How is elective care coping during COVID-19?

The Health Foundation has published an analysis of the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 on elective care in England.

Data on clinical pathways shows four million fewer people completed elective treatment in 2020 compared with 2019.

Other key findings include:

  • The rapid expansion of remote consultations helped limit the disruption caused by the pandemic.
  • Patients who need to be admitted to hospital for treatment are tending to wait longer than those who can be diagnosed and treated remotely.
  • Access to elective treatment fell further in the most deprived areas of England during 2020 than in less deprived areas.
  • 2020 saw six million fewer people referred into consultant-led elective care than 2019.

The Health Foundation

Government responds to report on coronavirus and disability

The Government has published its response to the Women and Equalities Committee's report Unequal impact? Coronavirus, disability and access to services.

The original report included recommendations on access to food, working with user-led groups to fully reintroduce annual health checks for people with disabilities and the distribution of clear face masks to NHS Trusts.

It also said addressing perceived weaknesses in the Government’s consultation and engagement with disabled people must form a key strand of the proposed National Strategy for Disabled People.

The Government's response includes the work of The Disability Unit to undertake engagement with people with disabilities.

House of Commons

Cancer and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

B'Me has launched a new report about the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of the Black Caribbean and Black African population.

Cancer and Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Black African and Black Caribbean Cancer Patients and Carers was commissioned by B'Me to further understand the experiences of black cancer patients and carers during lockdown.

It found 56% of survey respondents did not feel they received the right information and support during lockdown.

Of those who felt this way, key issues included contact only being made when appointments were cancelled and a lack of targeted information.


Do symbols speak louder than words?

In this article, Dr Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Better Ageing, writes about the human connection to symbols and how its age-positive icon library is being used to change the conversation around the depiction of later life.

She says symbols are a powerful way to present information quickly and simply however they risk stereotyping groups of people if they are too reductive.

In February, the Centre for Better Ageing released a suite of icons, freely available for public use, as alternatives to symbols commonly used to represent ageing and older people.

Centre for Better Ageing

Enter the 2021 Tech4Good Awards

The 2021 Tech4Good Awards are now open for entries.

The annual awards, organised by AbilityNet, aim to highlight digital pioneers using technology to improve people's lives.

Entry is open to any business, charity, group, individual or public body.

The awards are free to enter and applications must be submitted before 5 May.

Tech4Good Awards

NHS Facebook campaign aims to help men prevent Type 2 diabetes

NHS England is using Facebook to reach millions of men aged 40 and over who are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

The Facebook adverts will highlight the increased risk among white men of this age and encourage them to sign up for support from the Healthier You NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.

A series of sponsored Facebook ads will be posted over the next three weeks which will let users click through to a quiz by PIF member Diabetes UK.

If their score is moderate or high they can refer themselves to a local service for support remotely or online, without having to go through a healthcare professional.

NHS England

New advice on COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

Issuing the change in advice, the JCVI said there have been no specific safety concerns identified with any brand of coronavirus vaccines in relation to pregnancy.  

Real-world data from the United States shows around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with mRNA vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, without any safety concerns being raised.


New COVID-19 health equity infographic available

The Health Equity Initiative has published the latest infographic in its COVID-19 is a Health Equity Issue series.

The latest infographic covers digital redlining, the digital divide and vaccine distribution based on US data.

All infographics in the series are free to use and available to download from the Health Equity Initiative website.

Health Equity Initiative

Event: IBD UK Virtual Report Launch

IBD UK is hosting a webinar to launch Crohn’s and Colitis Care in the UK: The Hidden Cost and a Vision for Change.

The webinar is an opportunity to learn about the state of care for the estimated half a million people living with Crohn’s and colitis across the UK.

It takes place from 6pm on 27 April. 

IBD UK is a partnership of 17 professional bodies, royal colleges and patient organisations working together for everyone affected by inflammatory bowel disease.

Click on the link below to register.


Update: Mental health and wellbeing surveillance report

Public Health England has published an update to its COVID-19: mental health and wellbeing surveillance report.

The report is about population mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic.

It includes up-to-date information to help shape policy, plan and commission services.

Public Health England

Event: NHS Confed Virtual Conference

Registration is open for the NHS Confed Virtual Conference 2021.

The event takes place from 15-17 June and will focus on the impacts of the pandemic , key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

As well as booking to attend, there are also opportunities for partnerships and exhibitors.

NHS Confed