Structured learning tool aims to help patients take control of care

A structured learning tool has been developed to help patients take more control over their disease and care.

JOE, meaning Journey Of Empowerment, was developed by non-profit advocacy organisation the MDS Foundation.

It found there was lots of information about myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) available but it was not easy to navigate. 

With the Colabhealth agency, and involving the MDS community, it created a personalised and measurable education programme based on:

  • Health literacy
  • Self-management
  • Shared decision-making.

Visit the ColabHealth website here to find out more.

Co-production project highlights importance of user-friendly phone practice

The ongoing importance of user-friendly phone practice is emphasised in a new blog.

Tackling inequalities in care: The telephone remains key for human-centred care and support explains how hard it can be for people with learning disabilities and autism to navigate automated phone systems.

Itsuggests staff training from people with learning disabilities and autism.

The authors believe this would lead to more user-friendly phone services.

The blog is written by a group of self-advocates who co-produced a learning project with the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The subsequent report is called Am I Invisible? Using co-production to advocate change in social care.

Read the blog via the SCIE website here. It includes a link to Am I Invisible?

Study: Mental health-related podcast listening improves mental health literacy

A new study reveals mental-health related podcasts helps listeners find out more about their mental health condition and how to manage it.

More than 700 people responded to an online survey, giving information about their reasons for, and experiences of, listening to mental health-related podcasts.

The study found listeners with the lowest levels of education and mental health literacy reported the most benefit.

The authors hope this will lead to more research, creating greater understanding of the potential health benefits of mental health-related podcasts.

Read the study via Science Direct here.

Charity logo acts as reminder for cancer symptoms

PIF member the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust is using its ladybird logo as a mnemonic for the symptoms of childhood cancer.

Its new guide, Spotting the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer: iHV parent tips, was produced in partnership with the Institute of Health Visitors (iHV).

The vertical letters L-A-D-Y-B-I-R-D-S lists signs and symptoms to look out for.

There is a corresponding new guide for health visitors, Spotting the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer.

Order the guides and see supporting information on the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust website here. 

Study: Artificial intelligence in person-centred care

A study exploring the effects of artificial intelligence (AI) tools on 2 values central to person-centred care urges action to ensure the impact is positive.

The review identifies clear benefits to the use of AI tools. 

These include freeing up more time, which in turn should allow doctors to apply the core values of empathy and compassion in shared decision-making with patients. 

But there are drawbacks, including the potential for development of machine ‘paternalism’.

The authors identify 2 ways to help ensure the use of AI tools have a positive impact on person-centred doctor-patient relationships:

  • Promoting the use of AI tools as assistants rather than replacements for human practitioners
  • Adapting medical education to allow optimal use of such assistance.

They say healthcare systems and stakeholders must consider the values they want to see in an AI-augmented healthcare system to ensure benefits outweigh any problems.

Read the full paper via the BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making website here.

Diabetes UK targets men under 40 in prevention campaign

PIF member Diabetes UK is urging younger men to take a free and simple test to understand their risk of type 2 diabetes.

Research by the charity estimates the number of men aged under 40 living with a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes could hit 200,000 by 2027. 

As well as the online risk score test, people can visit any of the 370 Tesco pharmacies across the UK. 

Find out more here via the Diabetes UK web.

Public urged to have their say on new Scottish National Care Service

People across Scotland are being urged to have their say on how a new National Care Service should work.

A programme of meetings is planned, with online meetings for remote access.

The co-design of the new national approach aims to tailor social care to the particular needs of different geographical locations in Scotland.

The first meeting takes place in Stirling on 20 June.

Find out more and book meeting places via the Scottish Government website here.

Watch: Breaking down barriers to tackle healthcare inequalities 

NHS England has produced a series of films about building trust with local communities to reduce healthcare inequalities.

Cancer screening workshops for communities at risk of healthcare inequalities in Leicester shows how the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust is working in partnership with community organisations.

A further 2 videos explore the impact of physical health, and inequalities and stigma on people’s mental health.

Supporting mental health through football looks at the Sheffield Flourish charity.

Inequalities and mental health highlights the work of the Somali Mental Health Association.

Youth-friendly approach helps to involve young people in mental health research

More openness about research design is needed to make sure young people with mental health challenges are effectively involved.

That is the conclusion of a project by the Youth Mental Health and Technology team at The University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre in Australia.

The team looked at information from 9 youth partners and 42 academic researchers collected during 2 studies.

From this information, they designed new guidelines for youth partners and academic researchers to encourage:

  • Training opportunities for youth partners to develop research skills
  • Regular updates on the difference made by youth partners.

Read the pilot evaluation via the Wiley Online Library here.

Older People’s Champions push towards an age-friendly Wales

Every local authority in Wales now has an Older People’s Champion.

The champions are charged with helping to deliver the Welsh Government’s Age Friendly Wales strategy.

A major part of this is working towards joining the World Health Organization Global Network of Age Friendly Communities and Cities.

Read more about the strategy on the Welsh Government website here.

Collaboration urged between NHS and businesses

Businesses should work with local integrated care systems (ICSs) to help reduce health inequalities.

That’s according to think tank Public Policy Projects following its Population Health in Business series of discussion events.

Recommendations from the series include:

  • Culture change: ICSs and businesses to see joint data platforms as a health equity priority and work to increase public trust in partnerships.
  • Collaboration: ICSs and businesses working to deliver public health services. For instance, hosting pop-up diagnostic centres on business premises.
  • Cooperation: Making the creation of civic data cooperatives, like that seen in Liverpool, a priority nationwide.
  • Contribution: Health-relevant data collected by businesses added to NHS records to help inform population health management strategies.

Find out more via the Public Policy Project’s website here.