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Four stories you may have missed from NHS Expo 2017


By Carolyn Wickware
14 September 2017

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NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo was filled with announcements and launches of new schemes from expanding NHS England’s health checks scheme to launching digital health goals for 2018.

Here are four announcements you might have missed:

1)   NHS England will start monitoring cancer patients’ quality of life

NHS England’s Health and Care Innovation Expo was filled with announcements and launches of new schemes from expanding NHS England’s health checks scheme to launching digital health goals for 2018.

Here are four announcements you might have missed:

1)   NHS England will start monitoring cancer patients’ quality of life

Announced by Professor Chris Harrison, NHS England’s national clinical director, the measure aims to drive improvements in after care, which includes personalised plans for people with cancer outlining their physical needs as well as other needs such as home or financial advice.

The metric will use questionnaires to measure how effective support is in five areas: Cheshire & Merseyside, Northern Cancer Alliance, East of England, North Central & North East London and Wessex.

Professor Harrison said: ‘Cancer survival rates are at a record high, with latest data showing an estimated 7,000 more people surviving cancer after NHS treatment compared with three years previous.

‘One of our key ambitions is to put cancer patient experience front and centre. Everyone is unique, with different views and priorities, so it’s vital that they receive personalised support, this new measure will help ensure local NHS can see where things are going well and where improvements can be made.’

2)   NHS England plans to save £300m by prescribing biosimilars

Currently six of the top 10 most costly drugs in the UK are biological medicines – the most complex and therefore expensive used in the NHS. 

NHS England plans to accelerate and widen the uptake of biosimilar medications – cheaper but equally clinically effective to original ‘biological’ treatments – to save £300m a year by 2021.

Biosimilars that are already being used are:

  • Biosimilar Infliximab – used to treat rheumatology conditions and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Biosimilar Etanercept, – used to treat rheumatology conditions
  • Biosimilar Rituximab – used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis
  • In 2018 biosimilar Adalimumab will become available – used to treat rheumatology conditions and inflammatory bowel disease – this will replace the current medicine, which cost more than £300 million in 2015/16

3) The health secretary announced £101m for hospitals to advance digitally

In his keynote speech, Jeremy Hunt announced 18 trusts, which will form a second wave of acute trust ‘digital exemplars’ and will receive up to a total of £80m by 2020/21.

The trusts are providers that are delivering care through the use of world-class digital technology and information.

The health secretary also committed £21m for a second wave of mental health trust digital exemplars.

4)   The CQC will now be able to regulate independent providers

In response to a consultation, the Department of Health announced that the CQC would now be able to award ratings to independent healthcare providers, including cosmetic surgery, substance misuse and termination of pregnancy clinics for the first time.

CQC already rates NHS and independent hospitals, general practices and adult social care services.

Sir David Behan, chief executive of the CQC, said: ‘CQC’s ratings of health and care services are helping people to make informed choices about their care as well as supporting providers to improve – never before has the public had such clear information about the quality and safety of their health and care services.

‘CQC already inspects and publishes reports for these providers and the ability to award a rating will bring increased transparency for the public about the quality and safety of these services.’

The Department of Health has launched another consultation on proposals to further increase its powers by allowing them to award ratings to all other registered providers, including independent community health services and independent doctors.

This consultation will run for eight weeks and will close on 6 November 2017.

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