Children and young people need accurate, accessible information about their healthcare

New draft guidance from NICE recommends ensuring children and young people are fully informed about their health so they are empowered to take an active role in their healthcare.

The draft guidance aims to improve the healthcare experience of babies, children, and young people with the hope this can improve their health outcomes and wellbeing.

It emphasises the need to provide children and young people with clear and accurate information which can be tailored to an individual patient’s level of maturity and understanding. 

Information materials should be developed in partnership with young people and presented in a range of formats using words and images.

The draft guidance is out for public consultation until 16 April 2021. View the draft and participate by clicking on the link below.


New videos to help children understand COVID-19 swab tests

Little Journey has released new videos to help children understand how COVID-19 swab tests work.

The short animations, which are narrated by children, include: What is a coronavirus swab test? How to prepare for a swab test and What is it like to have a coronavirus swab test?

They were written and produced in collaboration with The Little Journey Young Person's Advisory Group and doctors from several hospital trusts.

All three videos can be viewed via the Little Journey website and on YouTube.

Little Journey

NIHR publishes collection on patient experience

The National Institute for Health Research has published a new collection on patient experience.

The collection brings together NIHR research relating to patient experience, Alerts explore personalised rehabilitation, mental health, decision aids and health inequalities and cover a range of health conditions such as stroke, anorexia, multiple sclerosis and type 2 diabetes. 

Health and social care professionals, patients and carers have commented on selected Alerts that are relevant and important to them.


Applications open for Digital Lifeline Funding

Applications are now open for Digital Lifeline funding – an emergency response project to get devices, data and digital skills support to people with learning disabilities within tight timescales.

Digital Lifeline is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Good Things Foundation, in partnership with AbilityNet.

Applications are welcome from organisations operating in England that support people with learning disabilities, including self-advocacy groups, community-based organisations and those providing support to people where they live.

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 15 March.

Good Things Foundation

Families important source of information about COVID-19 vaccine

The British Red Cross has published new research exploring the issue of vaccine hesitancy in the UK, in particular among Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  

The data highlights vaccine hesitancy is higher in some, but not all, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

It points to the particular importance of family as a source of information – and misinformation – about the COVID-19 vaccine.  

The poll found people from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds are nearly twice as likely to get information on the vaccine from friends and family, trust family more than any other source of vaccine information other than health professionals and are much more likely to have discussed their decision about whether to have the vaccine with extended family.  

People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are more than twice as likely to have spoken to family and friends about their vaccine concerns (31%, compared to the national average of 14%). 

They are also much more likely to have seen or heard information encouraging them not to have the vaccine (62% compared to 42% of the national sample).  

British Red Cross

Call for evidence to improve health and wellbeing of women in England

Women are being encouraged to share their experiences of the health and care system via a call for evidence aimed at improving healthcare for women.

The Department of Health and Social Care call for evidence will form the basis of a Women’s Health Strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of women across England and place women’s voices at the centre of their care.

The consultation closes on 30 May 2021.


How stories about health data are covered in the UK media

Understanding Patient Data has published new research on how health data has been reported in the UK media over the past 18 months.

The biggest peak in media coverage was caused by the launch of the COVID-19 contact tracing app, with commentary dominated by concerns about how data collected by the app might be used.  

The research also found that since the start of the pandemic, coverage about health data has increased overall – including stories not directly related to COVID-19. 

Stories focused on the risks of using health data receive the most public attention – much more than stories about benefits or successes. 

Understanding Patient Data says this highlights the need for risks to be openly recognised, and transparently and proactively managed.

Understanding Patient Data

Digital inclusion and older people – how have things changed in a COVID-19 world? 

A new report by Age UK looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people aged 52 and over in England.

It considers what needs to be done so that everybody who can benefit from digital technology does so.

The report also highlights the need to make sure those who find it difficult to access or use technology are not left behind.

Age UK

UK charities join together to boost vaccine drive

Sixteen frontline charities have formed a new partnership to encourage those with long-term health conditions and their carers to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

PIF members Diabetes UK, Epilepsy Action, Macmillan Cancer Support, Lupus UK and MS Society have joined forces with other charities, the NHS and the Government to promote vaccine uptake in those they support every day.

The campaign was launched with the release of a video which can be viewed on YouTube via the link below.


Study: Patients' experiences of behaviour change interventions

A survey has examined patient attitudes to behaviour change interventions delivered by GPs.

Authors found patients perceived behaviour change intervention during routine GP consultations as appropriate and helpful.

However, there were variations in the likelihood of receiving interventions according to sociodemographic factors. 

Being male, having a long-term condition and a higher number of repeat GP visits were among factors associated with recall of receipt of interventions.

Authors concluded GPs could adopt a more proactive approach to behaviour change in patient consultations with the broad approval of patients.

Wiley Online Library

Survey: Changes in attitudes to self care during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Self Care Forum and Imperial College London’s Self Care Academic Research Unit are inviting all professionals involved in the delivery of care, across all sectors, to complete a short online questionnaire.

Changes in professionals’ attitudes to, and practice of, self care during the pandemic seeks to better understand how professional attitudes have changed to self care and what the long-term impact might be.

The survey should take five to 10 minutes to complete and can be found via the link below.

Imperial College London

Event: Introduction to Digital Accessibility

AbilityNet is hosting a free introductory session to digital accessibility.

The online event takes place from 1pm-2.30pm on 1 April.

It will include the legal, moral and commercial case for ensuring websites, apps and documents are accessible; a demonstration of how people use assistive technology or customise their experience; and an introduction to digital accessibility.