Destitution among children triples in five years

A new report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) reveals around 3.8 million people experienced destitution in 2022, including around 1 million children. 

This is almost two-and-a-half times the number of people in 2017, and nearly triple the number of children. 

Most people experiencing destitution do not have complex needs. This is defined as experiencing two or more of homelessness, drug or alcohol problems, offending, domestic violence, or begging. 

Other key findings include:

  • People who have migrated to the UK are over-represented among those experiencing destitution
  • The rate of destitution among black-led households was three times their population share
  • Almost two-thirds of people experiencing destitution also had a chronic health problem or disability

Highlighting the impact of destitution on physical and mental health, the report makes a series of recommendations around changes to Universal Credit and emergency help.

Download the report from the JRF website here.

Trusts work to improve social determinants of health

Four hospital trusts are working to reduce health inequalities by addressing social determinants for health.

A new report explains how trusts in the UCLPartners region are taking action to improve employment, increase income, improve education and reduce air pollution.

It includes PIF member Barts Health NHS Trust which has increased local employment by helping young people and local residents secure jobs in the NHS.

Read more about all the projects via the UCLPartners website here.

NHS teams invited to enter HSJ Digital Awards 2024 

Teams using technology to help the NHS deliver better services are invited to enter the HSJ Digital Awards 2024.

The award scheme attracted more than 300 entries in 2023. Winners included PIF member Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in the Digital Literacy, Education and Upskilling award category.

Download an entry guide from the HSJ website here.

Find out more about the awards scheme here.

Resources address dangers of dehydration in older people

New resources aim to help people stay hydrated in later life.

The resources include a booklet, video, tips on managing drinking more with going to the loo and a toilet map.

There is also information for health coaches and healthcare professionals.

The resources were produced by Age UK Norwich with experts from the University of East Anglia.

See the resources on the Age UK Norwich website here.

Charity highlights legal rights for adult carers

Carers UK is raising awareness of carers’ legal rights ahead of Carers Rights Day on 23 November.

The charity is also highlighting upcoming law changes to help people who are carers and employees.

The Carer’s Leave Act is expected it become law in 2024.

If enacted, it will give employees who are unpaid carers a legal right to request up to five days unpaid leave every 12 months.

Find out more on the Carers UK Rights Day website here.

Research ‘match-makers’ urge more people to join

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) wants more people to join clinical research projects using its free research ‘match-making’ service.

The Be Part of Research service tries to match research studies to potential participants’ interests and locations.

More than 310,000 people are currently signed up to the service.

As well as using the link below, people in England can also sign up on the NHS App.

Sign up and find out more on the Be Part of Research website here.

MRHA warning over fake weight loss drug pens

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a warning over fake weight loss pens.

It warns the public not to buy pre-filled pens claiming to contain Ozempic (semaglutide) or Saxenda (liraglutide).

These are prescription-only drugs.

The MHRA says buying them on the black market is a threat to health and people have been hospitalised after using the pens. 

Find out more on the GOV.UK website here.

1 in 5 UK charities facing closure this winter

One in 5 charities could be forced to close this winter, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

In response to the results of its recent survey, the NCVO has launched a Cost of Giving campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the problems, get more support for charities from national bodies and highlight its own support resources.

Find out more on the NCVO campaign website here.

Survey: SMA screening for newborns

A survey is asking people in the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) community whether they feel UK newborns should routinely be screened for the condition. 

Warwick University is running the survey to help gather evidence for the UK National Screening Committee.

It is open to anyone over 18 in the UK who either has SMA or is the family member of someone who has SMA. 

Take the survey and find out more on the Warwick University website here.

Petition to stop Scottish link worker cuts

A petition has been launched calling for the Scottish Parliament to help stop planned cuts to community link worker services.

It says community link workers attached to GP surgeries are a vital tool in the fight against health inequalities.

They help people with a range of social problems affecting health, including housing, benefits, debt, food insecurity, fuel poverty, loneliness and abuse.

View the petition and find out more on the Scottish Parliament petition website here.