Community Care (community + care)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts


Article first published online: 27 OCT 200

Organisation and features of hospital, intermediate care and social services in English sites with low rates of delayed discharge

Matt Baumann MSc
Abstract In recent years, there has been significant concern, and policy activity, in relation to the problem of delayed discharges from hospital. Key elements of policy to tackle delays include new investment, the establishment of the Health and Social Care Change Agent Team, and the implementation of the Community Care (Delayed Discharge) Act 2003. Whilst the problem of delays has been widespread, some authorities have managed to tackle delays successfully. The aim of the qualitative study reported here was to investigate discharge practice and the organisation of services at sites with consistently low rates of delay, in order to identify factors supporting such good performance. Six ,high performing' English sites (each including a hospital trust, a local authority, and a primary care trust) were identified using a statistical model, and 42 interviews were undertaken with health and social services staff involved in discharge arrangements. Additionally, the authors set out to investigate the experiences of patients in the sites to examine whether there was a cost to patient care and outcomes of discharge arrangements in these sites, but unfortunately, it was not possible to secure sufficient patient participation. Whilst acknowledging the lack of patient experience and outcome data, a range of service elements was identified at the sites that contribute to the avoidance of delays, either through supporting efficiency within individual agencies or enabling more efficient joint working. Sites still struggling with delays should benefit from knowledge of this range. The government's reimbursement scheme appears to have been largely helpful in the study sites, prompting efficiency-driven changes to the organisation of services and discharge systems, but further focused research is required to provide clear evidence of its impact nationally, and in particular, how it impacts on staff, and patients and their families. [source]

Rationing: Constructed Realities and Professional Practices Developing Good Practice in Community Care

Jill Manthorpe MA
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Alcohol, Social Work and Community Care

Julie Daneshyar BA Hons Psychology & Sociology CQSW
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

The impact of the Community Care (Delayed Discharge) Act 2003 on the length of stay and bed occupancy in Old Age Psychiatry Units in England

Ajit Shah
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Community Care in Perspective: Care, Control and Citizenship

Dr Pamela Dale
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Service Use and Costs of Support 12 Years after Leaving Hospital

Angela Hallam
Background, There have been major changes in the provision and organization of services for people with intellectual disabilities in England over the last 30 years, particularly deinstitutionalization and the development of the mixed economy of care. The experiences of the people who participated in the Care in the Community Demonstration Programme in the mid-1980s provide evidence of the immediate and longer-term effects of the reprovision policy. Methods, Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence was gathered on service use and costs for over 250 people 12 years after they left long-stay hospitals for community living arrangements. Comparisons were made with the situation in hospital, and 1 and 5 years after leaving. Relationships between costs after 12 years and individual characteristics assessed before people left hospital were explored. Results, Community care at the 12-year follow-up remained more expensive than hospital-based support, although the average cost was lower than at either of the 1- or 5-year community follow-up points. Service users were living in a wide variety of accommodation settings. Management responsibility fell on National Health Service (NHS) trusts, local authorities, voluntary agencies, or to private organizations or individuals. After standardizing for users' skills and abilities, costs in minimum support accommodation were significantly lower than those in residential and nursing homes, costs in staffed group homes significantly higher, and costs in hostels slightly lower. When looking at differences between individuals, no relationship was found between costs and outcomes although, overall, people were better off in the community than they had been when in hospital. Conclusions, Reprovision planning for hospital and other institutional modes of care requires major and long-term commitment of resources. Quality of life improvements can be achieved at a cost little different in the long-run from that for hospital care. The link between needs and costs (reflecting the services intended to meet those needs) would be made stronger through the individualization of care. [source]

Community care for an ageing society: Issues, policies and services

Anna Howe
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Movement and change: independent sector domiciliary care providers between 1995 and 1999

Patricia Ware
Abstract Promoting the development of a flourishing independent sector alongside good quality public services was a key objective of the community care reforms of the last decade. This paper charts some of the ways the independent domiciliary care sector is changing, as local authorities shift the balance of their provision toward independent sector providers and away from a reliance on in-house services. Two surveys of independent domiciliary care providers were carried out in 1995 and 1999. The aims of the studies were to describe the main features of provider organisations, such as size of business, client group and funding sources; to examine the nature of provider motivations and their past and future plans; to consider how local authorities manage the supply side of social care markets; and to examine the effects on providers of the development of the mixed economy. The first survey in 1995 was conducted in eight local authority areas, which by 1999 had increased to 11 because of the creation of three new unitary authorities. The findings are based on 261 postal surveys together with 111 interviews between the two studies. The research illustrates a domiciliary care market that is still relatively young with many small but growing businesses. There are considerable differences in the split between in-house and independent sector services in individual authorities and a common perception among independent providers that in-house services receive favourable treatment and conditions. Spot or call-off contracts continue to be the most common form of contract although there are moves toward greater levels of guaranteed service and more sophisticated patterns of contracting arrangements. There remains an ongoing need to share information between local authorities and independent providers so that good working relationships can develop with proven and competent providers. [source]

Managing challenging behaviour in the community: methods and results of interactive staff training

Malcolm Gentry MA MPhil
Abstract A necessary condition for a high quality of community care in relation to challenging behaviour is staff training in appropriate methods. This paper describes the application of a practical ,interactive staff training' approach with n = 101 staff, featuring the use of focused and experiential learning in teams. The findings indicated that the course was socially acceptable to the participants, led to a significant improvement in their knowledge of nonphysical methods, and resulted in written guidelines for managing their own clients' challenging behaviour. Furthermore, agreements were clarified on how these guidelines would be implemented by each team following training. Implications are drawn for improved evaluation of this promising training programme, including developing the measures of learning and adding a generalisation assessment. [source]

Training as a vehicle to empower carers in the community: more than a question of information sharing

MSc (Econ), Nicholas Clarke BSc MSc
Abstract Much confusion still surrounds the concept of empowerment and how it is to be translated into practice within the context of community care for service users and carers. A major limitation has been the tendency to treat empowerment as synonymous with participation in decision-making with little attention given to the ,ecological' model of empowerment where linkages have been found between community participation and measures of psychological empowerment. Training has been suggested as a means through which carers might become empowered, yet to date little empirical evidence has appeared within the literature to support this proposition. This study investigated whether attendance on a training programme to empower carers resulted in improvements in carers' levels of perceived control, self-efficacy and self-esteem as partial measures of psychological empowerment. The findings demonstrated that whereas carers' knowledge of services and participation increased as a result of the programme, no changes were found in measures of carer empowerment. The failure to consider how training needs to be designed in order to achieve changes in individual competence and self-agency are suggested as the most likely explanation for the lack of change observed in carers' psychological empowerment. It is suggested that community care agencies should focus greater energies in determining how the policy objectives of empowerment are to be achieved through training, and in so doing make far more explicit the supposed linkages between training content, design, and its posited impact on individual behaviour or self-agency. [source]

Third-wave public health?

Compassion, community, end-of-life care
Abstract Clinical approaches to end-of-life care often extend their practise into community care, but frequently that practise has been under-recognized and under-theorized. A seamless practise connection with community approaches to end-of-life care is crucial to a total healthcare response to death and loss. One-on-one practises find their greatest therapeutic and aftercare support in a complementary community approach to that care. What public health models might we adapt to assist the psychological professions to support a community response to death and loss? This article reviews recent World Health Organization (WHO) work in community development, in particular the "Healthy Cities" projects. From this review, a "Compassionate Cities" framework is suggested as one fruitful way forward to address issues of prevention, health promotion, and aftercare in a holistic approach to end-of-life care. Copyright 2004 Whurr Publishers Ltd. [source]

Contemporary referral of patients from community care to cardiology lack diagnostic and clinical detail

S. Bodek
Summary The quantity of referrals to secondary care is increasing. That the quality of medical referrals is decreasing is a common allegation yet has rarely been assessed. We report a time-limited, cross-sectional survey evaluating cardiological referral information quality. Referral letters (n = 218, excluding direct access pro formas) from GPs to the Cardiology Department at City Hospital, Birmingham, were collated and analysed over 2 months. A subset (n = 49) of these patients completed questionnaires assessing their knowledge and patient communication of the referral. Information quality was poor (length, diagnosis, expectation, prior treatment and investigation) with almost half of all letters containing only outline symptomatic complaints without diagnosis. The majority of patients referred had not been investigated or treated in any way before referral. Despite lack of understanding of the reason for referral, typically the majority of patients expressed themselves as satisfied with the process. Given most referrals are seen as appropriate, information exchange between secondary and primary care is crucial. By contrast, the standard of even basic clinical assessment communicated between primary care and secondary care was severely limited. The reason(s) why medical assessment is lacking are unclear but must be explored to give more support to primary care to complete basic medical task particularly if investment is to flow into this source. [source]

Introduction of an intensive case management style of delivery for a new mental health service

Catherine Hangan
ABSTRACT:,Mental health case management emerged in the 1960s in response to the shift in focus from inpatient to community care. Case management per se had been used by other service industries for some time previously, particularly those involved with people with intellectual disability. The term case management describes a range of service approaches and strategies in mental health rather than a single model of care. One method of delivering case management is with an intensive model of care. Intensive case management is differentiated from other forms of case management through factors like a smaller caseload size, team management, outreach emphasis, a decreased brokerage role, and an assertive approach to maintaining contact with clients. Research has demonstrated that case management, in particular, intensive case management, can improve clients' and families' experience of mental health services but only when introduced and used for appropriately targeted client populations and suitably resourced. Determining which model of case management best suits the client population and how to introduce it is a major challenge for any mental health service. With a focus on intensive case management, a review of this process is outlined. [source]

The new neighbour: Experiences of living next door to people suffering from long-term mental illness

Arild Granerud
ABSTRACT The transition from hospital to community care for people with long-term mental illness is of growing concern. The aim of the present study was to illuminate if and how people with long-term mental illness have affected their neighbourhood after re-establishing themselves in apartments of their own. Nineteen neighbours of group homes for people with long-term mental illness, in seven different communities in eastern Norway, have been interviewed. The grounded theory procedures as well as the constant comparative method were employed to analyse the findings. From the data, one main category was identified: the need for information. [source]

The meaning of good and bad care in the community care: older people's lived experiences

Ingrid From MSc
In spite of a considerable body of research in the past decades on what does or does not constitute good care for older people, there are still few studies addressing this question in which older people narrate their experiences of being dependent on community care. This study was therefore carried out aiming to explore older people's lived experiences of what good and bad care meant to them, when it was offered by community care services. Nineteen older persons in three Swedish communities participated in the study, which used a phenomenological,hermeneutic approach. Data were collected through unstructured interviews and Colaizzi's framework was utilized in the analysis of the data. The key theme arising from the analysis was that of being encountered as a human being by caregivers who, through the provision of safe and secure care, provide opportunities for living life as usual. When any of these circumstances are lacking, bad care will be the consequence. As the general intention in society is to ensure good quality of care to older people as well as others, the findings in our study should have important implications for providers of community care for older people. [source]

Postdischarge nursing interventions for stroke survivors and their families

Kelly L. McBride MSc RN
Background. The physical, cognitive, and emotional sequelae of stroke underscore the need for nursing interventions across the continuum of care. Although there are several published studies evaluating community interventions for stroke survivors, the nursing role has not been clearly articulated. Aim. The aim of this paper is to report a study to describe, using a standardized classification system, the nursing interventions used with stroke survivors during the initial 6 weeks following discharge home. Methods. In the context of a randomized controlled trial, two nurse case managers provided care to 90 community-dwelling stroke survivors who were assigned to the intervention arm of the trial. The nursing documentation was analysed, using the Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC) system, to identify and quantify the interventions that were provided. Findings. Stroke survivors received, on average, six different interventions. There was a trend for those who were older, more impaired, and who lived alone to receive more interventions. The most commonly reported interventions included those directed towards ensuring continuity of care between acute and community care, family care, and modifying stroke risk factors. The study was limited to the nursing documentation, which may represent an underestimation of the care delivered. Conclusions. The NIC system was useful in capturing the interventions delivered by the nurse case managers. Nursing interventions are often not clearly articulated and less often use standardized terminology. Describing nursing activities in a standard manner will contribute to an increase in nursing knowledge and to evidence-based practice. [source]

Practical nurses in elder care and changes in Finnish society , a biographical study

Leena Paasivaara MNSc
Background. ,Substantial changes in the socio-economic circumstances in Finnish society over the past century have resulted in major changes in the case of older people, and in the status of nursing staff who care for them. Aim. ,The purpose of this study was to describe and analyse the work of practical nurses in elder care through the experiences and life cycles of two practical nurses with a long working experience. Methods. ,The data consisted of oral biographical narratives produced by the two nurses in repeated interviews. The data were analysed using inductive content analysis. Findings. ,The following chronological stages and periods of the work of the informants emerged as the core themes of elder care: (1) Collective institutionalized care in the 1950s,1970s: The lowest caste in training, obedient subordinates, undemanding service and routine work; (2) Elderly orientated institutionalized care in the 1980s and 1990s: From subordination to co-operation as an experienced nurse, recognizing the specific qualities of the elderly; (3) Prospects of elder care from the 1990s onwards: Returning to custodial care? Conclusions. ,The themes are related to the more general changes that have taken place in Finnish society and health care. The future prospects of practical nurses seem challenging because the principles of social work and health care in Finnish society have shifted from institutionalization towards community care. As a consequence, practical nurses are required to have higher qualifications. [source]

Effect of Service Structure and Organization on Staff Care Practices in Small Community Homes for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Jim Mansell
Background, An important question in community living is what factors influence the extent to which staff provide ,active support'. Methods, Engagement, care practices and a range of staff and organizational characteristics were studied in 72 residential homes serving 359 adults with intellectual disabilities. Managers in 36 settings were trained in person-centred active support (PCAS). A group comparison design and multivariate analysis was used to investigate the relationship between variables. Results, The PCAS group showed more active support, assistance, other contact from staff and engagement in meaningful activity but no difference in choice-making or assessment of participation in activities of daily living. The PCAS group had more staff with a professional qualification, were more likely to think that challenging behaviour was caused by lack of stimulation, had attitudes more in line with a policy of community care, rated most care tasks as less difficult, and were more organized to deliver active support. The comparison group were more likely to think that challenging behaviour was learned negative behaviour, showed more teamwork and were more satisfied. Multivariate analysis identified a range of staff and organizational variables associated with engagement and active support. Conclusions, The results suggest that some variables which have not hitherto been studied in relation with active support are associated with it. Professional qualification, knowledge and experience appear to be important as do some staff attitudes, clear management guidance, more frequent supervision and team meetings, training and support for staff to help residents engage in meaningful activity. [source]

A review of the information and support needs of family carers of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Ann-Louise Caress
Aims and objectives., The objectives of this narrative review were to identify: (1) The information and support needs of carers of family members with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; (2) appropriate interventions to support carers in their caregiving role; (3) information on carers' needs as reported in studies of patients living with COPD in the community. Background., Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a major health problem in the UK resulting in significant burden for patients, families and the health service. Current National Health Service policies emphasise, where medically appropriate, early discharge for acute exacerbations, hospital-at-home care and other models of community care to prevent or reduce re-hospitalisations of people with chronic conditions. Understanding carers' needs is important if health care professionals are to support carers in their caregiving role. Design., A narrative literature review. Methods., Thirty five papers were reviewed after searching electronic databases. Results., Few studies were identified which addressed, even peripherally, carers' needs for information and support, and no studies were found which described and evaluated interventions designed to enhance caregiving capacity. Several studies of hospital-at-home/early discharge, self care and home management programmes were identified which included some information on patients' living arrangements or marital status. However, there was little or no detail reported on the needs of, and in many cases, even the presence of a family carer. Conclusions., This review highlights the dearth of information on the needs of carers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients and the need for future research. Relevance to clinical practice., There is little research based knowledge of the needs of carers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients and interventions to assist them in providing care. This knowledge is critical to ensure that carers receive the information they need to carry out this role while maintaining their own physical and emotional health. [source]

Comprehensive health assessments during de-institutionalization: an observational study

N. Lennox
Abstract Background People with intellectual disability (ID) leaving institutions pass through a transition stage that makes them vulnerable to inadequate health care. They enter into community care under general practitioners (GPs) who are often untrained and inexperienced in their needs. Specifically designed health reviews may be of assistance to both them and their new GPs as they go through that phase. Methods This research aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a specially designed health review, the comprehensive health assessment program (CHAP) health review, in a group of adults as they transitioned out of the care of the last institution for people with ID in Tasmania. There were 25 residents reviewed by their GPs. Results The CHAP reviews picked up a number of health conditions and stimulated health promotion activities. Some of the findings were: a high number of abnormal Body Mass Indexes (19/23), immunizations given (13/23), vision impairment reported (2/23), mental health issues recorded (4/23) and skin abnormalities described (17/23). There were 22 referrals made to other health professionals (Australian Hearing Service 4, dentists 3, optometrists 3, psychiatrists 2, neurologists 2, ophthalmologist 1, urologist 1, ultrasound 1, mammogram 1, family planning 1, physiotherapist 1, continence nurse 1 and respiratory physician 1). These were in addition to various requests for pathology. Conclusions The CHAP health review was effective in identifying a number of health issues in the population of people with ID as they transitioned out of institutional care into the general community. [source]

Prevalence, morbidity and service need among South Asian and white adults with intellectual disability in Leicestershire, UK

C. W. McGrother
Abstract Background Previous reports have suggested that South Asian and white UK populations have different prevalences of intellectual disability (ID), related psychological morbidity and service use. The aim of the present study was to compare these rates among South Asian and white adults in Leicestershire, UK. Method This cross-sectional study is comprised of two parts. The analysis of prevalence is based on data from all South Asian and white adults known to the Leicestershire Learning Disabilities Register in 1991, with population denominators being drawn from the 1991 census. The other analyses use data collected from the most recent semi-structured home interviews, carried out between 1987 and 1998, with 206 South Asian and 2334 white adults. Results The prevalence of ID in adults in Leicestershire is 3.20 per 1000 in South Asians and 3.62 per 1000 in whites. Among adults with ID, South Asians have similar prevalences of disabilities to whites and significantly lower skill levels. South Asians show similar levels of psychological morbidity, but make significantly lower use than whites of psychiatric services, residential care and respite care. South Asians use community services as extensively as whites, but feel that they have a substantially greater unmet need, especially with regard to social services. Conclusion South Asian and white populations have similar prevalences of ID and related psychological morbidity. Culturally appropriate services for South Asian adults may need to focus on skill development and community care. [source]

A phenomenological exploration of the lived experience of mental health nurses who care for clients with enduring mental health problems who are parents

S. MADDOCKS mnurssci rn
Accessible summary ,,Among people with mental health problems, those who are parents may not have their needs met, especially when receiving inpatient care. ,,There is little research regarding the needs of this group. ,,An integrated model of care is required. Abstract This paper is a report of a study to explore mental health nurses' lived experience of caring for adults with enduring mental health problems who are parents. With the advent of community care, more people with enduring mental health problems have contact with their families and are parents. Ultimately, rehabilitative strategies for parents with mental health problems are focused towards functioning effectively within their own family unit and hopefully enabling them to fulfil their parental role. Mental health nurses working with this client group have competing demands to reconcile. For example, advocating for client rights versus protecting the child and supporting the family. This phenomenological study took place within adult mental health services in the UK. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six nurses. A thematic analysis was conducted on the data. Five themes were identified from the data: support, remaining impartial, addressing the specific needs of a client who is a parent, models of care and interagency communication. The findings suggest that neither a family-centred nor a person-centred approach to care completely meets the needs of this client group. An integrated model of care is proposed that applies person-centred and family-centred approaches in tandem. [source]

Swedish mental health nurses' responsibility in supervised community care of persons with long-term mental illness

Annabella Magnusson rpn
Abstract The aim of the present study was to describe psychiatric nurses' experience of how the changing focus of mental health care in Sweden, from in-patient treatment to community-based care, has influenced their professional autonomy. Eleven psychiatric nurses were interviewed and a qualitative content analysis was used to identify major themes in the data. Three main themes were found: pattern of responsibility, pattern of clinical judgement, and pattern of control through support and supervision. All themes were related to the nurse's identity, moral responsibility and the feelings of loneliness and independence in his/her daily work. Together, the three themes were found to constitute a process. This study shows the complexity involved in nursing care provided in the patient's home. Achieving control over the patient's everyday life through support and supervision does not imply taking over the patient's autonomy, but rather reducing the stigma attached to mental illness and facilitating the process of rehabilitation. [source]

Health-Care Policy for Korean Elderly

Young Hee Choi
Due to advances in medicine and economic development, the percentage of Korean elderly is increasing markedly. If preparation is not made for the coming aged society, there is a possibility that the development of the Korean nation will be hindered. The increase in the number of the elderly is increasing the social/national burden of providing medical care for the elderly. Meanwhile, with the trend toward the nuclear family, the increase of female participation in social activities, and the increase of elderly who live alone, it is difficult for nursing homes alone to solve the problem of providing support for the elderly. Long-term medical treatment and care of the elderly has become the responsibility of both the government and society. Under these conditions, the Korean policy for elderly patients can be classified broadly into home care, community care, and institutional care. In order to prepare for the aged society, deficient facilities need to be supplemented and home care and community care need to be expanded so as to increase the communities' ability to support the elderly . Homes, communities, government and the private sector should work together to provide integrated welfare and health care to the elderly. [source]

A Qualitative Case Study Review of Role Transition in Community Nursing

NURSING FORUM, Issue 4 2007
Joyce Zurmehly PhD
PURPOSE.,This paper aims to describe existing community nursing practices and to explore factors that are associated with the transition of clinical practice from acute care settings to community care settings. METHOD.,This qualitative case study assessment described existing community nurse practices and explored factors that were associated with the transition to community practice from acute care settings. The 48 participants in this case study were registered nurses who were working in community care nursing during the interview process. CONCLUSIONS.,The results of this investigation revealed themes derived from data collection, including autonomy, client and family, education, and community as nursing work. This study indicated that making the transition to community-based nursing includes conceptual as well as emotional adjustments. Community nursing practice was seen by the participants as nursing that captures a holistic approach incorporating multiple dimensions from psychological, sociological, economic, and physical to spiritual aspects that provides services in interaction between the community nurse, the client, and the family. The findings indicate a need for additional supportive preparation strategies incorporated into nursing orientation and continuing education programs. Future research investigating agency culture and socialization would provide a more definitive survey of perceptions and competencies needed for role. [source]

Latest news and product developments

PRESCRIBER, Issue 8 2008
Article first published online: 12 MAY 200
Glargine preferred to lispro as type 2 add-on Basal insulin glargine (Lantus) and insulin lispro (Humalog) at mealtimes improved glycaemic control equally well in patients with type 2 diabetes poorly controlled by oral agents, but patient satisfaction was greater with basal insulin (Lancet 2008;371:1073-84). The 44-week APOLLO trial, funded by Sanofi Aventis, was a nonblinded randomised comparison of basal and prandial insulin regimens added to oral treatment in 418 patients. It found similar reductions in HbA1C (,1.7 vs ,1.9 per cent respectively). Fasting and nocturnal glucose levels were lower with insulin glargine and postprandial levels were lower with insulin lispro. The basal regimen was associated with fewer hypoglycaemic events (5.2 vs 24 per patient per year), less weight gain (3.01 vs 3.54kg) and greater improvement in patient satisfaction scores. Treating hypertension cuts mortality in over-80s Treating hypertension in the over-80s reduces all-cause mortality by 21 per cent, the HYVET study has shown (N Engl J Med online: 31 March 2008; doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa 0801369). Compared with placebo, treatment with indapamide alone or with perindopril for an average of 1.8 years also reduced the incidence of fatal stroke by 39 per cent, cardiovascular death by 23 per cent and heart failure by 64 per cent. The incidence of stroke was reduced by 30 per cent but this was of borderline statistical significance. Fewer serious adverse events were reported with treatment than with placebo. New work for NICE The DoH has announced the 18th work programme for NICE. Seven public health interventions include preventing skin cancer, smoking by children and excess weight gain during pregnancy. Public health guidance will include the provision of contraceptive services for socially disadvantaged young people. Two new clinical guidelines are sedation in young people and management of fractured neck of femur. New technology appraisals may include eight therapies for cancer, two new monoclonal antibodies for psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, an oral retinoid for severe chronic hand eczema and methylnaltrexone for opioid-induced bowel dysfunction. Combinations no better against CV disease Taking ezetimibe and simvastatin (Inegy) does not appear to slow the progression of atherosclerosis more than high-dose simvastatin alone, say researchers from The Netherlands (N Engl J Med 2008;358: 1431-43). In patients with hypercholesterolaemia, there was no difference in regression or progression of atherosclerosis after two years' treatment with simvastatin 80mg per day alone or combined with ezetimibe 10mg per day. Adverse event rates were similar. In patients with vascular disease or high-risk diabetes, there was no difference between the ACE inhibitor ramipril 10mg per day or the ARB telmisartan (Micardis) 80mg per day as monotherapy, or their combination, in the risk of a composite outcome of cardiovascular death, MI, stroke and admission for heart failure (N Engl J Med 2008;358:1547-59). Combined treatment was associated with higher risks of hypotensive symptoms, syncope and renal dysfunction. Twice-daily celecoxib increases CV risk Taking celecoxib (Celebrex) twice daily carries a higher risk of cardiovascular events than the same total dose taken once daily, a metaanalysis suggests (Circulation 2008; doi: 10.1161/ CIRCULATIONAHA.108. 764530). The analysis of six placebo-controlled trials involving a total of 7950 patients taking celecoxib for indications other than rheumatoid arthritis found that the combined risk of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure or thromboembolic event increased with dose over the range 400-800mg per day. The risk was significantly greater with 200mg twice daily (HR 1.8) than 400mg once daily (HR 1.1). Patients at greatest baseline risk were at disproportionately increased risk from celecoxib. Long-term etanercept effective in AS An open-label study suggests that etanercept (Enbrel) remains effective in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis in the long term (Ann Rheum Dis 2008;67:346-52). Of 257 patients who completed six months' treatment with etanercept and who entered the nonblinded extension study, 126 completed a total of 168-192 weeks' treatment. The commonest adverse events were injection-site reactions (22 per cent), headache (20 per cent) and diarrhoea (17.5 per cent). The annual rate of serious infections was 0.02 per person. Response and partial remission rates after 192 weeks were similar to those reported after 96 weeks. Metformin reduces risk Metformin reduces the risk of developing diabetes in individuals at increased risk, a meta-analysis suggests (Am J Med 2008;121:149-57.e2). The study included 31 mostly small, randomised, controlled trials involving a total of 4570 participants and lasting at least eight weeks (8267 patient-years of treatment). Metformin was associated with reductions in body mass (,5.3 per cent), fasting glucose (,4.5 per cent) and insulin resistance (,22.6 per cent); lipid profiles also improved. The odds of developing diabetes were reduced by 40 per cent,an absolute risk reduction of 6 per cent over 1.8 years. MHRA clarifies cough and colds advice Press reports mistakenly suggested that the MHRA had banned some cough and cold remedies when it issued new guidance on treating young children, the MHRA says. The Agency's advice followed a review of over-thecounter cough and cold medicines for children by the Commission on Human Medicines. Children under two are at increased risk of adverse reactions and should no longer be treated with products containing antihistamine (chlorphenamine, brompheniramine, diphenhydramine), antitussives (dextromethorphan, pholcodine), expectorants (guaifenesin, ipecacuanha) and decongestants (phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, oxymetazoline and xylometazoline). The MHRA said these products, which are classified as general sale medicines, should be removed from open shelves until available in new packaging that complies with the advice. They may still be supplied by a pharmacist for the treatment of older children. Coughs and colds should be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever, a simple glycerol, honey or lemon syrup for cough, and vapour rubs and inhalant decongestants for stuffy nose. Saline drops can be used to thin and clear nasal secretions in young babies. Parents are being urged not to use more than one product at a time to avoid inadvertently administering the same constituent drug twice. Perindopril brand switch Servier Laboratories is replacing its current formulations of perindopril (Coversyl, Coversyl Plus) with a new product that is not bioequivalent. The current Coversyl brand contains perindopril erbumine (also known as tert -butylamine). The new formulation contains perindopril arginine; it will be distinguished by new brand names (Coversyl Arginine, Coversyl Arginine Plus) and new packaging. Coversyl 2, 4 and 8mg tablets are equivalent to Coversyl Arginine 2.5, 5 and 10mg. Servier says the change is part of the simplification and harmonisation of global manufacturing; the arginine salt is already used in other countries and offers greater stability and a longer shelf-life. Both Coversyl and Coversyl Arginine will be in the supply chain for the next few weeks. Generic perindopril will continue to be the erbumine salt and prescriptions for generic perindopril are not affected. New from NICE Diabetes in pregnancy: management of diabetes and its complications from preconception to the postnatal period. Clinical Guidance No. 63, March 2008 This clinical guideline focuses on additional aspects of care for women with gestational diabetes (88 per cent of cases) or pre-existing diabetes (of which about 40 per cent is type 2 diabetes) and their babies. To date, insulin aspart (NovoRapid) is the only drug in the guideline specifically licensed for use in pregnancy and NICE advises obtaining informed consent to implement its recommendations for using other insulins and oral hypoglycaemic agents. As with other guidelines, NICE begins by stressing the importance of patient-centred care and involving women in decisions about their treatment. The guideline is divided into six sections, dealing with consecutive periods of pregnancy. Preconceptual planning should include empowering women to help them reduce risks, optimising glycaemic control (after retinal assessment) and increasing monitoring intensity, and providing information about the effects of pregnancy on diabetes. Metformin may be recommended as an adjunct or alternative to insulin, but other oral hypoglycaemic agents should be replaced with insulin, although glibenclamide is an option during pregnancy. Isophane insulin is the preferred long-acting insulin; lispro (Humalog) and aspart are considered safe to use. ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers should be replaced with other antihypertensive agents and statins should be discontinued. Recommendations for screening and treatment of gestational diabetes build on previous guidance (CG62). Drug treatment will be needed by 10-20 per cent , this includes insulin (soluble, aspart or lispro) and/or metformin or glibenclamide, tailored to individual need. Antenatal care includes optimising glycaemic control. Insulin lispro or aspart should be considered in preference to soluble insulin. If glycaemic control cannot be achieved with insulin injections, an insulin pump may be indicated. The guideline includes a timetable for appointments and the care that should offered after each interval. Recommendations for intrapartum care, which supplement those in CG55, include frequent monitoring of blood glucose. Neonatal care includes recommendations for monitoring and screening the infant and the management of hypoglycaemia. Postnatal care (supplementing CG37) involves adjusting maternal treatment to avoid hypoglycaemia and recommendations for returning to community care. Metformin and glibenclamide are the only oral agents suitable for breastfeeding women. Women with gestational diabetes need advice about glycaemic control and planning for future pregnancies. Lifestyle advice and measurement of annual fasting plasma glucose should be offered. Inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma in adults and in children aged 12 years and over. Technology Appraisal No. 138, March 2008 The latest technology appraisal of asthma treatments covers inhaled steroids for adults and children over 12 with chronic asthma. It makes only two recommendations. First, the cheapest appropriate option is recommended. Second, when a steroid and a long-acting beta2-agonist are indicated, the decision to prescribe a combined inhaler or separate devices should take into account therapeutic need and likely adherence. Combined inhalers are currently less expensive than separate devices, though they may not remain so. When a combined inhaler is chosen it should be the cheapest. NICE concludes that, at equivalent doses, there is little difference in the effectiveness or adverse event profile of the available steroids or the fixed-dose combinations. According to specialist advice, choosing the best device for an individual remains the overriding concern. Continuous positive airway pressure for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome. Technology Appraisal No. 139, March 2008 NICE recommends continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for adults with moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnoea, and for those with a milder disorder if quality of life and functioning are impaired and alternative strategies such as lifestyle change have failed. Diagnosis and treatment is the responsibility of a specialist team. A CPAP device costs 250-550 and lasts for seven years. Copyright 2008 Wiley Interface Ltd [source]

Scottish devolution: identity and impact and the case of community care for the elderly

Gordon Marnoch
This article examines the emergent identity and impact of devolution in Scotland. Using the case of community care for the elderly, a model is set out for capturing the different interpretive perspectives evident in relation to a particular policy area in 1999,2001. The political story of the ,free personal care' issue, in which the Scottish Executive were unexpectedly forced into adopting a markedly different policy from the rest of the UK, is examined in some detail. Setting the episode in a broader context, four discursive thematics are identified in relation to the policy case. A model is demonstrated for examining different aspects of devolution including constitutional level and sub-system aspects of post-devolution governance. Conclusions are drawn as to the meaning which should be ascribed to the discourse associated with devolution and community care for the elderly. [source]

Independent living units: Managing and renewing an ageing stock

Sean McNelis
Objectives:,To report on a key challenge (and its implications) that Australian not-for-profit organisations face as they manage and renew an ageing stock of independent living units (ILUs) for older people. Methods:,A national survey of ILU organisations complemented by 28 interviews with ILU managers, peak aged care organisations and government officers, and five workshops with ILU managers. Results:,ILUs are a policy response to the housing needs of older people with low income and limited assets. However, ILU organisations face significant challenges as the overall condition of ILUs deteriorates, as they seek to meet higher expectations and as they move into a phase of renewal. Conclusions:,The future of ILU organisations is at a watershed, with many reconsidering their role as providers of ILUs. Any extensive reduction in ILUs will have implications for older people, for public housing providers and for delivery of community care to older renters. [source]

Here Lies the Supreme Court: Revisited

Show me the manner in which a nation or community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender sympathies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals. ,William Ewart Gladstone [source]