Digital health tools for noncommunicable diseases – perspectives of patients and caregivers

A new report discusses the use of digital health tools for managing noncommunicable diseases during and after the COVID-19 pandemic from a patient and caregiver perspective.

It outlines the views of an advisory board of patient and caregiver association members.

Key themes to emerge include:

  • Developers should understand patient goals may differ from those of healthcare professionals and other stakeholders
  • Patients, healthcare professionals, caregivers and other end users need to be involved as early as possible in development
  • Digital health tools should be better tailored to people with complex conditions such as multimorbidity
  • Some patients do not want or are unable to use digital tools so adequate alternatives should be available


COVID-19 vaccination: guide for older adults

Public Health England has updated its guides on COVID-19 vaccination for older adults.

The guide is available in a large-print version in English as well as translated versions in 17 languages.

Accessible editions are available on request.


Overcoming vaccine hesitancy in our diverse communities

In this blog, Clenton Farquharson MBE discusses his own experiences of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy within his family and examines the reasons behind it in Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

He outlines two main issues – misinformation and genuine concern about vaccine safety and whether it is being deployed in Black, Asian and minority ethnic interests.

Clenton says leaders must listen to communities and calls for more openness in discussions around inequality, intersectionality and communication.

The blog also contains a short video showing how quick and straightforward the vaccine is.


Event: How Can We Dismantle Health Inequity Together?

National Voices is holding a free four-day conference throughout March on realising the power of the voluntary sector to dismantle health inequity.

PIF will be taking part in day three of the conference which focuses on Bridging the digital divide: partnering up to combat digital exclusion.

A full list of themes and dates is available by clicking on the link below.

National Voices

Mistrust in medical research: a patient perspective

This article by PIF member Trishna Bharadia reveals what the life sciences industry can do to rebuild trust in medical research.

She says the recent development of several COVID-19 vaccines has placed medical research firmly in the spotlight, highlighting public confusion and misinformation about clinical trials.

Fishawack Health

Study: Patient and public priorities for breast cancer research highlight importance of information

A new study aims to determine the breast cancer research priorities of the public compared with those identified by clinicians and scientists.

Participants consistently focused on improved methods of dissemination of information and improving education on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. 

This was not highlighted by scientists or healthcare professionals. 

There was also strong emphasis on quality of life-related issues such as side effects of treatment.

The study identified some research themes that were not identified by scientists and healthcare professionals in two earlier landmark studies. 

Authors say this highlights the importance of including patients and public representatives when setting research priorities. 

BMJ Open

Principles for COVID-19 vaccination in musculoskeletal and rheumatology

New guidance hopes to provide consistent advice to rheumatology patients or those with musculoskeletal conditions on COVID-19 vaccinations.

The document is a joint project by ARMA, the British Orthopaedic Association, British Society for Rheumatology and RAIRDA.

It was produced in response to patients raising questions about the suitability and timing of vaccinations.

The guidance aims to help answer questions about common concerns such as timing of steroid injections, rituximab treatment and surgery.

Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance

New COVID-19 rapid evidence summaries

NICE has published rapid evidence summaries on two interleukin-6inhibitors, sarilumab and tocilizumab, in the treatment of adults with COVID-19.

Preliminary evidence suggests sarilumab and tocilizumab are beneficial in adults with severe COVID‑19 who are critically ill and receiving respiratory or cardiovascular organ support in an intensive care setting. 

In adults with less severe COVID‑19 who are not receiving ventilation, evidence is mixed. 

View all NICE COVID-19 guidance by clicking on the link below.


Guidance update: COVID-19 mental health, learning disabilities and autism

NHS England has updated its guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on the use of the Mental Health Act.

The guidance, initially published in March 2020, was updated on 26 January, 2021.

NHS England

Skills for Health Information Hub launches

Skills for Health has developed a new information hub in response to feedback from the sector in 2020.

The mobile-optimised Skills for Health Information Hub provides freely available clinical resources, standards and frameworks, as well as more information on available products and services.

Skills for Health

Event: People at the Centre – ALLIANCE Digital Gathering

PIF member ALLIANCE is hosting a week-long digital event for health and social care from 22-26 February.

Contributions include high profile keynote speakers, interactive workshops, podcasts and film screenings.

Themes include community resilience and digital inclusion. Click on the link below for more information and to book.


Event: Measuring, Understanding and Acting on Patient Experience Insight 

HC-UK Conferences is holding an online event focusing on measuring, understanding and acting on patient experience insight,

PIF members are being offered a 10% discount for the event which takes place on Tuesday, 16 March.

Sessions will include learning from patients, improving patient experience, practical sessions, using the NHS Improvement National Patient Experience Improvement Framework and demonstrating insight and responsiveness in real time.

Click on the link below to book and enter the code hcuk10pif to claim your discount.

Healthcare Conferences UK