First Women's Health Strategy for England 

The Government has published the first Women's Health Strategy for England in a bid to tackle the gender health gap.

The strategy includes a commitment to ensuring women have access to high-quality health information. Other key commitments include:

  • New research and data gathering
  • The expansion of women’s health-focused education and training for incoming doctors
  • Improvements to fertility services
  • Updating guidance for female-specific health conditions

A call for evidence which has been used to inform the strategy received almost 100,000 responses.


A 'fairer future' for those with rare diseases 

Public Policy Projects has published a report which focuses on creating a more equitable delivery of care for those with rare diseases and conditions in the UK.

The report was developed in partnership with PIF member Cognitant Group, as well as patients and advocates.

It makes a series of recommendations around diagnosis, clinical development, engagement and coordination of care. They include:

  • Rephrasing the conversation to raise awareness of rare diseases beyond the healthcare ecosystem
  • Raising education levels of current healthcare professionals
  • Harnessing understanding of the health impacts of rare diseases beyond those directly affected

Public Policy Projects

Key healthcare issues for women in prison

New Nuffield Trust research underlines the challenges and risks women in prison face because of barriers to accessing health and care services.

The research, funded by the Health Foundation, found pregnant women in prison are almost twice as likely to go into preterm labour compared to the general population.

It also found more than a fifth of midwifery appointments are being missed by pregnant prisoners and women in prison struggle to access information about their reproductive health.

The report makes a series of recommendations.

These include ensuring women have access to good quality, understandable and targeted healthcare information.

Nuffield Trust

Autumn COVID-19 booster programme

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published its final recommendations for this autumn’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

It has confirmed those eligible for a further dose will be:

  • All adults aged 50 years and over
  • Those aged 5 to 49 years in a clinical risk group, including pregnant women
  • Those aged 5 to 49 years who are household contacts of people with immunosuppression
  • Those aged 16 to 49 years who are carers
  • Residents and care home staff
  • Frontline health and social care workers

NHS England has not yet announced when and how eligible groups will be able to book their vaccinations.

The Scottish Government has confirmed vaccinations will begin in September.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also increasing those eligible to receive the free flue vaccine in England.


Video: Addressing health misinformation

In this recording, Tina Purnat, team lead for infodemic management WHO Health Emergencies Programme, and Elisabeth Wilhelm, health communications specialist US CDC, deliver a lecture on addressing health misinformation.

The 30-minute lecture forms part of the World Health Organization's training for promotion of vaccination.

It is free to view via YouTube by clicking on the link below.


Maternity Disparities Taskforce terms of reference published

The Maternity Disparities Taskforce has published its terms of reference.

The taskforce was established to tackle disparities in maternal and neonatal outcomes for women from ethnic minorities and those living in the most deprived areas.

It will explore evidence-based interventions for several areas, including improving access and support for informed decision-making during childbirth.


New date for patients to automatically access GP data

NHS England will switch on automatic access to patients' prospective GP records on 1 November.

The date was confirmed in a letter sent to GPs last week.

The letter asks GPs to identify patients who could be at serious risk of harm by having automatic access to their records and consider increasing the number of patients with online access.

The original switch-on date was postponed following safeguarding concerns.

NHS Digital

Bilingual medication information on pharmacy dispensing labels

This NHS England case study outlines how a service providing bilingual medication information is helping to reduce healthcare inequalities and medical errors.

Pharmacies across London are using Written Medicine – a service providing bilingual dispensing labels in patients’ language of choice.

An audit to assess the quality and impact of the service at London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust stated: “All patients would like the continuation of the service by their community pharmacies demonstrating the impact it has had in patient empowerment and adherence.”

NHS England

'The NHS is not living with COVID, it’s dying from it'

This joint article by the editors in chief of the BMJ and HSJ says the government must be honest about the threat the pandemic still poses to the NHS.

It says the nation's attempt to 'live with COVID' is the straw that is breaking the NHS' back.


Helping people who cannot afford internet access

The Good Things Foundation has produced a short, practical guide for charities and organisations supporting people who are struggling to afford the internet.

The guide was produced as part of the Data Poverty Lab in partnership with People Know How.

It includes information on support already available, how to start talking about data poverty in your organisation and jargon busters and top tips.

Good Things Foundation

Survey: Daily activities for older adults

The University of Glasgow is running a survey into the everyday activities that matter to older adults.

In healthcare and research, people use questionnaires to assess daily activities – often called the extended activities of daily living (eADL).

Questionnaires looking at eADL can help determine if someone needs additional help at home or with certain activities.

However, the questionnaires were developed decades ago and may not look at the activities that are important to people now.

Researchers hope the survey will help them revise existing eADL questionnaires to ensure they are more relevant.

University of Glasgow

10 Minute Shake Up returns for summer holidays

Better Health has teamed up with Disney to help get kids active throughout the holidays. 

The 10 Minute Shake Up games feature some of the most popular Disney characters and aim to help kids grow in skills and confidence while staying active.

The Chief Medical Officer recommends children have at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day – either in one go or in 10-minute bursts.

Resources including posters and a social media toolkit are available to download from the Public Health England website via the link below.

Public Health England