Toolkit for integrating patient decision aids

The Health Decisions Sciences Centre has designed a toolkit for integrating patient decision aids into routine care.

It covers six core elements for implementation, based on 15 years of learning.

It also offers links to other resources.

The work was funded by a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute award.

Visit the tool kit on the Health Decisions Sciences Centre website here.

Antibiotic resistant infections and associated deaths increase

PIF member the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has raised concerns about rising antibiotic resistance.

More than 58,000 people in England had an antibiotic resistant infection in 2022.

This was a rise from 55,792 cases in 2021.

Deaths caused by severe antibiotic resistant infections increased from 2,110 in 2021 to 2,202 in 2022.

Asian or Asian British ethnic groups had almost double the proportion of antibiotic resistant infections compared to white ethnic groups.   

Read more from via GOV.UK.

Charity responds to back-to-work plan for disabled people

Disability Rights UK has responded to Jeremy Hunt’s Back to Work Plan.

It said there has been a seemingly relentless attack on vulnerable, long-term sick and disabled people on benefits.

The charity said benefits are the sole income for many people because work is not an option.

For those who want to work, threats are not helpful and are causing worsening health issues for those who already have long-term ill health or a lifelong disability.

It says barriers to work do not lie with disabled people but with society.

Read the full response on the Disability Rights UK website here.

Personal stories highlight bone care needs

PIF member the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) has produced a film as part of its campaign for more government funding to diagnose and treat osteoporosis.

The film, Shedding Light on an Invisible Crisis, is part of the society’s Better Bones campaign.

It features stories from four people describing their experience of osteoporosis and explaining why they back the campaign.

View the new film on the society's YouTube channel here.

Read more about the campaign via the website.

Podcast: Lost in translation

A new File on 4 podcast reveals the consequences of shortcomings in public service interpretation.

It says the service can be a lifeline for people who do not speak English.

However, over the past five years interpreting and communication problems due to language difficulties have been a factor in the death or serious brain injury of more than 80 babies in NHS maternity units in England. 

Listen to the full podcast via BBC Sounds.

Accessible sarcoma information dashboard launched

PIF member Sarcoma UK has launched a new online information dashboard.

The dashboard is designed to make it easier to find out about different types of sarcomas.

Coloured buttons highlight statistics and lead to information pages about 84 subtypes of soft tissue sarcomas.

Information on the dashboard and its linked data hub comes from a study led by researchers at University College London (UCL).

Visit the dashboard on the Sarcoma UK website here.

Read more about the UCL study here.

QR code scams on the increase

Action Fraud is receiving hundreds of crime reports a year linked to QR codes.

More than 400 such offences were logged in the first nine months of 2023, compared with 112 in 2020.

The figures were revealed in a BBC report into a QR code scam in North Yorkshire.

Organisations should be aware of the risk of fraud when using QR codes on health information.

Read more via the BBC website here.

Pharmacy First to launch in England

Pharmacies in England will be able to offer advice and supply NHS medicines to patients with seven common health conditions from January.

The Pharmacy First scheme is an expansion of existing NHS community pharmacy services, such as blood pressure checks. It is already underway in the rest of the UK.

Pharmacy First allows pharmacists to supply some prescription-only medicines for conditions including sinusitis, earache and shingles.

Pharmacists will also be able to start people on oral contraception from 1 December.

Read more about the Pharmacy First contract via GOV.UK.

Call for WHO to declare climate change a global health emergency

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change has launched a petition asking the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare climate change a global public health emergency.

The petition says global emergency status would help facilitate a coordinated international response.

It highlights some of the damage done by climate change, and the inequalities in impact across the globe.

Sign the petition on the alliance website here.

Complete set of diabetes videos now available

The Global Health Media Project (GHMP) has launched the final videos in a series of 34 looking at different aspects of diabetes.

The Diabetes Series is aimed at people who are at risk of the disease, people with diabetes and healthcare professionals.

All the videos are also being produced in French and Spanish. These versions will be available soon.

Watch the videos on the GHMP website here.

GPs get AI stethoscopes to test diagnostic capability

An artificial intelligence (AI) stethoscope already piloted by PIF member Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is going into 100 primary care practices for further trials.

It is hoped the stethoscope will help GPs diagnose heart failure quickly and efficiently.

The Imperial College pilot has already shown it can test for heart failure with high levels of sensitivity compared to expensive and invasive routine diagnostic tests. 

Partners in the primary care trial are PIF member Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and The NHS North West London Integrated Care System.

The trial is being funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Read more on the Imperial College website here.

Patients Association urges PM to think again on waiting list funding

PIF member The Patients Association has written to prime minster Rishi Sunak urging him to consider the human impact of scaling back ambitions for elective care.

Chief executive Rachel Power said the decision will affect patients who are already unwell, vulnerable and disadvantaged.

Read the full letter on the Patients Association website here.

Additional funding for community link workers

An additional £3.6 million of funding over three years is being provided to preserve Glasgow’s Community Link Worker (CLW) programme.

Confirming the additional funding, the Scottish Government said Community Link Workers offer one-to-one support for issues such as debt, housing and loneliness. This reduces pressure on GPs.

The increased funding was announced following pressure by community organisations.

Read more via the Scottish Government website here.