Health inequalities widen across England

A report into health equity in England has shown health inequalities have widened over the last decade.

The Marmot Review 10 Years On shows life expectancy has failed to increase across the country for the first time in more than 100 years.

For the poorest 10% of women life expectancy has declined.

The report also shows an increase in the north/south health gap.

The largest decreases in life expectancy were seen in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in the North East.

The largest increases were in the least deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in London.

The more deprived the area, the shorter the life expectancy with the social gradient becoming steeper over the last decade.

However, the report found, despite cuts and deteriorating outcomes, some local authorities and communities had established effective approaches to tackling health inequalities.

Institute of Health Equity

What are health inequalities?

The King's Fund has released a new online explainer of health inequalities.

The piece goes through what we mean by health inequalities, how they affect people’s lives and maps the different levels of inequality across England.

The data mapped includes inequalities in life expectancy, avoidable deaths, long-term health conditions, mental ill-health and access to health services. 

It also explores the causes of inequality and how they might be addressed.

The King's Fund

Measuring public health impact

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has updated its guidance on measuring impact on public health.

In 2017, RSPH and Public Health England launched Everyday Interactions, a resource to support healthcare professionals to record and measure their public health impact.

That resource has now been evaluated and reviewed.

A new report to accompany the impact pathways will be launched in March 2020.

Royal Society for Public Health

Communication matters to people using A&E

A new briefing by Healthwatch illustrates the factors which impact on people's experience of A&E.

Research found time was not the only thing which dictated how people felt about their A&E experience.

Overall patient experience was also shaped by the quality of clinical care, the quality and frequency of communication and the attitude of staff and whether they had time to offer empathetic care.

Other factors included whether the A&E was working well with other services and the quality of facilities.

The research was carried out to inform the ongoing debate on A&E waiting time targets.


Illustrating mental health

In this blog, Sarah Chapman from Cochrane UK reflects on a recent Twitter chat inviting people to share their views on the images used to illustrate mental health topics.

She highlights some of the key themes which emerged from the discussions and shares feedback on images which were used for illustration.

Evidently Cochrane

New pharmacy referral service

A new pharmacy referral service, set to launch this summer, is aiming to help patients avoid hospital readmission.

From July, hospitals will be able to refer patients who would benefit from extra guidance around new prescribed medicines to their community pharmacy.

Patients will be digitally referred to their pharmacy after discharge from hospital.

The NHS Discharge Medicines Service will give patients the opportunity to ask questions about new prescribed medicines and attempt to ensure any concerns are identified as early as possible.


What do children and young people think about health in a digital world?

In this blog Jenny Preston discusses the output of participatory workshops with children, young people and UNICEF.

The workshops discussed children and young people's perspectives on health, privacy and trust in a digital world.

Outputs will be used to inform the drafting of a new General Comment by the UN Committee on the Right of the Child on ‘Children’s Rights and the Digital Environment’.

Jenny Preston

Text messaging support helps smokers to quit

A review of research studies has shown text messaging support helps people quit smoking, more than minimal support such as self-help materials. 

When text messaging is combined with another smoking cessation intervention, it is more effective than just that intervention alone. 

However, the review also found evidence to support the effectiveness of smartphone apps on quitting is absent or of poor quality.

National Institute for Health Research

How to conduct a patient-centric clinical study

This pharmaphorum article discusses the value of patient-centric studies.

It asks if greater partnerships with patient organisations and the use of emerging technologies will help the pharma industry move from theory to practice.


Inclusive books for children and young people

We Can Access has put together a list of books for children and young people which are accessible and/or highlight medical conditions.

The list includes books which raise awareness of hidden conditions, autism, sight impairment, diabetes and many more.

It was put together in a bid to help make World Book Day more inclusive but could also be useful as a starting point for research.

We Can Access

Funding for collaborative communities

The Health Foundation has announced a new £2.1m programme for partnerships working to improve healthcare services through collaborative communities.

The Common Ambition programme will support up to five teams across the UK with funding of £300,000 to £500,000 for two to three years.

Funding is available for partnerships developing collaborative communities where people, families, health care professionals and researchers work together to improve health care.

The programme is now open for expressions of interest and will close at 1pm on 20 March.

The Health Foundation