Digital health: learning lessons to maintain momentum

A report by the Patient Coalition for AI, Data and Digital Tech in Health outlines what the Government and NHS can do to maintain momentum in digital health.

The report recommends the Government should:

  • Ensure digital policy reflects patient priorities
  • Involve patients in the policymaking process
  • Educate people about the value of digital health technology
  • Make digital health technology accessible to all
  • Ensure regulations for the collection, sharing and use of patient data are clear and consistently applied

Recommendations for the NHS include:

  • Examine the public experience of digital health technology during the pandemic
  • Ensure patients have a choice
  • Give patients more time and control over their health and care
  • Reassure patients that their data is safe
  • Continue to strengthen and publicise digital assurance

Patient Safety Learning Hub

Engaging men earlier: a guide to service design

Samaritans has published a set of principles upon which wellbeing initiatives for men should be based.

Engaging men earlier: a guide to service design is based on what men told the organisation mattered to them.

A series of co-design workshops explored activities and initiatives which might support men before they reached crisis point.

They found there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to appealing to and supporting men. Many of the men were not drawn to stereotypically ‘male’ activities.

However, they did gravitate towards hobby-based activities focused on meeting general wellbeing needs, rather than formal mental health or crisis services.

The workshops helped Samaritans to develop five key principles of what a good initiative should be aiming for. 


Call for Long COVID minister to respond to growing crisis

Patient Safety Learning and patient group Long Covid Support are calling for the creation of a dedicated minister for Long COVID.

Statistics indicate there are currently hundreds of thousands of people living with Long COVID in the UK, with at least one in 10 people still experiencing symptoms 12 weeks after initial infection.

While there has been some progress to put in place support, there remains a complex spectrum of issues that need to be addressed. 

These are summarised in a blog, published by Patient Safety Learning and Long Covid Support, calling for the UK Government to make urgent and significant improvements in their response to Long Covid.

Patient Safety Learning

Study: Knowledge sharing to support long‐term condition self‐management

A new research paper explores patient and healthcare professionals' perspectives on knowledge sharing to support long-term condition self-management.

Observations and semi-structured interviews found the social context in which healthcare is practised influences what knowledge is shared and how this is achieved. 

It favours sharing of clinical knowledge from healthcare professionals to patients and disadvantages patients in their ability to share their unique knowledge based on lived experience of illness. 

The opportunities for patients to be supported in their knowledge, skills and confidence within routine health‐care interactions are limited.

Wiley Online Library

Changing mindsets about side effects

This article discusses how providers can give information about potential side effects without increasing the likelihood of them occurring.

It describes an emerging approach – truthfully describing certain minor side effects as a sign the treatment is active and working in the body.

The article outlines existing research suggesting this approach can be helpful in improving experience and outcomes in treatments for pain, hypertension and allergy.

BMJ Open

British Sign Language videos on COVID-19 vaccination

Public Health England has published a series of British Sign Language (BSL) videos on COVID-19 vaccinations.

The videos, which can be found on YouTube are: 

COVID-19 vaccine information in community languages

NHS England has published a series of videos in multiple languages to help reassure communities about COVID-19 vaccinations.

The videos feature NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff.

They have been recorded in Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu and Yoruba – the most commonly spoken languages in London apart from English.

More videos in additional languages are in development. Click on the link below to view the script in English and the videos.

NHS England

How can Primary Care Networks succeed in reducing health inequalities?

A report by The Health Creation Alliance and the Royal College of General Practitioners explores how Primary Care Networks can succeed in reducing health inequalities.

It discusses how the 3Cs of Health Creation – Control, Contact and Confidence – can help improve people's health and wellbeing.

The report highlights the importance of relationship-building with communities.

The Health Creation Alliance

Guidance on suspected cancer recognition and referral

NICE has updated its guidance on the recognition and referral of children, young people and adults with symptoms that could be caused by cancer.

The guidelines, originally published in June 2015, were updated at the end of January.


Case study: MSD UK’s lung cancer campaign

In this article, David Long, business unit director of Oncology at MSD UK, discusses a campaign launched in the North East to raise awareness of lung cancer symptoms.

Do It Yourself was backed by patient associations, charities and cancer alliances including the Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance and the Northern Cancer Alliance.

David discusses how the campaign had to overcome the COVID-19 message of staying at home to protect the NHS and used traditional media to target an older demographic.


Vaccination record query helpdesk

A new COVID-19 vaccination information web resource and helpdesk is being set up for practice managers to support finding out answers to questions about records of vaccinations.

The information page includes details of how vaccinations are recorded, how to correct mistakes and help with vaccine payments.

NHS Digital

Telehealth in the COVID-19 era: A balancing act to avoid harm

This article discusses the possibilities and limitations of telehealth and offers some simple guidelines to help determine the appropriateness of a telehealth visit.

These include: visit type, patient characteristics and chief complaint or disease state characteristics.

Other considerations include the patient having English as a second language, access to a family member or carer who is technology savvy and multiple family members who can attend appointments.


Event: How to produce accessible videos

AbilityNet is hosting an online training event on producing accessible videos.

The event takes place from 1pm to 2.30pm on Thursday, 4 March.

Not-for-profit organisations receive a discount on their booking.