Language controls for nurses, midwives, dentists, dental care professionals, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians

Department of Health, November 2014

The Department of Health has launched a consultation seeking views on changes to allow professional regulatory bodies to impose language controls on nursing, dental and pharmacy professionals.

The 4 UK Health Departments (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) want to amend legislation to protect patients from risk associated with the poor English language skills of a minority of health care professionals.

The law currently allows language checks on overseas non-European applicants and on doctors from the European economic area.

Proposed changes will allow the Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Dental Council, General Pharmaceutical Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland to put in place systems for carrying out proportionate language controls on European applicants and for taking fitness to practise action where there are concerns about the English language skills of professionals who are already in practice. The changes will apply to nurses, midwives, dentists, dental care professionals, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

The consultation closes on 15 December 2014.

Click here for further information.

Draft revised statutory guidance to implement the strategy for adults with autism in England: consultation document

Department of Health, November 2014

The Department of Health are seeking views on draft statutory guidance for local authorities and NHS organisations. This is to support the implementation of Think Autism which is the update to the 2010 adult autism strategy.  The updates to the existing guidance are in line with the progress made since 2010 and changes in recent legislation.

The consultation looks at:

  • staff training
  • identification and diagnosis of autism in adults
  • planning of services move from being children to adults
  • local planning and leadership
  • preventative support and safeguarding
  • reasonable adjustments
  • supporting people with complex needs
  • employment for adults with autism
  • working with the Criminal Justice system

The consultation closes on 19 December 2014.

Click here for further information.

Doctors, nurses and midwives being open and honest when things go wrong

General Medical Council, November 2014

The General Medical Council (GMC) and Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) have launched a consultation on new joint guidance to help doctors, nurses and midwives comply with their professional duty to be open and honest with people in their care when things go wrong.

The proposals cover the need to learn from ‘near misses’ as well as when something goes wrong and a patient is harmed. There is also advice on apologising to patients and those close to them.

The draft guidance (pdf) also calls on clinical leaders and employers to support doctors, nurses and midwives by creating cultures in the work place that are open and honest, and where people learn from mistakes so that future patients are protected from harm.

The consultation closes on 5th January 2015.

Click here for further information.

Social work with adults: progress report

Department of Health, October 2014

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults, sets out progress in improving social work with adults in her first annual report.

The report looks at issues for social work with adults, including:

  • ensuring social work’s role and values are recognised in the implementation of the Care Act
  • working with ADASS, the LGA and principal social workers to create the conditions for excellent social work practice
  • improving the education and training of social workers by introducing national assessment criteria for social workers at the end of their first year in employment

Click here for further information and to download the report.

CR190. Consensus statement on high-dose antipsychotic medication

Royal College of Psychiatrists, November 2014

This report reflects the consensus views of a group of clinicians on the risks and benefits of high-dose antipsychotic medication for a range of clinical indications for which antipsychotic medication is commonly used in psychiatric practice. For each of these indications, the members of the Consensus Working Group took account of the evidence from the published literature and their clinical experience, and considered the clinical implications.

While there is little convincing evidence that off-label prescription of doses of antipsychotic medication above the licensed dosage range has any therapeutic advantage in any clinical setting, there is clear evidence for a greater side-effect burden and the need for appropriate safety monitoring. The key recommendation is that any prescription of high-dose antipsychotic medication should be seen as an explicit, time-limited individual trial with a distinct treatment target. There should be a clear plan for regular clinical review including safety monitoring. The high-dose regimen should only be continued if the trial shows evidence of benefit that is not outweighed by tolerability or safety problems.

Click here to download the report.

Care Act 2014: statutory guidance for implementation

Department of Health, October 2014

The Department of Health have finalised guidance which sets out how the Care Act will work in practice when the first phase of the reforms comes into effect next year.

There is also an easy read summary of the guidance.

Click here to view the guidance.

Click here to view the factsheets which accompany Part 1 of the Care Act 2014.  These provide an overview and the duties and powers local authorities will have in the future.

These documents relate to the parts of the care and support reforms that come into effect in April 2015. They were produced as a result of extensive consultation. Click here to view the Department of Health’s response to the consultation including proposed final regulations.

Commission on Hospital Care for Frail Older People: main report

Health Service Journal, 19 November 2014

The HSJ/Serco commission have released their report which aims to address the problem of how the NHS should care for the country’s increasing number of frail older people.

The commission’s central conclusion is that hospital providers and commissioners should not rely on government plans for greater integration between health and social care as a solution – they must and can take action now themselves to tackle the problem.

Click here for further information and to download the report.