A Women's Health Agenda: Redressing the Balance

A new report highlights what has gone wrong in women's health and what can be done to fix it.

The Public Policy Projects report was chaired by Dame Clare Gerada and Dame Lesley Regan.

In her foreword, Dame Clare says health systems are 'infantilising women' and we must discuss why women remain isolated from the services and medical interventions they need.

Dame Lesley says it is vital to understand women’s health extends far beyond reproduction and a woman's wellbeing has been largely determined by the ability to make informed decisions. 

She says empowering women with the tools and information needed to make personal choices is key to enabling them to achieve better long-term health outcomes for themselves. 

The report makes recommendations around several key health areas including contraception, breast cancer, cervical cancer and menstruation.

It also makes recommendations addressing the 'gendered lens' in research, data and policy.

Public Policy Projects

Study: Access across the digital divide for groups seeking web-based health information

A new study aims to examine how different types of internet access relate to online health information seeking (OHIS) for different racial and ethnic groups.

Authors investigate relationships among predisposing characteristics, internet access, health needs and OHIS.

They found home computer and mobile access were most consistently associated with OHIS.

Older racial and ethnic minorities tended to access the internet on home and public computers less frequently. 

Home computer access was a stronger predictor of OHIS for white individuals. Mobile access was a stronger predictor of OHIS for non-white individuals.

As a result of their findings, the authors propose interventions with an intersectional approach to help lessen the impact of the digital divide.


Engaging young people in health services research and service design

A new briefing paper by Nuffield Foundation and the Association for Young People's Health looks at ethical issues when engaging young people in health services research and service design.

The paper explores to what extent existing systems for ethical scrutiny are fit for purpose in the new, active world of increasing engagement and what young people think ethical engagement means.

It includes messages from young people on how to get it right including:

  • Do not just rely on the usual suspects
  • Consider the impact of involvement on young people
  • Involve enough young people and the most appropriate young people to truly represent your project
  • Acknowledge and respect young people's involvement
  • Share outcomes
  • Give young people choice to make them more comfortable

Association for Young People's Health

Why diabetes services need to focus on young people's interests and priorities

A new report published by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) says young people's life goals should be given as much attention as their blood sugar levels in diabetes appointments.

New research suggests more focus on their interests and priorities would increase engagement with diabetes services. 

This is especially important for those from disadvantaged or ethnic minority communities, who are most likely to miss appointments and be considered ‘disengaged’ by their clinician.


Tackling health inequalities 

A new report by The King's Fund says the case for tackling health inequalities is 'clear and overwhelming' but attempts to do so have had mixed success.

Crucially, it says, none of these efforts have translated into the enduring focus on addressing health inequalities that is needed.

The article authors discuss why now is a moment for change and how to ensure this time it endures.

The King's Fund

Survey: NHS Education for Scotland

NHS Education for Scotland is currently hosting a survey to find out more about the learning and support needs of public, private and third sector stakeholders.

The online survey, being run by Ashbrook Research & Consultancy, should take around six minutes to complete.

NHS Education for Scotland

New series of ophthalmology information videos

PIF member HCI Digital has published 28 new ophthalmology patient videos on its National Health and Care Video Library. 

The videos include easy-to-understand content that explains risk, consent, options for treatment, support and self-care.

They form part of HCI Digital's work with NHS England and NHS Improvement to support the National Outpatient Transformation and Pathway Improvement Programmes.

HCI Digital

Joint statement on National Care Service issued

Almost 150 people and organisations have signed a joint statement calling for lived experience and the third sector to be at the forefront of the proposed National Care Service in Scotland.

The statement, which has been delivered to ministers, is drawn from proposals from organisations working across health and social care, people who access social care, and unpaid carers.

It calls on the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to ensure disabled people, people living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers are at the centre of the National Care Service.


'Living with COVID plan will worsen health inequalities'

In this article for The BMJ, Sarah Sweeney, head of policy at PIF member National Voices, says the Government's Living with COVID plan will undoubtedly worsen health inequalities for huge numbers of people.

She says, at a time when many are struggling to meet the rising cost of living, people will be forced to make impossibly difficult decisions between providing for their families and protecting the health of their friends, families, and colleagues.


NICE quality standard on diagnosis and assessment of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

NICE’s latest quality standard sets out how health and care services can improve the diagnosis, assessment and prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

The standard includes five key areas for improvement, including the advice pregnant women are given throughout their pregnancy.


Webinar: Addressing digital inequalities in healthcare

An upcoming webinar will explore how we can address the issues of digital exclusion and digital health literacy to move towards a model of care designed for individuals rather than the masses.

The event, organised by Atos and NHSX, takes place from 9.30am on 29 March.

Speakers include Dr Bola Owolabi, Inara Khan and Neil Milliken. Click on the link below to register your free place.


Webinar: Helping health professionals put shared decision making into practice

Advice on how to put shared decision making into practice will be shared at a NICE webinar on 28 March.

The event, which starts at noon, follows the publication of NICE's new shared decision making guidance last year.

PIF was a member of the oversight group that helped develop the framework published alongside the guidance.