Health information: are you getting your message across?

The NIHR has published a new briefing on health literacy, bringing together the latest research on what can happen when health information is not clear.

The collection also includes guidance on how to help people understand health information and which groups of the population may need extra support.

Top tips and topics areas covered in the report include:

  • Use simple, balanced language
  • Find the focus
  • Give context to online information
  • Use videos, visuals and social media


Accessible patient data resources

Understanding Patient Data has released new resources to explain how patient data is used and the role of large-scale health datasets in research.  

The guides have been designed for – and with – people who have additional communication needs but they could also be helpful as an introduction for anyone new to this issue.  

An easy-read guide, co-created with adults with learning disabilities, is available in English and Gujarati

There is also a talking text video where a narrator reads out the guide.

Media and Information Literacy Framework

The Media and Information Literacy Alliance (MILA) has published a a draft Framework for living and thriving in an information society. 

Its purpose is to demonstrate what media and information literacy means for people in everyday life and in various recognisable settings.

The Framework identifies five lifelong aspirations to be: informed, empowered, healthy, socially conscious and connected.

Comments on the draft framework are welcome. PIF is a member of MILA.


Review into Government tobacco control policies

An independent review into the government’s current tobacco control policies examines whether it will achieve its ambition to make England smoke-free by 2030.

The review, led by Dr Javed Khan OBE, finds good long-term progress has been made in reducing smoking rates to their lowest level.

However, almost six million people still smoke in England and smoking is still one of the largest causes of health disparities.

The report highlights the need to provide accurate information around things like vaping to both the public and healthcare professionals.


Evaluating the impact of minimum unit pricing in Scotland

A report by PIF member Public Health Scotland looks at the impact of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) on those drinking at harmful levels. 

Key findings of a study on the effects of MUP include:

  • MUP led to a marked increase in the prices paid for alcohol by people with alcohol dependence
  • Some evidence that MUP led to people drinking at harmful levels
  • No clear evidence that MUP led to an overall reduction in alcohol consumption among people drinking at harmful levels or those with alcohol dependence
  • No clear evidence that MUP led to a change in the severity of alcohol dependence symptoms

Public Health Scotland

Explaining the health and care system

The King's Fund has launched a new animation showing how the health and care system works.

In this blog, Sarah Murphy, explains how people and communities – who are at the heart of the health and care system – are also at the heart of this animation.

She also outlines the changes in health and care since The King's Fund launched its first animated guide to the NHS in 2013.

The King's Fund

Restoring long-term condition care

New search tools have been released to help primary care teams identify which patients with long term conditions are most at risk following disruption by the pandemic.

The UCLPartners tools underpin new guidance published by the Royal College of GPs (RCGP).

RCGP is recommending primary care teams offer earlier reviews to patients who have:

  • Not been seen for more than 12 months
  • A higher risk of deterioration and exacerbation due to an underlying condition such as diabetes, hypertension, respiratory disease or severe mental illness
  • Potential undiagnosed asthma or COPD


Study: Patient and researcher experiences of patient engagement in healthcare research

A new study aiming to describe and compare patient partners and academic researchers' experiences in patient engagement research identified four key themes:

  1. Evolving relationships
  2. Creating an environment that fosters patient engagement
  3. Striking a balance
  4. Impact and value of patient engagement

Both patient partners and academic researchers highlighted the importance of finding a balance between providing structure for patient engagement while allowing for flexibility.

Wiley Online Library

South Asian Dementia Pathway Toolkit (ADAPT) 

The Race Equality Foundation has released a toolkit aiming to provide improved culturally sensitive support for people living with dementia from South Asian communities.

It says people from South Asian communities are at greater risk of developing dementia. 

However, they are less likely to access support at all points of the dementia care pathway making them more likely to seek help in a crisis or at a later stage in the condition.

The South Asian Dementia Pathway Toolkit (ADAPT) is based on the findings of the ADAPT study.

Race Equality Foundation

NICE recommends 'potentially life-changing' treatment for people with short bowel syndrome

PIF member NICE has recommended a 'potentially life-changing' treatment for people with short bowel syndrome aged one year or older in final draft guidance.

Teduglutide, also known as Revestive, is available for people who are in a stable condition following surgery to remove an abnormal bowel.

In adults, this surgery may be needed for a range of conditions, including Crohn’s disease. 

In premature babies and children, it is often because of surgery for necrotising enterocolitis or other conditions. Some children can be born with a short bowel.


Webinar: Technology to help people with sight loss

A free webinar hosted by AbilityNet, RNIB and Envision will discuss how technology can help blind people and people with sight loss.

The event takes place from 1pm on Tuesday, 28 June. It will cover:

  • An introduction to apps versus wearables
  • Real stories from blind people
  • AbilityNet's recommendations for visual support apps and tech
  • How Envision's tech can help blind people and people with sight loss
  • RNIB's advice for how to make a decision about what tech may be right for you

There will also be an interactive Q&A session.