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Found 570 results
  1. Content Article
    Key findings Nearly 1 in 10 people have skipped medication in the past year due to the cost of prescriptions. Of this group, 30% now have other physical health problems in addition to their original health condition, 37% now have other mental health problems in addition to their original health condition, and over half (53%) have had to take time off work as a result of worsening health. 1 in 10 (9%) report being unable to collect their prescription due to the cost in the last 12 months. 38% of respondents became aware of the Prescription Prepayment Certificate more than a year after their diagnosis with a long term condition. Around a third (35%) have had the duration of their prescription changed, meaning they’re paying more frequently for their medicines. Recommendations The report makes the following recommendations: The UK Government should commit to freezing the charge for 2024. Recommend that prescribers stop reducing the duration of prescriptions - as this prices people out of affording their vital medicines. Conducts an independent review of the prescription charge exemption list urgently. The review should examine the benefits to the health of the citizens in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales of scrapping the charge, and also take into account health inequalities. Scrap their plans to align prescription charges with the state pension age. Ensure information about prescription charge entitlements (including the low income scheme and PPCs) are provided to all those with long term conditions when they are diagnosed with their condition. This information should also be given out when medicines are dispensed and reviewed. Materials covering these topics should also be displayed at all GP surgeries and pharmacies.
  2. News Article
    Governments should set aside 10% of health spending for preventive and public measures such as cycle lanes and anti-obesity strategies, a thinktank has said, warning that “political short-termism” over health is making the UK increasingly ill and unequal. The report by the Tony Blair Institute argues that a centralised NHS model “almost entirely focused on treating sickness” rather than on wider objectives is not only harming people’s health but hampering the economy, with more than 2.5 million people out of the labour market because of long-term ailments. The report emphasises the human cost as well, noting that the effect of diseases caused or exacerbated by lifestyle means UK life expectancy is stagnating, while men living in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea can now expect to live 27 years longer than their peers in Blackpool, Lancashire. Along with a coherent central plan, the authors stressed the need for effective localism, with accountable regional bodies working to improve public health, rather than “the existing top-down and reactive approach of the NHS”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 24 March 2023
  3. News Article
    Unconscious bias in the UK healthcare system is contributing to the stark racial disparity in maternal healthcare outcomes, a conference has heard. The Black Maternal Health Conference UK, also heard that black women not being listened to by healthcare professionals was also a contributing factor. The conference, organised by The Motherhood Group, was arranged to highlight the racial inequality in maternal healthcare and the disparity in maternal mortality between white, ethnic minority and black women in the UK. Black women in the UK are four times more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than white women, according to a report published by MBRRACE-UK. Asian women are twice as likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth. Sandra Igwe, who founded the NGO The Motherhood Group in 2016 after the traumatic birth of her daughter, told the PA Media that the event was an opportunity to “bridge the community, stakeholders, professionals, [and] government”, de-stigmatise mental health and bring about change to improve black maternal health. “There are so many stats – so why wouldn’t we have a whole day’s conference dedicated to addressing these, just scratching the surface of some of the stats?” Charities and activists have been raising alarm bells about the dangerous consequences of unconscious bias in maternal healthcare for many years. Igwe co-chaired the Birthrights inquiry, a year-long investigation into racial injustice in the UK maternity services, which heard testimony from women, birthing people, healthcare professionals and lawyers and concluded that “systemic racism exists in the UK and in public services”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 March 2023 Sandra Igwe is our hub topic lead for Black Maternal Health. Read our recent interview with Sandra.
  4. Content Article
    Key findings One in four teenagers aged 17-19 have a mental health difficulty, an increase from one in six in 2021. Poverty continues to have a strong link to young people’s poor mental health. Reversed patterns of probable mental health difficulty for boys/young men and girls/young women highlights the need for specific gender-specific approaches. Young people with a mental health difficulty are more likely to have negative experience of social media. Young people with a mental health difficulty are more likely to miss school and feel unsafe while at school.
  5. Event
    Communities are playing an increasingly important role in improving health and meeting the wellbeing needs of people locally, highlighted in part by their role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Integrated care systems (ICSs) need to recognise the role communities can play in improving and sustaining good health, and as part of this they need to seek greater involvement with local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) groups at the place and neighbourhood level, where the link local communities is at its strongest. This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss the impact of community-led and person-centred approaches to improving health and wellbeing, and to explore what more can be done to build on community interventions, assets and solutions that developed as a response to the pandemic. It will also consider the challenges of demonstrating value and of working with communities to assess need and provide services. You will hear from community groups who have worked with others – including their ICS, local health system or local authority – to develop a collaborative approach to tackling health inequalities.
  6. News Article
    Health Education England (HEE) has outlined a new vision for general practice training which it says will better prepare GPs for future models of care. The programme will have greater focus on areas such as addressing health inequalities and managing the growing proportion of patients with mental health care needs seen in general practice, HEE said. Innovative placements, perhaps with charities, third sector organisations and services such as CAHMS will be explored, the Training the Future GP report said. And it should include educational opportunities around improving cancer detection and referral, the report said, as well as training in the harms of overdiagnosis. Overall the goal is to move to a flexible model of training that meets the needs, skills and experiences of the trainee as well as the area they are working in. HEE said it would also continue to work to address issues of discrimination, prejudice, bias and specifically racism at individual, institutional and systemic levels, and to reduce differential attainment. It will include plans to ensure patients in deprived areas are able to access care, with the development of specific training offers on these issues and prioritising expansion of training capacity to areas in need. Read full story Source: Pulse, 17 March 2023
  7. News Article
    Life expectancy in the UK has grown at a slower rate than comparable countries over the past seven decades, according to researchers, who say this is the result of widening inequality. The UK lags behind all other countries in the group of G7 advanced economies except the US, according to a new analysis of global life expectancy rankings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. While life expectancy has increased in absolute terms, similar countries have experienced larger increases, they wrote. In the 1950s, the UK had one of the longest life expectancies in the world, ranking seventh globally behind countries such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden, but in 2021 the UK was ranked 29th. The researchers said this was partly due to income inequality, which rose considerably in the UK during and after the 1980s. Prof Martin McKee, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: “That rise also saw an increase in the variation in life expectancy between different social groups. One reason why the overall increase in life expectancy has been so sluggish in the UK is that in recent years it has fallen for poorer groups". Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 March 2023
  8. Content Article
    Key findings The increase in incidence of Type 1 diabetes observed in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic was followed by a continuing increase in the numbers newly diagnosed with the condition in 2021/22. Almost all of those with Type 2 diabetes were overweight or obese, and almost half had a diastolic or systolic blood pressure in the hypertensive range Despite reductions in the percentages recorded as requiring additional support between 2020/21 and 2021/22, over a third of children and young people were assessed as requiring additional psychological support outside of multidisciplinary meetings Inequalities persist in terms of the use of diabetes related technologies in relation to ethnicity and deprivation. Recommendations Commissioners should ensure adequate staffing of full multidisciplinary diabetes teams to manage the increasing numbers of cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes observed since 2020, who are trained to facilitate the optimal use of new diabetes-related technologies. Children and young people with Type 1 diabetes should have equitable access to diabetes care, irrespective of social deprivation, ethnicity or geography. They should be offered a choice of diabetes technology that is appropriate for their individual needs with families being made aware of the potential differences in outcome with different modalities of insulin delivery and blood glucose monitoring. Health checks for children and young people with diabetes are essential for early recognition of complications. The need for tests and the results should be clearly communicated to families as part of their individual care package, and completion rates of checks should be monitored through the year. Awareness of diabetes symptomatology amongst the public should be enhanced to avoid newly diagnosed children and young people presenting with Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Studies should be funded to derive evidence for interventions supporting pre-diabetic children young people to avoid progression to Type 2 diabetes.
  9. News Article
    A new US study highlights a striking racial disparity in infant deaths: Black babies experienced the highest rate of sudden unexpected deaths (SIDS) in 2020, dying at almost three times the rate of White infants. The findings were part of research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which also found a 15% increase in sudden infant deaths among babies of all races from 2019 to 2020, making SIDS the third leading cause of infant death in the United States after congenital abnormalities and the complications of premature birth. “In minority communities, the rates are going in the wrong direction,” said Scott Krugman, vice chair of the department of pediatrics and an expert on SIDS at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. The study found that rising SIDS rates in 2020 was likely attributable to diagnostic shifting — or reclassifying the cause of death. The causes of the rise in sleep-related deaths of Black infants remain unclear but it coincided with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, which disproportionately affected the health and wealth of Black communities. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Washington Post, 13 March 2023
  10. Content Article
    The Midwifery Conversations conference features Professor Dorothy Roberts (author of Killing the Black Body) and Midwife Jennie Joseph (creator of The JJ Way). The purpose of the conference was to: raise awareness of social, economic, political and environmental factors that influence maternal and perinatal mortality in black women in the UK. exchange knowledge regarding midwifery practice from projects which have achieved reduction in maternal and perinatal mortality; in particular the most vulnerable groups. examine how midwifery practice can be improved enable the voices and experiences of black women service users to be heard. begin the work of realising and embedding the factors which will cause a step change in maternity outcomes for black mothers and babies.
  11. News Article
    Covid-19 may not have taken as great a toll on the mental health of most people as earlier research has indicated, a new study suggests. The pandemic resulted in “minimal” changes in mental health symptoms among the general population, according to a review of 137 studies from around the world led by researchers at McGill University in Canada, and published in the British Medical Journal. Brett Thombs, a psychiatry professor at McGill University and senior author, said some of the public narrative around the mental health impacts of Covid-19 were based on “poor-quality studies and anecdotes”, which became “self-fulfilling prophecies”, adding that there was a need for more “rigorous science”. However, some experts disputed this, warning such readings could obscure the impact on individual groups such as children, women and people with low incomes or pre-existing mental health problems. They also said other robust studies had reached different conclusions. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 March 2023
  12. News Article
    Nearly three-quarters of children detained under the mental health act are girls, a new report has found, amid warnings youngsters face a “postcode lottery” in their wait for treatment. Average waiting times between children being referred to mental health services and starting treatment have increased for the first time since 2017 with the children’s commissioner describing support across the country as “patchy”. In the annual report on children’s mental health services, the watchdog warned that, although the average wait is 40 days, some children are waiting as long as 80 days for treatment after being referred in 2021-22. The analysis, published on International Women’s day, also says young girls represented the highest proportion of children detained under the mental health act last year, highlighting “stark and worrying” gender inequalities. Read full story Source: The Independent, 7 March 2023 Further reading on the hub: Top picks: Women's health inequity