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17 June 2022

NCHA member update – 17 June

This week:

Covid update

Members will be aware that the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) withdrew its infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance on 24 May. So, you should now follow local public health guidance.

The UKHSA signposts readers to NHS England's National IPC guidance, which says universal masking can stop.
The guidance means asymptomatic staff, patients and visitors are no longer automatically required to wear a face-covering.
However, clinicians providing direct patient care should continue to use a fluid-resistant surgical face mask (FRSM) based on a risk assessment. For example, consider using a face mask when:

  • You provide care in close proximity for an extended period
  • Where there is a risk of respiratory infection
  • Other factors might increase the risk of virus transmission.

Those providing domiciliary care are also advised to continue using an FRSM, given the risk profile of providing care in such settings.

In Wales, guidance means mask-wearing advice is the same as in England (see above).

Northern Ireland and Scotland
Officials in Northern Ireland and Scotland are still to clarify their position on the general use of face coverings and PPE. At this stage, members working in Northern Ireland and Scotland should therefore continue to use PPE as before.

Next steps
The NCHA continues to review public health guidance and will keep members up to date with any significant developments. In the meantime, please contact us anytime if you need support by emailing [email protected]

Government commits to doing more to support dementia

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid has committed to doing more to support people with dementia and prevent it. The NCHA supports this call to action. Hearing care can help ensure people have good sensory health. It improves the quality of life for people with dementia and those that care for them. Unmet sensory needs, such as hearing loss, are also associated with an increased risk of dementia. Experts and NICE recommend early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss to reduce this risk.

UK hearing instrument private market hits new high

The latest BIHIMA data show that the UK private sector has continued its strong recovery, with units up by 2.7% from the previous quarter and up 50% on Q1 2021.
The NHS recovered in Q1 this year, compared to Q1 in 2021, with sales up by 151,000 units. However, volumes were down by more than 2% compared to Q4 in 2021.
Access the full BIHIMA dataset.

UKAN group seeks help from hearing researchers

Members of the Special Interest Group (SIG) in Hearing seek help from anyone involved in hearing research to develop international priorities that will guide hearing research. The SIG Group is particularly interested in people's opinions at least five to ten years post PhD. You are welcome to join in, even if you previously contributed to UKAN's 'Priorities for Acoustics'. Learn more and complete the survey.

Other sector news

Health policy updates

Integrated Care Boards
Under the Health and Care Act 2022, 42 Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will be established on 1 July 2022 in England. Each ICB's constitution sets out its board membership and governance arrangements. NHS England will bring these constitutions into effect.

The NCHA is on hand to support members with policy and commissioning support, including support with the new Provider Selection Regime. Just email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Health and social care review: leadership for a collaborative and inclusive future
General Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard have published a report on leadership across health and social care in England. It makes the following seven recommendations:

  1. Targeted interventions on collaborative leadership and organisational values
  2. Positive equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action
  3. Consistent management standards delivered through accredited training
  4. A simplified, standard appraisal system for the NHS
  5. A new career and talent management function for managers
  6. Effective recruitment and development of non-executive directors (NEDs)
  7. Encouraging top talent into challenged parts of the system

The government has accepted the seven recommendations. A plan to implement the recommendations will follow the report's publication. 

Welsh Government confirms intention to set up NHS Executive for Wales

In a written statement this week, Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, confirmed that the government plans to establish an NHS Executive "to drive improvements in the quality and safety of care across Wales".  
The Minister has said the new Executive's purpose would be to provide "better and more equitable outcomes, access and patient experience, reduced variation and improvements in population health".  
NCHA welcomes Fuller Stocktake report
 In 'Next steps for integrating primary care: Fuller Stocktake report', the NHS highlights how ICSs could do more to harness the full potential of audiology in prevention and making every contact count.



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