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Government response to Francis Inquiry – PRimage comment

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

The government’s response to the Mid-Staffordshire NHS scandal has been dribbled out gradually but today we heard the extent of what will follow. It appears that we will see peer-reviewed regulation Ofsted-style ratings for hospitals, a “duty of candour” for NHS providers to their patients and a new training regime for nurses to ensure they practise the basics of caring for patients for at least a year before they nurse anyone.

As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, PRimage has been reviewing the Government’s initial response to the Francis inquiry.  The response to the inquiry starts by setting out a five-point plan to “revolutionise” the care people receive from NHS and putting an end to failure.  Judy Viitanen believes that the Government has made a positive start to ensure that from now on compassion, dignity and respect will now be at the forefront of patient care.

Of course there is the growing groundswell of public opinion that says that the only thing that will prevent more such horrors as Mid Staffs is stripping power from producers and giving it to patients …. What’s your view?

The response focuses on these key issues: Preventing problems; Detecting problems quickly; Taking action promptly; Ensuring robust accountability, and Ensuring staff are trained and motivated.

Here are the key recommendations from the executive summary:

Preventing problems

At local level, commissioners will work with hospitals to identify and tackle poor care.

  • A chief inspector of hospitals will look into the culture of hospitals, driving change through fundamental standards and national ratings.
  • To ensure that paperwork, box ticking and duplicatory regulation and information burdens are reduced by at least one third.
  • A single national hub − the Health and Social Care Information Centre − will be collecting information; with a duty to seek to reduce information burden on the service year on year.
  • Professor Don Berwick is to work with NHS Commissioning Board (to be known in future as NHS England) to ensure a robust safety culture and zero tolerance of avoidable harm is embedded in the DNA of the NHS.

Detecting problems quickly

  • Chief inspector of hospitals to make assessments based on judgements as well as data.
  • They will become the nation’s whistle-blower.
  • The chief inspector will make an assessment of every NHS hospital’s performance, drawing on the views of inspectors, commissioners, local patients and the public.
  • The inspectors will be specialists not generalists.
  • They will oversee “comply or explain” approach. Good or best established practices that benefit the patients are expected to be used across the hospitals; otherwise a valid explanation needs to be given.
  • The Care Quality Commission will have the power to conduct ratings. It will work with Nuffield Trust to develop these proposals further.
  • Chief inspector to ensure there is “single version of the truth” − single assessment that fully reflects how hospitals are performing, not just targets but also things that matter to patients.
  • “Friends and family” test will be vital component of the ratings.
  • There will be new chief inspector of social care. They will be charged with rating care homes and local care services.
  • Information about hospitals will not be limited to aggregated ratings but it will be possible to drill down to information at a department, specialty care group and condition-specific level.
  • As a starting point, NHS England will extend transparency on surgical outcomes from heart surgery to cardiology, vascular surgery, upper-gastro intestinal surgery, colorectal surgery, orthopaedic surgery, bariatric surgery, urological surgery, head and neck surgery and thyroid and endocrine surgery.
  • Tough penalties and perhaps additional legal action for organisations that are found to be massaging truths or concealing truths about their performance.
  • A statutory duty of candour on providers.
  • A ban on clauses intended to prevent public interest disclosures.
  • A review of best practice on complaints.

Taking action promptly

  • The CQC (with NICE commissioners, professionals, patients and the public) will draw up a new set of simpler fundamental standards which make explicit the basic standards beneath which care should never fall.
  • A new time-limited three-stage failure regime. At the first stage, commissioners will work with the hospital board.
  • In the second stage, if commissioners fail, the CQC will call Monitor or the NHS Trust Development Authority to take action.
  • In the final stage, the chief inspector will initiate a failure regime, if problems still not resolved.

Ensuring robust accountability

  • The CQC will refer criminally negligent practices, identified by the chief inspector, to the Health and Safety Executive for them to consider criminal prosecution.
  • Barring failed NHS managers, with a system based on the barring scheme for teachers.

Ensuring staff are trained and motivated

  • Healthcare assistant training before nursing and other degrees.
  • Every student who seeks funding for nursing degrees should first serve up to a year as a healthcare assistant (this scheme will be piloted first).
  • Camilla Cavendish is reviewing how to best ensure healthcare assistants can provide safe and compassionate care.
  • Chief inspector will ensure that employers meet their registration requirements that all health and care support workers are properly trained and inducted before they start caring for people.
  • A programme will be initiated by NHS Leadership Academy to encourage new talent form clinical professionals and from outside of the NHS into top leadership.
  • An elite fast-track programme and an MBA-style programme to ensure clinicians with a talent for leadership are supported.
  • Frontline experience for Department of Health staff

Welcome to PRimage

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”

That’s quite an endorsement for the value of PR.

If you want to make 2013 the year that your company or product maximises the value of strategic and results-led PR, we can help.

PRimage offers you fresh ideas and a wealth of experience. Our experience spans most industries – and we offer specialist insights in health, well-being, property and social media.

Our social media marketing services cover daily management of your business Facebook page(s), Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and company blog postings – all strategically structured to work in synergy to increase brand awareness. We maximise our three decades of public relations and marketing experience and our 360-degree deep immersion in social media to help connect ideas, trends, products and people!

New for 2013 is our PR & Marketing Package for Start-ups – aimed at new companies who need to get their budding business and products off to a healthy start.

Download our credentials presentation to learn more about our services and how PRimage create the buzz to help you stand out and get noticed!

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team are sure your business will benefit from our cost-effective services and client-orientated approach.

When you’ve reviewed our presentation and you’re ready to find out more, please contact us for a free consultation.

PRimage PP Credentials

2013 Resolutions

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Judy Viitanen thinks this encompasses good advice and the best attitude for 2013. Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen is ready to be ‘smoke-free’ with Stoptober!

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

After lots of nagging and encouragement from family and friends, PRimage director, Judy Viitanen has decided to stop smoking!  Judy has signed up with the new Stoptober campaign, which starts on October 1st. and will provide a range of free advice and support through Judy’s stop smoking attempt.

Stoptover is based on research that smokers are five times more likely to stay smokefree if they successfully make it through the first four weeks. The aim of the campaign is to target the nation’s 8 million smokers and give support and encouragement throughout the month to smokers who sign up.

Judy is looking forward to using the free mobile app and checking out the ‘Smokefree’ Facebook page for tips and advice.  And the daily text message will help with additional support and encouragement.

For more information, check online at: http://www.smokefree.nhs.uk/Stoptober/ Or ask your pharmacist for advice and a free support pack.  Good luck!

HAPPY 2012! Love and best wishes from Judy Viitanen and PRimage

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆ ★ ☆¸.•☆☆¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.¸☆

In 2012….I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.
May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you’re going,
And the insight to know when you’re going too far.
May hope, love, and warmth be in your heart’s possessing,
And may the New Year bring you and yours many blessings.
Happy New Year!

Judy Viitanen

The benefits of a daily siesta – PRimage view

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

A 2007 study of more than 23,000 Greek adults may have revealed a surprising key to their legendary vigor—the siesta. Compared with those who power through the day, adults who nap for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three times a week have a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.

Having lived in Greece, Judy Viitanen is a big fan of the benefits of a daily siesta, or power nap – especially in the hot weather. She finds that a daily ‘cat nap’ really helps recharge her energy levels – and helps her pace herself when she’s going to have a late night, or burning the midnight oil on work projects.  

Health Bill – PRimage comment

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

PRimage has heard that on the day that the British Medical Association votes to launch a public campaign which calls for the withdrawal of the Government’s controversial Health Bill, a survey of 500 GPs shows 85% said they had not been reassured by the government’s response to the listening exercise, with a further 62% saying their support for the reforms has not been altered by the changes to the Health Bill.

We were interested to see that many of the GPs concerns centered on the areas that as a healthcare lobbyist, Judy Viitanen believes are the very real and inherent issues around the Bill – such as increased bureaucracy in the NHS, the impact on patient care and the cost of the re-organisation.  What are your views?  We’d love to hear them.

Obesity epidemic in the US ….

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

PRimage keep up to speed on a wide range of areas for our clients – and healthcare issues are always on our monitoring radar.  Obesity is a big problem in the UK (excuse the pun) … but just look at this infographic with the depressing reality across the pond ….

OTC MARKETING AWARDS

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Judy Viitanen enjoyed a great evening of business and networking (and lots of fun) last night at the Park Lane Hotel – celebrating OTC Bulletin’s prestigious OTC Marketing Awards, which recognise the achievements of the British OTC industry.  

These unique Awards focus exclusively and entirely on suppliers of OTC products – non-prescription medicines, food supplements and selected unlicensed healthcare products – in both pharmacy and grocery. Judy was on the judging panel for the Best PR Campaign for a Non-Medicine.

It’s always a pleasure to join clients, friends and colleagues in celebrating and recognising the achievements of excellent brands, campaigns and retailers. PRimage congratulate all the winners – and especially Boots, who won the CCA-sponsored award for the Best OTC Multiple Retailer of the Year.

The celebrity compere Dara O’Briain was brilliant!

Pharmacy’s place in the new NHS

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

For anyone involved in the UK community pharmacy and pharma industry sectors, Judy Viitanen recommends checking out the useful and directional guide on the NHS reforms by the trade journal, C&D.  PRimage found it very helpful in understanding the bodies that will influence community pharmacy in the new NHS.  You can find the guide on the C&D website.

www.chemistanddruggist.co.uk