Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic for the future management of long-term conditions

A new report offers recommendations on how to reset the relationship between the NHS and the one in five people in the UK with long-term conditions.

The report, published by Public Policy Projects and sponsored by AbbVie, says as the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic recedes, there is a unique opportunity to reform policy and practice. 

It says the Government and NHS need to prioritise the diagnosis and care of patients with long-term conditions in their recovery plans. Other recommendations include:

  • Integrated Care Systems adopting a digital-first strategy
  • Prioritising the co-design of services
  • Health Education England ensuring clinicians are trained in supporting self management and shared decision making
  • Integrated care records which are accessible to the service user and all care providers
  • Measures to tackle restricted access to the internet, particularly in deprived areas
  • Accelerating the development of robust standards for assessing the quality and safety of digital technology

Public Policy Projects

Special series on living with long-term conditions

Throughout June, Cochrane UK is running a special series which aims to shine a spotlight on those living with long-term conditions.

This includes sharing blogs that include relevant evidence and personal experience and a Twitter Chat from 8pm on 22 June.

The topic of the Twitter Chat will be #LanguageMatters – the use and misuse of language when discussing long-term conditions.

Click on the link below to read the first blog in the series and find out more about how to get involved in the Chat.

Cochrane UK

Long Covid information gaps and the safety implications

A new blog on the Patient Safety Learning hub identifies four key areas where better health information could help improve care for those living with Long Covid.

It says better information is needed around the symptoms and assessment centres, greater awareness is needed about the debilitating and relapsing nature of Long Covid and more data is needed on the effectiveness of Long Covid services.

PIF director Sophie Randall contributed to the blog.

Patient Safety Learning 

Understanding the research behind the COVID-19 pandemic 

NIHR has launched a two-week free course to help people understand research into COVID-19.

The course, run with the University of Leeds, will help people understand how the UK research community responded to the pandemic.

Anyone interested in the course can sign up here by 18 June.

The course follows the publication of NIHR's survey into public attitudes to health research following coronavirus.

The survey found the vast majority of UK adults thought health research played a very (71%) or fairly (19%) important role during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 29% saying they trusted health research more now than before.

However, despite positive views, the survey found people’s perceptions of how success was achieved did not reflect the scale of effort put in by healthcare professionals and participants.


New guide for LGBT patients on what to expect from their doctor

A new guide for LGBT patients sets out what they should expect from their doctor.

The guide was published to coincide with the start of Pride Month by the General Medical Council (GMC).

It is the GMC's first guide aimed specifically at LGBT patients and was produced in conjunction with Stonewall and GLADD.

The guide makes clear that all patients, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and trans status, should be treated fairly and without discrimination, should have their confidentiality respected and must not be denied access to appropriate treatment or healthcare services because of a doctor’s personal beliefs.


UK has highest confidence in COVID-19 vaccines

A new report based on data from an international survey of 15 countries says overall trust in vaccines is high.

The Imperial College London survey found the United Kingdom had the highest share of respondents who reported trust in COVID-19 vaccines (87%), while Japan had the lowest (47%).

Respondents from the UK also had the highest level of confidence that their health authorities would provide them with an effective COVID-19 vaccine (70%), whereas respondents in South Korea had the lowest (42%).

Concerns about side effects and insufficient testing of vaccines were the biggest barriers to uptake.

Other commonly reported reasons included concerns about not getting the vaccine they would prefer and worries over whether the vaccines are effective enough.

Imperial College London

Survey: Inhaler technique check

Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation have launched a survey as part of their work for the Taskforce for Lung Health.

The survey aims to understand how people use their inhalers and what information and guidance they have been given by their healthcare professionals on the correct inhaler for them and how to use it.

Taskforce for Lung Health

Support for people who find it hard to attend cervical screening

Public Health England (PHE) has published a national information resource to support people who feel anxious about attending NHS cervical screening appointments.

People may feel anxious about attending cervical screening because of mental health issues, previous traumatic experiences or sexual abuse.

PHE worked with service users and health professionals from The Havens network of specialist sexual assault referral centres, to ensure the content and language used is inclusive and acceptable.


Patient Experience Library launches waiting list tool

The Patient Experience Library has released a waiting list tool bringing together waiting times for treatments in every NHS Trust in England.

Its launch follows publication of the Patient, Noun, Adjective report with National Voices and Care Opinion last year which explored people's experiences of waiting for care.

People talked about 'fighting the system' and being in 'an information vacuum'.

It is hoped the tool will also be useful to GPs, particularly at the point of referral when patients are keen to find out how long they might have to wait for treatment.

Patient Experience Library

Event: Science documentary film-making course 

PIF members are being offered a 10% discount on a three-day science documentary film-making course.

The professional course is aimed at researchers, academics, science communicators, post grads, post docs, healthcare professionals and others working in scientific industries. 

It takes place at Folly Farm, Bristol, from 12-14 July.

The 10% discount applies to the £450 course fee only, not the accommodation.

To claim the discount, mention your PIF membership when booking via the link below.

Blue Fire Films

NHS Confed Virtual Conference 2021

The NHS Confed Virtual Conference 2021 takes place next week from 15-17 June.

The keynote speaker for this year's event is Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Click on the link below to view the full agenda and book your place.

NHS Confed Conference

Awards: Quality in Care 2021

Initiatives improving the quality of life of people with diabetes will once again be recognised at the Quality in Care (QiC) awards.

This year there is a new online entry portal and two new categories:

  • Equality and Diversity – reducing variation of care and outcomes
  • Diabetes Collaborative Project of the Year

There is no entry fee and the closing date is 2 July.

Finalists will be notified by 17 September and invited to watch the live stream awards.

The full list of categories, entry and judging information is available by clicking on the link below.

QiC Diabetes