People’s experiences of diagnosis

National Voices has published a report exploring people's experiences of diagnosis. The report covers challenges, inequalities and innovation in diagnosis, before concluding with nine recommendations for improving patient experience. It brings together insights from people with lived experience and health charities, including several PIF members.

Lack of information at point of diagnosis is highlighted as a key challenge. Many people come away from diagnosis appointments without enough information to understand or manage their condition. Healthcare professionals sharing diagnoses rarely make referrals to specialist charities or other sources of support. Recommendations to improve experiences of diagnosis include:

  • Improving the way healthcare professionals communicate a diagnosis.
  • Creating a shared agenda which takes into account patient priorities.
  • Providing signposting to specialist organisations, including support groups.

Read the full report via the National Voices website here.

Public harms facing black women

The Black Equity Organisation and the Fawcett Society have published findings from Phase 1 of their research into the institutional harms caused to women and girls, in particular black women and girls, across public services. The project pulls together women’s experiences across three themes: mental health, policing and education.

Phase 1 includes a thematic review of reviews looking to draw out similarities and shared learning from reports such as Ofsted, Casey and Modernising the Mental Health Act, plus a call for evidence. It identifies four key themes:

  • Excessive force and detention.
  • Adultification and the "strong black woman" trope.
  • The erasure and invisibility of black women’s experiences.
  • A "one size fits all" approach to public services. 

Read the full report via the Black Equity Organisation website here.

Digital News Report 2024

The Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford have published the Digital News Report 2024. The global report looks at the growing importance of more visual and video-led social media such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube and explores audience attitudes towards the use of AI and the role of creators and influencers.

Health information is identified as one of the topics which engenders the most concern about "fake or misleading" content. Mental health is identified as an area where people do not feel their needs are being met. The report also identifies an increasing focus on partisan commentators, influencers and young news creators, especially on YouTube and TikTok.

Access the full report via the Reuters Institute website here.

CPOC launches new exercise resource

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) has launched a new online resource on exercise. The page includes top tips for activity before surgery and signposts tools to help patients stay active. PIF director Sophie Randall is a member of the CPOC advisory group.

Access the new exercise resources via the CPOC website here.

Virtual wards evaluation reveals underrepresentation 

An evaluation of virtual wards has revealed black and minority ethnic people are consistently underrepresented in virtual ward patient cohorts. The evaluation by PPL was commissioned by NHS England South East to fill the large-scale evidence gap on virtual wards. Other key findings include:

  • Virtual wards are associated with a positive impact on avoided non-elective hospital activity.
  • There is evidence of positive net financial benefits associated with the regional virtual ward provision.
  • The longer they run, the more likely virtual wards are to show impact.
  • Core-20 representation in virtual ward patient cohorts is more mixed than black and minority ethnic representation, however it is more consistently reported.

Read a summary of the evaluation via the NHS England website here.

Co-Production Week 2024 activities announced

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has announced some of the main activities that will take place during Co-Production Week 2024. This year's theme is Co-production: What’s Missing? It explores the need to go beyond familiar voices and increase equity and diversity in co-production. Other key themes this year include:

  • How we can access better information, training and development.
  • The need for clear definitions and language around co-production. 
  • How to show the impact and difference co-production makes.

Co-Production week runs from 1-5 July 2024. Highlights include the SCIE online conference on 3 July and an online lived experience leadership in co-production event on 4 July. 

Find out more about Co-Production Week and register for events via the SCIE website here.

Call for health literacy papers

There is still time to submit articles on a range of health literacy topics ahead of a special issue on health literacy for Public Health. The submission deadline is 31 December 2024. Examples of topics which may be of interest include:

  • How health literacy is promoted and recognised in the age of AI and amongst a sea of misinformation.
  • Impacts of improving health literacy on tackling health inequities and health inequalities.
  • Public health education on health literacy.
  • Evolution and future development of the definitions of health literacy.

Find out more about the call for papers via the Science Direct website here.

Improving the lives of people with swallowing difficulties

The Public Health Agency (PHA) and Hospitality Ulster have launched a factsheet to help the food and drink industry understand and improve the lives of people with swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia. 

The factsheet was produced in partnership with people who live with dysphagia, the community and voluntary sector and Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland. It provides 10 top tips for the hospitality sector to help improve the experience of people living with dysphagia when they socialise.

Download the factsheet via the PHA website here.