YouTube updates medical misinformation policies

YouTube will no longer allow misinformation which contradicts local and global health authority guidance.

The social media company is streamlining existing medical misinformation guidelines into 3 areas – Prevention, Treatment and Denial. 

These policies will apply to specific health conditions, treatments and substances where content contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO).

For example, YouTube will remove content which contradicts guidance on the safety and efficacy of approved vaccines or promotes unproven remedies for conditions like cancer.

It will also remove content that disputes the existence of specific health conditions. This covers content that denies people have died from COVID-19.

Read more via the YouTube announcement here.

Health inequalities leading to shorter lives

A five-part report has found people with disabilities from black, South Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are not getting fair access to healthcare.

This means they have shorter life expectancy than other people in England.

The report exploring experiences of healthcare over the past 20 years was commissioned by the NHS Race and Health Observatory (NRHO).

It was carried out by the University of Central Lancashire with Manchester Metropolitan University, Learning Disability England and the Race Equality Foundation.

Download the report and read more on the NRHO website here.

Study: COVID-19 inequality for Gypsy and Traveller groups

New research shows white Gypsy and Traveller communities had a higher risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 during the pandemic.

The research also found a higher risk of hospitalisation and death for Pakistani and African people when compared with the white Scottish group.

The study, which looked at more than 4.3 million people in Scotland, highlights inequalities in subcategories of ethnicity rather than broad ethnic groups.

Read more about the study findings via the University of Glasgow website here.

3D animation shows virus in action

Colourful 3D animations are helping researchers understand and battle viruses.

A blog from the US National Institutes of Health highlights work to create a 3D animation of the chikungunya virus.

The animation helps researchers understand how they can stop the virus by showing exactly it infects people.

Read the blog and see the animation on the NIH website here.

Charity plea to help volunteers become health inequality campaigners

Volunteer support charity Helpforce says volunteers have a vital part to play in tackling health inequalities.

In an article on the charity’s website, chief executive officer Mark Lever highlights some of the ways volunteers can help address inequalities.

But he says more support is needed to ensure the right structures are in place.

Read the article on the Helpforce website here. 

New NICE guidelines on vitamin B12 deficiency

Older people with unexplained fatigue or mental health problems should be offered a vitamin B12 test, according to new guidelines.

Draft guidance from PIF member NICE explains how to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency.

Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to a range of signs and symptoms, such as blurred vision and balance problems.

Consultation on the guidance is open until 22 August.

Visit the NICE website to read the draft guidance and comment.

NHS England hospital matching platform expands

An NHS England digital platform for patients needing hospital admission has expanded to include cancer, diagnostic checks and outpatient appointments. 

The platform matches patients who are willing to travel with available treatment slots across the country.

Read more about the scheme on the NHS England website here.

Charity offers digital inclusion event ideas

The Good Things Foundation has put together a list of ways for community organisations to help upgrade people’s digital skills.

The list of online and face-to-face event ideas comes ahead of Get Online Week which runs from 16-22 October.

The ideas mainly come from events tried and tested by members of the National Digital Inclusion Network. 

See the full list of ideas and find out more on the Get Online Week website here.

Macmillan invests in skin cancer care for Wales

PIF members Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Macmillan Cancer Support have teamed up to improve skin cancer services.

Macmillan Cancer Support has funded 6 new specialist skin cancer roles in North Wales.

More people with skin cancer in the area will now have a key worker to help guide them through care and treatment.

Find out more via the Betsi Cadwaladr website here.

Vaccine research centre develops possible pandemic jabs

A new Vaccine Development and Evaluation Centre has opened in England.

Run by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) it aims to develop life-saving vaccines.

Two hundred scientists are working on around 100 projects at the centre in Porton Down, Wiltshire.

This includes looking at ways to tackle illnesses that might cause another pandemic.

Find out more on the GOV.UK website here.

New treatment hub aims to reduce pandemic backlog

PIF member the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is developing a new surgical treatment and diagnostic hub.

Based at Dewsbury Hospital, it will provide thousands more patient appointments each year.

The aim of the new unit is to tackle COVID-19-related surgical backlogs and improve patient care.

Find out more on the Trust website here.

Event: Boosting digital skills for older people

A free interactive webinar looks at how tech can help older people with everyday tasks.

The event, hosted by AbilityNet with speakers from BT Group and Age UK, starts at 1pm on 12 September.

The aim is to equip family members, friends and carers with ways to help older people use digital technologies.

Book your place via the AbilityNet website here.