Population health 'crucial' to economic growth

A major new BMA report calls on the Government to consider the health of the population as crucial to sustainable economic growth, rather than being dependent on a prosperous economy.

In Valuing Health: why prioritising population health is essential to prosperity, the Association calls on governments and policy makers to move beyond GDP as the predominant measure of national success.  

It says the nation is facing a ‘ticking time-bomb’ of ill health with current Government policies insufficient to meet the scale of the challenge. 

The BMA argues health is the responsibility of all ministers and departments. 

However, the current discourse focuses on healthcare and treatments instead of developing and sustaining trajectories that preserve health. 

Read the report in full here.

A renewed vision for the NHS

A new report outlines NHS Confederation members' views on what national bodies and the Government should consider when planning for the future.

This includes how NHS Long Term Plan priorities may need to be adjusted post COVID-19.

It argues any long-term strategy review should seek to achieve three aims:

  • A less centralised approach to reflect a different health and care landscape
  • Clarity on how systems can 'act as a bridge to a bolder and more optimistic future'
  • Honesty about expectations, acknowledging the public engagement needed to navigate capacity challenges

Read the report in full here.

Funding of £1.8m to explore regulation of digital mental health tools

PIF member NICE and the MHRA have been awarded £1.8m funding by Wellcome to explore and produce guidance on regulating digital mental health tools.

The project will review key aspects of medical device regulations to produce guidance supporting digital mental health in several significant areas. 

These include determining what qualifies as a medical device, the risk classification they would fall under, as well as a review of the current evidence base for these devices.

Find out more here.

Get ready for Self Care Week 2022

The theme for Self Care Week 2022, which takes place from 14 to 20 November, is Exercise Self Care for Life. 

If you would like to get involved in this year's activity, PIF partner The Self Care Forum has free resources on its website.

The charity also has a series of factsheets which are free to download and share, including The POWER of Self Care.

Find out more about how to get involved here.

Survey: The GP Data Trust pilot study

Researchers from the University of Manchester are carrying out two surveys to help them gain insights and design a GP Data Trust.

In May 2021, NHS Digital announced the GPDPR programme would collect primary care data to be used in research and planning activities. 

More than one million people opted out of the programme, prompting NHS Digital to delay its launch.

The General Practice Data Trust (GPDT) pilot study aims to explore:  

  • Why patients opted out of sharing their GP data
  • Whether a Data Trust model could provide a more acceptable method for sharing GP data for health research and planning purposes

Online surveys and interviews will be carried out until 30 November.

Take part in the patient survey here.

Take part in the GP survey here.

Patients' experiences of cardiac rehabilitation

PIF member The British Heart Foundation has published a report exploring patients' experiences of cardiac rehabilitation.

Key findings in the report include:

  • 73% of patients would have preferred their initial assessment to be face to face, but only 40% received it in this way
  • 66% were not able to change their mode of delivery once they had started their programme
  • Only 45% agreed they were aware of what services were available in their local area

Read more on the findings here.

Study: Emotions and topics on Twitter during the pandemic

A new study aims to use deep learning-based methods to understand public emotions on topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.

Analysis of more than 500,000 Tweets from 48 different cities found meaningful differences in public emotions and topics. 

Overall, the proportion and expressions of emojis, sentiments, emotions and topics varied geographically and temporally. 

Researchers say their approach can potentially lead to informing how public policies are received in a particular geographical area.

Read the full study here.

Facing up to Long Covid

In this article for The King's Fund, Jo Maybin shares her experience of Long Covid.

She asks the reader not to look away from the 'mass disabling event' affecting two million people in the UK.

Read the article in full here.

Survey: Energy bills relief scheme

The Charity Finance Group is urging all third sector organisations to take part in a Government survey on its Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

The short-term support provided to charities and businesses under the Energy Bill Relief Scheme should start filtering through to energy accounts during October and November. 

As part of the scheme the government has committed to finding out more about the needs of specific sectors, to plan for longer-term support.

The survey closes on 24 October.

Read more about how to take part here.

Six tips for creating accessible web content

AbilityNet has updated its short guide to creating accessible web content.

The blog offers advice on how to use headings and sub-headings, front load key information and provide meaningful alt text.

Read the six tips for accessible content here.

Event: Get involved in World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day takes place on Thursday, 20 October.

PIF member the Royal Osteoporosis Society is asking everyone to get involved by sharing its new osteoporosis risk checker.

The free risk checker offers people free, tailored advice about their risk and practical tips on how to take action on their bone health.

Access the risk checker here.

Health Literacy Tool Shed

An online database offers information on various health literacy measures.

The database is designed to help researchers find the right health literacy tool, based on a review of peer-reviewed literature.

It was created in America by organisations including Boston University.

Access the tool here.