Public health warning over lack of healthcare professional input when choosing health apps

Nearly half of UK adults have used a health app. Half of those choose their apps without any input from healthcare professionals.

ORCHA flags the latter fact as a public health warning in its annual survey report.

The 2023 online survey asked 2,000 UK adults about their attitudes to digital health.

Digital health in the UK today: Annual national attitudes and behaviour research 2023 includes information about:

  • Patient attitudes towards digital health
  • How digital health usage is changing
  • If people are finding digital health helpful
  • Which regions are most active in terms of digital health
  • How the NHS influences the public's digital health choices.

Fill out the form via the ORCHA website to get your copy of the report.

Impact of COVID-19 on care for children and young people still growing

A report by Nuffield Trust says the NHS is falling behind with its delivery plan for recovery of children and young people’s services following COVID-19.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Hospital waiting lists for planned paediatric care are continuing to grow
  • Nearly 1 in 20 children (4.5%) are waiting longer than a year or care, even for serious conditions
  • The crisis in children and young people’s mental health care is deepening.

The report says problems in children and young people’s services can be caused by failure to check whether overall delivery plans will work for this group.

Find out more on the Nuffield Trust website here.

Easy Read digital factsheets published

AbilityNet has produced 8 new Easy Read versions of some of its most popular disability and technology factsheets.

It has also updated some of its existing Easy Read factsheets. Topics include:

  • How to make documents accessible
  • Communication aids
  • Autism and computers.

Download the factsheets from AbilityNet here.

Study: Performance-based e-health literacy tools better than self-assessment

A study has found performance-based tools are better than self-assessment at gauging people’s genuine levels of digital health literacy.

Performance-Based Measurement of eHealth Literacy: Systematic Scoping Review looked at 313 different studies. 

It concluded the most effective e-health literacy tools were performance-based and included:

  • Participants answering health-related questions using the internet
  • Participants taking part in simulated web-based, health-related tasks.

It also noted most assessments failed to take social media into account.

Read the full study via the JMIR website here.

Answers to 3 big questions will help solve health inequalities

The King’s Fund has identified 3 big questions health and care leaders should be asking about inequalities in England’s elective care backlog:

  • How are we measuring inequalities and why?
  • Do we know why inequalities exist?
  • How will we know if things are improving?

The questions are included in a new report, which forms part of a larger project exploring how NHS providers and integrated care systems are implementing inclusive recovery.

The report says, in 2022, people in the most deprived areas were twice as likely to be waiting more than a year for elective care compared to people in the least deprived areas.

Read the King’s Fund report here.

NHS-led survey aims to improve health and digital literacy skills in libraries

Library professionals are being asked to take part in a survey aiming to improve online health information access in libraries.

The survey comes from The National Health and Digital Literacy Partnership. 

This group is led by the national NHS Knowledge and Library Services Team in collaboration with The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP).

The partners are working to increase health literacy awareness and the spread of skills in libraries. 

Take part in the survey run by CILIP here.

Men’s Health Week offers tools to limit internet damage

The Men’s Health Forum has new healthy living tools and manuals on offer for Men’s Health Week from 12-18 June.

This year’s theme is Men’s Health and the Internet. New support manuals include:

  • The CAN DO Manual, challenging men to take a screen break
  • Wanna Bet: gambling and men's health
  • Porn Free: pornography and men's health.

Visit the Men’s Health Forum website to download the manuals.

Communicating with people from other languages and cultures

A new blog discusses how to communicate with people from other languages and cultures.

The blog by health literacy expert Helen Osborne includes top tips on areas including working with translators, identifying decision makers and finding additional ways to communicate messages.

Read the blog in full via the Health Literacy website here.

NHS launches Healthy Steps campaign for families

Parents and carers are invited to sign up to a new programme to help families move to a healthier lifestyle.

To join the Healthy Steps campaign, families with children aged 5 to 11 years complete a quiz about current eating and physical activity habits.

They then receive weekly emails on 1 of 3 themes, depending on their quiz answers.

The emails include tips, games, goals and challenges, and budget-friendly recipes.

The campaign also has resources for primary schools and free e-learning for healthcare professionals.

Read more about the campaign on the Better Health website here.

New health support scheme launches in Wales to keep people in work

Third sector organisations are among those eligible for a new In-Work Support Service across Wales.

The service will also provide free therapeutic support for employees of small and medium-sized organisations and the self-employed.

Rolled out over the next two years, the service aims to help people remain in or return to work who are absent, or at risk of becoming absent, with mental or physical ill-health.

Read more details via the Welsh Government website here.

Event: Human rights approach can help build fairer services

A free event explores how services designed based on human rights can deliver better outcomes for marginalised communities. 

The half-day online event Building Fairer Communities: Designing Inclusive Systems and Services is on 15 June.

It is run by The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

Book your place via the ALLIANCE website here.