Review into impact of potential bias in medical devices

A review will examine whether the way medical devices and technologies are designed and used could mean a patient's diagnosis and treatment is affected by their gender or ethnic background. 

The independent review will look at devices such as oximeters to identify potential discrepancies in how they work for different ethnic groups.

All devices will be covered by the review.

The review aims to:

  • Identify where systematic bias and risk exist with existing approved devices
  • Make recommendations on how these should be tackled, including potential regulation
  • Be future-focused and consider the enhanced risk of bias in the emerging range of algorithmic based data/artificial intelligence tools 
  • Present initial findings by the end of January 2022.


Making the case for a men's health strategy

A coalition of organisations, led by the Men's Health Forum, is calling for the Government to develop a men's health strategy.

It says the Government's commitment to a women's health strategy recognises the need for gender-informed healthcare and the two strategies should work in parallel.

The campaign highlights international examples of men's health strategies.

It says, since Ireland introduced its strategy in 2008, life expectancy has increased from 76.8 (2005-07) to 79.6 (2015-17) and the life expectancy gap between men and women has declined from 4.8 to 3.8 years.

The campaign calls on the Government to start by establishing a ministerial men’s health taskforce.

Men's Health Forum

Insights from those living with COPD

The British Lung Foundation has published a report sharing insights from those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the UK.

Failing on the fundamentals found 60.6% of respondents did not feel they had enough support and knowledge to manage their COPD post diagnosis.

Only 42.2% remembered receiving written support materials to support their new diagnosis, despite NICE specifying all patients with COPD should receive this. 

Only 31.7% of respondents reported having a COPD self-management plan despite it being included in NICE's 'five fundamentals' of COPD care.

The report also found a lack of public knowledge often manifests as negative attitudes towards people with COPD.

British Lung Foundation

Timely access to care: Principles for recovery

National Voices has published a new report setting out recommendations to help rebuild timely access to health and care.

The report says we need to 'stop obsessing' about channels of care delivery and focus on outcomes – inclusion, personalisation, choice, timely and appropriate access.

Key recommendations are split into three groups for: Government and system leaders, people planning and delivering services, and the VCSE sector.

National Voices

PIF members recognised at HSJ Awards 2021

PIF members have been recognised at the HSJ Awards 2021, held on 18 November.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde was part of a group which won Digitising Patient Services Initiative for a joint digital dermatology assessment project.

NHS England and NHS Improvement won Workforce Initiative of the Year for its #LookingAfterYouToo programme.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals FT was highly commended for Acute or Specialist Trust of the Year.

It was also highly commended for the Connecting Services and Information Award alongside North East and North Cumbria ICS for the Great North Care Record.

Click on the link below to view the full list of winners.

HSJ Awards

Study: Patients' and healthcare workers' perceptions of migraine images

A new study aims to analyse how patients with migraine and healthcare workers perceive online images of migraine.

Authors found standard images of migraine attacks are considered only slightly or moderately realistic by patients and healthcare workers. 

Some characteristics perceived as more realistic, such as male models or older age, are in contrast with migraine epidemiology. 

They concluded a more accurate representation of migraine in the media could help to raise awareness for migraine and reduce the associated stigma.


Temporary contraception available from pharmacies in Scotland

Women will be able to access a temporary three-month supply of the progestogen-only contraceptive pill from community pharmacies in Scotland following a successful pilot across Lothian and Tayside.  

The move aims to help bridge the gap between emergency contraception and use of longer term contraception. 

Ensuring women have the support they need to manage and improve their own health, including providing them with a choice of contraceptive options, is central to the Scottish Government’s Women’s Health Plan.

It is also the first step to a Woman’s Health and Wellbeing service in community pharmacies.

Scottish Government

Understanding medical abbreviations and shorthand

A GP has founded a new website designed to help patients and healthcare workers understand and translate many of the abbreviations and shorthand words used in medical notes.

Dr Simon Hodes' Medical TLA Buster includes an alphabetical list of some of the most common abbreviations with short definitions.

Medical TLA Buster

NICE updates guidance on managing long-term effects of COVID-19

NICE has updated its COVID-19 rapid guideline: managing the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Changes made on 11 November include: new recommendations and updated recommendations on identification; planning care; multidisciplinary rehabilitation; follow up, monitoring and discharge; and service organisation. 

A list of common symptoms was also updated, emphasising they may be different for children.


Long Covid Information Leaflet published

Long Covid Support, along with Long Covid Kids have developed a new information leaflet designed to identify the symptoms of Long Covid.

It includes separate lists of common symptoms for adults and children, as well as links to further support.

Long Covid Support

COVID-19: migrant health guide updated

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities has updated its advice for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients during COVID-19.

The update includes a vaccine confidence toolkit, and new translated guidance on booster doses and testing.


NHS deal on spinal muscular atrophy at home treatment

A drug that can improve mobility in children and adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) will be available on the NHS following a new commercial deal.

Risdiplam will be used to treat hundreds of patients a year with SMA.

The drug improves motor function and is taken as a syrup medicine once a day after meals. 

It is the first non-injectable treatment for SMA and can be taken at home.

NHS England

Survey: Self Care Week 2021

Did you take part in Self Care Week 2021? 

The Self Care Forum has launched a short survey to help inform its review into how Self Care Week is helping to raise awareness of the benefits of self care.

Click on the link below to complete the survey.

Self Care Week