Patient empowerment is vital

To mark Self Care Week Dr Pete Smith, president of the Self Care Forum, has written this blog on why patient empowerment is so important.

As well as promoting an e-learning package to help pharmacists, nurses, GPs and other professionals include self care messages in all their contacts, he also says 'self care is better care'.

He argues, as confidence in self care improves, ‘people’ are less likely to become patients. 

NHS England

Charities come together to demand better debate on health

Ahead of the general election, more than 60 charities have come together to demand a better debate on health.

The collective statement, led by National Voices and signed by PIF, argues the next government needs to work across parties and departments to focus on people’s health – not only support the NHS.

It says: "As important as hospitals are, they are rarely where good health is created. 

"Health is made good or bad within the neighbourhoods and communities we live."


Should medical schools test applicants for empathy?

This article discusses calls to include empathy testing as a component of applications to medical schools.

It cites research showing that doctors who are more empathetic are more trusted and therefore have better patient outcomes.


We still pay far too little attention to patient feedback

In this opinion piece Alf Collins, clinical director for personalised care for NHS England and NHS Improvement, talks about the importance of patient involvement.

He urges health care professionals to read The Patient Revolution by David Gilbert.

Alf says, with notable exceptions, the NHS still pays far too little attention to patient feedback, patient experience, patient involvement and patient leadership.


The Measurement Maze

This report from the Health Foundation looks at quality measurement, including patient experience, across breast cancer care, children and young people's mental health care and renal care.

It says measurement in the NHS should contribute to driving improvement but analysis suggests little insight from these measures makes its way to clinical teams leading to 'untapped potential'.

The report also argues that, given the volume of national indicators, there is a case for reviewing national quality measurements to make them more simple and streamlined.

The Health Foundation

Survey recommends improving information for children in hospital

The Children in Hospital Survey 2018-19, which examines the provision of parental visiting, family facilities and ward procedures in Scottish hospitals, has been released by Children’s Health Scotland.

It found there has been a small increase (5%) in provision of information about ward procedures in adult wards that admit children.

However, there was a general decline in the information given at the time of admission on ward procedures in paediatric wards (down 39%) and, for young people, on confidentiality, consent and complaints/feedback on both paediatric wards and adult wards.

The proportion of wards allowing children to access their own records on request fell from 47% in 2012/13 to 31% in 2018/19.

The report makes a number of recommendations, including that information is understood by parents and carers – not just made available.

Alliance Scotland

Webinar: Co-production with children and families

This online webinar looked at how an individual or an organisation can start to develop partnership working with families and young people using co-production.

Led by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) it looked at how an individual or organisation might look at introducing co-production into their work.


Stars' voices could answer healthcare questions

This article discusses how patients could soon routinely be interacting with a digital human designed to answer their questions in an easy-to-understand way, without fear of judgement or stigma.

The report from the Cucalorus Connect Conference says health illiteracy affects millions of people globally. 

While spoken advice can help address this, the voice needs to be someone patients trust – which is where well-known celebrity voices could play a role.

WRAL TechWire

Improving medicines adherence with VR

A pilot programme is aiming to educate patients on medical adherence through the power of virtual reality (VR).

The collaboration between Cognitant Group and Addenbrooke’s Hospital provides health information in the form of 'visual and immersive experiences'.

Its main aims are to improve compliance with medication and ensure better outcomes for patients by prescribing interactive health information.


Personal health budgets: Helen and Karl’s story

In the latest of a series of patient stories about personal health budgets, NHS England shares Helen and Karl's story.

Karl, 23, has Spina Bifida, Hydrocephalus and epilepsy. 

As a child he received 'wonderful' specialist care but Karl’s transition from children’s to adults’ services was a challenge. 

Since having access to a personal health budget and feeling more in control, his mum Helen says he is much happier, busier and has discovered a new appreciation for life.

NHS England