How changing words can change attitudes

The importance of choosing the right words is highlighted in a Health Foundation report on public attitudes to virtual wards.

Nearly 80% of survey respondents said they would be happy to “monitor their own health at home using technologies, instead of in a hospital”.

This is a description of a virtual ward service without using the term ‘virtual ward’.

Only 71% said they were open to being treated through a virtual ward. 

Authors question whether using different terms, or providing more explanation, could help reduce concerns and build wider support.

The report is based on a survey of 7,100 members of the public and 1,251 NHS staff.

Access the full report via The Health Foundation website here. 

Study: Lack of information for women with endometriosis

A study exploring social media users’ concerns about endometriosis has concluded women are not getting enough information from healthcare professionals.

Analysis of nearly 46,000 social media posts about the condition from 2011 to 2022 revealed women with endometriosis face negative emotions and pain daily.

More than 92% of posts were associated with negative sentiments and many were question-related.

Authors concluded the number of questions showed women do not receive sufficient information from healthcare staff and need community support.

They say healthcare professionals should pay more attention to the symptoms and diagnosis of endometriosis and discuss these topics with patients.

Read the full report via the JMIR website here.

NHS App toolkit to help patients go digital

The NHS has produced a toolkit of materials to encourage people to understand and use the NHS App.

The Do More with the NHS App resources include leaflets explaining the main functions of the app. 

There are also posters and images for web and other digital displays.

Download the resources from the NHS website here.

Can governments do without public health regulation?

The Social Market Foundation has published the first of 3 papers exploring different public health policy approaches to tobacco, alcohol and gambling.

It concludes more ‘interventionist’ and apparently politically-challenging measures, such as strict regulation on availability and taxes, tend to be more effective.

However, the experience of tobacco suggests the evidence so far may underestimate the potential of what well-delivered information and education campaigns can contribute.

Read the key findings and download the full report via the SMF website here.

Evaluation highlights importance of working with community groups

The Centre for Mental Health has published a national evaluation of The Better Mental Health Fund.

The fund was set up by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) in 2021 to address mental health challenges arising from the pandemic. 

It enabled councils to reach more than half a million people, many in populations and community groups traditionally poorly served by mental health services.

The evaluation shows how working alongside community organisations to deliver evidence-based interventions can make a tangible difference to people’s lives.

Read more via the Centre for Mental Health website here.

PIF member creates new research grants

PIF member the Psoriasis Association has extended its research grant scheme by funding two PhD studentships.

The new grants are in addition to its annual Cecil King Memorial Award offering financial backing to young researchers.

The 3 projects will be researching:

  • Diagnosis of psoriasis in children
  • A new treatment regime
  • Reducing misconceptions about the condition through social media

Read more about the grants on the Psoriasis Association website here.

UK Government consults on new quit-smoking plan

The UK Government wants views on plans to add pack inserts to tobacco products. 

The idea is to put positive quit messages and signpost advice and support inside packaging. 

The consultation closes on 10 October.

Find out more via the GOV.UK website here.

Survey: Rural Scottish communities’ views on cost-of-living and mental health

Change Mental Health is inviting people in Scotland’s rural and remote communities to complete a survey on mental health and the cost-of-living crisis.

The insights will help the Scottish Government decide on next steps to tackle the crisis

They will also help ensure rural communities receive the right support. 

Find the survey on the Change Mental Health website here.

NHS England produces new patient safety guide

New NHS guidance supports teams to understand and improve their patient safety culture.

Improving patient safety culture – a practical guide can be accessed as an interactive PDF or web-accessible version.

Download the guide via the NHS England website here.

Event: How to take a positive approach to virtual wards

A free online event will explore how to make virtual wards successful and a positive choice for patients, carers and staff.

The expert panel includes Stephanie Somerville, director of virtual wards and community transformation for NHS England.

The webinar takes place from noon to 1pm on 28 September.

Find out more and book via The King’s Fund website here.

Survey: AI imaging registry

The Royal College of Radiologists is creating an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Registry in imaging.

The aim is to streamline and facilitate the adoption of AI by providing a comprehensive directory of all NHS sites currently using AI tools.

The registry will launch in spring 2024 and the project is currently in the data collection phase. 

Anyone who has an AI product currently in use is invited to fill out the college’s survey via the link below.

Fill out the survey here.