Multi-disciplinary team launches coronavirus support app

A new free-to-download app to help people navigate the coronavirus pandemic has been launched. 

The Coronavirus Support App (UK) has been created by Expert Self Care with support from PIF and eight other partner organisations.

It is aimed at people in the UK who would like to learn more about COVID-19. 

The app aims to help by giving users easy and quick access to evidence-informed information about coronavirus and COVID-19 all in one place, even when offline. 

It also signposts to reliable, trusted sources of information.  

The app is available free-to-download for Apple and Android.

Expert Self Care

Conspiracy theories and social media during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new research paper aims to assess the impact of social media on people’s behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It reports on three online questionnaire surveys. People in the UK were asked about social media use, their beliefs regarding conspiracy theories linked to COVID-19 and what measures they take to protect themselves.

All three studies suggest conspiracy beliefs act to inhibit health-protective behaviours and that social media acts as a vector for such beliefs. 

The second and third studies find further evidence of a link between social media and non-engagement in health-protective behaviours.

The third finds evidence of an opposite relationship for legacy media, especially broadcast media.

Psychological Medicine

Survey: The experience of patient organisations during COVID-19

PatientView is holding an online survey to determine the experience of patient organisations during COVID-19.

The survey hopes to:

  • Discover how patient organisations have reacted to the challenges of the pandemic
  • Quantify the impact of COVID-19 on patient organisations
  • Map the activities of patient groups in various countries, and across a number of disease specialities, in reaction to COVID-19
  • Identify the subject areas in which patient groups are resilient, and those in which they need targeted support

To complete the survey, click on the link below. Please note, the the online survey will not be accessible on Friday 3 July due to site maintenance.


How to fight an infodemic 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has presented a framework for managing the coronavirus disease infodemic.

An infodemic is an overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that occurs during an epidemic. 

It makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.

Following an online technical consultation, the WHO analysis team created a set of 50 proposed actions for a infodemic management framework. 

The consultation also revealed six policy implications to consider.

Crucially, one of the policies was that knowledge should be translated into actionable behaviour-change messages, presented in ways that are understood by and accessible to all individuals in all parts of all societies.


Life after lockdown: tackling loneliness

A report by the British Red Cross shows, although social distancing and lockdown measures will continue to be eased, loneliness will remain.

Life after lockdown: Tackling loneliness among those left behind also says, for those most left behind, loneliness may continue to grow.

It makes a series of recommendations, including:

  • Prioritise those must vulnerable to loneliness
  • Secure sustained funding for tackling loneliness
  • Continue to roll out social prescribing and ensure it delivers for loneliness
  • Work collaboratively across sectors and specialisms, and with people with lived experience of loneliness

British Red Cross

Understanding inequalities in mental health during the pandemic

The Centre for Mental Health has issued a briefing on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health inequalities.

It says, in the short term, the Government should maintain a financial safety net for those who need it, offer practical help to meet the basic needs of the most isolated, and provide emergency funding for organisations which deliver targeted, culturally appropriate mental health support for as long as necessary.

The briefing also says, to prevent the COVID-19 crisis from exacerbating and further entrenching health inequalities, plans for recovery must be made with mental health equality in mind.

It calls on the Government to prioritise race equality and support trauma-informed approaches for all people whose lives have been affected by COVID-19. 

Centre for Mental Health

Webinar: The unequal impact of the crisis on mental health

National Voices is hosting a webinar on 3 July on the unequal impact of the COVID-19 crisis on mental health.

Andy Bell, deputy chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, will speak about how the link between poverty and poor mental health has been exacerbated by lockdown.

Click on the link below to book your place.

National Voices

Leave Nobody in the Dark campaign launch

Good Things Foundation has formed a new coalition to offer immediate support to digitally and financially excluded people in the UK.

Its Leave Nobody in the Dark campaign will have a particular focus on those in poverty hit hardest by the impact of COVID-19.

The foundation says the need to bring together digital inclusion and practical help with money has increased dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis.

Good Things Foundation

Co-production Week 2020

Co-production Week 2020 will take place from 6 July to 10 July with a theme of 'Co-production in a changing world'.

The week aims to celebrate the benefits of co-production, share good practice and promote the contribution of people who use services and carers in developing better public services.

This year, it particularly wants to highlight how meaningful co-production can still take place in a changing and uncertain world.

Click on the link below for more information and a list of planned events.


Video conferencing and the third sector

ALLIANCE Scotland is looking to understand the emerging needs around video conferencing tools to support remote service delivery.

Over the next couple of weeks, its digital team will be carrying out user research to determine what support third sector organisations working across health and social care require with regards to their use of digital tools.

The team wants to hear from people from a range of organisations who have experience of using different technologies for delivering services remotely.

Find out more about how to get involved by clicking on the link below.


Co-creating a patient and public involvement and engagement ‘how to’ guide

A Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement 'How to Guide' for Researchers has been published to support the implementation of PPIE activities.

The guide was created by a multi-stakeholder group consisting of researchers from multiple disciplines, citizen scientists, youth and patient advocates.

It aims to capture strategies of engagement across different disciplines rather than one particular research field and emphasises the importance of co-creation.


NICE guidance for children and young people

NICE's latest impact report highlights the progress made by the health and care system to implement its guidance for children and young people.

The report looks at the need for better support for young people while transitioning from children’s to adults’ services, including a more focused approach for those with learning disabilities.


How to make information accessible for people with disabilities

PIF member Texthelp has published a six-step plan to help organisations become more accessible for people with disabilities.

The article offers detailed advice on each of the steps, including getting senior leadership buy-in, creating a checklist based on accessibility guidelines and how to prioritise work.