Public views on the future of the NHS

The Health Foundation has published a report summarising public views on the future of the NHS in England. The report is based on deliberative research and polling. Key points include:

  • The public is dissatisfied with how the NHS is currently working and is concerned about its future but maintains a deep appreciation for the health service and strong attachment to its founding principles.
  • On balance, the public wants primary and community care to be a higher priority for NHS resources than hospital services.
  • Despite high-profile calls to introduce additional patient charges or move to a system of social health insurance, participants overwhelmingly preferred keeping the current NHS funding model over these alternatives.

Download the full report via the Health Foundation website here.

Study: The role of internet diffusion in vaccine hesitancy

Researchers have explored the effect of internet diffusion on uptake of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The results indicated access to the internet increased vaccine hesitancy between 2000 and 2011. The impact of increased access to potentially incorrect information was greater among parents with higher education and income levels.

Authors concluded correcting false beliefs is challenging but interventions from social media platforms, public health campaigns and access to high-quality health information that internet users can understand can contribute to curb vaccine hesitancy. All these interventions should consider that internet access can have a heterogeneous effect on vaccine uptake.

Read the study findings in full via the Wiley Online Library here.

Improving end of life care

A new report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman calls for urgent improvements to the process and communication surrounding do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR). It says, although discussions are positive when done in the right way, this is not always happening and improvements to the discussion process are needed. Key findings include:

  • A lack of accessible information given at the time or before DNACPR discussions take place.
  • A lack of public awareness about CPR and who is responsible for making decisions.
  • Fears about ableist and ageist attitudes and behaviours within the NHS.  

Download the full report via the Ombudsman website here.

Prostate screening project opens up dialogue

A GP surgery has run a project to improve awareness and access to prostate cancer advice and screening for high risk men. Chapelford Medical Centre based the project on a toolkit from PIF member Prostate Cancer UK. Men identified as high risk were contacted and offered information about the risks and benefits of a PSA blood test, details of how to book a test and access to a personalised risk checker from Prostate Cancer UK.

As well as potentially saving lives, the project led to increased diagnoses of other pathologies such as enlarged prostate and overactive bladder. It also opened up a dialogue with men about prostate, bladder and urinary symptoms. The project was well received by participants who were empowered to make informed decisions about their care.

Read the full case study via the NHS Cheshire and Merseyside website here.

Experiences of personalised care in Scotland

The Scottish Government has published the results of the latest Health and Care Experience Survey. The survey asked about peoples’ experiences of accessing and using their GP and other local healthcare services 

It included statements on personalised care which participants were asked to rate on a five-point scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The most most positively rated statement was: "I understood the information I was given" (9 in 10). However, one of the most negatively rated statements was: "Staff helped me to feel in control of my treatment and care" (1 in 10).

Read the full results via the Scottish Government website here.

Menstrual health in psychiatric inpatient settings

The National Survivor User Network has published a report exploring experiences of menstruation within psychiatric inpatient settings. It highlights that patients in psychiatric hospitals are often insufficiently supported with needs relating to their menstrual health.

The aim is to inform subsequent action and campaigns to address the menstrual injustices patients face. This includes the production of patient-led guidelines to outline tangible actions mental health service providers and regulators can take to improve support for patients.

Download the full report via the National Survivor User Network website here.

Royal colleges publish whooping cough joint statement and poster

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) have issued a joint statement on whooping cough. The statement outlines advice for parents, carers and health professionals. It also calls on NHS England and equivalent bodies across the nations to prioritise public facing targeted campaigns to improve vaccine coverage. 

The colleges have also published an information poster which can be downloaded and posted in healthcare settings. The poster is designed to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated.

Read the full statement and download the poster via the RCPCH website here.

ALISS announces plans for next three years

A searchable web-based system which aims to give everyone in Scotland the information they need to stay well has published its aims for the next three years. ALISS, A Local Information System for Scotland, allows users to find relevant local and national services, groups, activities and resources.

Based on insights from the past three years, ALISS has published a new roadmap focused on five key areas: more data, better data, better experience, more users and better insights.

Read more about ALISS via the ALLIANCE website here.

Involving pharmacists in mental health care

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has launched a campaign to increase the involvement of pharmacists in mental health care. The campaign highlights the impact mental health illness can have on life expectancy and the need to tackle complex medicines needs for potentially isolated patients.

The Society is calling for a number of changes including empowering pharmacists to manage the physical health of people with mental health conditions and the development of a service to support people newly prescribed an antidepressant.

Read more about the campaign via the Society website here.