criteria by which the regulator will determine which disciplines of dentistry should be listed. • Principles for the process of addition and removal of specialist lists.

6 / MDDUS INSIGHT / Q1 2019

“Fake news” impacting vaccination rates

AROUND 50 per cent of parents with children under age five are exposed to negative messages on social media about the use of vaccines, according to research commissioned by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). The report, Moving the needle, reveals

the extent to which social media propagates misinformation about vaccinations, with the perceived risks of side effects a key concern among those choosing not to vaccinate. The UK maintains world-leading levels

of vaccine coverage but the report reveals troubling findings about the extent to which

public concern over the side effects of vaccination continues to be a barrier to uptake. The authors conclude that “fake news” on social media may be influential in spreading these concerns. The report found that UK attitudes to vaccines were largely positive, with 91 per cent

of parents in agreement that vaccines are important for their children’s health. Trust in healthcare professionals remains high, with doctors and nurses being consistently valued as a source of information about vaccines. The RSPH is calling for a multi-pronged approach to improving and maintaining uptake

of vaccinations in the UK. This includes stepping-up efforts to limit “fake news” about vaccinations online, especially by social media platforms themselves. The RSPH believes vaccinations should also be offered in a more diverse range of locations, and reminder services should be improved. Shirley Cramer CBE, chief executive, RSPH said: “With the rise of social media, we

must guard against the spread of ‘fake news’ about vaccinations. We have found worrying levels of exposure to negative messages about vaccinations on social media, and the spread of misinformation – if it impacts uptake of vaccines – could severely damage the public’s health.”

• Processes for maintaining accreditation on specialist lists.

The consultation closes on 25 April 2019.

To provide your views on the proposals go to consultations

Updated audit tool for antimicrobial prescribing

AN updated version of a dental antimicrobial prescribing self-audit tool has been published by the Faculty of General Dental Practice (FGDP(UK)) and the British Dental Association to coincide with the launch of the government’s 5-Year Action Plan and 20-Year Vision for reducing antimicrobial resistance. Dentists issue around 5-7 per cent of NHS antibiotic prescriptions. The Antimicrobial Prescribing Self-Audit

Tool consists of a data collection sheet together with a comprehensive guide enabling clinical audits of prescribing and management of dental infections. The tool has been endorsed by Public

Health England and is designed to be used alongside the Faculty’s Antimicrobial

Prescribing for General Dental Practitioners guidance so that dentists can compare their practice against standards. The tool was originally launched in November 2016, and has now been updated to promote understanding that it facilitates, rather than performs, an audit. Clinical audits have been shown to lead to a reduction in both the number of prescriptions and the number of inappropriate prescriptions, as well as dramatic improvements in the accuracy of the dose, frequency and duration of antibiotic prescriptions. The Faculty also encourages GDPs to

take the British Association of Oral Surgeons’ Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) e-Learning Modules, which provide free verified CPD on application of the principles of antimicrobial stewardship to common clinical scenarios.

Pledge to shake up GP IT

OUTDATED and frustrating IT systems in GP practices in England will be replaced with modern technology as part of widespread changes announced by the health and social care secretary.

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