Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review

The Institute of Health Equity has published Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review highlighting the impact of social, environmental and economic inequality on health.

The report has three main aims:

  • To examine inequalities in COVID-19 mortality with a particular focus on members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, certain occupations and the socioeconomic gradient in health.
  • To show the effects the pandemic, and the societal response to contain it, have had on social and economic inequalities, mental and physical health and their likely effects on health inequalities in the future.
  • To make recommendations on what needs to be done.

Build Back Fairer builds on recommendations in the 10 Years On and Marmot 2010 reports.

Click on the link below to watch the launch webinar and download the report in full.

Institute of Health Equity

The Multiple Conditions Guidebook – One Year On

The Taskforce on Multiple Conditions has revisited seven of the case studies featured in The Multiple Conditions Guidebook to find out how things are progressing in the year since their original publication.

Presented in a Q&A format, this report sets out conversations with the practitioners leading these services as well as perspectives from some of the patients accessing them.

The report does not attempt to make policy recommendations, instead it uses case studies to outline the ways people overcame new challenges and the ongoing issues which need to be addressed.

The Taskforce on Multiple Conditions is a cross-sector partnership between The Richmond Group of Charities, The Royal College of General Practitioners and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.

The Richmond Group of Charities

Health literacy levels of British adults

A research article published by BMC Public Health aims to describe the health literacy levels of British adults using a nationally-representative population survey.

It explores the results of a cross-sectional survey conducted by NatCen in 2018 including two domains from the Health Literacy Questionnaire:

  • Understanding health information well enough to know what to do
  • Ability to actively engage with health care providers

Authors found those with lower health literacy were more likely to be in the most socially deprived quintile, have a limiting health condition or disability and have no educational qualifications. 

They concluded interventions to improve health literacy should be targeted at these groups.

BioMed Central

'Digital inequalities are everyone’s problem'

In this article, David Maguire, Senior Analyst at The King’s Fund, asks how we can know whether people with less ability to access digital care are being left out.

He says, there’s a complex relationship between health outcomes and digital inequalities, with some groups who are already facing poor health outcomes also subject to digital exclusion.

While there is no 'silver bullet' David says successful projects brought together by The King's Fund and Public Health Wales in their recent report all started by understanding the current context of their audience.

Digital Health

Telehealth is 'occasional suitable alternative' to in-person visits

A new Health Union survey reveals the attitudes of people with chronic conditions to telehealth.

The survey is the fifth in Health Union’s ongoing COVID-19 Consumer Attitudes and Health Behaviours Survey.

Two thirds of respondents who had telehealth appointments considered their experiences to be positive, with convenience being a primary reason. 

Forty-four per cent said they were 'extremely likely' to consider using telehealth after the pandemic is under control. 

This number was higher for people living with autoimmune conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis (61%), Crohn’s disease (61%) and plaque psoriasis (56%).

However, increased use does not necessarily translate into a clear preference for telehealth.

Instead, telehealth appears to be viewed as an important and convenient tool that can be used along with in-person visits.

Health Union

Podcasts: Not Mini Adults

This series of podcasts by Thinking of Oscar cover a wide range of issues concerning health and care for children.

Episodes include Virtual Reality with Dr Evelyn Chan, Child Health Literacy with Prof Lucy Bray, Patient Experience with Sasha Cahill and Ali Nasim and Collaboration with Sherry Farrugia.

A full episode list can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

Thinking of Oscar

Easy Read COVID-19 guidance for supported living

An Easy Read version of government guidance for people in supported living has been published.

The guide aims to help people better understand what they need to do and includes information on PPE, infection prevention and control, support bubbles and visits.

The original advice was published earlier this year but this is the first it has been released in Easy Read format.

Department of Health and Social Care

Design features for improving mobile health intervention user engagement

A new review looks at which design features improve user engagement with mobile health interventions by summarising published literature.

It says well-designed mobile health interventions support a positive user experience but a high rate of disengagement is a common concern.

The review found seven themes influencing user engagement: personalisation, reinforcement, communication, navigation, credibility, message presentation and interface aesthetics.

These have been used to generate a checklist with evidence-based items to enable developers to use the findings.


Supporting women using maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic

NHS England has published new guidance to support pregnant women using maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It sets out three key actions NHS trusts should take to enable women to receive support from a partner, relative, friend or other person when receiving maternity care.

NHS England

Inclusive research and tackling health inequalities

This report from the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) virtual Academy Members’ Conference discusses how inclusive research can be used as a therapy against the long-term condition of health inequalities.

It quotes Professor Azhar Farooqi, GP and director of the Centre for BME Health in Leicester, who gave the keynote address at the conference.

He describes health inequality as a chronic long-term condition of the NHS which has been acutely exacerbated by COVID-19.


Inclusive design lessons from a post-pandemic world

This article discusses how COVID-19 has exposed inequalities in a digital-first world and exposed the barriers many people with disabilities face.

While 78% of people with disabilities say technology is 'helpful' or 'very helpful' an increasing reliance on technology is also exposing barriers caused by websites, products or services which are not accessible.

The article also sets out research by Scope on the challenges faced by disabled people during the pandemic.

Scope accessibility specialist Elisabeth Ward says inclusive design and involving disabled users in the process are key to change.


Challenges and opportunities for Integrated Care posed by the COVID-19 pandemic

An editorial in the International Journal of Integrated Care outlines three persistent and well-known challenges highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says responses to COVID-19 have largely not been integrated leading to adverse outcomes.

Responses also continue to demonstrate inequalities in care and outcomes to vulnerable populations.

The authors say the pandemic has highlighted the need to build evidence for an integrated and coordinated response.

They suggest several steps to overcome these challenges, including using the WHO definition of health to inform policy, co-ordinated responses and investment in sound research.

Journal of Integrated Care