Infected Blood Inquiry publishes report

The Infected Blood Inquiry has published its report in two volumes.

The first sets out some of the "systemic, collective and individual" failings and the "horrifying" scale of the scandal.

The second covers people's experiences and includes a detailed account of what happened to children with haemophilia treated at Treloar’s.

In his letter to the Cabinet Office Minister, inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff said: "A level of suffering which is difficult to comprehend, still less understand, has been caused."

He added that harm was "compounded by the reaction of successive governments, NHS bodies, other public bodies, the medical profession and others".

Download both volumes of the report via the Inquiry website here.

Widening inequalities in life expectancy

An Institute of Health Equity (IHE) report reveals widening inequalities in life expectancy between regions in England and within local authorities since 2010.

These widening inequalities are associated with an average reduction in local authority spending power of 34%. Key findings include:

  • Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy were lowest in the North East for both sexes
  • In 6 of the 9 English regions there have been statistically significant increases in inequalities in life expectancy for women
  • 14 local authorities had significant increases in inequalities in female life expectancy

The report also highlights that central government spending cuts to local authorities were highest in areas with lower life expectancy and more health inequalities.

Read the full report via the IHE website here

Adverse childhood experiences and engagement with healthcare services

Public Health Wales has published the results of a survey exploring adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and engagement with healthcare services.

The survey of adults in England and Wales indicates early life experiences influence individuals’ relationships with health services as adults. 

Despite increased use of medication, individuals with four or more ACEs may be less likely to take medication as directed and use preventative healthcare.

They may also experience greater discomfort in using healthcare environments and are more likely to say professionals do not care about their health or understand their problems.

Read the study findings in full via the Public Health Wales website here.

Online training on healthcare rights

Homelessness charity Groundswell has launched three training resources to help people understand their healthcare rights.

The resources draw on experiences of homelessness and health inequalities.

They are designed to help people know what they are entitled to, identify when things are wrong and give them the language needed to address issues.

Access the training courses via the Groundswell website here.

Reading Well for dementia collection launched

The Reading Agency has published a Reading Well for dementia collection.

The new collection includes 20 titles in England and 21 in Wales reflecting national clinical guidelines, best practice, advice and support.

It is available for free loan from public libraries in England and Wales.

PIF members the Alzheimer's Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists were on the book selection panel.

Find out more via the Reading Agency website here.

Using co-production and community engagement to reduce health inequalities

NHS Providers has published a report on the use of co-production and engagement with communities as a solution to reducing health inequalities.

The report outlines the value of co-production, how it can contribute to reducing inequalities and the role of trusts.

It also includes case studies of co-production and community engagement from three NHS Trusts.

Read the full report via the NHS Providers website here.

Addressing inequalities in clinical trials

National Voices has published a report outlining key barriers to participation in clinical trials and potential ways to address them.

The report is based on consultation with National Voices members and its Lived Experience Partners. Three overarching themes were identified:

  • Attitudinal barriers, including fear and mistrust from people and communities and failure from pharmaceutical and research companies to signal inclusion.
  • Communication barriers, including a lack of outreach and awareness and digital exclusion.
  • Practical barriers, including financial barriers, geographical barriers and a lack of support for carers.

The report makes five key recommendations including improving communication around clinical research trials and engaging the VCSE sector.

Download the full report and supporting infographics via the National Voices website here.

High rates of depression linked to deprivation

Research by the University of Southampton shows particular regions of England have suffered over a decade of increasing mental health inequalities.

Researchers mapped "hot-spots" across the country where people have been coping with a very low standard of living and where there has been, and continues to be, high levels of depression in the community.

They found deprivation accounted for up to 39% of the recorded levels of depression across all the regions of England. 

However, the link between the two is highly variable, with pockets of the country where the association is very strong and other areas where it is not.

This suggests different interventions are needed in different areas to tackle depression.

Read more about the study findings via the University of Southampton website here.

Fit note reform: call for evidence

The Government has opened a call for evidence on proposed changes to the fit note process.

The consultation, which aims to gather evidence on the impact of the current scheme and potential changes, will be open until 8 July, 2024.

Find out more about how to take part via the GOV.UK website here.