Reimagining medicines information for patients

A new report investigates experiences of medicines product information and whether it can be improved.

One size doesn’t fit all: reimagining medicines information for patients also explores the potential impact of improvements on medications adherence and the use of digital solutions. Key findings include:

  • 55% have readability concerns, for example font size, quantity and relevance of information provided
  • 27% have comprehension concerns, for example technical language making it difficult to understand
  • 29% said they had no difficulties

The report makes 3 recommendations to develop and implement electronic product information (ePI):

  • Focus on patients – co-design digital solutions, particularly with those who have difficulty accessing information or additional needs, and train healthcare professionals to recognise health and literacy needs
  • Optimise the impact of technology – demonstrate trustworthiness and make ePI an integral part of the digital health landscape
  • Ensure strong connections with regulation and policy setters – strengthen the real-world evidence base and obtain government support.

Read more and download the report via the Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network website here.

Study: Engaging adults with literacy needs in the co-creation of a hospital-based health literacy plan

A new study explores how participants in an adult literacy programme can help identify priority areas for a hospital health literacy action plan and develop a protocol for patient and public involvement.

Key areas prioritised for health literacy action by participants were verbal communication, emphasising the patient's right to understand and improved understanding of medication use. 

Researchers concluded genuine engagement with service users can contribute to relevant and sustainable changes to services, and foster the empowerment of service users.

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

Public health annual report 2023

The Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) have published their public health annual report.

Key findings in this year's report include:

  • The rising cost of living is having an impact on people’s health. People with least financial resilience are affected the most but increasing numbers of people now need support
  • There is concern that, without adequate resourcing, all the hard work done will be insufficient compared to the impact of health inequalities
  • The engagement of councils and public health by integrated care systems (ICSs) is mixed.

Read more about the report via the Local Government Association website here.

Exploring the ‘silencing’ of patient voices in healthcare

A six-year study has been launched to investigate injustices in how people are treated by the healthcare system, in the hope of improving patient trust.

The Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare (EPIC) study will explore how and when epistemic injustice occurs in the UK healthcare system and how it can be addressed.

Epistemic injustice in healthcare is when patients are dismissed as being unreliable when it comes to relaying their experiences of illness.

Read more via the pharmaphorum website here.

Study: Communicating health literacy on prescription medications on social media

A new study exploring how social media patient influencers communicate health literacy on pharmaceutical medications to their followers, identifies 3 main themes:

  • Understanding disease through experience
  • Staying informed on the science or field
  • Suggesting physicians know best.

Researchers concluded patient influencers share their knowledge and experience in efforts to help others learn about disease self-management and improve their quality of life. 

They can break down complex health information and mitigate the loneliness and isolation other patients may feel without the support of a community.

But the phenomenon of using patient influencers in brand campaigns raises ethical questions that need more investigation. 

Read the study findings in full via the JMIR website here.

Ethnicity and young people’s health inequalities

A new report by the Association for Young People's Health (AYPH) highlights the health inequalities experienced by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The report is based on a review of publicly available data sources.

It highlights key statistics on obesity, mental health, vaccination rates, hospital admissions and poverty.

Read the full report via the AYPH website here.

Read a blog exploring the evidence here.

The Health and Disability White Paper

The Government has published proposals it says will help more disabled people and people with health conditions to 'start, stay and succeed in work'.

Transforming Support: The Health and Disability White Paper was published earlier this month.

The White Paper is available in a range of formats via the Gov.UK website here.

Improving health outcomes in the community

Last month, Public Policy Projects (PPP) held the second roundtable of its Population Health in Business series.

Improving health outcomes in the community, was chaired by Professor Donna Hall CBE.

It examined how businesses can promote health equity within a community, and how the public sector can support them to do so.

Read a write up of the event via the Public Policy Projects website here.

Social Prescribing Around the World

The National Academy for Social Prescribing has published a report exploring social prescribing developments in 24 countries.

The report, jointly published with the Global Social Prescribing Alliance and World Health Organization, shows differences and commonalities in implementation and practice.

Read the full report via the Social Prescribing Academy Website here.

New self management tool for Long Covid

Let’s Get On With It Together (LGOWIT) and Covid Aid have launched an online tool to help people living with Long Covid in Scotland manage their symptoms.

The tool includes 11 modules and supporting materials.

Find out more and register for free via the Covid Aid website here.

Sport and activity learning resources

Sport England has published new learning resources to help adapt sport and physical activity offers to meet people's needs, interests and motivations as they get older.

The resources are based on learning's from Sport England's work over 5 years with 25 Active Ageing partners. 

The programme has supported more than 30,000 older adults into sport and physical activity.

Read the full report via the Sport England website here.

New lung donation factsheet

The European Lung Foundation (ELF) has published a factsheet on lung donation.

The factsheet is currently available in 9 languages, including Polish and Russian.

View the factsheet via the ELF website here.

Webinar: Writing in plain English

PIF member texthelp has published a recorded webinar on plain English best practice.

The 1-hour webinar is hosted by Sarah Marriott, training director at Plain English Ireland. 

It explores how to write reports, guides and emails which are easy to understand and use.

Register for free via the texthelp website here.