Call for greater engagement with communities

A new report sets out the extent to which the 'social investment sector' should engage with users to improve decisions affecting their lives.

Nothing About Us, Without Us: Lived Experience Insight & Social Investment is published by The Young Foundation.

It includes evidence from more than 40 charities, social enterprises and investors and explores the potential role of ‘lived experience insights’.

The Young Foundation argues the growing shift towards bringing people and communities closer to the source of decision-making and power means user engagement is no longer a ‘nice to have’.

It says it is not a question of whether to bring the voices, experiences and skills of users into social investment but how it can be done to great effect.

Supported by Barrow Cadbury Trust and Big Society Capital, the report offers a series of practical examples, tools and principles.

They are designed to help directly engage people with real experience into design, decision-making, management and evaluation processes.

The Young Foundation

Young people want 'better communication' on mental health

New research commissioned by Healthwatch suggests young people want better education and communication on mental health.

Over the past three years, Healthwatch has heard from more than 20,000 young people about their experiences of mental health support. 

To gain a deeper understanding of these issues, it brought together 47 young people, aged 16-25, to talk about what affects their mental health, their current experiences of care, and what services can do to better support them.

The research was undertaken by DJS Research.

Key findings on what young people wanted their mental health support to look like included:

  • Better education and communication. For example, mental health awareness days in schools and regular mental health check ups.
  • More options for treatment and personalised care. 
  • Opportunities for peer support with others who have a mental health condition.


Investigating attitudes and barriers to self care

A survey of 4,000 people examining employees' attitudes to self care and wellbeing has found many will consult 'Dr Google' rather than speaking to a medical professional.

The survey by Aetna International included office-based employees from mid-to-large businesses in the UK, USA, Singapore and the UAE.

It found 40% of employees felt worried about their long-term health but had not had a health check in the last year.

Forty per cent of people said they looked up symptoms online and self-medicated rather than seeking out a doctor when they felt ill. 

The survey findings and subsequent report are designed to give insight into employee health issues and give practical guidance to employers to help boost participation in health and wellness programmes.

Aetna International

NIHR publishes Better Health and Care for All review

The National Institute for Health Research has published a collection of research on health and social care services for people with learning disabilities.

It includes research on mainstream and specialist services for people with learning disabilities, lived experience and real-world trials of interventions.

The review also highlights the need for more research on services where many people spend their adult lives and effective approaches to self-management to improve physical and mental wellbeing.


Exploring the impact of data and technology on UK health

The Health Foundation has announced it is investing in a new programme of work exploring the impact of data analytics and technology on health and care in the UK.

The aim is to tackle problems affecting people’s health and develop an understanding of the role technology and data is increasingly playing in people's daily lives.

The foundation said, while many impacts of data and technology are 'hugely positive', they have the potential to exacerbate health inequalities and increase demand on the health and social care system. 

Its data team will be conducting research and analysis into these issues, and developing ways to address them.

A key focus will be championing better analytics across the sector, offering funding and support for innovative work, and creating networks and communities of data analysts. 

The strategy also aims to share data analytics tools and methods through events, resources, publications, and collaborations.

The Health Foundation

Evaluating digital health products

Public Health England has published new resources to help evaluate digital health products.

The step-by-step guide is aimed at anyone developing or running a digital health product. It is hoped the guide will help organisations design evaluations which:

  • Demonstrate the product's impact
  • Demonstrate how costs compare to benefits
  • Provide information about how to make the service better


First UK lung patients benefit from NHS virtual rehab service

Lung patients in North Lincolnshire have become the first NHS patients in the UK to benefit from a virtual reality pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

NHS North Lincolnshire CCG successfully submitted a bid to NHS England to fund the programme for people living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) in late 2019.

GP practices in North Lincolnshire can now offer COPD patients a kit consisting of a virtual reality headset, wearable sensor and mobile data hotspot.

The programme allows patients to take part in pulmonary rehab exercises led by a digital instructor from home.

North Lincolnshire CCG

What to expect from independent healthcare

The Patients Association has teamed up with The Independent Healthcare Providers Network to create resources looking at what patients can expect from independent healthcare. 

A short video covers safety, patient experience and professional standards of care.


Pancreatic Cancer UK launches easy-read booklets

Pancreatic Cancer UK has launched easy-read versions of four of its information booklets.

The booklets are designed to make patient information more accessible and to empower people to make informed decisions.

They use simple language and images to explain topics including what pancreatic cancer is, non-surgical treatment, surgery and support.

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Video: Growing your audience online

Patient advocate and researcher Lucy Watts has published a new video offering advice on how to grow your online audience.

The video is particularly relevant to people with a disability or chronic illness who want to use social media, blogging or videos to raise awareness or campaign.


Lived experiences of eye services

NHS England’s elective care transformation programme has gathered stories from patients, carers and staff about their experience of eye services since April 2018.

The EyesWise 100 Voices Campaign is supported by Royal National Institute for Blind People, the Macular Society and the International Glaucoma Association.

It is hoped hospitals will use the materials and the experiences of their own patients to shape further service development. 

NHS England

Yellow Card social media campaign

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has launched a week-long social media campaign to raise awareness about the importance of reporting suspected side effects using the Yellow Card Scheme.

The week, launched on Monday 17 February, focuses on polypharmacy – how reporting side effects helps ensure safe use when taking multiple medicines.


Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week 2020 toolkits now available

The Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week campaign will run from 20-26 April this year.

Free toolkits offering everything needed to run an event during the week are now available to order.

They include posters, leaflets 'How do you measure up?' tape measures and more.

There are also additional digital resources including social media images and videos available to download.

The campaign is jointly run by NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK. 

It aims to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes, complications associated with the condition, at-risk groups and how to prevent it. 

Public Health England