News round-up (July 23)
It’s been a big news week in health and care from Freedom Day, July 19 when the government announced measure to alleviate pressures on health and care staff to the launch of its Innovation strategy. Elsewhere a number of interesting data-related stories for the sector have been published from trial news to dementia diagnosis rates.
NIHR publishes new vision for harnessing the full potential of data-enabled trials
NIHR-funded researchers have launched a blueprint highlighting innovative ways and best practice for using fully consented patient data in clinical trials for public benefit.
They say the COVID-19 pandemic has raised the profile of clinical trials and emphasised the need to deliver better, faster, more efficient trials for patient benefit. But considerable overlap exists between data required for trials and data already collected routinely in electronic healthcare records (EHRs) at hospitals and GP surgeries and collated in national datasets like those held by NHS Digital.
A paper published in the BMJ highlights ideas and best practice to harness the full potential of data-enabled trials using EHRs and urges for a wider adoption of these methods for trials.
Clearing the backlog caused by the pandemic
The government’s Health and Social Care Committee has launched a new inquiry to quantify the level of pent-up demand for key healthcare services; and to consider whether fundamental changes to the organisation and delivery of NHS services will be required to manage the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic.
MPs will examine levels of funding, capacity, organisation and leadership for addressing the current backlog for non-covid health services, and concerns that these issues are likely to continue in the longer-term.
There will be a focus on elective surgery, emergency care, General Practice, mental health, and long-covid.
Evidence should be submitted by Friday 3 September.
CQC publishes response to consultation on flexible and responsive regulation
Health and care providers and commissioners, people who use services, CQC colleagues and other stakeholders were among 566 responders to the CQC consultation on flexible and responsive regulation.
There was strong support for reviewing and updating ratings (or judgements of quality in service types that CQC don’t rate) in a more flexible way, rather than following a fixed schedule of inspections.
However, there were concerns and queries. “For example, on the importance and role of on-site inspections now and in our future assessment approach, and relating to the reliability and availability of data that we’ll use to change ratings.”
Covid-19 has impacted dementia diagnosis rates in England
Latest data from NHS Digital collected monthly from GP practices shows a rise in the diagnosis of dementia. Recorded cases increased by 2,290 from 31st May to 436,597 as at 30th June.
The diagnosis rate in those aged 65 and over “estimated” to have dementia increased from 61.8% in May to 61.9% in the same period.
Of people with a diagnosis of dementia, 56,084 (12.8%) had their medication reviewed by a GP in the 12 months preceding 30th June.