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Found 46 results
  1. Content Article
    Preventable conditions are costing the NHS and wider society hundreds of billions of pounds and leading to reduced quality of life for large numbers of people. This paper from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change proposes ways in which the NHS can use existing tools for screening and preventing ill health, to make the UK healthier and more productive and reduce pressure on the health system. It suggests a prevention programme that uses AI to highlight risk factors and screen individuals most likely to develop chronic health conditions.
  2. Content Article
    This resource library has been created by Health Innovation West of England to provide support materials in one location for people living with pain and professionals supporting people living with pain.
  3. Content Article
    This is part of our series of Patient Safety Spotlight interviews, where we talk to people working for patient safety about their role and what motivates them. Benjamin talks about why we need a radical shift in how we view and treat people with chronic pain and how over-investigation and over-treatment compromise patient safety. He also talks about the power of communal singing for people with long-term conditions and what wild swimming has taught him about supporting people living with chronic pain.
  4. Content Article
    This Lancet article is written by two young people aged 19 and 20 years, based in the UK, who both developed Long Covid more than two years ago. They describe their wide-ranging symptoms and highlight the impact the condition has had on their lives, causing them to miss out on key milestones—such as starting university and learning to drive. They go on to look at the specific challenges facing young people with long-term conditions, arguing that many services that are meant to help young people—health services, schools and higher education facilities—are failing those dealing with a chronic illness or disability. This article is free to view, but you will need to sign up for a free Lancet account
  5. Content Article
    The prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) or chronic diseases is increasing in Europe. NCDs now account for 90% of deaths in the WHO European Region, yet most health systems were developed to treat and care for people with acute conditions. Health care services are still lagging behind in terms of responding to the particular needs of those living with chronic conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease (hypertension and heart failure) and respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).  Policy-makers and health-care managers are working to better organize health services to reflect and cater to the needs of these patients, for example by strengthening integrated primary health-care services. Important work is also needed to increase people’s knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their own conditions on a day-to-day basis, outside of health-care settings. Patients spend on average 2 hours per year with their health professional and the rest of the time they need to take care of their health themselves. Supporting patients to self-manage their condition is crucial to improving outcomes and reducing anxiety and complications.  WHO Regional Office for Europe has published a new “how-to” guide for policy-makers, health professionals, and education and training bodies on therapeutic patient education (TPE). The guide covers commissioning, designing and delivering TPE services and training programmes for health professionals. It also looks at the evidence and theory underpinning patient education, outlines key components for delivering a high-quality service and identifies implementation opportunities and barriers. 
  6. Content Article
    In its 75th anniversary year, the strains on the NHS are all too clear, with demand from an ageing population increasing, while the number of patients treated is still lower than before the pandemic. The Chancellor recently announced the “most ambitious productivity review ever undertaken by government”, yet it is unclear how to bring about the necessary productivity improvements in the NHS to meet the challenges of the future.  For the 2023 REAL challenge lecture, Professor Dame Diane Coyle, Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, explored some of the key drivers of UK healthcare productivity and discuss what we might hope the NHS will look like when it reaches its centenary. You can watch the video of the lecture and download the slides below.
  7. News Article
    People who have been hospitalised with flu are at an increased risk of longer-term health problems, similar to those with long Covid, data suggests. While the symptoms associated with such “long flu” appear to be more focused on the lungs than ongoing Covid symptoms, in both cases the risk of death and disability was greater in the months after infection than in the first 30 days. “It is very clear that long flu is worse than the flu, and Long Covid is worse than Covid,” said Dr Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, who led the research. He was motivated to study the phenomenon after observing the scale of long-term illness experienced by people who have recovered from Covid. “Five years ago, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to examine the possibility of a ‘long flu.’ But one of the major lessons we learned from this pandemic is that a virus we all initially thought could only cause acute disease is leaving millions of people with long Covid, he said. “We wondered whether this could be happening with other things. Could this be happening with the flu, for example?” The research, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, found that while Covid patients faced a greater risk of death or hospital readmission in the following 18 months, both infections carried a significant risk of ongoing disability and disease. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 December 2023
  8. Content Article
    This blog by the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) shares highlights of the evidence given to a House of Lord's inquiry into homecare medicines services' governance and accountability. The witness sessions heard evidence on levers for accountability, performance and safety, e-prescribing and workforce. The blog looks at challenges faced by providers, the need for improved regulation and accountability and lack of data and KPIs. It also describes a desktop investigation being undertaken by NHS England to understand the range of arrangements that are in place and how homecare medicines services are held to account.
  9. Content Article
    People with chronic pain need personalised care – an approach offering patients choice and control over their mental and physical health, basing care on what matters to them personally, and focusing on individual strengths and needs. People in this position need someone to listen and acknowledge that these symptoms are real, not all in their head. They need someone to explain their chronic pain and other symptoms, but also someone for everything else too. As well as medical care, people need time and emotional care. But how on earth can this be achieved in UK primary care in 2023? Is this really the role of a modern GP? Even if it was how can it now be in our over-stretched, fragmented, target-driven services? In North-West London, Selena Stellman and Benjamin Ellis have tested a personalised care model to improve the care offered to patients with fibromyalgia and high impact chronic pain. In this opinion piece in BJGP Life, they discuss the two key changes in their approach.
  10. Content Article
    During the pandemic, approximately 4.1 million people across the UK were identified as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to Covid-19, and asked to shield for their own protection. This decision, made in the light of an unprecedented pandemic, would separate those with autoimmune inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, from the rest of society for their own protection. This report by the charity Versus Arthritis presents qualitative research led by Dr Charlotte Sharp, a consultant rheumatologist, Lynn Laidlaw who has an autoimmune rheumatic disease and had to shield, and patient contributor Joyce Fox from the Centre for Epidemiology at the University of Manchester. It highlights the stories of people who lived through shielding and details the impact on their daily lives, their physical and mental wellbeing, their work, and their relationships with their families and the rest of society.
  11. Content Article
    Paula Goss had surgery to implant rectopexy and vaginal meshes which left her with severe pain and other serious complications. In this blog, Paula talks about why she set up Rectopexy Mesh Victims and Support to campaign for adequate treatment, redress and justice for people injured by surgical mesh. She outlines the need for greater awareness of mesh injuries amongst both healthcare professionals and the public and talks about what still needs to be done to enable people to access the treatment and support they need.
  12. Content Article
    The National Early Warning Score (NEWS2) is calculated using routine vital sign measures of temperature, pulse and so on. It is used by ambulance staff and emergency departments to identify sick adults whose condition is likely to deteriorate.  NEWS2 has been shown to work among the general population. However, it has been unclear if it could monitor the condition of care home residents because of their age, frailty, and multiple long-term conditions. New research from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) shows that, among care home residents admitted to hospital as an emergency, NEWS2 can effectively identify people whose condition is likely to get worse.
  13. Content Article
    In April 2023, National Voices held a workshop with members, supported by The Disrupt Foundation, on the unequal impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. It explored how communities and groups were affected differently by both the virus itself and the measures brought in to control it.   It painted a grim picture of the ways in which the pandemic response exacerbated existing, deep-rooted inequalities across the UK and compounded the disadvantages experienced by people from minoritised communities, by disabled people and by people living with long term conditions.  Just some examples include people who are immunocompromised, who were asked to go into isolation for huge periods of time and still feel completely overlooked as control measures have been lifted. Or the use of DNRs (Do Not Resuscitate orders) which were disproportionately applied to people with learning disabilities.  With the Covid-19 Inquiry underway, it is imperative that we capture the lessons learnt from the pandemic, and use them to suggest action for the future.
  14. Content Article
    The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides the most comprehensive and up to date national profile of ethnic inequalities in mortality overall and from common physical conditions. It shows a complex picture of ethnic inequalities in mortality in England, with differences between people from ethnic minority and the White British groups, between different ethnic minority groups, and across different health conditions. This King's Fund blog looks at the complex interplay of factors drives ethnic differences in health.
  15. Content Article
    Patients and families are key partners in diagnosis, but there are few methods to routinely engage them in diagnostic safety. Policy mandating patient access to electronic health information presents new opportunities, and in this study, researchers tested a new online tool—OurDX—that was codesigned with patients and families. The study aimed to determine the types and frequencies of potential safety issues identified by patients with chronic health conditions and their families and whether their contributions were integrated into the visit note. The results showed that probable Diagnostic Safety Opportunities (DSOs) were identified by 7.5% of paediatric and adult patients with underlying health conditions or their families. Among patients reporting diagnostic concerns, 63% were verified as probable DSOs. The most common types of DSOs were patients or families not feeling heard, problems or delays with tests or referrals and problems or delays with explanation or next steps. In chart review, most clinician notes included all or some patient/family priorities and patient-reported histories. The researchers concluded that OurDX can help engage patients and families living with chronic health conditions in diagnosis. Participating patients and families identified DSOs and most of their OurDX contributions were included in the visit note.
  16. Content Article
    From endometriosis to heart attacks, this Guardian article look into the causes and symptoms, and explore gender disparities in quality of care
  17. Content Article
    The UK Government is seeking the views of members of the public on an interim delivery plan to improve experiences and outcomes of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The consultation asks for views on: research attitudes and education living with ME/CFS language used in relation to ME/CFS The responses will be used to help the Government understand:how well the plan identifies and addresses the issues most important to the ME/CFS community and where further action may be required. This consultation closes at 11:59pm on 4 October 2023.
  18. News Article
    The Government must provide the health service with more support to fulfil its ambition of extending healthy life expectancy and reducing premature death, an expert has warned. It comes after the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) published an interim report on its Major Conditions Strategy, a 5-year blueprint to help manage six disease groups more effectively and tackle health inequality. The groups are cancer, cardiovascular disease – including stroke and diabetes – musculoskeletal conditions, chronic respiratory diseases, mental health conditions and dementia. The Government said the illnesses "account for over 60% of ill health and early death in England", while patients with two or more conditions account for about 50% of hospital admissions, outpatient visits, and primary care consultations. By 2035, two-thirds of adults over 65 are expected to be living with two or more conditions, while 17% could have four or more. Sally Gainsbury, Nuffield Trust senior policy analyst, said the Government is right to focus on the six conditions, but "will need to shift more of its focus towards primary prevention, early diagnosis, and symptom management". She added: "What's less clear is how Government will support health and care systems to do this in the context of severe pressures on staff and other resources, as well as a political culture that tends to place far more focus on what happens inside hospitals than what happens in community healthcare services, GP practices and pharmacies. This initiative is both long overdue and its emphasis has shifted over time. The Major Conditions Strategy is being developed in place of a White Paper on health inequalities originally promised over 18 months ago." Read full story Source: Medscape, 16 August 2023
  19. Content Article
    9.1 million people will be living with major illness by 2040, 2.5 million more than in 2019, according to this new report published by the Health Foundation. The analysis is part of a four-year project led by the Health Foundation’s Real Centre in partnership with the University of Liverpool, focusing on levels of ill health in the adult population in England up to 2040. It lays out the scale and impact of the growth in the number of people living with major illness as the population ages.
  20. Content Article
    The major conditions strategy is a national framework being developed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID). It will focus on six major groups of conditions: cancers cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and diabetes chronic respiratory diseases dementia mental ill health musculoskeletal disorders This briefing by NHS Confederation examines how the upcoming major conditions strategy can set the conditions to prevent, treat and manage multimorbidity in England.
  21. News Article
    Hundreds of thousands of older people in England are having to endure chronic pain, anxiety and unmet support needs owing to the worsening shortage of social care staff and care home beds. Age UK has said older people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart failure are increasingly struggling with living in their own homes because of a lack of help with everyday tasks such as getting out of bed, dressing and eating. The decline in the amount of support and care provided to older people is piling pressure on families and carers and leaving the NHS in constant crisis mode, contributing heavily to ambulance queues outside A&E departments, the charity said in a new report It warned that there would be a repeat of the NHS crisis this winter – in which rising numbers of elderly people have been unnecessarily stuck in hospital because of an acute lack of social care – without a shift to preventing unnecessary admissions. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 February 2023
  22. News Article
    The NHS in England is set to have a major conditions strategy to help determine policy for the care of increasing numbers of people in England with complex and often multiple long-term conditions. Conditions covered by the strategy will include cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, dementia, mental health conditions, and musculoskeletal disorders. Cancer will also be included and will no longer have its own dedicated 10 year strategy. England’s health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, told the House of Commons on 24 January that the strategy would build on measures in the NHS long term plan. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 25 January 2023
  23. News Article
    More than 100,000 people with type 1 diabetes in England are to be offered an artificial pancreas, which experts believe could become the “holy grail” for managing the disease. The groundbreaking device uses an algorithm to determine the amount of insulin that should be administered and reads blood sugar levels to keep them steady. A world-first trial on the NHS found it was more effective at managing diabetes than current devices and required far less input from patients. The device is now set to be rolled out across the NHS in England after it won approval from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Prof Partha Kar, national specialty adviser for diabetes at NHS England, said: “This technology has been proven to give the best control for managing type 1 diabetes and should make things like amputations, blindness, and kidney problems possibly a thing of the past.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 January 2023
  24. News Article
    People who survive cancer may be at heightened risk of cardiovascular disease in subsequent years, data suggests. However, heart scans may identify early heart damage, potentially opening the door to more tailored follow-up care for cancer survivors. Although previous studies have suggested that people who have been treated for cancer may be at greater risk of future cardiovascular problems such as stroke or heart failure, these have mainly focused on the first year after a cancer diagnosis. Few have looked at longer term risks or included cardiovascular imaging to pinpoint damage that has not yet resulted in symptoms. To plug these gaps, Dr Zahra Raisi-Estabragh at Queen Mary University of London and her colleagues assessed the cardiovascular health of 18,714 UK Biobank participants with a previous diagnosis of lung, breast, prostate, blood, womb or bowel cancer, and compared them with an equal number of participants with no cancer history, tracking their cardiovascular health for nearly 12 years. Almost a third of cancer survivors developed a cardiovascular problem during the study period, compared with a quarter of people in the control group. “This study adds to existing knowledge about the impact of some cancer treatments on cardiovascular disease in cancer survivors,” said Martin Ledwick, the head information nurse at Cancer Research UK. “It may help to inform strategies for how some cancer survivors need to be monitored long-term, especially in situations where they have been discharged from cancer follow-up to the care of their GPs.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 April 2023
  25. Content Article
    Imagine you have a disease that leaves you in severe pain, and frequently means you need emergency strong opioid pain relief. But your condition is rare, and A&E staff often have very limited knowledge of your condition. And on top of that you’re black, and staff assume you’re drug seeking, and this happens over and over again. This is just one of the ways people with sickle cell disorder face discrimination when trying to access health care. Is it any wonder you’d rather avoid the health and care service than have substandard care and/or face stigmatisation?  
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