HEE call for evidence from charity and independent sectors

Health Education England has been commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care to review long-term strategic trends for the health and social care workforce. 

The Long-Term Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning will review, renew and update HEE’s Framework 15 published in 2014.

There has been a good response so far, but further input from the independent and charitable sectors and private providers would be particularly valuable. 

This includes people who need care and support, service users, patients, carers, members of the workforce, as well as students and trainees. 

The call for evidence closes on 6 September. Click on the link below to take part.


NICE publishes final guideline on pregnancy care

An updated NICE antenatal care guideline focuses on women-centred care, informed shared decision making and the role of partners during pregnancy.

The guideline replaces recommendations from NICE’s 2008 guideline on antenatal care and aims to improve the consistency of care across the country.

It says pregnant women should be listened to and healthcare professionals should be responsive to their needs and preferences. 

The risks, benefits and implications of any assessment, intervention or procedure should be discussed with the woman when offered, and her decisions on care should be respected even if they differ to the view of the health professional.


Scotland publishes Women's Health Plan

Plans to improve health and reduce inequalities for women in Scotland have been published by the Scottish Government.

Scotland is the first country in the UK to have a Women’s Health Plan, which outlines change in areas including menopause, heart health, menstrual health including endometriosis, and sexual health.

The Women’s Health Plan sets out 66 actions to ensure all women enjoy the best possible healthcare throughout their lives. 

It takes on board the real life experiences of women who have given their feedback on what is important to them.

Scottish Government

Study: Searching for cancer information online

A new study aims to understand the operational, navigational, information and evaluation skills and problems of patients performing cancer-related searches on the internet.

Patients at an oncological rehabilitation clinic were asked to perform eight cancer-related searches.

All participants experienced problems or difficulties in executing the tasks. 

Problems were coded into four categories – operating the computer and web browser, navigating and orientating, using search strategies and evaluating the relevance and reliability of web-based information. 

The most frequent problems arose in the third and fourth categories.

Authors concluded future interventions are needed to support patients in the development of sufficient internet-searching skills, focusing particularly on information and evaluation skills.


Do we need to wait for Government data proposals?

In this article, Marc Farr, chief analytical officer at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and co-founder of Open Data Saves Lives (ODSL), says why we must be brave when it comes to data.

He says there needs to be a greater emphasis on using the web to communicate, share and innovate together, helping to make more impact on health outcomes, faster.

Digital Health

Study: Preparing children for the death of an important adult during COVID-19

A new study aims to investigate how families prepared children for the death of a significant adult and how health and social care professionals provided support during COVID-19.

It found many children were not prepared for the death of an important adult during the pandemic.

Obstacles included families’ lack of understanding about their relative’s declining health, parental belief that not telling children was protecting them from becoming upset and parents’ uncertainty about how best to prepare their children.

Only 10.2% of relatives said professionals asked them about their deceased relative’s relationships with children. 

This contrasts with 68.5% of professionals who reported the healthcare team asked about patients' relationships with children.

Authors concluded professionals need to provide clear, honest communication about patient prognosis and start honest conversations with families about patients' relationships with children.

BMJ Open

Mitigating unintended consequences of co-design in health care

In this article, Éidín Ní Shé and Reema Harrison explore some of the unintended consequences of co-design and outline some optimal conditions that can mitigate challenges.

They say undertaking a co-design approach without the optimal conditions for inclusive involvement by all may not result in an equal partnership or improve health or care quality outcomes. 

Co-design requires on-going reflective discussions and deliberative thinking to remove any power imbalances. 

However, without adequate resources, a focus on implementation and support from senior leaders, this can be difficult.

Wiley Online Library

Updated guidance on supporting patients to attend cervical screening

Public Health England has updated its guidance on supporting patients who find it difficult to attend their cervical screening.

The guidance, initially published in May, was updated on 16 August.


Consultation on NICE health technology evaluation

NICE is holding a public consultation on proposed changes to the the Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme and the Diagnostics Assessment Programme.

It is  hoped the proposed changes will speed up patient access to new and promising health technologies, support better market access and simplify the health technology evaluation process.

PIF members Breast Cancer Now and Myeloma UK are part of a patient working group which will feedback proposals for improved patient involvement as part of the consultation.

The consultation closes on 13 October. Click on the link below to find out more and take part.


What has the pandemic taught us about public health messaging?

In this article, Laura Lamming talks to three academic researchers about what they have learned about public health messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They share three key insights to help improve the impact of public health messaging:

  • Work closely with local authority public health departments.
  • Increase the pace of research by large-scale academic collaboration.
  • Identify and invest in diverse implementation and dissemination routes early on.

The King's Fund