Study: Patients concerns about discussing internet use in GP consultations

A study examining patient accounts of internet use before a consultation found people felt they could find information online which they believe is both reliable and helpful to them and their GP.

However, they reported uncertainty about how to share their internet-based findings with their doctor.

Patients were reluctant to tell GPs about researching health issues online for fear of appearing disrespectful or interfering with the flow of the consultation.

Authors concluded, despite the democratisation of access to information about health due via the internet, patients continue to experience it as a sensitive and potentially problematic topic. 

They say the onus may well be on GPs to raise the likelihood, without judgement, that patients will have looked things up before consulting and invite them to talk about what they found.

BMJ Open

Unlocking the digital front door

National Voices has published a new report – Unlocking the digital front door – keys to inclusive healthcare.

The report explores how the move to remote service models impacted people and how the VCSE sector has led innovative ways to deliver healthcare and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Research by National Voices found new remote ways of delivering care work for many people and issues.

However, they have also made exclusion worse for many others with digital exclusion layering on top of existing inequalities.

The report highlights how some organisations are doing remote care well and asks how we can further support inclusion and flexibility.

National Voices

Video: Patient stories of digital primary care in a pandemic

A new video by NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England shares patients' stories of digital primary care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite lots of data on the shift to remote care, the team felt there was a lack of understanding about how these changes impacted those receiving care.

This joint project with Traverse aims to address that. Watch the video by clicking on the link below.

NHS England and NHS Improvement East of England

#ValuableAndVulnerable campaign activity

A six-month long project has been shining a light on what makes people who have been shielding valuable and attempting to change the rhetoric around being vulnerable.

The Community Catalysts project was funded from the Government’s Coronavirus Community Support Fund.

As part of the final stage of the project, people who have been shielding are sharing their stories.

Community Catalysts, in partnership with its coproduction group, is also running an online campaign, #ValuableAndVulnerable, to hopefully change perceptions and policies.

Community Catalysts

Survey: National Diabetes Audit specification

The National Diabetes Audit (NDA) programme measures the effectiveness of diabetes healthcare against clinical guidelines and quality standards in England and Wales.

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) is currently developing the specification for the new programme due to start in 2022.

A survey has been launched so charities and individuals affected by diabetes can feed into the specification.

The survey is open until 15 June and available by clicking on the link below.


The future role of remote consultations and patient triage

A report by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) says face-to-face consulting is an essential element of general practice.

It says remote consulting should be an option but not the ‘automatic default’ for GP care and services after the pandemic.

Decisions about how care is delivered and accessed should be a shared one between GP practice staff, based on their knowledge of their patient population, and patients, based on their individual needs.

The report distinguishes between remote consulting and patient triage and questions Government plans to embed 'total triage' into general practice.

It calls on the the Government to conduct a comprehensive review of total triage platforms and processes following their unprecedented use during the COVID-19 pandemic and develop a new set of UK-wide principles.


Webinar: Accessibility Insights

The next webinar in AbilityNet's Accessibility Insights series is with Larry Goldberg, senior director and head of accessibility at Verizon Media.

Topics include how technology can both enable and create barriers for disabled people and digital accessibility trends.

The free webinar takes place from 1pm on 8 June. Click on the link below to register.


Vaccine status drives more than 1.3 million new users to NHS App

More than 1.3 million new people have registered to use the NHS App since the addition of COVID-19 vaccine status was announced on 7 May.

The app, which now has more than 4.8 million registered users, is one of the first internationally-compliant systems in the world to demonstrate vaccine status. 

It can also be used for GP appointment booking, ordering repeat prescriptions and viewing medical records.

Over a four-day period after the introduction of the vaccine status tool, more than 11,000 people registered their preference for organ donation via the app – 10 times more than average for that time. 


Survey: Healthcare and the UK carbon footprint

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC), working from the Royal College of Anaesthetists, is collaborating with the James Lind Alliance to gather information on the link between healthcare and the UK's carbon footprint.

It is asking people to complete a survey on how to make operations greener. CPOC would particularly like to hear from:

  • Healthcare professionals involved in peri-operative care
  • Members of the public committed to making healthcare more environmentally friendly
  • Patients and carers with lived experience of the time before, during or after an operation

Click on the link below to complete the survey.

James Lind Alliance

Wellbeing across the four UK countries during the pandemic

Nuffield Trust's latest chart of the week looks at how the pandemic has affected wellbeing across the four countries of the UK.

The chart is based on data from the ONS Annual Population Survey. 

It shows how levels of anxiety, happiness and feelings of worthwhileness and life satisfaction compared across the four countries of the UK between April 2019 and March 2020, and April to September 2020.

The data also explores the relationship between life satisfaction, employment and community cohesion.

Nuffield Trust