Health literacy around the world

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published a special report on global health literacy.

Health literacy around the world: policy approaches to wellbeing through knowledge and empowerment explores recent evidence in the field of health literacy.

It focuses on health literacy's impact, challenges, solutions and opportunities.

Key findings and recommendations include:

  • Health literacy requires combined action from individuals, healthcare providers and healthcare systems.
  • Integrating health literacy measures into the accreditation of healthcare providers is a promising policy tool to boost health literacy principles at a healthcare system level.
  • Personal self-care and health can be advanced if people can easily access gateways into health information and health services.
  • Australia, England and the US showed the most progress in adopting shared decision making approaches with patients.
  • Health literacy education should be lifelong, targeting vulnerable adults too.

The Economist Intelligence Unit

Digital health in the UK – national attitudes and behaviour

ORCHA has published key findings from independent research into what people in the UK think of digital health, how they are using it and if they want the NHS to provide it.

It found 65% of people agree it is vital we look at new ways of managing health, including high-quality health apps.

Almost half (49%) believe doctors should be able to prescribe high quality health apps which charge for their services in the same way they prescribe medicines.

The most popular areas reported by people for incorporating digital health are:

  • Self-monitoring and symptom tracking
  • Changing lifestyle
  • Alerting them to a potential condition which could then be discussed with their doctor
  • Education on a specific condition or support before an appointment
  • Help recovering from surgery


New plans for GP data collection

NHS Digital has announced plans for GP data collection will no longer begin on 1 September.

Instead, the programme will only go ahead once three tests have been met:

  • Patients have the ability to opt out or back in to sharing their GP data with NHS Digital, with data being deleted even if it has been uploaded and outstanding opt outs being processed.
  • A Trusted Research Environment is available where approved researchers can work securely on de-identified patient data which does not leave the environment.
  • A campaign of engagement and communication has increased public awareness of the programme, explaining how data is used and patient choices.

NHS Digital

More people visiting pharmacies for health advice

More people are visiting pharmacies for health advice in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey by PIF member PAGB has found.

In the poll, 47% of respondents said they turned to their local pharmacist for ‘initial advice or medication’ for a self-treatable condition – up from 37% in 2020.

The survey also found more than half of respondents (55%) believe pharmacists should be able to update people’s medical records while one in two (50%) agreed they should have the right to view medical records.


Study: Characteristics of measurement tools for health information seeking behaviour

A new study explores the characteristics of measurement tools for assessing health information seeking behaviour in nationally representative surveys around the world.

Authors say the COVID-19 infodemic has highlighted the need for greater understanding of health information seeking behaviours.

They propose an information-channel-health structure for health-information seeking behaviours to help understand trends in national healthcare.


Supporting digital inclusion and skills

The Centre for Ageing Better has published a report offering examples of good practice and recommendations to help support digital inclusion and boost digital skills.

COVID-19 and the digital divide is aimed at organisations delivering services to users and helping digitally excluded people with skills training.

It says national and local government need to recognise and promote the crucial digital support offered by local organisations to combat widening digital inequalities.

The report also highlights that many people still do not want to use the internet and want to continue using non-digital channels.

 Centre for Ageing Better

Considering patients left behind by the 'digital gold rush'

In this BMJ article, Stephen Armstrong considers how digital exclusion has worsened the health inequalities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says the digital gold rush is in danger of dismantling one of the founding principles of the NHS – equal access to the health system for all.


New research into treatment and diagnosis of Long Covid

Fifteen new studies across the UK are set to expand research into Long Covid to support thousands of vulnerable people.

The research projects, which aim to help improve understanding of Long Covid and identify effective treatments, are backed by nearly £20 million of NIHR funding.

They include the largest Long Covid trial to date which will involve more than 4,500 people.


A joint vision for integrating care

PIF member National Voices has teamed up with Age UK, The King's Fund and the Richmond Group of Charities to produce a shared vision of what NHS reforms could achieve.

The vision statement outlines what successful integration would look like from three perspectives: people and communities; patients, service users and carers; and people working in health and care.

National Voices

Listening to and learning from people and communities

The King's Fund and Picker have produced a guide on how integrated care systems (ICSs) can listen to and learn from people and communities.

The guide, created on behalf of NHS England and NHS Improvement, has been developed with input from ICSs, patient leaders and engagement and experience experts.

The King's Fund

Video: Have I got coproduction news for you

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has released a recording of its recent webinar, Have I got coproduction news for you.

Expert panellists from Think Local Act Personal's National Co-production Advisory Group and SCIE answer common questions about coproduction.

Register for free on the SCIE website to watch the webinar in full.


Involving people in developing IBD care

PIF member Crohn's & Colitis UK has shared an update on how it involves people with Crohn's and colitis in their own care.

The article outlines how the charity has been reviewing its approach to involvement over the past year, plans for the year ahead and highlights its projects which put people with Crohn's and colitis at the centre.

Crohn's & Colitis UK

New resource for young adults newly diagnosed with cancer

Shine Cancer Support has published a new booklet for young adults newly diagnosed with cancer.

The booklet is available online and in print for use in clinics. It was created by the Shine Cancer Support community.

Shine Cancer Support

Survey: Skills for Health resources and insights

Skills for Health is asking people to share their feedback on its resources, events and insights.

It has launched a four-minute survey to help it develop new online solutions that support learning and development.

Click on the link below to complete the survey.

Skills for Health