Patient perspectives on information in urgent and emergency care

A new report provides insight into people’s experiences of urgent and emergency care (UEC), including barriers and enablers to accessing appropriate services at the right time.

Eastern AHSN researchers found, for less urgent and more routine appointments, people were far happier seeking information or advice virtually.

When being referred for face-to-face UEC services, patients felt communication while waiting was important, with the correct information delivered in a timely fashion. 

If there was no communication, or miscommunication, this negatively impacted their experience.

In general, people wanted to be kept informed of their treatment plan, and to be assured there would be a follow up after the UEC incident. 

Patients expected clinicians to share information about their needs for this to work but information sharing between clinicians was felt to be lacking. 

Read the full report here.

Maternity report 'sounds the alarm' on inequalities

Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK (MBRRACE-UK) has published its report into maternal deaths.

Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care 2022 details the care of 536 women who died during, or up to one year after, pregnancy between 2018 and 2020.

It highlights the 'significant impact' on women’s health of increasing inequalities. 

The report describes maternal deaths as 'the tip of the iceberg' which cannot be dismissed as a minority issue. 

Although this report is the first to include figures for COVID-19 deaths, MBBRACE-UK says these must not obscure the wider trends. 

There were increases in the overall maternal death rate in the UK between 2015-17 and 2018-2020, even when the nine deaths from COVID-19 were excluded.

The full report, core report, summary, infographic and lay report can be downloaded here.

National State of Patient Safety report published

A report into avoidable harm in England says COVID-19 effectively stopped progress on patient safety in its tracks.

National State of Patient Safety 2022: What we know about avoidable harm in England says the lack of timely and equitable access to care should be considered an urgent patient safety issue.

It makes five key recommendations including increasing the breadth of patient safety data and accelerating progress in the safety of maternity services.

Read the report in full here.

Study: Digital exclusion and the impact on health in people with severe mental illness

PIF member Rachael Middle has co-authored a study exploring experiences of digital exclusion and impact on health in people living with severe mental illness.

Responses from focus groups and interviews identified four main impacts of digital exclusion:

  • Reduced social connectedness
  • The impact on wider determinants of health
  • Negative perception of self
  • Disempowerment

Key facilitators for increased engagement with digital tools included: 

  • Local digital skills support with mental health lived experience involvement in the delivery
  • Digitally-engaged social referents
  • Access to digital tools and data
  • Personalised and straightforward digital tools

Increasing health and social care staff’s awareness of digital exclusion was also viewed as important in promoting inclusion.

Read the full study results here.

Attitudes to digital accessibility

AbilityNet has published its Attitudes to Digital Accessibility 2022 survey report.

The report provides insight into the general state of digital accessibility awareness and activity among global businesses.

Of the respondents, 53% work within government and public bodies, including health, 33% work in businesses and 12% in charities, voluntary sector organisations or social enterprises.

Access the key findings here.

Resources from co-production workshops

The Coalition for Personalised Care has published summary documents containing useful resources and links from its recent co-production webinars.

The three webinars focused on representation, remuneration and reality.

Access the representation summary document here.

Access the remuneration resources here.

Access the reality summary document here.

Under 16 cancer patient experience survey

The NHS has published the results of its under 16 cancer patient experience survey.

The survey covers a wide range of topics – from communication and information about treatment to access and involvement. Key findings include:

  • 85% of parents or carers said staff definitely gave them information in a way they could understand
  • 78% of parents or carers were 'definitely' given clear written information about their child's treatment
  • 79% of 12-15 year olds said they always understand what staff are saying
  • 64% of  8-11 year olds said they always understand what staff are saying

Access the full results here.

Children’s Commissioners highlight failures to protect children’s rights

A joint report by the Children's Commissioners for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has raised areas of 'grave concern' over children's rights.

Mental health was raised as a particular concern, with access to community mental health services 'inconsistent and often inadequate' across all jurisdictions.

Lengthy waiting times for specialist care through Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are 'an ongoing concern'. 

The report also highlights the increase in paediatric waiting times since COVID-19, particularly in Northern Ireland where waiting times 'far exceed' other UK jurisdictions.

Read the full report here.

Postnatal contraception animation released

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and NHS Lothian have developed a two-minute animation focusing on contraception in the post pregnancy period. 

It explains why it is beneficial for expectant parents to consider post-natal contraception as part of their routine birth plan and how the timing of decisions around contraception can help support healthy future pregnancies. 

The animation was tested for acceptability and accessibility with the target audience and healthcare professionals throughout development.

It is also available in Polish and Urdu.

Watch the animation in English here.

NIHR publishes Toxic Corridors video poem

The NIHR has published a video of a poem highlighting the lived experiences of black men in the healthcare system.

Toxic Corridors was written and performed by author and gospel literary evangelist Kwabena Kimathi. 

It features NIHR public contributors André Tulloch and Danté Grant and explores the racial inequalities that exist in healthcare.

Read more about the poem and watch via the NIHR website.

Collaboration needed to optimise digital communication with patients

In this Digital Health article, Greg Martin calls for a greater emphasis on collaboration and evaluation to improve person-centred digital care.

He says there is no 'one-size-fits-all approach' and patients must be given the ability to use multiple ways to access the care they require.

Read the full article here.

Survey: Improving wound care

PIF partner PRSB has been commissioned by the National Wound Care Strategy Programme to develop an information standard to help improve wound care. 

Anyone who provides or receives wound care is asked to take part in a survey on what information should be recorded and shared to deliver better outcomes. 

The survey closes at 9am on 3 January. Take part here.

Informaticians and systems suppliers will be consulted separately in an online workshop on 14 December. 

Details of the workshop will appear on the PRSB website shortly.

Read more about the proposed Wound Care Information Standard here.