Call for international action on digital health literacy

A World Health Organization (WHO) report calls for urgent investment, innovation and inclusion to gain the benefits of digital health in Europe.

It says millions are being left behind as only half of countries in Europe and central Asia have policies to improve digital health literacy.

The report highlights several policy options, facilitators and barriers to guide the successful implementation of digital health in Member States.

Download the report on the WHO website here.

Increasing diversity in breast cancer clinical trials 

A pilot project aims to recruit more black, Asian and ethnic minority people to breast cancer clinical trials. 

The project is a collaboration between PIF members Barts Health NHS Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support, along with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Roche Products Ltd.

The collaboration has already started to identify solutions to improve representation in breast cancer clinical trials. They include:

  • Creating communications that are targeted and meaningful to the communities the project is aiming to reach
  • Increasing data, comparative baselines and patient retention records
  • Providing enhanced support to ensure breast cancer patients understand the disease, what clinical research is and how to find suitable clinical trials.

Read more details on the Barts Health NHS Trust website here.

Survey: What do you think of the NHS App?

The Digital Coalition is running a survey to find out what people think about the NHS App.

PIF is a member of the coalition which is chaired by the Patients Association. The survey closes on 20 September.

Take part via SurveyMonkey here.

PRSB recommends UK-wide epilepsy information standard

PIF member The Professional Record Standards Body (PRSB) has called for an epilepsy information standard.

It says shared information standards for records of people with epilepsy would help ensure clear communications between health and care settings.

It would also make national clinical audit easier and more effective.

PIF members Epilepsy Action and Young Epilepsy contributed to the discovery report.

Download the report via the PRSB website here.

Effects of cost-of-living crisis on English school children

A National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) survey has found the cost-of-living crisis is increasing wellbeing and mental health needs among school children.

Both the number of pupils needing additional support and the level of need has increased.

Pressures are greatest in special schools and the most disadvantaged mainstream schools.

Other findings from the survey of 2,700 teachers and education leaders in England include:

  • Most schools are handing out food and clothes to pupils affected by the cost-of-living crisis
  • Hygiene levels have fallen as families cut back tooth-brushing and showering

Download the full report from the NFER website here.

Survey: Involving patients in clinical trial design

The NHS Health Research Authority (HRA) is running a survey on how to involve patients and the public in the design of clinical trials.

The HRA wants to know what guidance and resources those involved in the design and delivery of clinical trials currently use to help involve patients and the public.

Answers will inform work to develop guidance supporting the new UK clinical trials regulations.  

Take part via the SnapSurveys website here.

Addressing health inequalities in primary care

In this ALLIANCE blog, Sara Redmond discusses how community link workers are vital to addressing health inequalities.

However, she says funding uncertainties are presenting new challenges.

Read the full blog on the ALLIANCE website here.

Podcast: Health Literacy – Helping patients feel cared for and cared about

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, Helen Osborne chats to Dr Mark Williams.

Dr Williams talks about why health literacy matters as much today as it did when he published his seminal paper on the topic in 1995.

He also shares examples of how healthcare professionals can use health literacy strategies to earn patients’ trust and help people feel cared for and cared about.

Listen to the podcast on the Health Literacy Out Loud website here.

Extra support for people on NHS waiting lists in Wales

People on waiting lists in Wales are to get extra support to reduce last-minute cancellations.

Patients will be given an individual contact at their local health board while they are waiting for treatment. This person will be able to:

  • Listen to concerns
  • Advise on healthy behaviours for better symptom management
  • Signpost other resources and services.

Find out more on the Welsh Government website here.

Underwear labels to carry cancer awareness messaging 

Morrisons supermarket and PIF member NHS England are teaming up to put cancer awareness information on underwear labels.

The labels will urge people to contact their GP practice if they spot signs or symptoms of breast cancer or cancer of the testicles.

Underwear with the special labels will be sold in 240 Morrisons stores.

Find out more on the NHS England website here.

Churchill Fellowships open for applications

Applications are now open for the Churchill Fellowship awards.

Successful applicants will receive funds to spend 4-8 weeks learning from leading practitioners, innovators and experts overseas on a subject of their choice.

They should then use that learning to develop solutions for the UK.

Fellowships will be undertaken from August 2024 to July 2025 in several topic areas including:

  • Children and young people with experience of care
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Physical activity for healthier lives
  • Tech for all

Applications close on Tuesday, 14 November, at 5pm.

Find out more and apply via the Churchill Fellowship website here.