People living in the poorest areas waiting longer for hospital treatment

The King’s Fund and Healthwatch England have issued a joint call for urgent action to address hospital waiting lists and improve patients’ experience of delays to treatment.

New analysis from The King’s Fund shows more than seven per cent of patients on waiting lists in the most deprived areas of the country have been waiting a year or more for treatment compared to around four per cent of those in the least deprived.

A national poll of more than 1,600 British adults who are currently waiting for treatment, or have a relative who is waiting, found:

  • 46% did not receive enough or any information about when to expect treatment
  • 48% received no support to manage their condition during their wait
  • 64% were not given a contact they could turn to while waiting

Healthwatch England

New Government body to tackle health disparities

A new body which aims to stop debilitating health conditions before they develop has been launched by the Government.

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities aims to tackle health disparities across the UK.

It will work with the rest of government, the NHS, local government and the wider public health system and industry to improve detection and prevention for people at risk of ill health.


Call for treatment backlog case studies

The Coalition for Personalised Care is continuing its call for case studies about the treatment backlog caused by COVID-19.

A number of partner organisations, including PIF member Diabetes UK, have already shared their views.

Both individuals and organisations can submit case studies. The coalition is interested in case studies:

  • Demonstrating creative, innovative and successful engagement with those awaiting treatment.
  • Where challenges to good health and wellbeing, independent living, longevity or quality of life continue to exist, and have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Coalition for Personalised Care

Study: Empowering patients to self manage common infections using an information leaflet

A new study aims to explore healthcare professionals and patients' needs on provision of self care advice for common infections.

Patients were confident about self managing infections and did not want to waste healthcare professionals' time. However, they struggled to judge when common infections were serious.

They also reported seeking help for children or elderly dependents earlier.

An information leaflet was developed and reviewed with participants who reported it was useful and needed.

Authors concluded it should be used in primary care and community pharmacy to support patients to self-manage symptoms and determine when further help is required.


£12m to help understand multiple long-term conditions

The NIHR has awarded almost £12 million to new research that will use advanced data science and artificial intelligence (AI) methods to identify and understand clusters of multiple long-term conditions.  

An estimated 14 million people in England are living with two or more long-term conditions.

People who develop multiple long-term conditions often do not have a random assortment of diseases but rather a largely predictable cluster of conditions. 

It is hoped improved understanding of these clusters will help develop ways to prevent and treat them.


World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day 2021

NICE and six other global leaders in evidence-based healthcare will shine a light on ‘the role of evidence in an infodemic’ during this year’s World Evidence-Based Healthcare (EBHC) Day.

The 2021 campaign supports the infodemic management efforts of the World Health Organization (WHO) by exploring the role of evidence in an infodemic.

A particular focus will be promoting access to trustworthy, evidence-informed health information.

World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day takes place on 20 October.


New recommendations for COVID-19 infection prevention and control

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has recommended three changes hospitals can make to the current management of coronavirus Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, with a focus on elective care.

The changes include:

  • A reduction of physical distancing from two metres to one metre with appropriate mitigations where patient access can be controlled.
  • Removing the need for a negative PCR and three days self-isolation before selected elective procedures among patients in low risk groups.
  • Re-adopting standard rather than enhanced cleaning procedures.


Making everyday co-production real

This blog summarises how embracing co-production changed the way Leicester City Council communicated with people accessing adult social care.

For example, letters which the council thought were 'clear and instructive' people found 'threatening'. 

Making changes to the letters allowed the council to build trust and start everyday co-production.

The blog also includes the views of two service users on how the new approach is making a difference to their lives.


Hope for the future in blood cancer

In this article, Kate Keightley from PIF member Blood Cancer UK explains the need for better awareness and understanding the disease.

She outlines the effects of the pandemic on the blood cancer community, research priorities and her hopes for the future in blood cancer.

Blood Cancer UK recently launched a range of materials for newly-diagnosed people – a time it found patients needed the most support and sound advice.


NICE impact on cardiovascular disease prevention

NICE has published a report into the implementation progress of its guidance on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention.

It highlights key statistics around healthy living data, the diagnosis and management of three high-risk conditions and outlines its upcoming work with external stakeholders.


NRAS launches self management e-learning programme

NRAS launched its new e-learning programme – SMILE-RA – during RA Awareness Week 2021.

SMILE is an e-learning experience for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their families who want to learn more about RA, its treatments and how to become good at self-managing.

It can also be used by  health professionals who are new to rheumatology and want to learn more about RA, how it is managed and the importance of self-management for their patients.


People’s voices need to be at the centre of the Government’s pandemic response

In this blog,  Francesca Vaghi from the ALLIANCE says pandemic response success should be defined by the people who access services, just as much as the sectors that provide them.

She highlights a recent report which emphasised that response and recovery plans should aim to support people ‘beyond survival’ in order to help them thrive during and after the ongoing crisis.

To do this, a recognition that people’s wellbeing is not just upheld by the healthcare sector, but also by the work of the social care and third sectors, needs to be at the centre of recovery plans.


Event: A hybrid model for delivering care for long-term conditions

A free online event hosted by The King's Fund will explore how wearables have created better health outcomes for people living with long-term conditions, such as diabetes. 

A panel of experts will discuss how to prioritise digital approaches in the long term to continue empowering patients and supporting clinicians to create patient-centred care,. 

They will also explore the lessons from diabetes and wearables that offer wider learning across the NHS on harnessing the benefits of technology for a digital future.

The event takes place from 11am to noon on 14 October.

The King's Fund