Government creates new National Institute for Health Protection

A new organisation with a focus on public health protection and infectious disease capability has been established by the government.

The National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) brings together Public Health England (PHE) and NHS Test and Trace, as well as the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC). 

The organisations were brought together last week and NIHP will be formalised and operating from spring 2021.

A government statement said DHSC and PHE experts will discuss options for the future of PHE's remaining health improvement functions over the coming months.


How to report misinformation online

The World Health Organization has published advice to help people report false health information they find online.

It includes links to report information found on all popular social media and content sharing platforms, including YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

The advice is part of WHO's ongoing partnership with the Government to raise awareness of misinformation.


Babies in Lockdown report published

A new report details the experiences of families with babies during lockdown and calls for an immediate 'Baby Boost' investment for COVID-19 generation babies, families and communities.

The report follows a joint survey by Best Beginnings, Home-Start UK and the Parent-Infant Foundation.

Nearly four in 10 (38%) pregnant respondents were concerned about getting reliable pregnancy information and advice.

Perceived access to information appeared be a core part of managing anxiety. 

Half the number of people who answered ‘yes’ to the question ‘have you had the information you needed?’, reported feeling ‘a lot more anxious’ as a result of COVID-19 compared to those who answered ‘no’ to the same question. 

Fewer respondents from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds felt they had the information they needed during pregnancy or after birth compared to white respondents.

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

Babies in Lockdown

Framework for supporting people through recovery and rehabilitation

The Scottish Government has published a strategic framework to inform and shape the provision of rehabilitation and recovery services across Scotland during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

It outlines a whole system approach, a Once for Scotland Rehabilitation Strategy, to deliver rehabilitation to everyone who needs it.

Key parts of the framework include reducing inequalities and engaging with people in Scotland to agree the basis of a future health and care system.

Scottish Government

Podcast: The lessons that must be learnt from COVID-19

In this podcast, Professor Kevin Fenton, regional director for Public Health England London and regional director of public health for NHS London, discusses the lessons that must be learnt from COVID-19.

He talks more about the PHE review of disparities and risks in COVID-19 and his hopes for health and wellbeing in London.

The podcast was recorded prior to the announcement regarding the future of PHE.

It will be available for one month from 24 August.

The King's Fund

Global research on coronaviruses: An R package

An R package about bibliographic references on coronaviruses has been developed. 

The goal is to simplify the workflow of interested researchers.

At the time of publication, the package contained more than 60,500 medical bibliographic references.

A short use case has been provided in a paper published by JMIR based on a bibliometric analysis of the references made available by the package which is updated daily.


Lessons from COVID-19

In this article, Digital Healthcare Council director Graham Kendall outlines the response to COVID-19, what has worked and what needs to change.

He says there has been a lot of discussion about the merits of video compared to other channels such as text or telephone consultations. 

However, for Graham, this is like debating whether 'a stethoscope or a thermometer' is more important, while ignoring the growing queue of patients. 

While visual contact is preferable in many circumstances, it will only succeed if it works for patients and embeds ongoing support and communication that embraces all channels.

Digital Health

Shared decision making in breast cancer treatment guidelines

An evaluation of recommendations about shared decision making in clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) and consensus statements (CSs) concerning breast cancer treatments has found improvement is needed.

The assessment found shared decision making was more frequently reported in CPGs and CSs in recent years.

However, it was less often covered in medical journals, a feature that the authors feel needs attention.

Wiley Online Library

NICE recommends combination treatment for some lymphoma patients

New draft guidance from NICE recommends polatuzumab vedotin with rituximab and bendamustine as a treatment option for adults with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. 

The combination treatment is now available for patients whose cancer has relapsed or not responded to primary treatment, and who cannot have a haematopoietic stem cell transplant.


Obesity stigma fuelling severe impact on adult social care

A new report by the Local Government Association (LGA) says weight-related stigmas need tackling to help prevent rising levels of obesity from having a significant impact on demand and cost pressures in adult social care.

Social Care and Obesity urges doctors and health professionals to have an honest conversation about people’s weight when they consider it to be the underlying cause of a condition.

It also calls for weight to be routinely recorded in data collection to help inform prevention work and ensure services are tailored to population need.


New software application for people with diabetes

Sensyne Health has announced it is developing a new software application for people with, or at risk of, diabetes.

DBm-Health will cover all stages of the disease including individuals at risk of developing diabetes, as well as those with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, Type 1 or Type 2. 

It is designed to connect people with diabetes with the clinician responsible for their care and provide the clinician with information on the status of the patient and whether any intervention may be required.

Sensyne Health is working with three NHS Trusts to deploy DBm-Health in an initial UK launch.

Sensyne Health