Access to assistive technology during the COVID-19 pandemic

A study led by the World Health Organization (WHO) found people who use assistive technology were often excluded in public health responses to COVID-19.

Important messages such as how to avoid transmission of the virus were often not understood, particularly by those living with hearing or vision impairment. 

In addition, assistive technology was considered a non-essential service by some governments and had to close.

Evidence from surveys and interviews uncovered gaps in service delivery which had significant impacts on the quality of life of people who use assistive products. 

Researchers concluded when a pandemic or other crisis strikes, users would be best served by not only strengthening existing services but ensuring public health responses are inclusive of people who need assistive technology. 

They say assistive technology should be recognised as essential during a pandemic or health emergency.


Mental health in young black men

A Centre for Mental Health report says the Government needs to take urgent and concerted action to address the causes of poor mental health among young black men in the UK.

Shifting the Dial reports on the evaluation of a three-year programme to promote better mental health among young black men in Birmingham. 

The programme worked with more than 500 men, offering peer support, mentoring, theatre productions, skills development and community events.

It highlighted the struggles they face in their everyday lives as a result of structural racism and discrimination. 

The report calls on the Government to commit to tackling all forms of racism and discrimination, including in healthcare.

It says the NHS should invest in tailored support for young black men’s mental health in the next phase of the Long Term Plan. 

The report also calls on charitable bodies to ensure black-led organisations get fair access to funding, especially for programmes aiming to improve health in racialised communities.

Centre for Mental Health

Variation in MMR vaccination rates across England

A new Nuffield Trust report looks at variations in the uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine across England.

London has the lowest MMR vaccination rate, with one in four children in 2020/21 not receiving their second dose by their fifth birthday. 

This compares to fewer than one in 10 children in the North East.

None of the regions in England are meeting the WHO’s 95% target for vaccination coverage.

The regional differences mimic, to some degree, variation in uptake of other vaccinations such as the COVID-19 vaccine, where rates are also much lower in London. 

The report concludes attention is needed across local areas to assess the barriers to vaccine uptake and the opportunities for improvements.

Nuffield Trust

Building public understanding of health and health inequalities

A report by the Health Foundation discusses how we can build public understanding of health and health inequalities.

It says there is a 'mismatch' between the public’s perceptions of what influences health and the evidence base demonstrating the significance of wider determinants of health. 

Authors says we should be shifting more people to filter nuanced health messages through an ecological lens while being wary of a possible sense of inevitability or disempowerment.

To achieve this, we can learn from the recent change in dialogue on climate.

Relatable case studies also cut through.

The report concludes anyone delivering public health messages must take time to understand how their messages land with the public.

Health Foundation

NHS Prevention Programme cuts chances of Type 2 diabetes for thousands

New data suggests the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP) resulted in a 7% reduction in the number of new diagnoses of Type 2 diabetes in England between 2018 and 2019.

Someone completing the nine month NHS scheme reduces their chances of getting the condition by more than a third, according to University of Manchester research.

People enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Programme get advice on healthy eating and exercise that can prevent them developing the condition, avoiding the need for medication and complications such as amputations.

NHS England

APPG inquiry into primary care for people with osteoporosis

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Osteoporosis and Bone Health has launched an inquiry into primary care for people with osteoporosis.

People living with osteoporosis, other people interested in this issue and experts are being asked to submit written evidence of their experience with GPs, nurses and pharmacists to the inquiry.

PIF member the Royal Osteoporosis Society is holding a survey to inform the inquiry.

Click on the link below for more information and to take part.

Royal Osteoporosis Society

Welsh Immunisation System wins national digital impact award

PIF member Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has won at the Digital Leaders Impact Awards.

The Welsh Immunisation System (WIS), built in just 16 weeks by a team of software developers at DHCW, won the People’s Choice Award.

It works by integrating scheduling with the recording of COVID-19 vaccinations across Wales, within a single application.


Video: Developing a self-management animated resource

In this ALLIANCE Live, a senior family support worker and a youth panel member with lived experience from Eczema Outreach Support discuss their new animated resource.

The animation, Eczema – More than itchy skin, aims to help young people with eczema feel more supported and understood at secondary school.

The animation was created with funding from the Self Management Fund.


Easy read information on cervical screening

Easy read resources for the Government's recent cervical screening campaign are now available.

Easy read leaflets and posters are available alongside videos and social media assets on the campaign page.

Public Health England

Updates to managing COVID-19 guideline

PIF member NICE published two updates to its managing COVID-19 guideline in March.

The updates affect molnupiravir and remdesivir for people with COVID-19 who do not need supplemental oxygen and awake prone positioning.


Podcast: Personalisation in black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

In this podcast, the panel discusses what good personalised community-based care and support looks like for people in ethnically diverse communities.

Hosted by Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), the podcast features Shuranjeet Singh from Taraki, Iggy Patel, and Jazz Browne from Nubian Life discussing questions asked during TLAP's recent webinar and other topics.

Click on the link below to listen to the podcast.