Charity raises concerns about inequalities in palliative care for children

PIF member Together for Short Lives says seriously ill children in England face a postcode lottery over palliative care services.

In a news post on the charity website, chief executive officer Andy Fletcher calls for urgent action to ensure equality of service provision. He says problems include:

  • Multi-million pound funding deficits
  • The recent NHS England Long Term Workforce Plan ignoring the voluntary sector, which runs children’s hospices
  • A lack of any long term, sustainable plan for social care to support NHS capacity.

Read Andy’s comments in full on the Together for Short Lives website here.

Patient group calls for urgent action on Scottish mental health law reform

The ALLIANCE says urgent action is needed on Scottish mental health law reform.

It welcomes the Scottish Government response to the Scottish Mental Health Law Reform Review but wants quick action on recommendations where possible.

Key points in the review include:

  • Mental health and incapacity laws need to be updated in line with human rights
  • People need more support to be able to make decisions for themselves
  • Inequalities in how people experience systems and access their rights need to be reduced.

Find out more on the ALLIANCE website here.

More people taking part in research projects

Almost a million people across England took part in National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) projects in 2022-23.

Numbers were up on pre-pandemic levels with an extra 1,300 people a week taking part research – more than 220,000 extra people.

The data relates to NIHR’s Clinical Research Network (CRN) portfolio studies.

See further details on the NIHR website here.

Study: More than half of the UK public trusts NHS with its data

A tech industry study says more than half of the UK public trust the NHS to store and analyse their patient data safely.

It found, 59% of study participants were confident in the NHS’s ability to safeguard their sensitive information.

Participants felt where the data is stored was important.

They believed storing data in the UK would help ensure data protection regulations were met.

Read more on the study findings via the VMware website here.

Study: Reliability of medical information provided by ChatGPT

Study authors have concluded The ChatGPT large language model offers medical information of equal quality to other internet sources.

They reviewed the quality of information provided by ChatGPT-4 on kidney, pancreatic and liver conditions.

There was 60% agreement between clinical guidelines and answers provided by ChatGPT.

Internal consistency of the answers provided by ChatGPT was 100%.

The authors conclude ChatGPT answers are currently of limited quality. 

But large language models could become the future standard for patients and health care professionals to gather medical information.

Read the study in full via the JMIR website here.

NICE issues new decision aid on sleeping pills

A new patient decision aid aims to help people make informed choices about their treatment for sleep problems.

It is to be used during prescription of sleeping medications benzodiazepines, zolpidem and zopiclone.

PIF member NICE hopes it will help patients, GPs and pharmacists have informed conversations.

It was created by an expert group of professionals and people with lived experience. These included:

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • The National Mental Health Clinical Advisor
  • Representatives from Recovery Experience Sleeping Pills and Tranquilisers.

Read more and download the aid from the NICE website here.

Quality body adopts new strategy for involving the public

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published a strategy explaining how it wants to work more directly with people using or working in care services.

The strategy, which runs until 2026, has four objectives:

  • A better feedback service where people’s experiences drive improvements in care
  • A new public information service informed by people’s expectations and needs
  • Involving people in shaping CQC plans, policies and products
  • Improving care through collaborative working with organisations that represent or act for people who use services.

Download the strategy from the CQC website here.

MS Society celebrates Disability Pride Month

PIF member the MS Society is asking people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to share their stories as part of July’s global Disability Pride Month.

The month highlights the creativity, resilience, and achievements of disabled people. 

It also aims to celebrate diversity and encourage rejection of the stigma and discrimination preventing equality.

As part of an ongoing campaign to celebrate the MS community, the charity wants to hear from people about what the month means to them.

Find out more about the campaign on the MS Society website here.

Free resources available for Disability Awareness Day

Charity AbilityNet is offering 5 free resources to help with disability inclusion on Disability Awareness Day on 16 July.

They are available on the AbilityNet website at the links below.

The day aims to raise awareness about the resources and support available to help disabled people live more independently.

Charity donation used as incentive to take part in workforce survey

Not-for-profit organisation Skills for Health is encouraging participation in a workforce survey with a charity donation.

For every completed response, it will donate 20p to a health charity.

The State of the Workforce Survey 2023 investigates skills gaps and workforce issues in the UK health sector. 

It is hoped the results will help organisations address their workforce needs effectively.

Take part via Survey Monkey here.

Listen: Podcast looks back on a year of integrated care systems

NHS England has released a new podcast episode: Integrated Care Systems – One Year On. 

The episode is hosted by Adam Doyle, national director for system development at NHS England and chief executive officer for Sussex Integrated Care Board (ICB).

He is joined by Naomi Eisenstadt, chair of Northamptonshire ICB, and Tim Swift, chair of West Yorkshire integrated care partnership. 

Listen to the podcast on NHS England’s SoundCloud channel here.