CQC report reveals impact of pandemic and cost of living on health inequalities

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis have widened and exacerbated inequalities, both for patients and healthcare staff.

The annual State of Care report says people from an ethnic minority group, people with a long-term condition or learning disability, autistic people and children and young people are most at risk of health inequalities. In addition:

  • Maternity services are affected by racial stereotypes and a lack of cultural awareness among staff
  • People from ethnic minority groups who have a long-term condition felt they were talked down to about their treatment and were not treated as individuals
  • A lack of cultural competency was a barrier to receiving good quality care

Patients from ethnic minority groups with a long-term condition were also more than two-and-a-half times more likely to say staff in the emergency department talked as if they were not there. 

This was compared with patients in White ethnic groups who did not have a long-term condition.

The report highlights some “basics” which could lead to improvements:

  • More consistent compliance with the Accessible Information Standard
  • More consistent access to interpreters
  • A better understanding of how structural racism can disadvantage people.

Read the full report on the CQC website here.

Gaps revealed by evidence collection on COVID experiences

Analysis of an evidence collection on patient experience during the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed gaps in the voices amplified and topics covered.

The Patient Experience Library collected 696 documents during the pandemic.

More than 400 are from peer-reviewed journals, 120 from local Healthwatch, 137 from charities and policy bodies, and 30 from government sources.

A report on the evidence analysis shows:

  • The experiences of clinically vulnerable people make up 2.5% of the topics covered
  • Discussion of health inequalities accounts for 6% of the evidence
  • Vaccines make up 5.5% of the topics

The library invites use of the report and an open access interactive evidence map to help build a more focused evidence base in future.

The map allows users to filter by topic, population group and condition.

Access the evidence map and download the report from the Patient Experience Library here.

Imprisoned children and young people need tailored healthcare

The Nuffield Trust is calling for more tailored support and interventions to reduce violence and self-harm among young adults in prisons and young offender institutions.

A report from the trust on healthcare issues for imprisoned under 25s found:

  • More than 4 in 10 hospital admissions by young adult males in custody had a primary diagnosis of injury or poisoning – more than double the general population
  • 6 in 10 hospital admissions for young adult males in prison where a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was flagged had a primary diagnosis of injury or poisoning
  • Boys detained in young offender institutions had a higher proportion of outpatient appointments cancelled on their behalf than both young adult males and other adult males in prison

The report recommends developing specific national guidelines or standards on healthcare for young adults in secure settings.

Download the report from the Nuffield Trust website here.

PIF members team up to demystify eye laser treatment

A new film uses a storytelling approach to demystify eye laser treatment for people with Type 1 diabetes.

The film features three people living with Type 1 diabetes and shows what the treatment involves.

It is a joint project by the British Association of Retinal Screeners and PIF member Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. 

It was produced by PIF member Eleanor Stanley, of articulate.health.

The process incorporated co-production approaches and prioritised trust, authenticity and participant wellbeing.

Watch the video via YouTube here.

Learn more about digital health tools with Discover Digital

New resources are available to help the public and healthcare professionals get more confident with digital health tools.

The Discover Digital project from the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland includes video, written guides and two courses.

Find out more about Discover Digital here.

Women’s cancer-related health information updated

PIF member the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has updated its free information leaflet about the cancers most likely to affect women.

The leaflet, which is available digitally or in print, offers advice on reducing risk. There is specialist information on pregnancy and the menopause.

Download or order a copy from the WCRF website here.

Early diagnosis campaign highlights lung cancer symptoms

The latest phase of the NHS England Help Us, Help You cancer campaign focuses on lung cancer symptoms. 

The campaign encourages people to go to their GP early if they have a cough for more than three weeks.

It is running on TV, online, radio, local press, social media and search engines.

There are downloadable resources to support the campaign, including in alternative formats.

Download resources from the NHS England campaign resource centre here.

Grants programme launched to support people with spinal muscular atrophy

PIF member Spinal Muscular Atrophy UK (SMA UK) has announced a programme of grants to support mobility and independence in people with SMA.

The SMArt Move Initiative, a joint project with The Motability Foundation, provides grants for wheelchairs and other equipment.

Find out more on the SMA UK website here.

NCVO seeks feedback on charity sector manifesto

The National Council for Voluntary organisations (NCVO) is seeking feedback on a charity sector election manifesto.

The manifesto will present a range of ways the next government can work with charities to make a positive difference.

Read the manifesto and share your feedback on the NCVO website here.

NHS meets virtual wards target

The NHS has met its target of providing 10,000 virtual ward ‘beds’ by the end of September 2023.

More than 240,000 patients have now been treated on virtual wards, according to new figures from NHS England.

Virtual wards allow people to be treated at home by hospital-based healthcare professionals.

Find out more about virtual wards on the NHS England website here. 

New pharmacy service standards protect quality in virtual wards 

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published new professional standards for pharmacy services in virtual wards.

There are eight main standards, each with several guidelines.

Download the statements from the RPS website here.