15:20 Helping people to quit smoking should be a key focus of the NHS sustainability and transformation plans being drawn up across England.
This is the view of Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie, who wrote in a message to NHS trusts: ‘Despite declines in prevalence over recent decades, more than seven million adults in England still smoke and tobacco use remains the single largest cause of premature death, accounting for half of the health gap between the poorest and most affluent communities.
‘The NHS brand is one of the most recognised and trusted in the UK and is a powerful symbol of health and wellbeing. However, the NHS is yet to give tobacco control the overt leadership that the scale of the problem warrants.’
From 2017/18 all community and mental health trusts will be required to publish information on the smoking status of their patients. Acute trusts will follow suit in 2018/19.
12:35 A BBC analysis has found that more than one in 10 patients (11%) waited more than four hours for a bed on a ward following an emergency admission in 2015/16.
This was a rise by almost five-fold since 2010/11, and 130 out of 179 English hospital trusts said they are now above the 85% bed occupancy rate.
Chris Moulton, vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said that ‘we know that the overcrowding we are seeing is dangerous’ and leading to ‘worse outcomes for patients’ such as ‘higher infection rates, patients ending up on the wrong wards and generally a negative experience’.
He said that England, at 100,000, simply doesn’t have ‘enough’ hospital beds.
He said: ‘If you compare us to other European countries we are really short and the demands being placed on the health service means we are now struggling to cope.’
11:30 If you have not yet seen today’s top story about Gloucester GP Dr Eleanor Aston’s seven-year ordeal during which she was stalked by a patient, do read it here.
Dr Aston is supporting a bid by MP Alex Chalk to double the length of the maximum sentencing for stalking, after her tormentor was released only to pick up right where he had left off.
09:30 CQC is ‘not delivering value for money’, the NHS Confederation has warned.
In written evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee, NHS Confederation highlighted that CQC will only have a ‘modest reduction’ in in operation income by 2020/21, despite committing to moving towards a ’light-touch’ approach to regulation and inspection.
But NHS Confederation said they expected this to ‘cost less due to the reduction in the number of comprehensive inspections taking place’.
Read the full report on Pulse’s sister title the Commissioning Review.
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