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Policy update, April 2017

This is your monthly round-up of recent national health policy developments for 10 March to 13 April

If you have any comments or if there is anything else you would like to see in the round-up please contact us at:


The Department of Health has published the government’s mandate to NHS England for 2017-18. In it, the government has promised to reduce bed-blocking to 3.5% through piloting hospital services to people in their own homes. The mandate also pledges to roll out evening and weekend GP services for 40% of the country by next year and ensure all over 75s are given a same day appointment if they need one.

Consultations and Opportunities

The Children, Young people and Education Committee in Wales is welcoming evidence into its inquiry on perinatal mental health. The Committee is examining the Welsh Government’s approach to perinatal mental health, the current clinical pathway, as well as the level of specialist care. The inquiry is open until 28 April.

The BMA’s Humanitarian Fund 2017 is now open for applications until Friday 12th May 2017. Grants of up to £3,000 will be awarded to medical teams undertaking humanitarian projects in low income countries across the world. Projects must involve at least one current NHS employee, offer clear health benefits to the local population and have a sustainable impact.


The APPG on Women’s Health launched their report on fibroids and endometriosis, ‘Informed Choice? Giving women control of their healthcare’. The report is based on the experiences of over 2600 women and recommends:

  • That women have access to better information resources
  • An endorsed best practice pathway
  • Wider awareness of menstrual health in the general public and with all healthcare professionals, as well as education on the issue at school
  • Multi-disciplinary team working at Trusts
  • That NICE guidance on fibroids and endometriosis are better followed

The Scottish Government has published its Independent Review of Transvaginal Mesh Implants. The report recommends that:

  • Mesh procedures should not be offered routinely to women with pelvic organ prolapse
  • All treatments should be made available to treat stress urinary incontinence, inducing mesh
  • Reporting of procedures and adverse events should be mandatory
  • Extra steps are needed to ensure patients have access to clear, understandable advice to help them make fully informed choice

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS has released its report, condemning the short sightedness of successive governments for failing to plan effectively for the long-term future of the health service and adult social care. The Committee believes that the NHS should remain tax funded and free at the point of use, however argues that many aspects of the way the NHS delivers healthcare will have to change. It has also said that the failure to implement a comprehensive long-term strategy to secure appropriately skilled, well-trained and committed workforce that the health and care system will need is the biggest internal threat to the sustainability of the NHS.


The Office for National Statistics have published their annual statistics on conceptions for England and Wales in 2015. The data shows that teenage pregnancy in England and Wales has fallen to its lowest level on record.

Detailed Guides

NHS Improvement has produced a best practice guide for consultant job planning. The guide offers advice for trusts to help them with their approach to consultant job planning, including ensuring an annual job planning meeting for all consultants.