Pressure on government to prioritise health over industry profits

A new report by a coalition of health charities says the UK Government must work to limit the damage done by tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy food and drink.

It says these four products are major causes of death and chronic disease and cost the UK billions in productivity.

The damage done is not equal across society, with people from lower socio-economic groups worse affected by unemployment, disease and early death.

The report was produced by Action on Smoking and Health, the Obesity Health Alliance and the Alcohol Health Alliance (AHA).

Recommendations for action by government include informing the public about the risks of health-harming products through campaigns and product labelling.

Read more and download the report on the AHA website here.

WHO campaigns to protect youth from tobacco industry products

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a campaign calling for an end to tobacco industry interference in health policy.

Stop the Lies aims to protect young people from tobacco industry products. 

It hopes to amplify youth voices, make tobacco industry tactics transparent and increase public awareness on the need to defend health policies.

Find out more on the WHO website here.

Scottish Government highlights vaping dangers

A new marketing campaign by the Scottish Government tells parents, carers and school pupils about the dangers of vaping.

The Take Hold campaign aims to let people know that vaping can lead to harmful nicotine addiction.

The campaign will go out via schools, radio ads and on advertising hoardings.

It is part of the new tobacco and vaping policy framework which aims to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034. 

Read more on the Scottish Government website here.

Study: Lack of interpreters forces healthcare staff to use shortcuts

Interviews with healthcare staff have revealed how inadequate provision of interpreters forces them to use shortcuts.

Researchers found inequity based on language was not recognised as discrimination.

Insufficient and substandard interpretation was accepted as the status quo and workarounds, such as gesticulating or translation phone apps, were used. 

While this allowed healthcare professionals to get the job done, it risked normalising structural gaps in care provision for people with limited English proficiency. 

Authors concluded policy makers must rethink their approach to interpretation, instead of prioritising cost over quality. 

Read the full study text on the BMJ Open website here.

New evidence collection looks at healthcare and the homeless

The latest in a series of evidence collections by The Patient Experience Library focuses on healthcare and the homeless.

The collection is based on investigation of two-and-a-half years of studies and reports.

Researchers found lots of evidence, much of it duplicated, about homeless people’s access to health services.

But they also found information gaps, such as a lack of evidence on hygiene poverty.

A report and interactive evidence map summarise the findings and allow users to focus on the evidence in areas of particular interest.

Find links to the report and map on The Patient Experience Library website here.

National Digital Inclusion Network continues to grow

The Good Things Foundation National Digital Inclusion Network recruited 106 new members during October this year.

The National Digital Inclusion Network is made up of UK organisations offering free services that help people access or learn how to use the internet locally.

Read more on The Good Things Foundation website here.

AstraZeneca joins Welsh partnership for healthcare innovation

PIF member AstraZeneca has joined a collaborative project to develop and introduce new ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses in Wales.

The Welsh Government, Swansea University, Life Sciences Hub Wales and now AstraZeneca have pledged to work together on the project.

The aim is to prioritise the introduction of innovative healthcare medicines and technologies. 

Read more on the Welsh Government website here.

NHS England uses AI in winter response

NHS England is using artificial intelligence (AI) to help prevent avoidable hospital admissions this winter.

GP practices in Somerset and Buckinghamshire are using AI to highlight registered patients with complex health needs, at risk of hospital admission or who rarely contact their GP.

Vulnerable patients may be offered food parcels, escalation of care to specialist doctors, support to avoid falls or links to local voluntary groups. 

Read more on the NHS England website here.