Older people’s experiences of digital exclusion 

A report by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales warns those who are not online or have limited digital skills often find it difficult, or impossible, to access crucial services.

It also says non-digital alternatives are often of poor quality and offer an inferior service. 

The report makes a series of recommendations including:

  • Digital exclusion is central to discussions relating to the design and delivery of services
  • The voices of older people who are not online or who have limited digital skills are heard and responded to
  • Practical action is taken to ensure the availability of non-digital information and services in community spaces, and to support older people to get and stay online if they wish to

Read the full report via the Older People's Commissioner for Wales website here.

Digital technology research priorities for young people with IBD

The James Lind Alliance has published the top 10 research priorities for digital technology for adolescents and young persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

PIF took part in the project which aimed to ensure researchers and healthcare professionals are aware of areas of unmet need.

Priority areas included young people having access to their medical history via one platform, easier communication with regular doctors and nurses and helping young people feel more in control of their IBD.

Get the full publication via the Wiley Online Library here.

Find out more about the project via the James Lind Alliance website here.

Survey: Accessing and using health information

The Reading Agency is carrying out research into people's experiences of accessing, reading and using health information.

The research uses health information in its broadest sense. It can include information related to a specific health condition or types of symptoms as well as more general information about lifestyle or keeping well. 

The survey should take under 10 minutes to complete and closes on 3 March.

Take part in the survey here.

Health and social care statistical outputs

The UK Government is holding an open consultation on possible changes to health and social care statistical outputs.

The proposed changes would affect outputs by:

  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Office for Health Improvement and Disparities
  • NHS Business Services Authority
  • UK Health Security Agency
  • Office for National Statistics
  • NHS England

The consultation is also seeking views on how clear and valuable users find the current statistical system.

Find out more and take part in the consultation via the GOV.UK website here.

Improving the physical health of people with severe mental illness

A new report explores how to improve the physical health of people with severe mental illness by increasing uptake of annual health checks.

Reaching Out illustrates the barriers that can prevent people attending checks and shares tips on widening access.

Published by Equally Well UK and the Centre for Mental Health, it highlights the importance of coproduction in designing outreach initiatives.

The report also calls for outreach to be part of a wider strategy to improve the physical health of people living with severe mental illness and reduce the mortality gap.

Download the full report from the Centre for Mental Health website here.

Priorities for the incoming Northern Ireland executive

The Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care has published a series of priorities for the new executive.

Back on track: securing the health and wellbeing of our population sets out four priorities identified by health and social care leaders – workforce, sustainable funding, redesigned services and empowered leadership.

It also highlights other areas for action including investment in a population health approach and engaging patients and partners.

Download the full report from the NHS Confederation website here.

Updated quality standard on skin cancer

PIF member NICE has updated its quality standard on skin cancer.

The update includes a new quality statement on local health promotion activities.

It says integrated care boards should produce consistent, relevant messages on the risks of over-exposure to sunlight and exposure to artificial UV light.

This should increase the likelihood of behaviour change, particularly for people in at-risk groups.

Access the updated quality standard via the NICE website here.

Study: Digital interventions to improve nutrition behaviours 

A new systematic review assesses the effectiveness of digital interventions in improving nutritional behaviours and nutrition‐related health outcomes among disadvantaged people with type 2 diabetes.

Substantial improvements in dietary behaviours were reported in half of studies. 

This represented improvements in healthier food choices or increases in dietary knowledge and skills or self-efficacy.

Authors concluded further research is needed into how disadvantaged people with type 2 diabetes may benefit more from digital approaches.

Additional research should also identify the specific features of effective digital interventions for supporting healthy behaviours among disadvantaged populations.

Read the full study via the JMIR website here.

Evaluating patient-initiated follow-up outpatient services

An evaluation of patient-initiated follow-up (PIFU) outpatient services in the English NHS has been published.

The NIHR RSET team conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of how PIFU is working and what impact it is having on healthcare systems, staff and patients.

It outlines enablers and barriers to successful implementation and the impact on measures like outpatient appointment attendance.

Digital exclusion, demographic characteristics, socio-economic status and patient characteristics are all thought to be relevant to how patients engage with or are impacted by PIFU. 

Read a summary and download the full evaluation via the Nuffield Trust website here.