Headlines

Australia - Public hospital admissions growing faster than private This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to a new report, 60% of Australia's 11.3 million hospital patients in 2018 were admitted to publically funded hospitals. Since 2013, public hospital admissions have outpaced admissions funded by private insurance (4.7% average growth per year compared with 3.6%). Total admissions grew by 3.8% per year, on average, between 2013 and 2018.

Australia - Palliative Care Australia publishes guiding principles for health professionals about voluntary assisted dying This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has released guiding principles for health professionals caring for people with life-limiting illness as the Australian state of Victoria prepares to enact voluntary assisted dying legislation on June 19th, 2019. The PCA guide is designed to sit alongside the new legislation and professional codes of conduct.

UK - £4.4bn funding gap projected for social care in England as spending per person falls further behind other UK countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New projections from the Health Foundation predict that England will have a social services funding gap of £4.4 billion ($7.4 billion Cdn) by 2023. The research shows England spent 43% less per person on social care than Scotland in 2018, and 33% less than Wales. English social care funding has stagnated despite continued increases in demand.

UK - The government has launched proposals to make pensions more flexible for senior clinicians delivering frontline care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK government has announced it intends to make pensions more flexible for senior clinicians in the National Health Service (NHS) who deliver frontline care. Under the new plan, high-earning clinicians will be able to support more patients and take on additional shifts without facing significant tax charges on their pensions.

UK - Interim NHS People Plan This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) has released a long-term plan detailing career and workplace supports for NHS professional staff. The plan is presented across nine reports, seven devoted to NHS professional groups — physicians, dentists, psychologists, nurses, pharmacists, researchers and allied health workers. The NHS employs roughly 950,000 health professionals across the UK.

Upcoming Events

France - Peer support : current challenges. Health, disability and mental health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The aim of this conference is to explore the challenges that underpin the multiple forms of patient participation in France's health and social services sectors. In France, peer support represents a new focus in participative public policies. The conference will be held on November 14 and 15, 2019, in Rennes.

UK - Health and Care Explained: How the System Works and How It Is Changing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The King's Fund is holding this public conference on August 8, 2019, in London. Various members of the King's Fund team will explain how the NHS, social care and public health are structured, staffed, funded and held accountable. It will also describe differences between hospital, primary and community care, and explore challenges for the future and plans to address them.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Europe - Driving forward health equity – the role of accountability, policy coherence, social participation and empowerment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This WHO synopsis report identifies socio-institutional barriers to progress on health equity and describes links between individual determinants and inequities. The report reviews work on the four key drivers of health equity (accountability, policy coherence, social participation and empowerment).

The Netherlands - Statistics in Dutch policy debates on health and healthcare This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The aim of this study was to explore how healthcare statistics are used in policy debates in the Dutch government and parliament. Researchers reviewed 163 documents and eight videotaped parliamentary sessions to analyze the use of statistics in discussions of morbidity, lifestyle, healthcare expenditure and healthcare outcomes. The study identified two uses of statistics: managerial and rhetorical.

UK - Improving access out of hours: Evaluation of extended-hours primary care access hubs This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2014, two schemes were set up in east London to improve access to primary care by providing additional capacity outside core hours and developing an integrated care hub for people with complex needs. This report examines the schemes and considers their impact on patients and caregivers, staff and the wider health system. Results show that there were fewer emergency room visits in areas with care hubs.

UK - Achieving a digital NHS. Lessons for national policy from the acute sector This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Creating a digital National Health Service (NHS) is a priority in the UK. This study looks at how national policy for digitization is working out for local health authorities. Interviewing 72 senior digital leaders in national organizations and NHS Trusts, the study found that most informants regarded the current policy approach as more enabling than prohibitive.

UK - What can the NHS learn from learning health systems? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Drawing on evidence and experience from the UK and internationally, this briefing identifies opportunities for local organizations to make better use of health data, and recommends ways policy can promote the greater use of analytics that underpins the 'learning health system' concept. Learning health systems continuously analyze data collected as part of routine care to monitor outcomes, identify improvements, and implement changes.

USA - Supporting Rural Health: Practical Solutions for State Policymakers This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Rural health is an area of concern for policymakers, with challenges such as quality of care and workforce development. This briefing summarizes meetings in December 2018 between state health policy leaders and national experts to discuss rural health concerns and practical, actionable solutions. The briefing focuses on healthcare delivery models that promote and incentivize investment in community health and includes case studies of successful examples. 

USA - States Tackling Health Care System Transformation with Federal Support This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Are state governments effective agents for transforming health care? That is the question addressed in this synthesis of three studies evaluating the State Innovation Models (SIM) Initiative. Two key themes emerged across the evaluation studies: first, that states can unilaterally transform payment models, but may have more impact aligned with other payers; and second, that states should continue leveraging federal funds to invest in health information technology.  

USA - The Impact of Chronic Underfunding of America’s Public Health System: Trends, Risks, and Recommendations, 2019 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This annual report examines US federal, state and local public health funding trends and recommends investments and policy actions needed to prioritize prevention, address threats, and achieve optimal population health. It focuses on how the underfunding of the public health system has presented an obstacle to achieving those goals. Last year, public health represented just 2.5% of all health spending in the US.