Remote technology in mental health services

A briefing by the Centre for Mental Health summarises six studies on the use of technology in mental health services.

It says the use of remote care has the potential to offer new and effective options for mental health support. Advantages include:

  • Breaking down geographical barriers in service provision
  • Enhancing continuity of care
  • Supporting involvement from family and others

However, the briefing says, to ensure benefits are distributed equitably and no one is disadvantaged, significant shifts in how services work are needed.

It highlights major concerns around safety, equity and efficacy including:

  • A lack of privacy
  • No access to a reliable internet connection
  • Particular challenges for people with hearing or visual impairments

The briefing makes a series of recommendations to overcome these challenges.

Read the briefing in full here.

Study: Monkeypox content on TikTok

A new study analyses trending monkeypox content on TikTok to assess metrics affecting user engagement and content quality.

TikTok is the most downloaded app globally. Its expansion to 10-minute videos last year increased its potential to disseminate health information.

Researchers found physician-created content was of higher quality and contained fewer misleading statements.

However, it had reduced engagement compared to non-physician-created content and rarely discussed management.

Authors concluded physicians should consider including a discussion of treatments and using hashtags selectively to increase user engagement.

Read the findings in full here.

Ethnicity differences in organ donation and transplantation

A report by NHS Blood and Transplant outlines the need for more organ donors of black and Asian heritage.

In 2021-22 people of Asian heritage represented three per cent of deceased donors but 15 per cent of deceased donor transplants and 18 per cent of the transplant waiting list.

Those of black heritage represented two per cent of deceased donors but nine per cent of deceased donor transplants and 10 per cent of the waiting list. 

It also found family consent or authorisation is lower for potential donors from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Read more and access the full report here.

Study: Co-designing a digital social network for young people with Type 1 diabetes

A new study describes the co-design of a social network for young people with Type 1 diabetes and their experiences when using the network.

Authors found, for the interpersonal values, supporting, learning and relating to emerge, the framework of the network must be appealing and user-friendly. 

The limits of time and place are eliminated and there is a possibility for many more to join in.

They concluded specific social networks are important for improved co-produced care.

Read the study findings in full here.

New standards to improve the safety of invasive procedures in the NHS

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) has published new National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIPs).

For the first time, all hospitals across the UK will adopt the same National Safety Standards for all invasive procedures.

This includes the increasing number of procedures undertaken in maternity units, emergency departments and radiology departments.

View the new standards here.

The future of community pharmacy

PIF member National Voices has published a summary of discussions from its recent roundtable on the future of community pharmacy.

The event was hosted on behalf of the National Pharmacy Association. Key takeaways included:

  • Many charities see potential for community pharmacists to offer more services
  • Continuity of care within pharmacy is vital to support people with long term conditions
  • Trust is key
  • Pharmacies are well placed to deliver holistic care
  • Pharmacies can take a ‘no wrong door’ approach
  • Any adoption of digital approaches should put patient choice at the centre

At the start of 2023 PIF signed an open letter, published in The Times, calling for the Government to implement a national self care strategy.

In October last year, the Self Care Strategy Group, which includes PIF and PIF members PAGB and the Self Care Forum, published a blueprint for self care in England which calls for an enhanced role for community pharmacists.

Read the full discussion summary here.

New cancer animations launched

PIF member Macmillan Cancer Support has launched three new animations for people living with and affected by cancer.

The inclusive animations all have BSL signing and one of the animations, What is cancer?, has been dubbed into the charity's 16 core languages.

Watch the animations using the links below.

Having a PICC line put in

Having a central line put in

What is cancer?

Government urged to strengthen draft Mental Health Bill

The Government’s draft Mental Health Bill must be strengthened according to a committee of MPs and Peers.

A joint committee on the draft bill said action must be taken to address rising numbers detained under current legislation and tackle 'unacceptable and inexcusable failures' on racial inequalities.

The committee is calling for a comprehensive implementation and workforce plan with clear actions and milestones to be published alongside the bill.

Read the committee's full statement here.

Groundswell launches online Resources Hub

Groundswell, a charity creating solutions to end homelessness, has published a new resources hub.

The Hub aims to provide accessible information to people experiencing homelessness and those who support them. 

Guides have been produced in collaboration with relevant professionals and people with experience of homelessness. 

Topics include Mental Health & Homelessness; Winter Health; Women, Homelessness and Health; and Dual Diagnosis.

View all resources here.

Study: Medical journals' Twitter use

A new study aims to understand how medical journals use Twitter from a global standpoint.

Twitter profiles and metadata of medical journals were analysed along with the social networks on their Twitter accounts. Key findings include:

  • Journals with Twitter accounts had a significantly higher number of publications and a greater impact
  • Subscription journals had a slightly higher Twitter adoption rate than open access journals
  • Journals with higher impact had more followers
  • Prestigious journals rarely followed other lesser-known journals on social media

In addition, analysis of 2,000 randomly selected Tweets from four prestigious journals revealed:

  • The Lancet dedicated considerable effort to communicating with people about health information and fulfilling its social responsibility
  • The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association focused on promoting research articles
  • The British Medical Journal provided copious amounts of health information and discussed various health-related social problems to increase social awareness of the field of medicine

Read the full study findings here.

Podcast: Charting the nation’s health with John Burn-Murdoch

In the latest podcast from The King's Fund, Siva Anandaciva sits down with chief data reporter at the Financial Times, John Burn-Murdoch.

They discuss what data can tell us about the health of our nation and the state of the system.

Listen here via The King's Fund website.

Event: Health Inequalities – keeping young people at the centre

An online event will explore how to tackle health inequalities in Scotland with a focus on young people.

The session, which starts at 10.30am on 22 February, is part of the ALLIANCE's Annual Digital Gathering.

Click here for more information and to book.