Boosting Welsh in health and social care

The Welsh government has announced plans to boost the use of the Welsh language in health and social care.

The new strategy places a responsibility on health and social care providers to offer services in Welsh, rather than on the patient or service user to have to request them.

It aims to ensure anyone who wants to can receive their care in Welsh.

Welsh Government

Study: Mobile apps for people with rare diseases

A new review assesses apps specifically designed for people with rare diseases.

It examines features that address six identified needs of people with a rare disorder and makes recommendations for future developers.

Researchers found most apps provide factual and visual information, tools for self-monitoring and resources to help improve interactions during health consultations. 

However, app origin and quality varied greatly. Developers are recommended to consider ways to:

  • Make appropriate apps more easily identifiable to consumers
  • Always include high-quality information,
  • Improve engagement
  • Provide qualitative evaluations of the app
  • Include consumers and clinicians in the design


The public health response to COVID-19

The BMA has published a report examining the public health response by UK governments to COVID-19.

It says shortages of public health staff limited the availability of public health expertise, both at a national and local level. 

The number of public health specialists is significantly lower than the recommended target in all four UK nations.

The BMA says this had a huge impact on the UK’s ability to effectively respond to the pandemic. 


COVID-19 and mental health

A new report by the Northern Health Science Alliance and NIHR outlines the 'parallel pandemic' of COVID-19 and mental health.

It says mental health was worse in the North of England ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, dropped further over the course of the pandemic and has stayed below pre-pandemic levels.

From April 2020 to September 2021 people in the North of England experienced a 2% decrease in mental health compared with a 1.3% decrease in the rest of England.

Ethnic minority women in the North had the worst mental health scores throughout the pandemic.

Their mental health scores fell by 10% at the start of the pandemic and their scores were on average 4% lower throughout the pandemic.


Disabled children and young people's access to support during COVID-19

A research project commissioned by the ALLIANCE explores disabled children's and young people's access to support during the pandemic.

The report explores how some measures to tackle the public health crisis in Scotland had negative implications for disabled children and young people’s health, wellbeing and rights. 

Their narratives also shed light on children and young people’s limited knowledge of the state benefits and support they have access to or are entitled to.

This had implications for their experiences of accessing children’s services and the transition to adult services.


New guidance materials on patient data

New guidance materials explaining why NHS Wales collects information about patients and how this data may be used are now available from the DHCW website.  

Your Privacy, Your Rights can be viewed as online content, or downloaded as a leaflet or poster.

The materials aim to help educate the public about how information is held by the NHS in Wales and how it is used. 


How to host an accessible online meeting

AbilityNet has published a blog with advice on how to host an accessible online meeting, webinar or user engagement activity.

The article discusses the need to embrace different ways of interacting in a video conference and why using functions such as Q&A rather than chat can be useful for those who use screen readers.


Public Health Outcomes Framework data published

New Public Health Outcomes Framework data has been published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

Seventeen indicators were updated this quarter, including inequality in healthy life expectancy at birth, flu vaccination coverage, antibiotic prescribing and the estimated dementia diagnosis rate.


Using visuals in health information

In this article, Helen Osborne discusses the effective use of visuals in health information.

She shares tips on showing people in their entirety rather than just body parts, the use of symbols and choosing visuals which are appropriate to the subject matter.

Health Literacy Consulting