Healthcare information for all

The World Medical Association (WMA) has unanimously approved a statement on healthcare information for all, proposed by the British Medical Association.

The statement notes that lack of access to timely, current, evidence-based healthcare information continues to be a major contributor to morbidity and mortality.

This BMJ editorial explains the background to the decision and includes a call to action to bring the WMA recommendations forward.

They include:

  • Promoting initiatives to improve access to timely, current, evidence-based healthcare information for health professionals, patients, and the public
  • Promoting standards of good practice and ethics to be met by information providers
  • Combating myths and misinformation around healthcare through validated scientific and clinical evidence
  • Supporting research to identify enablers and barriers to the availability of healthcare information
  • Ensuring  health professionals have access to evidence based information on diagnosis and treatment of diseases, including unbiased information on medicines
  • Urging governments to recognise their moral obligation to take measures to improve the availability and use of evidence based healthcare information
  • Urging governments to provide the political and financial support needed for WHO’s function to ensure access to authoritative and strategic information on matters that affect people’s health


NHSx seeks views on Tech Plan vision

NHSx has launched a summary of its 'vision' for a Tech Plan for health and social care.

The document includes a summary of what the plan hopes to achieve and five missions that it wants to drive its work.

These include giving people tools to access information and services directly and improving health and care productivity with digital technology.

You can view the document and register to comment by clicking on the link below.

NHSx is also asking people to share their own case studies of using tech to transform services.

The page will also be updated with new ways to get involved in the development of the tech plan in the coming months.

Join the Conversation

Invitation letter changes boost health check attendance

A trial has found acknowledging common concerns and reasons for non-attendance of NHS health checks in invitation letters boosted attendance.

The trial of more than 6,000 patients from six general practices in Northampton, found presenting reasons for non-attendance countered by a GP response increased uptake by 5.5%.

The counter arguments included the reduced longer-term cost to the NHS if risk factors are identified and managed earlier. 

A second version of the letter explained the money has already been allocated for the Health Checks, therefore not attending would be a waste of NHS resources. 

This, on its own, improved uptake by 4.3%.

However it was noted that uptake was still less than half of those invited.

National Institute for Health Research

Building the foundations of digital health literacy

In this article Amanda Barrell discusses how we can ensure online initiatives do not exclude the very people they are designed to empower.

She cites research from Digital Unite which says 11.9 million people in the UK do not have the essential digital skills needed for day-to-day life.

Amanda argues producers of online health information and digital health initiatives must be mindful of where they are operating and the people they are seeking to support.


'Please write to me'

The Professional Records Standards Body has produced a short film showing the 'Please write to me' campaign in action.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges launched the campaign to encourage doctors to write directly to patients following outpatient appointments and ensure the language they use is simple, clear and avoids medical jargon.

The film features both doctors and patients at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle speaking about the benefits of writing letters directly to patients after hospital visits using language that is easy to understand.


Survey: Patient-centric services

Janssen is currently exploring how it can better meet the needs of patients and their caregivers by designing treatments, support and services around what is important to the patient.

An online survey asks what healthcare companies should consider to help meet the needs of people living with conditions and their caregivers.

Janssen has asked PIF members to contribute to the survey to help guide future activities. It should take around 20 minutes to complete.

Synergy Healthcare Research

Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough

The King's Fund has published new research into health and care for people who sleep rough.

It argues many people who sleep rough experience challenges that most of the wider population find difficult to truly understand.

This may be why many routine health and care services – despite being designed with deep values of equity and fairness – fail to meet the needs of people sleeping rough.  

The research aims to start answering the question of what needs to be in place for the delivery of joined-up services to a population of people sleeping rough.

The King's Fund

Can an Apple watch reduce stroke risk?

A new study is aiming to determine whether an app-based heart health engagement program, used in combination with Apple Watch’s irregular rhythm notification and electrocardiogram app, can help lead to earlier detection and diagnosis of atrial fibrillation – and ultimately reduce the likelihood of stroke.

The Heartline study is a collaboration between Johnson & Johnson and Apple.

This article interviews Michael Gibson, M.D., CEO of the Baim Institute for Clinical Research and founder of the Perfuse Study Group at Harvard Medical School, who is co-leading the study.

Johnson & Johnson

All of our stories matter

In this blog Tommy Whitelaw from ALLIANCE discusses What Matters to You Day.

The campaign focuses on what really matters to people supported by health and care services in Scotland.

Its aim is to encourage and support more meaningful conversations between people who provide care and the people, families and carers who are cared for.


Hospify approved by NHS Apps Library

Hospify has become the first general-purpose messaging app to be approved by the NHS Apps Library.

The app aims to address concerns about data security as NHS provider organisations work to phase out the use of pagers and fax machines.

Closely modelled on consumer messaging apps, Hospify offers a way for healthcare professionals to send information to patients and colleagues in compliance with NHS information governance standards.


Event: Improving shared decision making

PIF members are being offered a discount for an upcoming Healthcare Conferences UK event.

Effective Consent Practice: Improving shared decision-making between clinicians and patients is being held in London on 27 March.

For a 20% discount quote hcuk20pif when booking. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Healthcare Conferences UK