Overcoming health inequalities in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods

A new report by the All-Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Left Behind Neighbourhoods explores how to tackle health inequalities.

Left behind neighbourhoods (LBNs) are defined by a lack of structures, organisations and activities that transform a place into somewhere people want to live and businesses want to trade. 

Key findings from the report include:

  • LBNs had a higher proportion of people who self reported their health to be ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ (9.1 per cent) than other deprived areas (8.1 per cent) and England as a whole (5.5 per cent).
  • LBNs had a higher prevalence of 15 of the most common 21 health conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity and chronic lung conditions.
  • All 225 LBNs have lower healthy life expectancy than the national average.
  • People living in LBNs are 46 per cent more likely to die of COVID-19 compared to the national average.

The report makes a series of recommendations for change.

It says the Government’s national ‘levelling up’ strategy must include a strand on reducing spatial health disparities and targeted health inequalities programmes should have a hyper-local focus.


Public health information for minority linguistic communities

An article in the January 2022 WHO Bulletin discusses public health information for minority linguistic communities.

Authors acknowledge the expense and time considerations which tend to limit communication campaigns to majority languages.

However, they say, for many minority or marginalised groups around the world, using the language of the majority may evoke histories of domination and exclusion.

This can have a negative influence on the perceived trustworthiness of the communicator. 

They argue, during circumstances like the current COVID-19 infodemic, communicating to linguistically diverse audiences is best achieved by using different groups’ native languages and communicative styles.


Five lessons for designing eHealth interventions for underserved groups

A new paper aims to draw lessons from a decade of experience designing user-centred eHealth interventions.

Authors say underserved groups do not benefit proportionately from the proliferation of eHealth interventions such as web portals for health information dissemination and health apps. 

This is largely because of usability issues and the lack of attention to the broader structural, physical, and psychosocial barriers to technology adoption and use.

They have created five key principles for researchers aiming to design eHealth interventions for underserved groups:

  • Develop a strategic road map to address communication inequalities
  • Engage multiple stakeholders throughout
  • Design with usability, both readability and navigability, in mind
  • Build privacy safeguards into eHealth interventions and communicate them clearly
  • Strive for an optimal balance between open science aspirations and protection of underserved groups


Update: Paying people who receive benefits

Following a small amendment to Universal Credit, the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has updated its briefing on paying people who receive state benefits.

The briefing looks at how people and carers who receive state benefits can get involved in paid co-production, involvement and participation in health and social care.

It is suitable for local authorities, charities and organisations supporting people.


New guides to video consultations

NHS England has published new illustrated guides to video consultations for patients, staff and trusts.

Translated versions of the patient guide are available in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Italian, Polish, Punjabi, Romanian and Urdu.

NHS England

COVID-19 frequently asked questions within neonatal services

The British Association of Perinatal Medicine (BAPM) has updated the document Covid-19 Pandemic Frequently Asked Questions within Neonatal Services.

Key changes to the document include:

  • Amendments to rules for self isolation
  • Illness in the neonate
  • Infant vaccine guidance
  • Staffing issues


Event: Valuing lived experience

National Voices is hosting a free webinar discussing how we can facilitate the co-existence of lived and learned experience.

Valuing Lived Experience – Learning with National Voices takes place from 10.30am to noon on 9 February.

The event will launch the Voices for Improvement project, offering lived experience partners the opportunity to provide coaching and mentoring to those in senior positions in health and care.

National Voices

Cystic fibrosis treatment licence extended

An extension to the licence for Kaftrio means hundreds of children with cystic fibrosis are newly eligible for the treatment.

NHS England says nine out of 10 patients with cystic fibrosis – more than 7,000 people in England – can benefit from the ‘triple therapy’, which tackles the underlying causes of the disease as well as symptoms.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has now confirmed an extension to the licence for Kaftrio.

This means more than 1,300 children in England with cystic fibrosis, aged six to 11, are now eligible for treatment.

NHS England

Seeking participants for study on Long Covid and diet

The ReDIRECT research team at the University of Glasgow is running a study focusing on the impact of weight management on the symptoms of Long Covid.

The National Institute for Health Research-funded study will test if a well-established weight management program, delivered and supported entirely remotely, can improve symptoms for people with Long Covid who are overweight or have obesity.

The team is keen to ensure the study reaches wide audiences and is looking to recruit eligible patients aged 18 and over with Long Covid who have a BMI  of over 27kg/m2.


Campaign to promote mental health services

NHS England is launching a campaign to promote NHS mental health services.

The campaign will encourage anyone experiencing feelings such as anxiety or depression to seek help through talking therapies.

While it will promote self-referral through nhs.uk/help, the campaign also includes information on referral to talking therapies through GP practices.

NHS England

Event: ALLIANCE Digital Gathering 2022

The ALLIANCE is hosting a free week-long event – People at the Centre: ALLIANCE Digital Gathering.

The online event, which puts people with lived experience at its heart, takes place from Monday, 21 February to Friday, 25 February.

It is a chance to build connections, discuss issues in health and social care and celebrate Scotland's Year of Stories.