Working with patients to reduce digital health inequalities

A new report on combatting digital health inequalities demonstrates the importance of working with digitally excluded patients.

Putting patients first: championing good practice in combatting digital health inequalities, is the second report by the Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health.  

PIF is a member of the coalition.

The report outlines different reasons for disparities in a person’s ability to access and use digital health technology and the severity of the UK’s digital inequalities.

It highlights four case studies demonstrating ways to combat digital health inequalities and improve access to, and use of, digital health technology for patients. 

The report recommends the Government and NHS should:

  • Engage with those digitally excluded
  • Ensure patients have a choice
  • Ensure the language is appropriate for all audiences
  • Learn from good practice

The coalition is chaired by PIF member the Patients Association.

PIF members of the coalition include Asthma + Lung UK, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK and Stroke Association.

Patients Association

Diverse voices on data 

Many black and South Asian people have low levels of trust in the NHS and are concerned about how their patient data will be protected, a new report says.

The report, published by Understanding Patient Data and ClearView Research, aims to understand the experiences, expectations and concerns of Black and South Asian people around patient data.

Key findings include:

  • People believe data can be used to improve health outcomes in their communities, but they do not see this happening in reality
  • Communities have negative experiences of the healthcare system and fear sharing their data will lead to racial discrimination and poorer health outcomes
  • The current ‘tick box’ options are inadequate
  • People want to be informed about how their data is influencing research, design and planning of healthcare services
  • They want the opportunity to shape plans themselves

In response, ClearView have called for resources and training for healthcare workers to support better conversations and research to find a more inclusive method to collect information on identity.

They also recommend using health data to improve representation in datasets and for research into conditions that disproportionately affect people from Black and South Asian backgrounds.

Understanding Patient Data

Improving inclusion in health and care research

A new report summarises key findings from a series of events addressing improving inclusion in health and care research.

Events were hosted by HSR UK, the Nuffield Trust, the King’s Fund, the Health Foundation and PPI representatives from the Health Foundation Inclusion Panel.

The report shares insights from expert speakers, learnings from running the series and next steps for each of the organisations.

Click on the link below for the full report and recordings of the webinar series.


Study: Consumers' evaluation of web-based health information quality

A new analysis aims to identify what informs consumers' evaluation of web-based health information and its consequences.

Review of 147 studies found system navigability, aesthetics and ease of understanding had the strongest relationships with web-based health information quality evaluations.

The strongest consequences were consumers’ intentions to use health information systems and satisfaction with health information.

Authors concluded consumers largely rely on peripheral cues and less on cues requiring more information processing. 

Web-based health information quality has stronger effects on cognitive appraisals and behavioural intentions than on behaviour. 


Women’s experience of migraine

PIF member The Migraine Trust has published the results of a survey aiming to find out more about how migraine affects women through the course of their lives.

More than 700 women responded, with many noting their migraines had worsened over time.

The impact on all aspects of women's lives was also highlighted:

  • 88% said migraine has impacted their social life
  • 86% said it has impacted their work life
  • 36% said they have felt discriminated against at work due to their migraine
  • 80% said it has impacted their general health
  • 76% said it has impacted their family life
  • 52% said it has impacted their relationships
  • 65% said it had affected their mental health

Results from the survey will be used to help improve migraine information and awareness.

The Migraine Trust

Study: Co-designing a patient support portal

A new study aims to understand how an online portal can address the supportive care needs of men with prostate cancer.

Authors sought the views of men with prostate cancer and healthcare professionals (HCPs) on enablers, barriers and use of a patient-reported outcome (PRO) comparator tool.

HCPs said information should be provided in lay terms to assist in treatment decision-making and side-effect management. 

Giving men the opportunity to share their stories with each other was identified as a key enabler.

Men identified information needs to assist in treatment decision-making and side-effect management as the top priority throughout care. 

Short consultation times and complex information were described as barriers. 

While including a PRO comparator tool received mixed support from healthcare professionals, all men supported its inclusion.

Wiley Online Library

Self Management Awards 2022 open for nominations

Nominations are now open for the ALLIANCE Self Management Awards 2022.

The awards recognise those making a difference in Self Management in Scotland.

There are seven categories this year including Self Management Resource of the Year and Digital Innovator Self Management Award.

Nominations close on 20 June.


Guidance on healthy ageing

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has published a new guide to healthy ageing.

The guide is part of All Our Health, a resource helping health and care professionals prevent ill health and promote wellbeing as part of their everyday practice.

It aims to help frontline staff use their relationships with patients, families and communities to promote the benefits of healthy ageing. 

The guide also recommends important actions managers and staff holding strategic roles can take.


NCEPOD review of health inequalities

A new report summarises a review of current NCEPOD data to identify themes relating to healthcare inequalities.

NCEPOD is the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death.

The review found four key areas of health inequalities:

  • Protected characteristics – age and disability
  • Socioeconomic deprivation
  • Organisation of healthcare services
  • Inclusion health groups

It outlines a series of key messages for both young people and adults.


Welsh schools' COVID-19 guidance aligned to businesses

Staff, pupils and visitors to Welsh schools no longer have to wear face coverings.

Guidance on infection control measures in schools was updated on 9 May by the Welsh Government.

The move was in line with the removal of remaining COVID-19 restrictions in Wales this week.

Welsh Government

Preventing and responding to falls during hospital stays

The National Audit of Inpatient Falls (NAIF) has published a new resource in collaboration with their patient and carer panel. 

How should your hospital prevent and respond to falls during your stay? aims to inform patients and carers what level of care they should receive when admitted to hospital and if they sustain a fall.

It also offers further information on how to get involved with patient and public improvement groups.

The resource is available via the Royal College of Physicians website.


Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards 2022

The Quality in Care (QiC) Diabetes Awards 2022 are now open for entries.

The awards recognise and share innovative practice demonstrating quality in diabetes management, education and services for people with diabetes and their families.

They are supported by PIF members Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF) and Diabetes UK.

Applications close on 1 July 2022.