Delivering preventative healthcare in an ageing world

The ILC has published a new report making a series of recommendations to help embed preventative healthcare in G20 countries.

It says the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted many governments' failures to prioritise prevention and health inequalities.

However, it also showed how quickly governments can adapt health systems when they choose to do so.

The report makes several recommendations across the key areas of investment in prevention systems, engaging key actors, democratising access and using technology. They include:

  • Encouraging healthcare professionals and providers to develop links with trusted local actors to disseminate information
  • Establishing person-centred care as a central tenet of healthcare system delivery
  • Providing clear transparency, consent processes, and guidance on what data protection laws mean for patients


Northern Ireland Confederation calls for health to be 'central to national mission'

The Northern Ireland Confederation for Health and Social Care has published an election manifesto calling for support from politicians and the public.

It says progress is possible in healthcare if 'we make health central to our national mission'. The report sets out four key priorities:

  • Investment in Workforce
  • Sustainable Funding
  • Service Redesign
  • Collaborative and Engaged Leadership

Eight supporting priorities include a population health approach, mental health and engaged patients and partners.

NHS Confederation

Call for evidence for new 10-year plan to improve mental health

The Department of Health and Social Care has launched a call for evidence to inform a new 10-year mental health plan.

The plan aims to 'level up' mental health across the country and put mental and physical health on an equal footing.

The public, those with lived experience of mental ill-health, and health and care professionals have until 5 July to share views on how support and services should adapt for the future.


Social media, public health and community mitigation of COVID-19

A new report explores the challenges, risks and benefits of using social media to spread public health messages.

Authors say, the amount of misinformation and disinformation reaching users points to a need for public health agencies to create communications conveying accurate and current information that will actually be viewed. 

The report makes a series of recommendations for the future of social media public health messaging including:

  • Where science is not definitive, messages should make clear there is an evolving context
  • Partnerships with carefully vetted content creators
  • Clear dialogue about what constitutes misinformation


Social listening and the exclusion of marginalised voices

In this article, Irene Scott explores how a lack of transparency about data limitations could impact on the ability of social listening reports to meet their public health aims.

A key problem when using social media data to understand community-wide perceptions is a lack of equitable access.

In social media metrics worldwide, women are underrepresented, as are elderly populations, people living with disabilities and low-income groups. 

She concludes the limitations of data collected using social media analytics tools, while known, are not adequately discussed in reporting.

Centre for Humanitarian Leadership

Study: Risk perception and disease knowledge in attendees of a community cancer screening programme

A new study explores the perception of lung cancer risk in attendees of a community-based screening service, located in socio-economically deprived areas of Manchester.

Authors made a number of key findings including:

  • Lung cancer screening attendees overestimate personal and population absolute risk
  • Actual risk correlates with perceived comparative risk, not perceived absolute risk
  • Women have higher risk perception, lung cancer worry and general anxiety than men
  • Family history of lung cancer is an important driver of perceived risk
  • Lung cancer survival is overestimated and some risk factors are not well recognised

They say the data has important implications for pre-screening counselling, informed participation, and public health messaging.

Lung Cancer Journal

Can we redefine health literacy?

In this article, Christine Wilson argues communication should never be a one-way street and the burden of 'literacy' should not be shifted to patients.

Healthcare providers and systems have a responsibility to ensure patients understand their conditions and have access to resources.

She argues health literacy is purely a function of effective communications between patients and their providers.

National Patient Advocate Foundation

United against health inequalities

An NHS Providers survey of NHS Trust leaders shows high board-level commitment to tackling health inequalities.

Two thirds of respondents (65%) say they are confident their board has effective leadership commitment and governance in place to address health inequalities.

However, they also describe a number of barriers to progress. 

The majority say wider system pressures and operational challenges act as a hindrance to their work on health inequalities.

Access to data about health inequalities within their trust and across the wider system is also a challenge.

NHS Providers

Improving the evidence on ethnic health disparities

A joint project by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Wellcome and the Race Equality Foundation aims to improve estimates of ethnic health disparities in England.

The project will attempt to improve understanding of differences between sources of data on ethnicity and propose methods to make it easier to draw conclusions across studies.

 Expected outcomes include updated estimates of key health indicators by ethnicity.


Experiences of people affected by cancer

A new report summarises people's experiences of prehabilitation cancer services in 2021.

The report was published by ALLIANCE in partnership with PIF member Macmillan Cancer Support.

It breaks down findings from the focus groups into five key areas:

  • Awareness and perceptions of ‘cancer prehabilitation’
  • Accessing cancer prehabilitation support
  • Perceived cancer prehabilitation support needs
  • The role of information and digital technology
  • Wider themes for consideration


Quick guide to supporting unpaid carers

A new guide offers advice on how to support people providing unpaid care for adults with health or social care needs.

The guide was developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) in partnership with PIF member NICE.

It is available as a download or interactive web resource.


Consultation on water fluoridation

The Department of Health and Social Care is seeking views on how it proposes to consult on future water fluoridation schemes.

Members of the public are asked to give their views on whether future consultations should only include people living in areas directly affected by fluoridation.

The consultation closes on 3 June.


Survey: Healthy Ireland – Men Action Plan

Global Action on Men's Health (GAMH) is hosting a survey on the Healthy Ireland - Men [HI-M] Action Plan.

Organisations and individuals with views about men's health in Ireland can share their views on the implementation and impact of the last Action Plan, lessons to be learned for the next plan and what it should include.

The survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete and closes on 13 May.