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Policy update, March 2017

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

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

News/Announcements

The Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, has delivered his Spring Budget which contained some key announcements for the NHS and Women’s services:

  • The Government will provide an addition £2bn to councils in England over the next 3 years to spend on adult social care services. £1bn of this will be made available in 2017-18.
  • £100m will be allocated to hospitals in England to invest in GP triage services in A&E departments, to ensure patients are able to access the most appropriate care as quickly as possible.
  • The Government will also invest £325m over three years to support local proposals for capital investment coming from Sustainability and Transformation Plans.
  • An additional £20m will be provided to support organisations working to combat domestic violence and abuse, and to support victims.

Consultations and Opportunities

The Department of Health (DH) is consulting on the Government’s plan to introduce a Rapid Resolution and Redress (RRR) scheme, recommended by the National Maternity Review. The RSS is a voluntary administrative compensation scheme for families affected by severe avoidable birth injury and would apply for NHS services in England only. The consultation can be completed online and will close on 26 May.

Publications

The Royal College of Physicians has published a report Against the Odds: experiences from the NHS front line, examining clinicians’ first hand experiences of an overstretched NHS in practice.

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics have published a report on non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). The report explores how NIPT could change the way society views pregnancy, disability and differences and the potential consequences of its uses.

NHS England have published their annual staff survey for 2016, collecting staff views and experiences from across the NHS. The survey found that 72% of staff worked additional hours with 56% saying they attended work in the last three months despite feeling unwell. However nearly three quarters of staff remained enthusiastic about their job and 70% said that would be happy with the standard of care their organisation provided if a friend or relative needed treatment.

Statistics

NHS England have published their Winter Daily Situation Reports, which shows data on areas such as A&E closures and bed pressures collected from acute trusts each weekday during the winter period.

NHS Digital produced the latest Maternity Services Monthly Statistics for October 2016. The statistics are a patient-level data set that captures key information at each stage of the maternity services care pathway.

NHS Digital has also released the latest FGM Enhanced dataset from October 2016 to December 2016. The data set shows that between October and December 2016 there were 2,332 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken.

Detailed Guides

Public Health England (PHE) have published new programme standards for the sickle cell and thalassaemia (SCT) antenatal and newborn screening programme.

DH have produced a resource for healthcare professionals, helping them to support people who are experiencing domestic abuse. It aims to help healthcare professionals identify potential victims, initiate sensitive routine enquiries and respond effectively to disclosures of abuse.