Collaborative approach encourages vaccine hesitant to come forward

An innovative approach to vaccine hesitancy has seen more than 1,000 homeless people vaccinated in Devon.

Integrated Care Scheme (ICS) for Devon wanted to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake among reticent groups.

As well as the homeless, this included undocumented migrants, people reticent for religious reasons, pregnant women and people with a learning disability.

A collaborative approach involved working with community leaders to agree what messages and channels of communication would be most effective. This included:

  • Translated materials and films that can be shared on preferred social media channels
  • A film explaining the vaccination process presented by and for people with a learning disability
  • Vaccinations in mental health clinics
  • Virtual community meetings with faith groups
  • Visits to authorised Gypsy, Roma and Traveller sites
  • A pop-up vaccine clinic in the local mosque
  • A vaccine bus targeting large blue-collar workplaces and isolated rural areas

NHS England

Study: Relation of corona-specific health literacy to use of and trust in information sources

A  new study examines the relationship between corona-specific health literacy and use of, and trust in, information sources.

Although health professionals and authorities were rarely mentioned as sources of information, respondents had the greatest trust in them.

Social media platforms were considered the least trustworthy sources.

Respondents reporting more trust in information sources tended to have higher corona-specific health literacy.

Authors concluded sufficient health literacy is an essential prerequisite for finding, understanding, appraising and applying health recommendations.

This is particularly important when there is a rapid spread of a huge amount of information.


NICE recommends new peanut allergy treatment for children and young people

NICE has recommended the use of a new treatment for peanut allergy in draft guidance published in December.

Children and young people aged between 4 and 17 with a peanut allergy could be set to benefit from Palforzia, a new treatment which can help build up their tolerance to peanut.

The final guidance is expected to be published on 26 January.


A co-designed planning template for health research

A new template offers advice on how to co-design and run a patient engagement plan for any health research project.

Authors wanted to provide tangible guidance on how patient engagement can be accomplished.

They illustrate a seven-step approach using the example of a national clinical trial and provide a patient engagement planning template.

Wiley Online Library

COVID-19 and inequalities in the UK

A new report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies reviews the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on inequalities in the UK.

It found the pandemic pushed up inequalities on several dimensions. 

Mental health worsened for those groups – women and younger adults – who had poorer mental health pre-pandemic.

The report also says, in the longer term, lower work experience for the less educated and missed schooling could push up some inequalities.

Institute for Fiscal Studies

Social media and the transformation of the physician-patient relationship

In this in-depth article, researchers discuss the how the shifting dynamics of online communities are affecting patient-physician relationships.

They argue, as a positive mediator of health, social media can be used as a direct or indirect mode of communication between physicians and patients, a venue for health promotion and health information, and a community support network. 

However, false or misleading content, social contagion, confirmation bias, and security and privacy concerns must be mitigated to realise the full potential of social media as a positive mediator of health.


New campaign on six major benefits to losing weight

A New Better Health campaign has been launched offering free support and guidance to those working towards a healthier weight.

It is hoped the campaign will help prevent risks of developing serious illness and reduce the risk of being hospitalised with COVID-19.

Better Health is working in partnership with 15 weight management and physical activity partners to provide free and discounted offers.

The website also signposts local weight management support.


Supporting place-based action to reduce health inequalities

The Local Government Association (LGA) has produced a guide aiming to inspire those who want to build more inclusive and healthy communities in their local area.

Inclusive economies and healthy futures: Supporting place-based action to reduce health inequalities includes case studies and information on the context and motivation for interventions.

It is the third LGA publication in a series highlighting innovative interventions by local authorities.


The complete guide to insomnia

An online guide aims to help those struggling with sleep, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guide includes information on insomnia, tips for managing it and improving energy levels as well as links to organisations providing further support including the NHS and Mind.

How to Sleep