PIF members back UK-wide study for antivirals

An urgent government call for at least 6,000 more participants to take part in the PANORAMIC antivirals study has been met with a huge response.

Last Monday the government urged more people to come forward for treatment.

The call was backed by PIF member Diabetes UK and recent PIF TICK sign up the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

By last Wednesday, more than 5,000 vulnerable people had enrolled making the PANORAMIC study the fastest-recruiting trial of its kind in the UK.

The study is run by the University of Oxford and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).


Study: Barriers to accessing personal health records

A study of more than 28,000 patients has concluded deprivation, older age and non-English language are significant barriers to accessing a hospital-based personal health record (PHR).

Data was collected from patients in Birmingham who attended liver medicine, diabetes, renal medicine or endocrinology specialist outpatient clinics from 1 June 2017 to 31 May 2018.

Researchers found patients aged 75 years and older were significantly less likely to be signed up or to activate their PHR than patients aged 35–54. 

Patients who did not need an interpreter were more likely to be signed up and to activate their PHR. 

Patients living in the least deprived areas were more than twice as likely to be signed up and were three times more likely to activate their PHR than those in the most deprived.

Authors concluded strategies are needed to ensure PHRs do not widen health inequalities.

BMJ Open

Digital media for sexual health promotion

A new NIHR case study outlines the impact of a scoping review of sexual health interactive digital interventions (IDIs).

UCL researchers focused on whether IDIs promoting sexual health to young people aged 13-24 could teach useful information or influence changes in sexual behaviour.

They found IDIs taught sexual health facts effectively and had a small influence on young people’s confidence and sexual behaviour, such as using condoms for safer sex.

Digital tools also offered convenient and private access to information that can be difficult or embarrassing to discuss in person but success depended on how easily young people could access IDIs and where they received the intervention. 

Since its publication, evidence from the review has informed national consultations, advised integration of digital media with face-to-face health services and been used to develop the Contraception Choices website.


Macmillan partners with digital care platform

PIF member Macmillan Cancer Support has partnered with digital care platform Careology to offer new support to people living with cancer.

Careology connects patients with their friends, family and healthcare teams, enabling remote care.

Patients are also able to monitor and share key health metrics such as symptoms, side effects and medication adherence. 

The new strategic partnership with Macmillan will see a number of digital initiatives being launched to support people living with cancer, their caregivers and their healthcare teams.

Digital Health

Latest NICE guidance updates

People newly diagnosed with glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT) should initially be offered selective laser therapy (SLT) treatment rather than eye drops, according to an updated NICE guideline.

As a result of changes to the guidance, NICE has updated its public information on glaucoma: diagnosis and management.

NICE has also made changes to the following sections of its rapid guideline on managing COVID-19

Concerns about ministerial involvement in the NHS

A joint parliamentary briefing has raised concerns about Secretary of State powers to direct NHS England and intervene in the reconfiguration of local services as a result of the Health and Care Bill.

In the briefing, the NHS Confederation, NHS Providers and The King's Fund said they support the premise of the Bill and believe the future of health and care must be based on collaboration and partnership working.

However, they share a number of key concerns. The briefing covers suggested amendments to Clause 39 and Clause 40, Schedule 6.

NHS Confederation

Oliver Bird Fund for musculoskeletal conditions

The Nuffield Foundation, in partnership with PIF member Versus Arthritis, is calling for applications for grant funding from the Oliver Bird Fund.

Up to £4 million is available to support research which will improve the social and economic well-being of people living with musculoskeletal conditions.

This includes a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions affecting the bones, joints, muscles and spine, as well as rarer autoimmune conditions. 

Chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia are included and within scope.

Outline applications should be submitted by 14 March.

Nuffield Foundation

MHRA approves new drug for lung-cancer treatment

The MHRA has approved atezolizumab, to treat non-small cell lung cancer.

More than 850 patients in England expected to be eligible for the drug in the first year, rising to more than 1,000 in the third year.

Atezolizumab is the first immunotherapy approved for patients with early-stage NSCLC whose tumours express the PD-L1 mutation, and who have undergone surgery and chemotherapy.

NHS England

Social Prescribing Day 2022

This year's Social Prescribing Day will take place on 10 March.

The event aims to showcase the role social prescribing is playing in supporting people across the country.

This year, Social Prescribing Day will be supported by a wider Social Prescribing Week from 4-11 March.

Resources and information will be published via the National Academy for Social Prescribing website over the next few weeks.

National Academy for Social Prescribing