Does austerity kill? Research published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has found a link between delayed discharge and increased mortality rates. With 2015 seeing the largest spike in mortality rates in almost 50 years, the researchers set out to examine any link with delayed discharge. Using data on mortality and death counts from the Office for National Statistics and comparing it to NHS data on transfers of care in England,
they concluded that the increase in delayed discharge in 2015 was associated with increases in mortality. The researchers found that it accounted for up to a fifth of mortality increases. They conclude that austerity could be the reason for this, saying, ‘Our study provides evidence that a lower quality of performance of the NHS and adult social care as a result of austerity may be having an adverse impact on population health.’
Guide to staff retention published by NHS Employers NHS Employers has launched an in-depth guide to staff retention, which brings together the lessons learned from the 92 participants in the retention collaborative run by the organisation since late 2016. Staff Retention: A Guide for Employers explores seven
key themes looking at data indepth; developing organisational values and culture; supporting new starters; supporting flexible working; development and career planning; flexible retirement options; and building line manager capability.
Free flu vaccinations for care home staff NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health and NHS Improvement have unveiled measures to boost the uptake of flu vaccinations along with a package of new contingency actions to respond to pressures on frontline services this winter. Intensified preparations include providing free flu vaccines for hundreds of thousands of care home staff at a cost of up to £10m. Many people with flu show no symptoms, meaning healthcare workers who feel fit and healthy can unwittingly infect vulnerable patients. Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of influenza and prevent deaths. It can also ease pressures that a heavy flu outbreak would place on services such as doctors’ surgeries and busy hospital wards. NHS staff are already offered the vaccination for free to protect
CMM November 2017
patients and the public. This winter, in recognition of how important this is, NHS England will extend free jabs to approximately one million care home workers and has set aside £10m to fund it. Commenting on NHS England’s decision to offer complimentary flu vaccinations to care home workers, Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England said, ‘We applaud NHS England’s policy to offer free flu jabs to workers in care homes. Care England has long campaigned on this issue. In the past, the independent sector has been overlooked and providers have had to foot the bill themselves, which in a climate of severe financial pressures has been difficult. Being ready for winter and offering extra capacity to the already stretched NHS is yet another area where the independent sector can help.’