Democratising access to preventative health services


International Longevity Centre UK has published a consultation paper setting out key criteria to democratise access to preventative health services.

Democratising access to prevention emphasises the importance of improving health literacy and increased co-production to increase access.

The consultation paper is part of the centre's wider Delivering prevention in an ageing world programme which urges governments to:

  • Democratise access to prevention to reduce health inequalities.
  • Inspire and engage policymakers, healthcare professionals and individuals to invest, promote and take action on prevention.
  • Use technology effectively to improve access to preventative healthcare, improve uptake rates, reduce barriers and empower patients.

Stakeholders listed poor health literacy as a barrier preventing some individuals or communities from engaging with preventative health services. 

One way to overcome this is to actively engage those communities by co-producing health messaging with them. This can help improve their health literacy and allow better self-management.

While the paper says this approach is rarely implemented, it does provide case studies demonstrating how co-production can improve health literacy and uptake of prevention among marginalised groups.

The consultation closes on 9 April. Click here to read the paper in full. Click here to respond to the survey.

Securing a positive NHS technology legacy from COVID-19

A new report from the Health Foundation examines public and NHS staff experiences of technology during the pandemic and outlines the action needed to secure a positive technology legacy from COVID-19.

Informed by YouGov polling, the Health Foundation's research found an overwhelming majority of the public and NHS staff who used technology more during the early phase of the pandemic viewed their experience positively.  

However, many of these people also said new technology-enabled approaches were worse than traditional models of care, and these figures were even higher among older people and those with a carer. 

A significant minority of the public and NHS staff were unconvinced about the long-term use of these approaches.

The Health Foundation argues the NHS and government must evaluate and improve these approaches before making them permanent to ensure technology-enabled care works effectively for every patient.

The Health Foundation

Animation raises awareness of trusted health information

Bupa has released a new animation to help people spot fake news and health misinformation.

The animation encourages people to ask four key questions about information:

  • Who is it coming from?
  • Where have the facts come from?
  • When was it produced?
  • What do I understand now?

The PIF TICK is featured in the animation as a sign of trusted health information.

Bupa UK

Second quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities

The Government has published its second quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities.

The first report, published in October 2020, concluded a range of socioeconomic and geographical factors coupled with pre-existing health conditions were contributing to the higher infection and mortality rates for ethnic minority groups, with a part of the excess risk remaining unexplained for some groups.

This second report looks at those causes in more detail and sets out some of the work undertaken to fill the gaps in understanding and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection. 


JCVI advises prioritising homeless people for COVID-19 vaccine

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised the government to prioritise people experiencing homelessness, including those sleeping rough, for the coronavirus vaccine.

In its letter to the Secretary of State for Health, it said people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping have a higher risk of poorer outcomes of COVID-19 compared to the general population. 

They also have high rates of undiagnosed co-morbidity and poor health outcomes and reduced access to healthcare, including primary care.

JCVI advises local teams consider a universal offer to adults experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping alongside those in priority group 6.

They should also be offered the vaccine without the need for an NHS number or GP registration.

Local decisions should be taken on whether a shorter schedule may be offered if they are unlikely to return for the second dose at 12 weeks.


National plan to make pharmacy practice more inclusive

Pharmacy professionals are being asked to support and implement the national plan for inclusive pharmacy practice, with a focus on addressing vaccine hesitancy and reducing health inequalities.

The plan is a collaboration between the NHS, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK.

It was created in response to two Public Health England reports – Beyond the data and Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 – confirming COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on healthcare staff and communities from BAME backgrounds.

The plan and supporting letter are available on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Building a public partnership approach

In this article, Jeremy Taylor, Director for Public Voice, and Tina Coldham, public contributor from the NIHR Centre for Engagement and Dissemination, consider what is next for patient and public involvement in research.

They discuss the challenges of 2020 – including how COVID-19 highlighted a 'huge diversity problem' in public partnership – and areas for improvement.

National Institute for Health Research

Free training to support people with sight loss

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is offering free training to staff and volunteers working on the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

It is hoped the training will help them be more confident in supporting people with sight loss.

Three short online training modules are available covering communication, a how-to guide, and the experiences of people with sight loss. 

To access the training, click on the link below and select 'register' if you do not already have a login.


COVID-19 easy read factsheet

Last month the European Lung Foundation published a COVID-19 factsheet in 22 languages. 

An easy-read version of this factsheet is now available in English. 

This is the first time the foundation has produced an easy-read factsheet, so it would be interested in any feedback.

European Lung Foundation

Latest national dementia profile published

Public Health England has published the latest dementia profile data, broken down by geographical area.

The dementia profile is designed to improve the availability and accessibility of information on dementia. 

Data is presented in an interactive tool allowing users to view and analyse the figures. Some updates include a statistical commentary.

The profile is updated twice a year. 

Public Health England