'Inadequate' information on medicines in pregnancy pushes risk onto women and healthcare professionals

A new report setting out a vision for the UK to become a leader in the development of safe, effective and accessible medicines for use in pregnancy has been launched in the House of Commons.

Healthy Mum, Healthy Baby, Healthy Future says the 'ongoing revolution' in medicines and vaccines has 'completely failed' pregnant women.

It says women who require medication can have difficult choices to make when they become pregnant.

Inadequate research and information pushes the responsibility, and risk, of decision making onto individual clinicians and women.

The report, published by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Health Partners, makes a series of recommendations. They include:

  • Providing pregnancy-specific information on safety, dosing and effectiveness for existing medicines
  • A cross-sector coalition delivering clear and consistent messages to the public and clinicians on medicines in pregnancy
  • Improving use of routine clinical care maternity data

Action on Pre-Eclampsia

Consultation: Working in partnership with people and communities

The NHS is seeking views on its draft guidance for Working in Partnership with People and Communities.

The guidance sets out 10 principles including:

  • Ensuring people and communities have an active role in decision-making
  • Involving people and communities at every stage and providing feedback on their impact
  • Clear and accessible public information
  • Using co-production to encourage active participation

The consultation closes on 30 May.


Supporting older people waiting for surgery

PIF member Independent Age has published a toolkit for NHS Acute Trusts on supporting older people waiting for surgery.

It says appropriate support and clear communication before, during and after surgery can make a huge difference to someone’s experience and outcomes. 

Older people told the charity that patient communications, especially those outside consultation, are important and play a role in their overall wellbeing while waiting for treatment.

Independent Age

Perinatal experiences during COVID-19 in Scotland

A report by Public Health Scotland explores the impact of changes in maternity services during the pandemic on women and staff.

Women across all maternity pathways described how the prospect of having to attend services alone caused anxiety.

Among those who had to attend services alone, many described a lasting impact on their mental health.

Younger women and women from lower income households were more likely to feel concerned about having people come into their home due to COVID-19 and less likely to feel involved in care planning or have enough privacy.

The report highlights that socially disadvantaged women are more likely to experience poorer quality maternity care when technology is used to replace in-person appointments. 

Women with mental health conditions are less likely to receive good quality care across a range of appointment types and care settings. 

Public Health Scotland

Effects of a debunking campaign concerning vaccine misinformation

A research article examines whether debunking campaigns are effective at decreasing misinformation belief and vaccination hesitancy.

Authors discovered a debunking effect was only found in participants with a medium belief in misinformation and did not extend to their vaccination intentions. 

Among participants with a high misinformation belief, analysis revealed a small unintended backfiring effect on vaccination intentions.

They concluded debunking is an effective communication strategy to address moderate levels of misinformation beliefs, but it does not constitute a one-fits-all strategy to reduce vaccination hesitancy among the general public. 

Additional initiatives, addressing individual concerns with targeted and authentic communication, should be taken to enhance the impact on hesitant populations and avoid backfiring effects.

Taylor & Francis Online

Health and care for older adults during the pandemic

The Health Foundation has published a UK analysis of The Commonwealth Fund’s 2021 International Health Policy survey.

The survey asked 18,989 older adults across 11 countries about their health and healthcare between March and June 2021. 

Analysis showed the UK performed comparatively well in areas including access to GPs and support after hospital discharge.

However, it also had higher rates of cancelled or missed appointments than other countries.

Health Foundation

Public guide to getting involved in research

The NIHR has published a public guide to getting involved in health and social care research.

Starting Out Guide – Why and how to get involved in research is aimed at members of the public who would like to, or have recently become, involved in research. 

It includes information on the difference research participation can make and questions to ask when joining a project or trial.


Survey: Diabetes information and support

The ALLIANCE is asking people to share their experiences of diabetes information and support in Scotland.

The survey is open to people with lived experience, families and carers and those with an interest in the development of diabetes information.

Findings from the survey will be used to inform future policy decisions.


Supporting patient engagement with digital health care innovations

A new report summarises key learnings from a large-scale evaluation of digital technologies in health and social care in East London.

It says digital health innovations can be used to enhance care but should not be framed as a replacement for face-to-face support. 

Instead, it is important to take a person-centred approach where digital tools are offered as part of a wider set of options.

Nuffield Trust

Survey: Cervical screening campaign

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) is seeking views on this year's cervical screening campaign.

Feedback will be used to understand how the campaign was used locally and the impact on screening appointments.

It is also an opportunity to identify different approaches. The survey closes on 27 May.


Healthcare communication and how it is changing

This pharmaphorum article outlines key talking points from a recent webinar on healthcare communications.

It says communications must simplify, illustrate and streamline the complex healthcare system and data to create understandable content for decision making.

Different channels also present an opportunity to connect with audiences in a purposeful way.


Co-production Week 2022

National Co-production Week is back for a seventh year, taking place from 4 July to 9 July. 

The event celebrates the benefits of co-production, shares good practice and promotes the contribution of users in developing better public services.

For more information and resources for this year's event, visit the SCIE website.