COVID-19 communications 'ineffective'

An online survey has revealed the public thinks ineffective communication has been a major issue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey, carried out by the Patient Experience Research Centre, included 420 people.

Overall, most people described concerns about the level and speed of the government’s response, had little trust in the decision-making, and felt it was 'too little too late'.

Several respondents highlighted the need to understand why the government was taking the approach that it was and requested sight of the scientific evidence supporting it.

The second strongest theme to emerge was a lack of clarity and the 'inadequacy' of the government’s guidance.

Confusion was attributed to misinformation, conflicting guidance and an overload of information. 

Respondents’ described feelings of concern, confusion and, in some cases, panic as a result of communication and information issues. 

Almost half (47%) wanted to hear about the latest research on the virus and 45% wanted a dedicated internet portal where they could access the latest information, statistics and trusted guidance. 

Making information more accessible to different communities, including those who are not online and those who have English as a second language, was also highlighted as a priority. 

Imperial College London

Survey: How children get information about COVID-19

A team of child health researchers from Edge Hill University is running a survey to find out how children are getting their information about coronavirus.

It is hoped the project will highlight the best ways to give children news, important facts and safety tips about COVID-19.

There are two surveys – one for children aged seven to 12 years old and one for their parents in the UK.

PIF consulted on the wording of the survey and promotional material.

Click here for the children's survey and here for the parents' survey.

COVID-19 and mitigating impact on health inequalities

The Royal College of Physicians has produced a web page highlighting examples of how NHS providers have mitigated the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities.

RCP worked with NHS Providers and Provider Public Health Network, a community of practice supported by Public Health England, to produce the information.

As well as sharing examples, the page builds on Health Equity in England: the Marmot Review 10 Years On, to highlight how some groups within the population may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Royal College of Physicians

Coronavirus response must include digital access

In this blog, the Addressing Poverty with Lived Experience (APLE) Collective says crossing the digital divide is essential to ensuring the response to COVID-19 includes us all.

It says COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on a digital divide and the effects of digital exclusion on low-income communities.

APLE believes digital exclusion effectively means exclusion from modern life. 

It calls on the government to find practical solutions to cross the digital divide and introduce free WiFi for vulnerable low-income groups. 

Joseph Rowntree Foundation

End of life decisions during a pandemic

Compassion in Dying has launched new information on its website for people who want to consider and document their end-of-life wishes in light of coronavirus. 

The new resources were produced after Compassion in Dying was inundated with calls to its information line.

The resources include making decisions about treatment, refusing treatment, making a new advance decision, updating an advance decision and witnessing and sharing the form.

Compassion in Dying

Perceptions of COVID-19 from people with chronic health conditions

Seven out of ten people living with chronic health conditions have said they are particularly concerned about COVID-19, according to a Health Union survey.

The survey, which ran from 19 March to 25 March was the first of a series of 'snapshots in time' tracking the perspectives and health behaviours of people with chronic conditions throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

While survey responses represented a range of feelings, emotions and mindsets, recurring words and phrases among open-end questions illustrate people are feeling 'worried', 'anxious', 'nervous' and 'scared'. 

Among the many reasons for these feelings, pre-existing health conditions play a significant role.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents said they feel they are at greater risk of having a more severe case of COVID-19, if infected, due to their general health.

Health Union

Joint statement on COVID-19

National Voices has come together with more than 70 charities and social enterprises in a joint statement committing to human rights and equality during the Covid-19 crisis. 

PIF is proud to be a signatory of the statement representing people living with mental and physical ill-health or disability, their carers and families, and the organisations that work for them.

The statement highlights the need for human rights and equality to remain core values throughout the crisis.

It says guidance and decision making needs to ensure there are no blanket bans on groups receiving treatment.

National Voices

More support needed for charities

In this blog, NCVO says government funding for charities during the COVID-19 pandemic is an important start but more still needs to be done.

It says clarity is needed on how the money will be distributed and what consideration will be given to equity and equality.

The Institute of Fundraising’s survey of charities, in partnership with NCVO and the Charity Finance Group, found charities are expecting to lose nearly half of their fundraising income as demands upon many of them soar.

While charities are eligible for furlough schemes, many of their staff provide vital advice and support to vulnerable people.


European Lung Foundation offers COVID-19 advice

The European Lung Foundation is publishing new resources to help people during the coronavirus crisis.

They include a Q&A with Professor James Chalmers, an infectious diseases expert from the European Respiratory Society, and Professor Leo Heunks, an intensive care specialist.

The foundation is also inviting people to share their experiences of life during the pandemic via video.

Responses to the project will be shared on the foundation's website.

European Lung Foundation

Podcast: Cultural shifts needed for population health management

In this podcast, Dr Steve Laitner discusses how Primary Care Networks are expected to adopt a population health management approach to care.

He discusses what the term means, its benefits and its challenges.

Dr Laitner is a GP with a public health background who works with practices and GP networks to make population health management happen.


Study: Social media strategies for health promotion

A study has looked at why and how nonprofit organisations use social media strategies to achieve health promotion goals.

A multiple case study design, using in-depth interviews and a content analysis of each social media strategy, was employed to analyse the use of social media tools by six nonprofit organisations dedicated to cancer prevention and management.

The authors concluded implementing a social media strategy can help achieve health promotion goals. 

However, the process of social media strategy implementation could benefit from understanding the rationale, opportunities, challenges and the potentially complementary role of existing ICT strategies.


Communication for all is everyone’s business

In this blog, Janis McDonald, chief officer of deafscotland, shares the importance of taking a human rights-based and person-centred approach to communication.

'Communication for all' is the deafscotland campaign to highlight communication barriers.

Janis calls for communication accessibility to be treated equally to that of mobility accessibility to allow sustained change that improves the lives of those affected by deafness and others who face communication barriers.


Webinar: Introduction to DIY accessibility testing

AbilityNet is hosting a webinar titled Introduction to DIY accessibility testing.

Users will learn how to use manual and automated accessibility testing tools and about testing with disabled users.

The webinar will take place from 1pm to 2.30pm on Thursday 30 April.