Impact of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are more likely to be exposed to coronavirus and less likely to be aware of public health messages according to a new report by the Runnymede Trust.

Over-Exposed and Under-Protected explores the impact of COVID-19 on black and minority ethnic communities in Great Britain.

It says people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are consistently less likely to be aware of government measures to tackle the coronavirus than their white British counterparts.

While 87% of white people had heard the of the request to ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives’, the proportion among people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds was 69%. 

The same pattern holds for the request to ‘Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives’ – 84% versus 66%.

The findings are based on a survey of 2,585 adults, conducted by polling company ICM on behalf of Runnymede.

The survey also found people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups face greater barriers in shielding from coronavirus as a result of their type of employment, having to use public transport more, living in overcrowded and multi-generational households more, and not being given appropriate PPE at work. 

Runnymede Trust

Mental health services and COVID-19

A new report by the NHS Reset campaign considers what mental health services need to do to prepare for an expected surge in demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It expects this surge to be led by three main drivers: delayed referrals, increased need due to deterioration and new demand due to wider impacts of the pandemic

There are also concerns that existing inequalities faced by BAME communities will be exacerbated.

The report makes a series of recommendations, including a suicide-prevention public health campaign, increased support for third sector organisations and the introduction of mental health support teams in schools nationwide.

While it recommends additional funding to support digital approaches, the report also says the views of service users must be taken on board when deciding what innovations should be maintained post pandemic.

NHS Confederation

NHS 111 online hits surge during pandemic

NHS 111 online has seen record usage during the coronavirus pandemic according to the latest figures released by NHS Digital.

More than 30 million users visited NHS 111 online between 26 February and 11 August. 

More than six million of these completed an online coronavirus assessment and received health advice.

At the peak of the crisis in mid-March, the service was used more than 950,000 times a day – 95 times higher than it normally would be.

NHS Digital

NICE quality standard: Decision making and mental capacity

NICE has published a new quality standard on decision making and mental capacity.

The quality standard covers decision making in people aged 16 and over using health and social care services who may lack capacity to make their own decisions, either now or in the future. 

It aims to support implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and relevant codes of practice.


COVID-19: Roadmap to Recovery

Wilmington Healthcare has published a white paper looking at the next stages of recovery for the NHS and exploring the role industry has in supporting the health service.

COVID-19: Roadmap to Recovery looks at the issues surrounding recovery from the point of view of life sciences industries and includes key questions raised during recent webinars on the impact on medical conferences, devices and access to community teams.

Wilmington Healthcare

Telehealth for noncritical patients with chronic diseases

This article, published by JMIR, calls for more innovative designs to be considered to enhance 'copresence' in telehealth.

The authors say the needs of patients with chronic diseases have tended to be overlooked during the coronavirus pandemic. 

With reduced opportunities for routine clinic visits, these patients are adopting various telehealth services such as video consultation and remote monitoring. 

'Copresence' is a sense of connection with healthcare providers via digital technology. 

The authors say copresence-enhanced design has been shown to reduce patients’ anxiety and increase their confidence in managing their chronic disease condition.


Request for patient testimonials on access to care

The Medical Technology Group is asking patients to share their experiences of access to care during the COVID-19 pandemic and how medical technology might have changed and improved their treatment.

Patient testimonials will be brought together for MTG TV, a new online channel highlighting both good and bad experiences.

The purpose is to show how medical technology can be recognised as a solution to many of the challenges currently facing the NHS and patients.

If you are aware of anyone who might be interested in engaging with the MTG, email [javascript protected email address].

Survey suggests coronavirus will change attitudes to NHS use

Almost one in three people say they will use the NHS differently following the coronavirus pandemic, a PAGB survey has found.

The poll found A&E and GP services are less likely to be the first port of call for those with self-treatable conditions in future while more people will choose to care for themselves if they can.

Almost seven out of ten respondents (69%) who might not have considered self care as their first option before the pandemic said they were more likely to likely to do so in future.


Improving shared decision making in complex cases

A proposed new framework outlines how patient perspectives can be covered in case-based critical review articles to improve shared decision making in complex cases.

The authors argue the patient has always been at the centre of the evidence‐based medicine model. 

However, case‐based critical reviews, such as best‐evidence topics, are incomplete reflections of the model, because they fail to consider the patient's perspective. 

The proposed Shared Decision Evidence Summary (ShaDES) framework explicitly includes the patient's perspective on available treatment options.

Wiley Online Library

New tool for recording care home risks

A new web-based tool, commissioned by the Scottish Government, aims to allow care homes to monitor coronavirus trends and identify risks more quickly.

The Turas Care Management tool launched on 14 August.

It allows all private and public sector care homes across the country to record information including COVID-19 infection rates, demand on services and staff testing in one place.

Scottish Government

CQC COVID-19 inpatient survey

The CQC is carrying out a survey to capture the experiences of patients in hospital during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A sample of patients admitted to hospital for one night or more during March, April and May is being invited to take part in the survey.

The sample includes people admitted with confirmed or suspected coronavirus and those admitted for unrelated reasons.

Patients are being asked to complete a version of CQC’s existing annual adult inpatient survey questionnaire which includes new questions about the experience of being in hospital during the pandemic.


Disabled people more likely to use internet for health-related reasons

In this chart of the week, Nuffield Trust presents data showing those with disabilities are more likely to use the internet for health-related reasons than those without them.

However, people with disabilities were less likely to use other online services, for example, making video calls or social networking.

The report says understanding the experiences of people who have used the internet for health-related activities during the pandemic will be important for making sure services are appropriate and accessible to the people who need them.

Nuffield Trust

Early diagnosis of cancer guidance

Cancer Research UK has published new guidance to support GP practices and Primary Care Networks to deliver on their GP contract requirements for the early diagnosis of cancer.

The guidance was developed with CRUK GPs who are all practising GPs as well as being involved in strategic work.