Major study outlines wide health inequalities

People living in the most deprived parts of England are diagnosed with serious illness earlier and die sooner than their peers in more affluent areas, according to new research by the Health Foundation.

Previous studies into the extent of health inequalities in England have largely relied on people’s self-reported health. 

This new analysis uses linked hospital and primary care data to examine socioeconomic, regional and ethnic variations in the prevalence of diagnosed long-term illnesses. 

These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. 

The analysis also uses the Cambridge Multimorbidity Score to assess the relative impact of different patterns of illness on people and their health care needs. 

Health Foundation

Digital healthcare across the UK

A new explainer from Nuffield Trust looks at the different approaches being taken to digital health across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It outlines the key digital health ambitions for each of the four countries and their influencing factors.

The article also examines what each country is doing to support digital transformation outside of healthcare.

Nuffield Trust

First National Obesity Audit publication released

The first publication to be released from the National Obesity Audit (NOA) is now available.

The NOA brings together data to drive improvement in quality of care available to those living with overweight and obesity in England.

The first release of information covers bariatric surgical procedures.

NHS Digital

Making transparency in health and social care research the norm

The NIHR is backing the Health Research Authority’s (HRA) Make it Public strategy.

The strategy is designed to deliver greater transparency in health and social care research, ensuring everyone taking part is fully informed.

Research by the NIHR found 1 in 10 volunteers want more information on the studies they take part in. The strategy focuses on three main areas to achieve this:

  • Registration: letting people know that a study has started
  • Reporting results: sharing publicly what the study has found
  • Informing people: letting those who took part know what the study has found

This aims to benefit not just patients but also research and care professionals by avoiding duplication and helping improve treatment development. 

Be Part of Research

Study: Digital health enabling partnerships in chronic care management

A new review assesses published studies on participatory health technologies supporting partnerships among patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals in chronic care.

The findings emphasise the importance of clarifying mutual expectations and carefully considering the implications of participatory technologies on the work of patients and healthcare professionals. 

Authors said a knowledge gap remains regarding the use of participatory health technologies to effectively support patient-professional partnerships in chronic care management.


Easy Read versions of free disability and technology factsheets now available

AbilityNet has released new Easy Read versions of some of its most popular factsheets.

The following factsheets are now available to download and share:

  • Communication Aids
  • Dyslexia and Technology
  • Keyboard and Mouse Alternatives
  • Vision Impairment/Sight loss and Computing

Easy Read can be useful for people with learning disabilities as well as those who: speak English as a second language, find it hard to read and write, have memory problems, or are in a hurry or stressed.


Study: COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women

A new systematic review aims to estimate vaccine acceptance levels among pregnant women and the factors influencing their decision.

Seventeen studies, including more than 25,000 pregnant women, were included in the study.

Researchers found only 49% had COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. 

High-income countries, participants with fewer than 12 years of education and women with more than one child had lower COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. 


New bereavement pathway for sudden loss of a child or young person

The Welsh Government has published the first in a series of dedicated pathways which will support people through a certain type of bereavement.

The first dedicated pathway will support those who have lost a child or young person suddenly or traumatically.

It is hoped the pathways will provide information and guidance to health boards and local authorities to ensure a consistent approach to bereaved families in Wales.

Welsh Government

NHS checks for bowel cancer hit record high

Record numbers of people have come forward for bowel cancer checks thanks to lifesaving awareness raising by Dame Deborah James.

Between May and July, referrals for suspected lower gastro-intestinal cancers reached record levels.

More than 170,500 people were referred for checks during that period – up more than 30,000 compared to the same period last year and nearly 80,000 higher than the same period two years ago.

NHS England

Obesity, deprivation and COVID-19

In this article published by The King's Fund, Jonathon Holmes says rowing back on the obesity strategy could be a costly error.

It says 2020/21 saw, for the first time on available record, an uptick in obesity rates in every deprivation decile. 

At the same time the gap in rates of obesity between least and most deprived widened.

Since the obesity strategy was published, the Government has paused or cancelled various policies.

This includes the £30 million local authority adult weight management services grant.

The decision was made despite evidence-based guidance from NICE highlighting how these services can provide effective support to help people change behaviours, improve their diet and gain a better understanding of nutrition.  

The King's Fund

Health and Social Care Workers Winter Vaccinations Campaign

Printed materials for the Health and Social Care Workers Winter Vaccinations Campaign are available to pre-order until 31 August.

This year's campaign communicates the importance of both the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster.

Digital versions of campaign assets will be available for download mid-September.

Click on the link below to order printed materials.

Public Health England

Events: Self Management Month

Booking is now open for ALLIANCE Self Management Month events.

This year, events will be hosted each Wednesday throughout September.

The programme includes film screenings, networking sessions, talks on self-directed support and first-hand accounts from people with lived experience of accessing services in Scotland.