Call for 4 nations health inequalities strategy

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) has said governments in all 4 nations of the UK should introduce a dedicated health inequalities strategy. 

A position statement was released in response to the widening gap between healthcare access and outcomes in the best and the worst-off areas.

Other recommendations include:

  • Health equality to become part of every policy
  • More funding for local authorities to decrease health inequalities
  • Policies that help to improve the social determinants of health, for example, in housing, education, employment and the environment
  • Policies acting on harmful products such as smoking, alcohol and unhealthy foods

The full statement is on the ADPH website here.

Health and Digital Literacy Partnership connects librarians with NHS

Librarians and the NHS have been working together to test different approaches to improving health and digital literacy.

The Health and Digital Literacy Partnership is a collaboration between CILIP, the NHS Knowledge and Library Services team, Libraries Connected and Arts Council England.       

Two cohorts of pilot projects launched in April 2022 and October 2022. They have included:

  • Co-designing health and digital literacy actions with 16 to 25 year olds
  • Extending the role of digital health hubs in libraries
  • Adult education to increase adult health and digital literacy in deprived areas
  • Integrating health and digital literacy into social prescribing

Read more about all the pilot projects on the CILIP website here.

Co-production guidance highlights regional case studies

New guidance from Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) explores diverse approaches to co-production.

Two Co-Production Journeys focuses on projects in the East of England and the West Midlands.

It includes real-life experiences and practical recommendations in a bid to inspire users to develop their own approaches.

The guide is complemented by 2 podcasts.

Access the resources on the TLAP website here.

Low prostate cancer knowledge among black men

Less than half of black men know prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men according to a survey by PIF member Prostate Cancer UK.

The aim of the survey was to find out what black men know and where there are information gaps.

More than half of men did not know where their prostate was.

Almost two thirds believed they would be invited for a test by their GP despite there being no screening for prostate cancer in the UK.

1 in 4 men black men get prostate cancer – double the risk of other men.

Prostate Cancer UK is working with Dope Black Dads to help separate fact from fiction when it comes to prostate cancer.

Find out more on their partnership page here.

ORCHA launches safe health apps campaign

The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) has launched a SAFE APPS campaign.

The campaign is based on four key questions:

  • Secure – How secure is this app and does it have a clear privacy policy?
  • Ask – Have you asked a healthcare professional about your app choices?
  • Find – Where did you find this app? Was it on an NHS or charity-approved app library? Was it on your organisation’s app library?
  • Evidence – Does your app demonstrate clear evidence that it was developed by someone with medical expertise?

More information on the campaign is available on the ORCHA website here.

Study: Exploring cultural competence in community pharmacy settings

A new study explores community pharmacy team attitudes to cultural competence and identifies possible approaches for training.

Authors say community pharmacies are often the first way diverse populations access healthcare services.

Yet limited research exists exploring the perceptions of culturally competent care within the profession.

Three themes emerged from interviews with community pharmacy staff:

  • Defining and appreciating cultural competency within pharmacy services
  • Identifying pharmacies as ‘cultural hubs’ for members of the diverse, local community
  • Delivering cultural competence training for the pharmacy profession

Authors concluded collaborative co-design between patients and pharmacy staff could improve culturally competent pharmacy services.

Read the full study via the Wiley Online Library website here. 

Families must be ‘valued as partners’ in patient care 

An article published by the BMJ argues families must be recognised as valuable partners in healthcare.

The article was authored by Miles Sibley, founder of the Patient Experience Library, and his colleagues. 

They argue excluding families is bad for patient health and puts extra strain on healthcare systems and staff – as demonstrated during COVD-19.

They want to see government policies recognising families as care givers, including paying for their labour, offering universal respite funding and services, and providing care-giver benefits.

Read the article in full via the BMJ website here.

Virtual wards checklist supports at-home carers

Carers UK has introduced a virtual wards checklist.

It aims to help answer carers’ questions, worries or concerns about virtual wards and empower them to speak to the healthcare team.

Virtual wards aim to help patients manage their health at home rather than in hospital. 

Download the virtual wards checklist from the Carers UK website here.

More children in England to be treated in virtual wards

NHS England has said tens of thousands of children will now receive hospital-level care at home.

Virtual wards for children are being expanded into every region of England.

The hospital at home service has already treated more than 6,400 children over the past year.

Read more via the NHS England website here.

NHS website adds insulin information to its medicines A-Z

The NHS website now includes guides to the use of insulin in type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

Materials support patients using rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, long-acting and biphasic insulins. 

There are also links to PIF member Diabetes UK and diabetes charity JDRF.

View the guides on the NHS website here.

Watch: Voluntary sector teams up with NHS to support children and young people

Lifestyle education co-produced with young people is helping to reduce health inequalities for children and young people in Medway and Swale.

The project is being supported by a local Voluntary Sector Framework covering health, local authorities and 1,500 voluntary and community sector groups.

Watch a short film about the Medway and Swale projects on YouTube here.