Confidential Enquiry into maternal deaths and morbidity

The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford has published Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care: Lessons learned to inform future maternity care from the 2009-20012 UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal deaths and Morbidity.  For the first time, this latest report from the Confidential Enquiry into Maternal deaths and mortality includes the care of women in Ireland and the care of women who survived severe illness and complications around the time of birth. The report shows an overall fall in maternal deaths from 11 per 100, 000 in 2006-08 to 10 per 100, 000 in 2010-12, primarily due to a reduction in the direct causes attributable to pregnancy.

Additional link: BBC news report

Improvement measurement guides

NHS Improving Quality has produced two bite-sized guides to support staff in measuring their improvement work:

  • The One Hour Improvement Expert: how to become an improvement measure expert in 60 minutes is designed to offer an interactive introduction to the topic of improvement measurement, and features signposting to experts and key resources. It is divided into a series of sections giving staff simple steps they can take to improve their knowledge and apply it to the workplace. Topics include indicators, sourcing and collecting data, driver diagrams, variation, and analysis.
  • The A to Z of measurement aims to demystify the key terminology in the field of measurement by providing concise definitions.

NICE Evidence summary new medicine – Erectile dysfunction

NICE has published a new medicines evidence summary ESNM50 Erectile dysfunction: Alprostadil cream. Evidence summaries: new medicines’ provide a summary of the published evidence for selected new medicines, or for existing medicines with new indications or formulations, that are considered to be of significance to the NHS. The strengths and weaknesses of the relevant evidence are critically reviewed within the summary, but the summaries are not formal NICE guidance.

NICE guidance

NICE has published the following guidance:

System leadership

The King’s Fund has published System leadership: lessons and learning from AQuA’s integrated Care discovery communities. This paper seeks to identify the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of new system leaders and to learn from systems attempting to combine strong organisational leadership with collaborative system-level leadership approaches. The paper draws on three years’ development work with leaders in health care systems in north-west England, undertaken by the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) and The King’s Fund which has adopted a ‘discovery’ approach to developing integrated care and the leadership capabilities supporting it.

Missed diagnosis of lung cancer

Research published in the journal Thorax has found that doctors in Britain are “missing opportunities” to spot lung cancer at an early stage, meaning one in three people with the disease dies within 90 days of diagnosis.  What characteristics of primary care and patients are associated with early death in patients with lung cancer in the UK? found that patients who die early from lung cancer are interacting with primary care prediagnosis, suggesting potentially missed opportunities to identify them earlier. A general increase in CXR requests may not improve survival; rather, a more timely and appropriate targeting of this investigation using risk assessment tools needs further assessment.
Additional link: RCGP press release

How healthy are we?

The Kings Fund has published How healthy are we: a high level guide.  This report provides up-to-date high-level information on the state and drivers of England’s health.  It includes basic facts on the health of people in England (and sometimes the UK or devolved countries), the main drivers of health, how it varies and is expressed in inequalities, and relevant comparisons with other countries.  This is an updated guide incorporating new data and studies.

SIGN guideline: asthma

The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network has published SIGN Guideline No 141 British guideline on the management of asthma. This revised guideline provides recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of asthma in adults and children across the UK, including acute and difficult asthma, asthma in women and adolescents, occupational asthma, self-management, and organisation and delivery of care.

Updated resuscitation guidance published

The British Medical Association in conjunction with Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing has published Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation third edition. The guidance, an update of 2007 guidance, was drawn up following a review process started at the end of 2012, and is designed to reflect developments in clinical practice and law regarding decisions about CPR.

NICE guidance: Multiple sclerosis / Acute heart failure

NICE has issued two new guidance guidelines:


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