Health inequalities in 2024

An insight report into current and projected patterns of illness by deprivation in England and Wales warns health inequalities are set to increase by 2024.

Based on current trends, the Health Foundation says the number of working-age adults diagnosed with a major illness will increase from 3 million in 2019 to 3.7 million by 2024.

The majority of this increase (80%) will be in more deprived areas.

The Health Foundation says policies focused on the risk factors of ill health are essential but insufficient to tackle health inequalities. It also calls for:

  • A long-term, cross-government approach to address the underlying causes of ill health
  • Investment in the NHS, local authorities and the voluntary sector 
  • More work from employers to improve conditions and support staff wellbeing

Read the full report via The Health Foundation website here.

English literacy as a barrier to participation in clinical trials

National Voices has published a report exploring English literacy as a barrier to participation in clinical trials.

The report outlines the first stage of the MAPLE project. 

The MAPLE project aims to create accessible information for people who may be interested in taking part in research but find traditional patient information leaflets too complex. Key findings and recommendations include:

  • The ability to take away a written leaflet to consider the opportunity to take part in clinical research is a strong benefit 
  • Images make leaflets easier to understand but they must be visually literate to the information provided
  • There must be a clear commitment to providing alternative formats for those with additional communication needs
  • Co-production is incredibly important and needs to be extended to the entire research process

Download the full report via the National Voices website here.

Study: Women's engagement with humorous digital nudges on social media

A new study aims to understand how women engage with a humorous social media campaign encouraging pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT).

A healthcare professional and comedian ran the campaign following the national guidelines for engagement in PFMT. Instagram analytics gave insight into demographics and engagement. 

Researchers concluded humour may improve women's engagement with online PFMT programmes. However, more rigorous research is required to better understand diverse women's experiences.

The insights gained will be used to co-design a digital behavioural intervention as part of a larger study.

Read the study findings in full via the Wiley Online Library here.

RCOG publishes translated patient information leaflets

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has published several of its patient information leaflets in 11 new languages.

The translated materials are part of a pilot project to make its information more accessible.

Topics include being overweight in pregnancy and after birth, pre-eclampsia and treatment for the symptoms of the menopause.

Access all the resources and translations via the RCOG website here.

Maternity services: research can improve safety and quality of care

An NIHR Evidence collection says improvements to maternity services need to be guided by the experiences of women and their families, as well as the latest evidence.

The collection brings together evidence on improving the quality and safety of maternity care, including how to prioritise women’s experiences.

Read the collection via the NIHR website here.

Anti-racism as a quality improvement tool

The NHS Confederation has published examples of how anti-racist initiatives can be used as a quality improvement tool.

The examples were provided by BME Leadership Network members and highlight how efforts to combat racism should be community-driven and supported by adequate resources.

Download the full report via the NHS Confederation website here.

iSupport for South Asian dementia carers

The iSupport self-directed educational programme has been adapted for South Asian dementia carers in the UK.

The online programme for informal carers was originally developed by The World Health Organization. 

A team from UCL has translated and adapted iSupport in collaboration with carers, healthcare professionals and community organisations.

The five-module course is available in English, Bengali, Punjabi and Urdu.

Access the programme via the UCL website here.