Research highlights power of local engagement to increase COVID-19 vaccine take-up 

A new UK-US collaborative study examining vaccine engagement highlights the importance of tapping into local knowledge and leadership in efforts to improve COVID-19 vaccine take-up.  

Understanding vaccine hesitancy through communities of place explores levels of vaccine engagement in four locations: Oldham and Tower Hamlets in the UK and the cities of Boston and Hartford in the US.

In all four areas, the survey found the authorities’ ‘top-down’ approach to vaccine distribution and education was ineffective.

Applying a community engagement approach instead by involving community groups and trusted leaders can improve uptake..    

Researchers recommend efforts should be made to vaccinate seldom-heard groups, including former prisoners and young people in insecure housing. 

They also urge policymakers and service-providers to recognise historical trauma and discriminatory experiences, and include these within COVID-19 vaccination messaging.

Institute for Community Studies

Measuring the burden of infodemic

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a report on its recent Infodemic Management Conference.

It outlines a plan of action, including:

  • Developing standardised definitions relating to infodemic measurement and management
  • Improving the concept map to reflect different perspectives and disciplines
  • Conducting a desk review of evidence, tools and data sources
  • Setting up a technical working group to review and improve different policy, practice and research priorities
  • Addressing immediate priorities for COVID-19 recovery and resilience building, including measuring the economic cost of the COVID-19 infodemic and creating harmonised tools for measurement of information diet and exposure


What can the NHS learn about digital healthcare from other European countries?

A new report from Nuffield Trust examines the approach five European countries have taken to implementing digital technology and draws out learnings for the NHS.

Fit for the Future examines approaches in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Portugal. 

Researchers found those countries which have made significant progress benefit from an overarching policy focus on digital. 

Researchers also found that, in countries where digital technology is widely used to access public services, the use of digital technologies to support health care is less controversial.

They argue cultivating public confidence and trust in the use of health care data must be a priority.

Nuffield Trust

NICE creates 'menu of treatment options' for people with depression

New draft guidance from NICE says people with depression should make the choice on what treatment option is right for them.

The menu of treatment options will allow patients to pick the one which is right for them, in a shared decision-making discussion with their healthcare practitioner.

Registered stakeholders can take part in a consultation on the guideline until 12 January 2022.


What has COVID-19 taught us about Plain Language Summaries?

This article for the Journal of Clinical Studies asks what COVID-19 has taught us about the use of Plain Language Summaries of Publications (PLSPs).

The authors say during the pandemic the public has had to struggle with understanding scientific data on a daily basis. 

They argue the impact of scientific misunderstanding became painfully apparent with the decline in vaccine uptake and the need for clear, understandable scientific information has never been more vital. 

PLSPs could be an 'elegant and much needed solution' to this problem. 

The article explores what these documents are, the approaches taken to date, and the challenges that still remain. 

Journal for Clinical Studies

Survey: PRSB diabetes information standard

There are just a few days left to have your say in the PRSB diabetes survey.

The survey, which closes on 11 December, will help to create a new diabetes information standard in collaboration with NHS Digital, NHSX and NHS England & Improvement.

Click on the link below to take part.


Tackling health inequalities at home

In this article, Kim Ryley from the Coalition for Personalised Care (C4PC) discusses how personalised care approaches can help support people to keep well and manage their own health and wellbeing at home.

He shares key talking points from a meeting between C4PC's health inequalities group and members of NHS @Home. These include:

  • Concerns about digital exclusion as services migrate online
  • Barriers to accessing healthcare, particularly for people who are homeless and those from travelling communities
  • How well-intended guidance and information giving can be 'less than helpfully' inclusive in the way it is communicated


People's experiences of mental health services 'poorest for years'

An annual survey from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), has found people’s experiences of mental health care continue to be poor, with some areas at their lowest point in eight years.

The 2021 Community Mental Health Survey found:

  • Over a quarter of people (26%) would not know who to contact out of hours in the NHS if they had a crisis
  • Only 56% of people were given enough time to discuss their needs and treatment – the lowest result for eight years
  • People who received telephone-based care reported worse than average experiences in the key themes of overall experience, access, communication and respect and dignity
  • People who received video care reported better than average experiences.


New illustrated personal protective equipment (PPE) guide for unpaid carers 

A new illustrated guide to PPE for unpaid carers has been published.

This guide was produced collaboratively with UKHSA behavioural scientists, carers and carer groups.

Translated versions are also available.


Last chance to apply for BMA PLG patient information awards

Applications for the BMA PLG patient information awards close on 17 December.

The awards recognise high-quality, accessible, and well-designed patient information.

The limit for entries is three applications for each organisation. 

A separate entry form must be completed for each resource, including details of its intended readership and educational aims.

Click on the link below to apply.