Pandemic patient experience

The Patients Association has published a report into the UK patient experience of health, care and other support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half of survey respondents said they did not feel their health and care needs had been supported overall during the pandemic.

As a results of its findings, the Patients Association has proposed the following principles:

  • Recognise from the outset that the impact of the crisis will fall hardest on those who already face discrimination and inequality
  • Maintain the principles of patient choice, shared decision making and voice so services are shaped by patients
  • Ensure there are fully resourced services available to help people maintain people’s mental wellbeing
  • Ensure carers get the support they need
  • Provide clear, concise and timely communication, updated regularly, about the impact of the crisis on support and services
  • Ensure access needs are respected and met, including providing materials in different formats and languages
  • Maintain compassionate end-of-life and bereavement support services, with clear communication between staff, patients and others

Click on the link below to read the report in full.

Patients Association

HCI teams up with WiFi Spark to improve patient education

PIF member HCI has teamed up with WiFi Spark to make its Health and Care Video Library available to patients in more than 30 UK hospitals.

The national Health and Care Video Library has been made free for NHS use by NHSX as part of their COVID-19 response.

It offers patients a visual and easily accessible form of health information, including guidance on rehabilitation and how to manage their condition after being discharged to help prevent re-admission.

When linked to a hospital’s Patient Administration System (PAS), SPARK® Media hosts links to relevant videos from the library that will educate patients on why they have been admitted and their condition.

WiFi Spark

Homes, health and COVID-19

The Centre for Ageing Better has released a joint report with The King's Fund summarising the role and impact of poor-quality housing on health, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to data cited in the report, 4.3 million homes in England are what the government defines as ‘non-decent’ putting the health and wellbeing of their estimated 10 million inhabitants at risk. 

The report highlights that people who have been identified as most at risk of COVID-19, including older people, those with pre-existing health conditions and BAME groups, are more likely to be living in non-decent homes, along with those on low incomes. 

The Centre for Ageing Better is calling on the government to make sure at-risk groups have the support they need now to make their homes warmer, free from damp and safer. 

For some this means providing trusted information and advice, for others, it will require more direct intervention such as financial support. 

Centre for Ageing Better

Webinar: Involving citizens in the next phase of the pandemic response

An upcoming webinar hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence will look at why citizen engagement is crucial to COVID-19 recovery and how Integrated Care Systems could benefit from adopting the same approach.

It will focus specifically on engagement by NHS England and Improvement’s London region which has worked in partnership with residents to help shape policy and their response to the pandemic.

The webinar takes place from 11am to noon on Tuesday 13 October. Click on the link below to register.


Finding the right balance on digital consultations

In this article, Rebecca Rosen explores the rise of remote consultations and argues the case for balance.

She outlines the risks of creating inequalities through digital healthcare and says there is little research on the impact of remote general practice on clinical outcomes.

Rebecca argues more research is needed but says some key principles can be kept in mind in the meantime, including the need for consultation and co-design.

Nuffield Trust

Webinar: Launch of new I Statements

National Voices is holding a webinar to launch What We Need Now: What matters to people for health and care, during Covid and beyond – I Statements 2020.

The webinar will include system leaders, healthcare providers and those using healthcare services speaking about why the I Statements are so important and how they can be used to improve care.

The statements derive from online platform Our Covid Voices. 

National Voices analysed dozens of submissions, identifying key and recurring themes. 

The webinar takes place from 10am to 11.30am on Tuesday 6 October. 

Click on the link below to register.

National Voices

Childhood vaccination statistics published

NHS Digital has published the statistics for all routine childhood vaccinations in England in 2019/20.

The data contains information on vaccinations measured at the ages of 12 months, 24 months and five years. 

There are 14 measures of vaccination coverage. At a national level, coverage has increased for 12 of these.

Coverage for the first dose of the MMR vaccine among children aged 24 months has increased from 90.3% in 2018-19 to 90.6% in 2019-20 – the first increase in six years.

NHS Digital

COVID-19 guidance for people living a nomadic life

The government has published new guidance on COVID-19 for people living a nomadic way of life in England.

The guidance includes advice on what to do if someone develops symptoms while living on a traveller site or in a vehicle or canal boat.

It also includes information on accessing additional support from local authorities.


Webinar: Embedding children's participation in health services

A free webinar is being held to launch a new book: Embedding Young People's Participation in Health Services: New Approaches.

Drawing on original research and a range of practice examples, the book explores how inclusive and diverse approaches to young people’s participation can be embedded into services in ways that are meaningful, effective and sustainable.

Speakers include book editor Louca-Mai Brady, Kath Evans from Barts Health NHS Trust and staff and young people from a range of organisations.

The webinar takes place from 6pm to 6.45pm on Wednesday 14 October. Click on the link below to book your place.

Bristol University Press

Study: AI-based conversational agents for chronic conditions

A systematic literature review into the use of AI-based conversational agents for chronic conditions has concluded further evidence-based evaluation is needed.

The authors say, besides increased comparability, the quality of chatbots developed for specific chronic conditions and their subsequent impact on patients could be enhanced by more structured development and standardized evaluation processes.

The goal was to review the characteristics, health care conditions, and AI architectures of AI-based conversational agents designed specifically for chronic diseases.


Advice on wearing masks and eye care

The College of Optometrists has issued advice on how to wear a mask, maintain healthy eyes and see clearly.

The guidance was published following an increase in people reporting eye discomfort while using face coverings.

It includes simple steps to minimise eye discomfort in both text and video formats.

College of Optometrists

Resources on BAME healthcare

The Royal Society of Medicine has published a list of resources on healthcare for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dedicated webpage also includes a link to a webinar held earlier this year which explored the evidence behind how patients from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Royal Society of Medicine

COVID-19 and mental health in young people

In this article, Dr Dominique Thompson shares tips about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children, adolescents, and young adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She discusses the effects of the pandemic on the mental health of young people as well as sharing tips on how to identify mental ill health and supporting young people with mental health concerns and their carers.

Guidelines in Practice