NHS takes action against coronavirus fake news online

The NHS has this week unveiled a package of measures in the battle against coronavirus fake news.

It is working with Google, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to help the public get easy access to accurate NHS information and avoid myths and misinformation.

The measures include Google providing easy access to verified NHS guidance when someone searches for coronavirus.

The NHS is also attempting to fight bad advice and misinformation.

It has worked with Twitter to suspend a false account which was posing as a hospital putting out inaccurate information about the number of coronavirus cases and publicly condemned homeopaths promoting false treatments.

The NHS is working with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to verify or ‘blue tick’ more than 800 accounts belonging to NHS organisations including hospital trusts and local commissioning groups.

This week will also see the introduction of new Knowledge Panels – prominent pop out boxes of information as part of Google search on mobile – to provide the public with easy access to NHS information about more than 250 health conditions, including coronavirus.

Both Twitter and Facebook are directing users to the NHS website if they search for coronavirus.

NHS England

Self care and COVID-19

Helen Donovan, Self Care Forum chair and Royal College of Nursing professional lead for public health, has written a blog offering practical advice on self care during the coronavirus situation.

It shares simple self-care tips, information on the virus and how to find trusted information.

Self Care Forum

Coronavirus comms for charities

In this blog digital impact consultant Madeleine Sugden offers advice on how charities can communicate coronavirus information.

It includes tips on writing about COVID-19 for beneficiaries, making information easy to find and understand, checking scheduled information and taking steps internally to reduce risk.

Madlinsudn Blog

Study: Understanding patient anxieties in the social media era

A study has examined the concerns and experiences of people on an online male infertility community and attempted to provide insight into their perceptions of interactions with health care professionals.

From the analysis of 97 posts, notable themes and sub-themes emerged.

Seventy-two per cent of posts shared personal experiences, including feeling emasculated or isolated or describing a negative (29%), positive (13%), or neutral (58%) experience with a health care professional.

The authors said the results suggest a role for physicians on social media to engage with patients and connect them to accurate resources, in addition to opportunities to improve in-office patient education.

JMIR Publications

Review: Decision aids help patients make treatment choices

A systematic review of trials of decision aids used for choices of contraception, caesarean section and menopause treatment found patients who used them felt more confident in their ability to make the decision that was right for them and less uncertain about this decision. 

This was compared with usual care or an information aid.

However, clinicians report worries about the additional time their use may involve. 

Routine use of decision aids will require training and carefully-designed processes to avoid this becoming an issue.

National Institute for Health Research

Promoting voices of lived experience in the fight against Pro-Ana

In this blog, Adrienne Rennie, eating disorder advocate and Penumbra recovery worker, calls engagement with people with lived experience of eating disorders in order to improve support services.

She discusses her own experiences with Pro-Ana, also known as pro-anorexia or the promotion of disordered eating, and explains how these communities can provide a sense of belonging to people who feel like outsiders because of their condition.

Adrienne argues there needs to be more research into Pro-Ana to better support people with eating disorders once the sites are shut down.

She says the voice of lived experience should be the expert voice.


UK GPs least satisfied with amount of time they have with patients

Just one in four GPs in the UK are satisfied with the amount of time they are able to spend with patients according to a new Health Foundation report.

The report is an analysis of an international survey of GPs from 11 high-income countries, including 1,001 UK GPs, undertaken by the Commonwealth Fund in 2019.

Among 11 high-income countries included in the study, only France has lower levels of overall satisfaction with practising medicine and only Sweden reported higher levels of stress.

UK GPs also reported significantly shorter appointment lengths than their international colleagues.

Health Foundation

Electronic notifications for flu vaccinations

An NHS Digital service enabling information about flu vaccinations to be sent electronically from pharmacies to GP practices has been rolled out by two system suppliers.

More than 30,000 electronic messages carrying flu vaccine information have been sent during this winter’s flu season so far. 

NHS Digital says it has saved time for GP practices and pharmacies, helped improve data quality and reduced the possibility of errors.

More up-to-date information prevents patients who have already had a flu vaccine from being contacted unnecessarily and could be used to identify those in at-risk groups.

A successful pilot in Leeds involved 113 community pharmacies using PharmOutcomes and 83 GP practices using SystmOne. 

The service was then expanded across England for pharmacies and GPs using PharmOutcomes and SystmOne. 

Other suppliers will start their roll out later this year, following similar pilot schemes.

NHS Digital

HSJ Awards open for entries

The 40th HSJ Awards are now open for entries. Information on how to enter and this year's categories is online now. 

Click on the link below to find out more. The deadline for entries is 15 May, 2020.

HSJ Awards

Webinar: Social Prescribing VCSE perspectives

National Voices is hosting a free webinar exploring how we can think of people’s health more holistically and how the charity can contribute to shift the debate.

National Voices has been commissioned by the NHS England Personalised Care Group to work with the VCSE sector to explore critical issues that need to be addressed to enable effective social prescribing and to develop suggested solutions.

The webinar will take place from 1pm to 2pm on Friday 20 March. Click on the link below to register.

National Voices

Online event: Responding to the needs of people who sleep rough

The King's Fund is hosting an online event, Responding to the needs of people who sleep rough: a national and local approach.

It follows the recent publication of its report, Delivering health and care for people who sleep rough: going above and beyond.

The event will consider how to deliver effective joined-up care for people sleeping rough and overcome the barriers preventing this from happening.

It will draw on insight from four local areas making progress and focus groups with people with lived experience.  

The event is from 11am to midday on Tuesday 31 March. Click on the link below to register.

The King's Fund