Digital inclusion guidance updated

NHS England has published updated guidance on making digital health services more accessible for everyone.

This follows scoping work highlighting major barriers to digital services, including a House of Lords report which we covered in June

The new guidance, which includes case studies of digital inclusion in action and further resources, focuses on 5 areas for action:

  • Access to devices and data
  • Co-design of digital content and products for better outcomes
  • Upgrading people’s digital skills
  • Building trust in the use of digital health services
  • Leaders creating partnerships that co-ordinate improvements and help reduce health inequalities.

Read the guidance on the NHS England website here.

British black people experience 'substandard' healthcare

A survey of more than 10,000 black Britons has found 9 in 10 believe they experience substandard healthcare because of their race.

The survey was conducted by The Voice media outlet and Cambridge University as part of a 3-year Black British Voices Project (BBVP).

It covered many aspects of life for black Britons. Other key healthcare findings include:

  • Less than 1 in 10 feel black people receive fair treatment from healthcare professionals
  • 7 in 10 say they or a family member suffer from mental health problems
  • Almost 9 in 10 say black families do not discuss mental health enough

The authors concluded much more needs to be done to overcome racial discrimination and complacency is a major obstacle to change.

Find out more and download the survey report from the BBVP website here.

Accessible pregnancy app launched for South Asian women

A new app aims to provide accessible pregnancy and post-natal health information for South Asian women.

Development of the JanamApp was led by Professor Angie Doshani, a consultant obstetrician from PIF member University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust.

The app gives culturally sensitive information in English, Urdu, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali.

It is hoped it will help improve perinatal health and maternity outcomes, and reduce health inequalities.

Find out more from the JanamApp website here.

‘Slow shift’ in attitudes to miscarriage 

A survey by PIF member Tommy’s shows attitudes to miscarriage in the UK are starting to change.

Around 6 in 10 people said they thought attitudes towards, and awareness of, miscarriage had changed in recent years.

The survey, which repeated questions from 2015, also showed increased openness about miscarriage in the workplace.

But the charity says much more needs to be done to support people in need.

Almost 8 in 10 people still feel like a failure after a miscarriage – the same amount as 2015. In addition:

  • 7 in 10 people feel guilty
  • 6 in 10 find it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to talk about their miscarriage
  • 3 in 10 cannot talk to their partner for support

Most people also received harmful responses when they did share their experiences. 

More than 7 in 10 heard “it wasn’t meant to be” in the latest survey compared with more than 8 in 10 in 2015.

Find out more on the Tommy’s website here.

Public health directors urge new perspectives on ageing

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) has published a healthy ageing policy.

It says a whole system approach is needed to support older adults to remain independent and healthy.

This includes a renewed focus on prevention to support people to age healthily and to delay or prevent the onset of long-term conditions.  

The ADPH says public health should promote the importance of ageing well and highlight the contribution and skills of older people.  

Read the statement in full via the ADPH website here.

Infographic gives the latest facts on Muslim mental health inequalities

A factsheet brings together the latest evidence on Muslim mental health in the UK.

It highlights that Muslims are more likely to be exposed to a range of social and economic risk factors and determinants for poor mental health.

When seeking support, Muslims can face stigma, discrimination, and a lack of faith-sensitive services.

The factsheet was produced by the Woolf Institute and the Centre for Mental Health.

Download the factsheet from the Woolf Institute website here.

Online discussion forum launches for youth information and advice services

Charity Youth Access has started an online forum for youth advice and counselling professionals.

The aim is to aid discussion, networking and sharing of best practice.

Youth Access is a national membership organisation for youth information, advice and counselling services.

Visit the new forum on the Youth Access website here.

New Urdu self-care factsheets on common health topics

PIF member the Self Care Forum has published 10 factsheets with self-care information in Urdu.

Topics covered include winter illness, menopause and sore throat.

Download the factsheets from the Self-Care Forum website here.

Government seeks views on youth vaping

The government has launched a public consultation on youth vaping.

Proposed measures include restricting child-friendly flavours and brightly coloured packaging.

Anyone can take part in the consultation which closes on 6 December.

Find out more about how to take part on the GOV.UK website here.

Bowel screening age lowered in Wales

People aged 51–54 who are registered with a GP in Wales are now being offered self-screening for bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is one of the most common cancers in Wales. 

In 2022, Wales started to include people aged 55–57 in the self-screening programme. 

The government plans to lower the age to 50 in 2024.

Find out more on the Welsh government website here.

Winter healthcare awareness campaign

The Scottish Government has launched a campaign to make sure people know the best place to go for healthcare this winter.

Right Care Right Place has been rolled out earlier than in previous years to help people know which health setting is best for their medical needs.

It is hoped the campaign will alleviate pressures on the NHS and social care.

Find out more via the Scottish Government website here.