The Harding Prize for Trustworthy Communication 

A new award for public communication of information has been launched.

The Harding Prize for Trustworthy Communication is run by the Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication, in association with the Science Media Centre and Sense about Science.

While the range of eligible subjects, audiences and media, is wide the communication should help someone make a decision or judge a decision made by others.

This could be a significant decision in daily life, for example about a medical treatment, policymakers making a decision on behalf of others, or assessing the basis for a decision, for example, vaccination prioritisation.

Communications judged to be 'good' will be:

  • Trustworthy
  • Serve the interests of the audience
  • Present evidence in a clear and balanced way
  • Appropriate for the audience
  • Be clear in what they are trying to achieve

The closing date for entries is 31 December 2021. Communications must have been developed in the 12 months prior to the closing date.

The Harding Prize

Study: Factors influencing willingness to share health misinformation videos

A new study aims to assess people’s willingness to share a non-evidence-based YouTube video about strengthening the immune system.

Authors also examined the types of evidence people viewed as supporting claims made in the video and their information competencies.

Participants were asked to watch a YouTube video and report whether they would share it with a cousin who was frequently sick.

Most said they would share the video with their cousins. 

Their confidence would be further boosted by a friend’s recommendations, positive reviews on a crowdsourcing website and statements of uncited effectiveness studies on the producer’s website.

Information literacy and science literacy are associated with less vulnerability to misinformation and a lower propensity to spread it. 


Improvement in children and young people's experience of hospital care

A national survey by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) shows some improvement in children and young people’s experience of hospital care, despite the pressures of the pandemic.

The 2020 Children and Young People’s NHS Patient Experience Survey reveals the experience of children and young people in hospital In November and December 2020 and January 2021. Key results include:

  • 88% of children and young people said staff had talked to them about how they would be cared for
  • Of those who had an operation or procedure while in hospital, 93% said they received an explanation beforehand about what would happen
  • 93% of parents and carers said staff agreed a plan for their child’s care with them
  • 86% said they were given information about their child’s care in a way they could understand

While overall experiences were positive, areas for improvement were also identified:

  • 46% of children and young people said they were involved ‘a lot’ in decisions about their care and treatment
  • 39% said they were involved ‘a little’ and 14% said they were not involved at all
  • Just over one in three children said they did not understand what hospital staff said when they spoke to them


RCOA added to Healthinote

PIF TICK member the Royal College of Anaesthetists has become the first medical society to become a trusted content partner of Healthinote.

Healthinote was created by Cognitant to enable health information prescriptions.

It is integrated with eConsult’s patient messaging tool.

RCOA resources will be used to help GPs support patients in their perioperative journey.


New COVID-19 campaign features unvaccinated mothers

Unvaccinated women who had COVID-19 during their pregnancies have told their stories as part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.

The video features three women who experienced serious complications after contracting COVID-19 before they were vaccinated.

It also features the doctors and frontline staff who treated them.

Professor Asma Khalil from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) is interviewed as part of the film discussing the importance of the vaccine.


Publication of clinical guide and patient leaflet for opioid prescribing for chronic pain

New guidance on opioids, developed in partnership with people with lived experience, has been published by the Scottish Government.

Produced in collaboration with colleagues from NHS Scotland, academia and people with lived experience, the clinical guide focuses on delivery of safe person centred care.

A patient leaflet to complement the full guide was produced in collaboration with the ALLIANCE and co-produced with people with experience of chronic pain.


Making the case for clear language in diagnosis information

In this article for PIF member Healthcare Communication Matters, Anneliese Levy outlines what healthcare professionals and patients can learn from her experience helping her father through his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Anneliese, who is also a PIF member, has worked in health communications for 15 years focusing on health literacy and men’s experiences and unmet needs with advanced prostate cancer.  

However, when she had to support her dad she gained first-hand experience.

Anneliese shares the issues they encountered – being unable to open letters sent via text message, complex language and miscommunication – and outlines her suggestions for how things could be improved.

Healthcare Communication Matters

NICE publishes new guidance on tobacco

NICE has published a new guideline covering support to stop smoking for everyone aged 12 and over.

The guideline also covers help to reduce people's harm from smoking and ways to prevent children, young people and young adults from taking up smoking. 

It brings together and updates all NICE's previous guidelines on using tobacco, including smokeless tobacco. 

It covers nicotine replacement therapy and e-cigarettes to help people stop smoking or reduce their harm from smoking. 


Exploring health inequalities

In this Be Part of Research blog, senior investigator for the NIHR School for Public Health Research and Public Health Professor Clare Bambra discusses health inequalities. 

She outlines the factors influencing health inequality, how to tackle health inequality conversations and what is happening across the NIHR to address inequalities in health research. 

Be Part of Research

Network chairs write open letter on NHS IT organisation changes

The chairs of the Digital Health Networks have written an open letter to Amanda Pritchard and Dr Timothy Ferris urging them not to lose digital momentum.

The letter was sent following the announcement that NHS Digital and NHSX is to merge with NHS England and Improvement.

It has been published by Digital Health and can be downloaded via the link below.

Digital Health

covid:aid launches COVID-19 bereavement support tool

Visitors to the covid:aid site can now access a new grief support tool.

GriefChat allows users to chat online directly to a specially trained bereavement counsellor.

The service is available online Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, or by email out of these hours.