Leveraging intergenerational relations to increase routine vaccination uptake

A new report explores how to use social media to engage younger people to change their older family members’ perceptions of routine immunisation, either through social media or offline.

Generation Vax focuses on marginalised older adults living in deprived areas, where uptake is persistently low. 

Researchers found targeting older users directly on social media gave better trackable results than targeting younger audiences. 

Social media campaigns appear to be able to effectively engage marginalised older adults with vaccination and increase uptake.

The findings also suggest younger generations were, by some measures, more engaged with the campaign than older adults and may have generated impact offline. 

Authors concluded, as younger generations are cheaper to reach on social media, there is scope for future research. 


Trust as a key determinant of health

A 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer special report says trust is a key determinant of health, central to both individual and public healthcare decisions.

Edelman completed a survey of 10,000 people in 10 countries in February this year. Of those 50% consume health information regularly.

Key issues included less trust in the healthcare system following the pandemic, inequitable access to quality information and medical science being politicised.

Recommendations to improve trust and rebuild confidence include:

  • Breaking through the information barrier – use local voices and elevate and amplify expert voices
  • Building trust across the full health ecosystem – when trust in government lags, other institutions must play a larger role
  • Embracing the employer role in health outcomes
  • Prepare for the next public health crisis – health organisations must take action to address disparities in health outcomes


Patients use of online and digital tools at GP practices 

A new report by the Health Foundation examines how GP practice patients use online and digital tools.

Researchers examined 7,558,820 patient-initiated requests for primary care made using the askmyGP online consultation system between 1 March 2019 and 30 September 2021.

They found, even before the pandemic, the largest proportion of requests were initiated online.

However, how a patient chose to contact the practice varied according to their characteristics, clinical needs and how they wanted their care delivered.

For example, patients asking about new medical problems were twice as likely to contact the practice online compared to those asking about an existing medical problem.

The proportion of requests indicating a preference for a face-to-face consultation was 10% at the end of the study period in September 2021. 

Telephone consultation was the most popular patient preference.

Health Foundation

Data to help researchers understand COVID-19 impact on cancer

Cancer data from NHS Digital is now available in a secure environment to enable researchers to understand the impact of COVID-19 on people affected by cancer.

DATA-CAN has worked with NHS Digital to provide access to cancer specific data, curated by NHS Digital’s National Disease Registration Service, alongside national population health datasets in the NHS Digital Trusted Research Environment (TRE).

TREs are secure spaces where authorised researchers can access the data they need for approved projects. 

The de-identified data is analysed in a secure environment without being downloaded, to provide safe and secure data for analysis and research.

NHS Digital

Leveraging the experiences of people with Long Covid to generate better research

In this ALLIANCE article, Nick Sculthorpe from the University of the West of Scotland shares how coproduction with people with Long Covid helped shape a pacing study.

When pacing, individuals aim to manage their energy demands by matching what they do with their available energy.

The study aimed to use activity trackers to reduce the overhead required to pace well.

Nick says lived experience informed everything – from the big themes such as initially identifying the difficulties with pacing through to how the app displays activity information.


Video: Cancer in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities

PIF member Macmillan has launched two new videos to help tackle health inequalities in Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

In the videos, people in the communities talk about living with cancer and the barriers they faced.

The first is a patient-facing video

The second video for professionals includes tips on supporting these communities.

Will people be left behind by the digital health revolution?

In this pharmaphorum article, Ben Hargreaves asks what gaps there are in the types of people using digital health solutions and what can be done to address this.

He says digital health literacy is at the centre of this issue and it is vital everyone, both patients and providers, have the skills to benefit from the digital health revolution.


Study: Why do GPs rarely do video consultations?

A new study aims to explain why fewer than one per cent of UK GP consultations occur by video.

It found, despite a strong policy push, short-term removal of regulatory and financial barriers and advances in functionality, dependability and usability, video consultations were either never adopted or soon abandoned.

The relative advantage of video was perceived as minimal since many presenting problems could be sorted adequately and safely by telephone and in-person assessment was considered necessary for the remainder. 

Howver, video sometimes added value for out-of-hours and nursing home consultations and statutory functions.

Authors concluded efforts to introduce video consultations should focus on situations where they have a clear relative advantage.

British Journal of General Practice

Government responds to Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities

The Government has published its Inclusive Britain strategy, setting out 70 actions to tackle racial disparities.

Recommendations include publishing a new White Paper on tackling health disparities and setting out plans for boosting literacy and numeracy standards.

The report also outlines plans to develop regulatory standards and guidance to address potential racial bias in AI.

Click on the link below to read the full report and supporting documents.


NICE consultation on new indicators

PIF member NICE is consulting on new indicators for epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

The consultation is open until 21 April. Click here for more information and to register as a stakeholder.

NICE is also looking for feedback on whether to amend existing blood pressure indicators to reflect tighter targets when using home or ambulatory blood pressure monitoring.

This month, NICE has also published new guidance on integrated health and social care for people experiencing homelessness.

Click here to read the new guidance.

New board game for people with dementia

A new life-storytelling board game has been released to help boost the self-confidence and wellbeing of people with dementia as they adjust to their diagnosis.

All About Us was developed by researchers from MindTech and the Institute of Mental Health, professional care and design experts and people living with dementia.

It uses questions as conversation starters to enable players to reminisce about their childhood, think about their hopes for the future and what is important to them in their lives. 

The game was launched in collaboration with dementia wellbeing specialists Relish and researchers from the multinational MinD – Designing for People with Dementia project.