Sarah Berry, Public Affairs Manager, British Society for Rheumatology writes about the recent findings of the Lord Public Services Committee report, Homecare Services: An opportunity lost. The Lord’s Committee found homecare medicines services beset with problems, without clear leadership and accountability. The article invites the sector to consider what the findings mean for the future of the NHS, with healthcare increasingly delivered in people’s homes.
Most people will care at some point in their lives for a family member or a close friend who is older, chronically ill or is disabled and needs support, but don’t recognise themselves as unpaid carers. Our Carers Week 2023 research found that 72% of people with experience of caring didn’t identify themselves when they were caring – that’s 19 million people – and many missed out on health and care, financial and other support.
Written by Jacob Lant (National Voices), Nicola Perrin (Association of Medical Research Charities), Dr Nicola Byrne (National Data Guardian) and Nicola Hamilton (Understanding Patient Data).
NHS England will soon be announcing who has won the contract to provide the NHS with a Federated Data Platform (FDP), and many people have been asking what this is all about. Therefore, we are jointly publishing this blog to provide some context and direct you to reliable sources where you can find accurate information or ask questions if needed.
Disparities between communities and groups can lead to inequity in health outcomes and in the support that people receive. To truly tackle these, we need more medical research, better data, inclusive awareness and health programmes, tailored support, and campaigning. Comprehensive health charities like Breast Cancer Now need to make sure all their work is coordinated if we are going to make a difference.
This blog from the Patient Safety Commissioner Dr Henrietta Hughes outlines the importance of listening to patients and staff from diverse communities to identify and act on patient safety issues – and how to make this happen.
I am Ben Connah, the Secretary to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry. I am responsible for the administration of the Inquiry and supporting the former Court of Appeal judge Baroness Hallett to fulfil her responsibilities as Chair of the Inquiry. I work for her and a key part of my role is making sure our work is independent of the government.
It is fair to say that the Covid Inquiry had a slow start. It took two years between Prime Minister Johnson announcing that we would indeed have an Inquiry in May 2021, and the first public hearing in June this year. In the meantime, “partygate” and other scandals further dented the already low level of public confidence in our country’s leadership, institutions, and legal processes.
The idea of a social contract between the NHS and the public will only work if it is based on a new ongoing, two-way relationship. This must be supported by an acceptance that the knowledge needed to fix our country’s challenges lies in communities.
I very much believe that better use of data by the NHS has the potential to save lives. During the pandemic we saw this very clearly, with the data sharing rules in a national emergency allowing infection rates and outcomes to be tracked, and for the vaccine programme to be targeted more effectively. In peace time too the NHS has begun to use data more effectively, for example the increased use of the summary care records. But as the National Data Guardian politely puts it in her excellent and detailed blog, the narrative is often dominated by the “high-profile setbacks and failures”.