Government publishes further details of National Institute for Health Protection plans

The Government has released a briefing on its plans for a new National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP).

NIHP will bring together the existing health protection responsibilities discharged by Public Health England with the new capabilities of NHS Test and Trace, including the Joint Biosecurity Centre.

The briefing outlines the responsibilities of NIHP, including:

  • PHE local health protection teams to deal with infections and other threats
  • Support and resources for local authorities to manage local outbreaks
  • Research and knowledge management
  • Providing specialist scientific advice on immunisation and countermeasures

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


How has COVID-19 changed the narrative around the biggest NHS clinical priorities?

Engine MHP Health's latest poll results look at how the pandemic has shifted political prioritisation of major healthcare conditions.

In January Engine, in collaboration with Savanta ComRes, carried out a poll of MPs to assess their opinions on the top clinical priorities for the NHS in 2020. 

The poll was run again four months later to see how COVID-19 has changed MPs’ views on clinical priorities.

Main findings include:

  • Cancer remains the top healthcare priority with more than 70 per cent of MPs placing it within their first three. 
  • Cancer’s lead over other health priorities increased from pre-COVID levels – 41% placed it as their number one healthcare priority in May compared to 28% in January.
  • Dementia and Alzheimer’s have fallen down the political priority list. 
  • Following the pandemic, 41% of MPs included dementia and Alzheimer's in their top three priorities compared to 61% in January.
  • Social care has has become a greater priority. 
  • In May, 84% of MPs from all parties wanted to see the Conservatives deliver on their promise to find a workable solution for adult social care compared to 45% in January.

Click on the link below to read a full report on the results.

Engine MHP

Value in Health Week programme announced

Value in Health Week will take place from 12 to 16 October 2020. 

The week-long programme of events celebrating value-based healthcare adoption in Wales is delivered by the NHS Wales Value in Health team, in partnership with Life Sciences Hub Wales.

A packed programme includes morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Just some of the session titles are:

  • Using Outcomes to Improve Access for Patients, based on greatest need
  • Bringing Data to Life – Lung Cancer Dashboard Case Study
  • Patient Perspectives – Why Better Data is Key to Patient-Centred Care
  • Optimising Outcomes for Diabetic Patients
  • Value in Health and the COVID Recovery

Sessions can be booked individually by clicking on the link below.

Life Sciences Hub Wales

Patient Experience in England report published

The Patient Experience Library has published its Patient Experience in England report for 2020.

In his foreword to the report, Shaun Lintern says: "Listening to patients should not be seen as a chore, or a tick box."

While this year's health news has been dominated by COVID-19, Shaun points out it has also seen the publication of the report into breast surgeon Ian Paterson and the Cumberlege review. 

In both cases, women's voices were ignored and suppressed over years, even decades.

The report also summarises key findings from 12 months of patient experience reviews and studies. The full report is available to download via the link below.

The Patient Experience Library

COVID-19 mental health surveillance report

A new surveillance report from Public Health England provides a close to real-time picture of the impact COVID-19 is having on mental health and wellbeing.

The publication draws together and compares timely data from selected surveys and remote support services and reviews emerging evidence on population mental health and wellbeing. 

It includes seven chapters which will be updated regularly, including weekly data on a range of health and wellbeing measures and a dedicated chapter for children and young people.

Public Health Matters

Pancreatic Cancer UK launches No Time To Wait campaign

PIF member Pancreatic Cancer UK has launched a No Time To Wait campaign calling for shorter waiting times for treatment.

The charity says the pandemic has increased waiting lists for some pancreatic cancer treatment by up to two months.

But half of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within three months.

An online petition calling for pancreatic cancer treatment to remain a priority has already received more than 45,000 signatures.

Pancreatic Cancer UK

Communicating better with people with hearing loss

Healthwatch has published a guide to help health and social care professionals better communicate with people with hearing loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says those with hearing loss often rely on visual cues such as lip reading or facial expressions during a conversation. 

Remote appointments on the telephone or talking to someone who is wearing personal protective equipment such as a mask can make things more difficult.

The guide includes advice from Action on Hearing Loss and communication tips for when lip reading is or is not possible.


Infographics on remote consultations for Type 2 diabetics

Three infographics have been published to illustrate key recommendations from a rapid literature review evaluating the feasibility and effectiveness of virtual clinics in diabetes care before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three infographics cover:

  • Steps to establish a virtual diabetes clinic
  • A checklist guide for health care professionals conducting virtual clinics
  • A patient guide for making the most out of the virtual clinic

The authors of the review say the advantages of virtual clinics include reduced treatment burden, improved therapeutic alliances, societal and psychological benefits and innovative solutions to overcome the challenges presented by the transition from in-person to virtual care.


Inquiry into access to contraception highlights importance of knowledge

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK has published a report into its inquiry into access to contraception.

Women's Lives, Women's Rights highlights the importance of access to contraception for all women.

The report says knowledge and understanding of different contraceptive methods are fundamental to ensuring women can make an informed choice. 

However, evidence suggested significant gaps and there is currently no national measure to assess women’s knowledge and monitor improvements. 


People in most deprived areas almost twice as likely to visit A&E

New data from NHS Digital shows people living in the most deprived areas of England are almost twice as likely to visit A&E as those in the least deprived.

NHS Digital’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Activity 2019/20 reveals 3.1 million people living in the most deprived areas attended A&E in 2019/20 compared with 1.6 million in the least deprived areas.

The data also shows attendance for the 20% of the population living in the most deprived areas accounted for 27% (5.9 million) of all A&E attendances.

NHS Digital

Draft NICE guidance on non-small-cell lung cancer treatment

New draft guidance recommends osimertinib at two different places in the treatment pathway for locally advanced or metastatic epidermal growth factor receptor-positive non-small-cell lung cancer.

The positive recommendation follows a rapid review of NICE’s previous guidance, which did not recommend the treatment.


Call for case studies – community action improving health

NCVO and Public Health England are calling for examples of a project where volunteering or community action has led to positive health outcomes in a local community.

They are particularly interested in how volunteers in the community or voluntary organisations have set up health improvement initiatives in line with PHE guidelines on ‘community-centred public health’. 

Case studies will contribute to PHE’s ongoing work in this area.

NCVO will work with applicants to write up their project as a case study for publication on NCVO Knowhow and NHS websites. 

Email [javascript protected email address] to be considered.


New learning resources to prevent suicide and self-harm

Health Education England launched new online resources to help prevent suicide and self-harm as part of its contribution to World Suicide Prevention Day earlier this month.

HEE already has a large suite of mental health training resources aimed at alleviating the psychological distress of healthcare professionals and helping them to help others.

The new online training provided by HEE e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) will supplement these.

Health Education England

Webinar: How technology can help people with dyslexia

Dafydd Henke-Reed, principal accessibility and usability consultant with AbilityNet, will share his expert advice about dyslexia and technology during a webinar on 29 September.

Dafydd will champion how much technology has enabled him with his dyslexia. 

The webinar, which starts at 1pm, will also examine digital barriers to avoid, alongside good practice for enabling dyslexic users online.