Prioritising early childhood to promote health, wellbeing and prosperity

A new report recommends current and future governments prioritise improving health and wellbeing and reducing inequalities in early childhood.

Prioritising early childhood to promote the nation’s health, wellbeing and prosperity says doing so will transform the health and prosperity of the nation. 

Published by The Academy of Medical Sciences, the report highlights how early years intervention can substantially reduce the risk of chronic non-communicable disease throughout someone's lifetime.

It sets out a series of priorities for governments including:

  • Implementing effective interventions and policies to improve child health and wellbeing 
  • Improved data on effective interventions and policies
  • Ensuring diverse child, parent and carer perspectives are represented in the development and implementation of policies and interventions

Read the full report via The Academy of Medical Sciences website here.

Understanding differences in infant mortality rates

Nuffield Trust has published a report into differences in infant mortality rates in different local areas.

It found infant mortality rates at the upper-tier local authority level in England were likely to be higher in areas where:

  • There were fewer households with central heating and where households were more likely to be crowded
  • There was a greater proportion of the population who were severely obese 
  • There was lower spend on early years provision and Sure Start 

Researchers said the number and variety of factors they found associated with infant mortality further highlight its complexity. 

They say addressing these factors requires approaches that are driven both nationally and locally with collaborative thinking and integrated implementation. 

Read the full report via the Nuffield Trust website here.

Options for redress for those harmed by valproate and pelvic mesh

The Patient Safety Commissioner has published The Hughes Report, outlining options for redress for those harmed by valproate and pelvic mesh.

It says there is a clear case for redress based on the systemic healthcare and regulatory failures revealed by the First Do No Harm review in 2020. 

The Commissioner supports a restorative practice-based redress scheme, co-designed with affected patients.

The report also highlights priority areas for non-financial redress, including support for patient groups.

Read the full report via the Patient Safety Commissioner website here.

DHCW recognised for exemplary digital inclusion approach

PIF member Digital Health and Care Wales (DHCW) has been recognised for its exemplary approach to digital inclusion.

It joins 10 other organisations which have been awarded Digital Inclusion Charter Accreditation.

The Digital Inclusion Charter exists to support and champion organisations working in the public, private or third sector in Wales who are willing to promote basic digital skills and help people get online.

Find out more about the charter via the DHCW website here.

Study: Web-based health information seeking

A new study explores the motivations, behaviours, and expectations of web-based health information seeking for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Researchers identified two themes: motivation to learn and MS information on the web. 

The diagnosis of MS was described as a pivotal moment for web-based information seeking. 

People living with MS sought lifestyle-related information to facilitate self-management and increase control of their MS. 

Although social media sites and MS websites were considered useful for providing both support and information, discretion was needed to critically appraise information. 

Recognisable institutions were frequently accessed because of their trustworthiness.

Read the full study findings via the JMIR website here.

Producing accessible patient information

In this Patient Safety Learning blog, Julie Smith from EIDO Healthcare discusses how to make sure information is accessible and meets patient safety standards.

She shares some simple tips to help make content more accessible to a range of users including those with special educational needs and those who do not have English or Welsh as their first language.

Read the full blog via the Patient Safety Learning website here.

Pursuing racial justice in mental health

A new report outlines how the voluntary sector can help meet the needs of racialised communities.

The Centre for Mental Health report shares insights from people living and working in Bradford District and Craven about how racism causes poor mental health, stops people from accessing services, affects people’s experiences of treatment, and hinders their recovery.

It calls on system leaders in other parts of the country to work in partnership with their communities to challenge racism and racial injustice in and around their mental health services.

Download the full report via the Centre for Mental Health website here.

Consultation: Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill

The Scottish Government is consulting on proposals for a Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill.

The proposed bill covers several areas including inclusive communications, complex care and transitions to adult services.

Consultation documents are available in multiple formats, including Easy Read and British Sign Language.

View all consultation documents via the Scottish Government website here.

Webinar: The Future of Generative AI in Healthcare

MATTER is hosting a free webinar on The Future of Generative AI in Healthcare on Thursday, 29 February.

Join VSP Global Innovation Center’s head of emerging technology Jay Anderson, Insight Partners managing director Hilary Gosher and CB Insights lead analyst in healthcare IT Alex Lennox-Miller for a discussion on the future of generative AI in healthcare.

Find out more and book your place here.