Study provides insight into pandemic hospital care

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has conducted the largest study to date of the quality of care given to patients in the UK with COVID-19 to identify learnings from the pandemic.

It concluded overall care delivered was judged to have been adequate, good or excellent for 96.5% of patients – good or excellent for 77.4%.

When care was judged to be poor it was linked to end-of-life care issues, infections acquired in hospital, delays in assessment and the two linked issues of poor communication and poor documentation.

In a report based on its findings, Caring for Hospital Patients with COVID-19: Quality of Care in England Examined by Case Record Review, the RCP makes a series of recommendations including:

  • Variations in documentation and communication should be reduced.
  • Particular attention should be paid to quality of care, decision making, communication and documentation required for vulnerable people.


Study: COVID-19 vaccine dose interval for pregnant women

A Government-funded trial investigating best coronavirus vaccine dose intervals for pregnant women has been launched in England.

The Preg-CoV study, backed by £7.5 million of government funding and led by St George’s, University of London, will provide clinical trial data on the immune response to vaccination at different dose intervals – either four to six weeks or eight to 12 weeks.

This data will help determine the best dosage interval and provide more information about how the vaccine works to protect pregnant mothers and their babies against COVID-19.


NICE draft guideline on children and young people with severe complex needs

NICE has opened consultation on its draft guideline on children and young people up to 25 with severe complex needs. 

The draft guideline aims to help professionals from across the health, social and education services to collaborate to deliver the best care.

The guideline says the goals, ambitions and interests of the child or young person should be at the centre of planning and decision making and their needs should be considered as a whole.

It also recommends that the absence of a specific diagnosis should not exclude children or young people with severe complex needs from receiving an education, health and care (EHC) assessment.


Health and Wellbeing Fund 2021/22 launch

The Health and Wellbeing Fund 2021/22 is now open for applications.

The fund is open to VCSE organisations to provide extra support for children, families and children’s respiratory and acute services during autumn/winter 2021.

Funds are also available to raise awareness of management of paediatric respiratory infections within communities that experience the greatest health inequalities.

Click on the link below for more information and how to apply.

NHS England

Study: More than a third of adults have multiple health problems in mid life

More than one in three British adults are suffering from two or more chronic health conditions in middle age according to UCL researchers.

The study shows that among adults born in 1970 those who grew up in poorer families are at much greater risk of having multiple long-term health problems in their late 40s. 

It also reveals an association between physical and mental health conditions in childhood and adolescence, and chronic health problems in middle age.

The most common combinations of chronic health conditions experienced by adults in middle age were:

  • Mental ill-health and high blood pressure.
  • Mental health problems and asthma.
  • Mental ill-health and arthritis.
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure.


Building a business case for digital accessibility

AbilityNet has released a series of resources to help organisations build a business case for digital accessibility.

A recording of the free webinar The Business Case for Accessibility is available to view here.

AbilityNet has also published an infographic on the business case for accessibility 'in numbers' and a summary blog offering 10 top tips on ways to build a business case for digital accessibility.

Prehabilitation for cancer patients in Scotland

A new scheme to provide pre-treatment support to cancer patients is launching across Scotland.

The pilot project will give tailored help and advice on exercise, nutrition and mental health, to improve outcomes for those preparing for cancer treatment.

Prehabilitation will be offered at all eight Maggie’s centres across the country.

The pilot is backed by £270,000 of investment from the Scottish Government.

Scottish Government

Don't Be Soft campaign encourages men to get COVID-19 vaccination

The Men's Health Forum has launched new campaign materials to encourage men to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

The Don't Be Soft campaign aims to raise awareness of research suggesting men who have had COVID-19 are more likely to experience erection problems.

Posters and social media images are free to download from the Men's Health Forum website.

Men's Health Forum

Welsh Admin Portal crosses border into English hospitals

PIF member Digital Health and Care Wales has announced the system used to process electronic referrals from GPs to hospitals has for the first time linked up with hospitals in England. 

GPs in Powys can now send digital referrals using the Welsh Admin Portal (WAP) into three English trusts.

Before the introduction of WAP, the English hospitals had to print referrals. 

The hospitals are able to send status updates back to GPs, return inappropriate referrals and request further information electronically. 

WAP also offers a two-way electronic pathway between the English Trusts and the Powys Commissioning Team when approval for treatment in England is required.

Digital Health and Care Wales

Free resource for understanding Integrated Care Systems in England

A new infographic on Understanding Integrated Care Systems in England is now available to access and download from the Skills for Health Info Hub.

The infographic includes an explanation of what an ICS is along with information on its potential impact for public health, individualised care, care providers and individuals.

Skills for Health

Event: Integrated Care Summit 2021

NHS staff are being offered complimentary places at the Integrated Care Summit 2021.

The conference, which takes place from 9.30am on 22 September, will include debate on the latest government plans to integrate health and social care.

It is also an opportunity for service providers to meet NHS stakeholders.


Virtual reality therapy: The future of chronic pain management?

In this article, Professor Christopher Eccleston from the University of Bath’s Centre of Pain Research explains how digital therapeutics are shaping the future of pain management.

He discusses a digital software developed by Orion which aims to address chronic pain conditions using an immersive gamified therapeutic treatment program.

The therapy uses a virtual reality headset to guide people with chronic pain through a series of cognitive behavioural therapy exercises designed to help them overcome the fear of movement and then re-engage in an active life.