More information needed for patients waiting for care or treatment

New research into the experience of waiting for hospital care found the amount of supporting information many people received was inadequate.

More than 2,500 people shared their experiences of waiting for care with Healthwatch.

Many said the amount of supporting information they were given while waiting for care was inadequate, especially in helping them manage their condition.

In a self-selecting survey, 58% said they received no information at all. 

A further 21% said the information the NHS provided them with was not good enough.

In nationally representative polling conducted by YouGov, 45% of people said they received no information or not enough.

Lower-income respondents were less likely to say they had received information. 

Where they did receive information they were more likely to say it was inaccessible or of limited use to them.


Survey reveals chronic pain information priorities

The ALLIANCE has published the results of its chronic pain survey, conducted with almost 500 people across Scotland throughout September.

Of those surveyed, 48.5% had used NHS or charity information about managing pain, including online resources.

Respondents were asked to think about how chronic pain impacts their day-to-day life and what importance they placed on a range of information and support.

The areas ranked as 'high importance' by the most respondents were information on pain management closer to home and information on treatment options available.

Public information on chronic pain, its impact and how to access support, as well as information on service waiting times were also ranked as of 'high importance' by the majority of respondents.


BMA PLG patient information awards open for entries

Applications to the 2022 BMA PLG patient information awards are now open.

The annual awards recognise exceptional patient information services and promote greater awareness and understanding of health matters, and patient choice.

Applications are welcome from all UK producers of consumer health information. 

Resources must have been published between November 2020 and the end of October 2021.

The closing date for applications is Friday 17 December.

Click on the link below to find out more about conditions of entry, the criteria for selection and the judging criteria. 


Study: What influences responses to public health messages?

New research examines what characterises effective public health messages for managing risk and preventing infectious disease and what influences people’s responses to messages.

A systematic review of 68 papers led to four key recommendations:

  1. Engage communities in development of messaging
  2. Address uncertainty immediately with transparency
  3. Focus on unifying messages from sources
  4. Frame messages aimed at increasing understanding, social responsibility and personal control

BMJ Open

Parkinson's UK launches online communications toolkit

PIF member Parkinson’s UK has developed an interactive web-based communications toolkit to make it easy for the research community to communicate with their study participants.

Co-produced with researchers and the Parkinson’s community, the toolkit is designed to keep people who have taken part updated and engaged until research findings are published.

The toolkit was created after a survey by Parkinson's UK found 72% of people did not receive feedback after taking part in research.

Of those that did, 45% were not satisfied with the information.

However, the same survey showed 80% of people would be more likely to take part in future studies if they received updates from the researchers.

Parkinson's UK

The POWER of Self Care factsheet published

To mark Self Care Week 2021, the Self Care Forum has published a new factsheet sharing simple and effective tips for everyone to improve health and wellbeing.

The factsheet brings together advice and recommendations under six headings:

  • Personal wellbeing
  • Out and about exercise
  • Weight awareness
  • Eating and diet
  • Risks and prevention

It lists the early signs of some of the most common types of cancer and offers information on ideal body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, alcohol and calorie intakes.

It also signposts the Self Care Forum’s library of online factsheets.

Self Care Forum

Understanding the drivers of inequality in public health

A new report by the Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions takes an in-depth look at public health in the UK and outlines recommendations for an equitable future.

The report summarises useful data on health inequalities trends in the UK and the drivers of public health inequality.

It says there needs to be an investment in the public health workforce, including an evaluation of whether training is fit for purpose, and more clarity around the roles of UKHSA and OHID.

The role of public health also needs to be fully recognised and valued as an integral component of the new Integrated Care Systems.


The story of Long Covid is the story of patients

In this blog Aleyah Babb-Benjamin, outreach and insight manager at National Voices, reflects on its recent Long Covid webinar.

She says government messaging must change to emphasise the severity of Long Covid, including updating symptom lists and circulating recent data.

Underserved voices, for example, children, minority ethnic groups and linguistic minorities, also need to be considered throughout policy and research.

Click here to watch a recording of the webinar via YouTube. Click on the link below to read Aleyah's blog in full.

National Voices

Study: Social media sharing of articles about measles

A new study aims to define the characteristics of European news about measles shared on social media platforms from 2017 to 2019.

Authors found social media users prefer sharing educational news to sharing informational news.

Appropriate emotional content can also increase the willingness of social media users to share an article. 

They concluded effective media content that promotes measles vaccinations should contain educational or scientific information, as well as specific emotions such as anger, joy, or sadness.

Articles with this type of content may offer the best chance of disseminating vital messages to a broad social media audience.


NHS campaign to help get through winter

The NHS has launched the Help us, Help you campaign promoting online services for advice and support on urgent but not life-threatening concerns.

NHS 111 online will direct patients to their nearest urgent care centres, walk in clinics, GP surgeries, pharmacies and emergency dental services.

It is hoped people will use NHS 111 online instead of calling busy phonelines.

National Health Executive

Pneumonia factsheet available in eight languages

The European Lung Foundation (ELF) has updated its pneumonia factsheet.

The online resource covers causes, symptoms, treatments and other information.

It is available in eight languages including English, Polish and Spanish.


Event: Lets all co-pro

The ALLIANCE is hosting an online event exploring how co-production and partnership working can achieve a shared purpose.

Topics covered will include managing power dynamics, exploring tools and techniques and how co-production can strengthen work.

The event takes place from 10am to noon on Thursday 25 November.