COVID-19 research programme

The Health Foundation has launched a new research programme for projects seeking to understand the impact of COVID-19 in the UK.

The programme has two main areas of focus – service change in the health and social care system and health inequalities.

Projects can apply for funding of between £100k and £200k for a duration of up to 12 months, including set-up time. 

Applications involving patients, the public and people with lived experience are strongly encouraged.

Submissions will be accepted until 30 September 2020.

For more information and details of how to apply, click on the link below.

The Health Foundation

Data on deaths of people with a learning disability

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published data on the deaths of people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, during the coronavirus outbreak.

Supported by the Office for National Statistics, the CQC completed a targeted piece of analysis to better understand the impact of COVID-19 and how the number of deaths during this period compares to the number of deaths last year.

The analysis looked at all deaths notified to CQC between 10 April and 15 May from those providing care to people with a learning disability and/or autism where the person was indicated to have a learning disability on the death notification form.

It found 386 people with a learning disability, some of whom may also be autistic, who were receiving care died.

This was a 134% increase on 165 people for the same period last year.

The CQC believes the data should be considered when decisions are made about priority of testing.


Webinar: Is COVID-19 widening the digital divide?

National Voices' COVID-19 Conversations series continues on Friday 19 June with a free webinar asking whether coronavirus is widening the digital divide.

The webinar will cover the following main points:

  • What’s working and what’s not in the move to a more digital society, and healthcare system?
  • What should be kept post crisis?
  • Where is the move to digital exacerbating existing health inequalities?

For more information and to register, click on the link below.

National Voices

New online support for people with diabetes

New online tools for people living with diabetes are now available from the NHS to help people manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

Three new services will allow people to manage their condition online, with a range of online videos and training available on each app for children and adults.

People living with Type 1 diabetes can now access the Digibete App for children and young people and their families and the MyType1Diabetes website for adults.

From later this year a Healthy Living platform will be available for people with Type 2 diabetes. 

NHS England

'Get evidence on shielding out in the open'

In this blog for the BMJ, National Voices chief executive Charlotte Augst says changes to shielding advice must involve patients and carers.

She says developing and publishing guidance without involvement from patients and carers will mean the problems people actually experience, and how they deal with them, will not be addressed.

Charlotte argues experience has shown again, and again that guidance and policy developed only by clinicians and managers, without input from patient groups, does not really work. 


COVID-19 workforce survey

Skills for Health has launched a workforce survey to help understand the impact of coronavirus on the healthcare sector and what needs to be done to help it rebuild.

The survey aims to aid understanding of the critical skills required to rebuild a sustainable, productive, and flexible health and care workforce.

Anyone working in the health and care sector is invited to share their views and experiences by taking part in the survey. 

Skills for Health

Podcast: Delivering digital mental health care

This month’s Digital Health Unplugged focuses on delivering digital mental health care and how technology has been used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr James Reed and Prof Joe McDonald, who have been champions of digital mental health care for years, talk through how their organisations have reacted to the onset of COVID-19, what uptake of digital services has been like and how digital services can benefit patients as well as clinicians.

The podcast also examines how digital services should be implemented and what the future of mental health care looks like.

Digital Health

COVID-19 information for the brain tumour community

The International Brain Tumour Alliance is regularly updating its list of COVID-19 information for patients, caregivers, healthcare and allied healthcare professionals and others.

The links have been categorised into several groups, including information provided by brain tumour patient and caregiver charities and non-profits, free journal access and information for individual countries.

If you are aware of an important international resource not listed on the page, contact [javascript protected email address].

International Brain Tumour Alliance

Guidance on meeting needs of people with learning disabilities 

The British Psychological Society has published new guidance to support health and social care professionals to meet the psychological needs of people with learning and intellectual disabilities, their families and carers.

Considering the different psychological factors that may influence wellbeing during the COVID-19 crisis, the new guidance highlights where psychologists can offer support and signposts professionals to helpful resources. 

The British Psychological Society

Mental wellbeing and lung health

The European Lung Foundation and European Respiratory Society have released a factsheet on mental health for people living with a lung condition.

The factsheet, which is free to download, includes information on what mental health is, how living with a lung condition can impact mental health and tips for wellbeing.

Click on the link below to download the resource.

European Lung Foundation

Prevention in the age of information

A new report, Prevention in the age of information: public education for better health,  says tackling preventable illnesses must remain a top priority for government.

The report, published by the Institute for Public Policy research, says any prevention strategy must take into account the way information can be used to promote public health.

It identifies two approaches to achieve better public health:

  • Regulation – policies which aim to restrict the availability of information online, combat the rise of false information and help individuals find accurate sources
  • Education – policies focused on enhancing the abilities of individuals to access, understand, critically evaluate and act on information

Institute for Public Policy Research

Webinar: Health literacy – a dual approach to bridging the digital divide

Digital Leaders is rebroadcasting the webinar Health Literacy – a dual approach to bridging the digital divide at 5pm on 18 June.

This is another chance to watch the broadcast with PIF's Sophie Randall and Louise McQuillan from Texthelp.

Click on the link below to book your place.

Digital Leaders

Study: Spoken animated self-management videos

A study has concluded spoken animated video messages used for self management should be simple, short, concrete, and without the use of medical terminology.

Authors aimed to evaluate pretesting communication elements and user appreciation, and the applied behaviour change techniques of previously designed spoken animated video messages in a tailored self-management program for people with Type 2 diabetes.

They also concluded providing positive reinforcement, feedback on participants’ answers, examples matching user characteristics, and the possibility to identify with the animation figures enhance involvement in the health message.