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Found 74 results
  1. Event
    There is currently remarkable consensus across think tanks, institutions, and political parties that a move towards a preventive state is key to creating a healthier nation. A preventive approach can help people live healthily for longer while also addressing many of the problems within the health and care system, allowing for proactive population health management and tackling of health inequalities. Creating a healthier nation needs a collaboration between people, places, the NHS, and businesses, as well as government. If the new government wants to improve the health of the nation, it should create an approach to health that spans all government departments, includes actions to reduce health inequalities, and implements measures that help people to make healthier choices. At this in-person event, the case is presented for how prevention can create a healthier nation, why it is particularly important now, and propose tangible actions for making this shift at the national, system and local levels. Join the King's Fund to understand why prevention is key to supporting healthier lives and how it can be made a reality. Join leaders and experts from across health and care, thinks tanks and politicians to explore: why moving towards a preventive state is particularly important now given the context of widening health inequalities and stalling of life expectancy how to make the shift to prevention a reality at national, system, and local levels the importance of measuring preventive expenditure the role of prevention when taking a population health approach the link between health and housing and how healthier communities can support a wider approach to prevention. how place-based approaches to prevention are key. Register
  2. Content Article
    Progress on cardiovascular disease (CVD) was a significant driver of better population health and greater prosperity in the latter half of the 20th century. However, progress has recently stalled, with indications it may be in reverse. This may be due to policy choices made in the last 15 years, particularly since the global financial crisis, above and beyond the more recent impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This report by Chris Thomas from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows, among other findings, that people are more likely to leave work due to a heart condition than any other health issue.
  3. Content Article
    The theme of this year’s International Long Covid Awareness Day is ‘Confront Long Covid: Recognise, prevent, act’. In this interview, we speak to retired occupational physician Dr Clare Rayner about her work in understanding Long Covid and its impact on individuals, the health service and the wider economy. She talks about recent guidance she has developed on people with Long Covid returning to work and outlines the impact Long Covid has on the workforce. She calls on healthcare leaders and the Government to invest in treatment-related research as well as highlighting the significant health risks associated with Covid reinfection.
  4. Content Article
    In this Medscape article, nephrologist F Perry Wilson explains the findings of a binational cohort study using the universal electronic health record systems of South Korea and Japan. Data from more than 20 million individuals living in these countries from 2020 to 2021 was used to investigate the effect of Covid-19 on long-term risk for incident autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRD) such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and vasculitis, over various follow-up periods. The study authors found that, compared with those infected with flu, those infected with Covid-19 were more likely to be diagnosed with any autoimmune condition, connective tissue disease, and in Japan, inflammatory arthritis. Wilson observes that although we can't draw causal conclusions from the results, the study highlights that Covid-19 has very different long term effects to other respiratory viruses. 
  5. News Article
    Millions of people are being urged to get checks for a condition which has been described as the “silent killer”. If left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and vascular dementia. Up to 4.2 million people in England are thought to be living with high blood pressure without knowing it – around a third of all those with the condition. Now, a new NHS Get Your Blood Pressure Checked campaign has been launched, backed by health charities, to warn people the condition often has no symptoms. England’s chief medical officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, said: “High blood pressure usually has no symptoms but can lead to serious health consequences. “The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to get a simple, non-invasive blood pressure test. “Even if you are diagnosed, the good news is that it’s usually easily treatable. “Getting your blood pressure checked at a local pharmacy is free, quick and you don’t even need an appointment, so please go for a check today – it could save your life.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 March 2024
  6. News Article
    People in some more rural areas are missing out on specialist treatments they should be getting, while Londoners are receiving a lot more than their “fair share”, new NHS England figures suggest. NHS England has suggested the main cause is “systematic shortfalls in access [in] remote communities”, leaving “unmet need” for specialised services in these areas. However other factors, including coding and reporting practices, year-to-year fluctuation, and weaknesses in the formula, are also likely to be confusing the picture, sources said. The variation is being uncovered now because NHSE is preparing to fund many specialised services via allocations to integrated care boards. These allocations will be based on estimates of their populations’ healthcare needs, rather than NHSE negotiating payments directly with provider trusts – as it has since 2013. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 3 January 2023
  7. Content Article
    This report from the NHS Confederation explores practical shifts towards population health and population health management approaches.
  8. News Article
    The risk of dying from cancer in England “varies massively” depending on where a person lives, according to a study that experts say exposes “astounding” health inequalities. Researchers who analysed data spanning two decades found staggering geographical differences. In the poorest areas, the risk of dying from cancer was more than 70% higher than the wealthiest areas. Overall, the likelihood of dying from cancer has fallen significantly over the last 20 years thanks to greater awareness of signs and symptoms, and better access to treatment and care. The proportion dying from cancer before the age of 80 between 2002 and 2019 fell from one in six women to one in eight, and from one in five men to one in six. However, some regions enjoyed a much larger decline in risk than others, and the new analysis has revealed that alarming gaps in outcomes remain. “Although our study brings the good news that the overall risk of dying from cancer has decreased across all English districts in the last 20 years, it also highlights the astounding inequality in cancer deaths in different districts around England,” said Prof Majid Ezzati, from Imperial College London, who is a senior author of the study. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 December 2023
  9. News Article
    Obese adults in Britain are on course to outnumber those who are a healthy weight within five years, a stark report has revealed. Experts have warned there will be a “tipping point” in 2027 when one third of adults will be obese if current trends continue. By 2040, they predict there will 21 million people classed as obese in the UK, and 19 million deemed to be overweight. The analysis by Cancer Research UK shows seven in 10 (71%) people will be overweight or obese by 2040. Of this, almost four in 10 (36%) adults will be obese. At present, 64% of adults are overweight or obese, with figures rising every year. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer and also causes other conditions such as high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. The new data comes after former Conservative leader William Hague attacked the government for postponing a ban on “buy one get one free” deals for foods high in fat, salt and sugar for a year because of the cost-of-living crisis. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 May 2022
  10. News Article
    Stark disparities in cancer rates between different ethnic groups have been laid bare in new research showing black people are twice as likely to get prostate cancer while white people have double the chance of getting skin and lung cancers. The analysis of NHS Digital cancer registration data by Cancer Research UK provides the most complete recording ever of cancer rates by ethnicity in England, offering crucial data on how some rates vary. The results are published in the British Journal of Cancer. White people in England are more than twice as likely to get some types of cancer, including melanoma skin cancer, oesophageal, bladder and lung cancers compared with people from black, Asian or mixed ethnic backgrounds, according to the research. Black people are almost three times more likely to get myeloma and almost twice as likely to get prostate cancer compared with white people. The study also found that black people are more likely to get stomach and liver cancers, and Asian people are more likely to get liver cancers. Genetics are thought to play a part in some of the findings, Cancer Research UK said. For example, white people are more likely to get skin cancer because they tend to burn more easily in the sun. Preventable risk factors also appear to be involved, the charity added, as white people are more likely than most minority ethnic groups to smoke or be overweight or obese. These are the two largest risk factors in developing cancer and help explain why white people are more likely to get some types of cancer than other ethnic groups. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 March 2022
  11. News Article
    The UK’s status as a global leader on vaccination is at risk because of falling uptake rates among children and an “alarming” decline in clinical trial activity, MPs have warned. The Health and Social Care Committee said in a report that it was concerned that England did not meet the 95% target for any routine childhood immunisations in 2021-22.1 Committee chair Steve Brine MP said that new spikes in measles cases in London and the West Midlands because of low uptake of MMR vaccines should be a “massive wake-up call” for the government to take action. “Vaccination is the one of the greatest success stories when it comes to preventing infection. Unless the government tackles challenges around declining rates of childhood immunisations and implements reform on clinical trials, however, the UK’s position as a global leader on vaccination risks being lost,” he said. The Health and Social Care Committee said, “It is unacceptable that there are people who are unable to take advantage of the important protection that vaccination offers because of practical challenges of time and location that can and must be tackled.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 27 July 2023
  12. News Article
    Britain is in the grip of a new silent health crisis. For 14 of the past 15 weeks, England and Wales have averaged around 1,000 extra deaths each week, none of which are due to Covid. If the current trajectory continues, the number of non-Covid excess deaths will soon outstrip deaths from the virus this year. Experts believe decisions taken by the Government in the earliest stages of the pandemic – policies that kept people indoors, scared them away from hospitals and deprived them of treatment and primary care – are finally taking their toll. Prof Robert Dingwall, of Nottingham Trent University, a former government adviser during the pandemic, said: “The picture seems very consistent with what some of us were suggesting from the beginning. “We are beginning to see the deaths that result from delay and deferment of treatment for other conditions, like cancer and heart disease, and from those associated with poverty and deprivation. “These come through more slowly – if cancer is not treated promptly, patients don't die immediately but do die in greater numbers more quickly than would otherwise be the case.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 18 August 2022
  13. 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
  14. Content Article
    For decades, western Europe’s national healthcare systems have been widely touted as among the best in the world. But an ageing population, more long-term illnesses, a continuing recruitment and retainment crisis plus post-Covid exhaustion have combined, this winter, to create a perfect healthcare storm that is likely to get worse before it gets better, writes Jon Henley (Berlin), Kate Connolly (Berlin), Sam Jones (Madrid) and Angela Giuffrida (Rome) in this Guardian article.
  15. Content Article
    The Atlases of Variation help to identify unwarranted variation and assess the value that healthcare provides to both populations and individuals. This is produced in collaboration with PHE, NHS England and RightCare and many other organisations. Products include Compendium atlases and themed atlases for areas such as Diagnostic Services and Liver Disease. A defining aspect of the atlases is that each of the indicator’s maps, column chart and box-and-whisker plot is accompanied by text which provides: the context for the indicator, a description of the variation and trend data, options for action and a list of evidence-based resources to support action. Interactive Atlases services can be accessed via the NHS England website.
  16. Content Article
    Reducing socioeconomic inequalities in cancer is a priority for the public health agenda. In this study, cancer-specific mortality data by socioeconomic status, as measured by educational level, were collected and harmonised across 18 countries in Europe and for multiple points in time over the period 1990–2015. The study found that everywhere in Europe, lower-educated individuals have higher mortality rates for nearly all cancer-types relative to their more highly educated counterparts, particularly for tobacco/infection-related cancers. However, the magnitude of inequalities varies greatly by country and over time, predominantly due to differences in cancer mortality among lower-educated groups, as for many cancer-types higher-educated have more similar (and lower) rates, irrespective of the country. Inequalities were generally greater in Baltic/Central/East-Europe and smaller in South-Europe, although among women large and rising inequalities were found in North-Europe. These results call for a systematic measurement, monitoring and action upon the remarkable socioeconomic inequalities in cancer existing in Europe.
  17. Content Article
    This new report from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change sets out the need to both harness the power of new technologies and to create a streamlined, strategic state to revolutionise the delivery of public services. Nowhere is this approach more urgently needed than on the country’s health. Healthcare demands continue to increase while costs are spiralling as health takes up an ever-higher proportion of public spending. At the same time, outcomes are deteriorating, with UK life expectancy stagnating and health inequalities on the rise. So, we’re all paying more and more to achieve less and less. The report suggests a paradigm shift: we must begin to treat individual and collective health as a national asset. Government must focus its efforts and resources on creating the conditions in which population and individual health can flourish.
  18. News Article
    Health spending over the next two years will grow less than during the austerity era of the last decade, according to a new analysis of the autumn statement. The chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, a former health secretary who previously campaigned for greater resources from the backbenches, announced last week that the NHS would receive an extra £3.3bn in each of the next two years. With severe pressures growing on the service, he said it would be one of his “key priorities”. However, research by the Health Foundation charity has found that when the whole health budget is included – covering the NHS, training, public health services and capital investment – it will only increase by 1.2% in real terms over the next two years. That is below the 2% average seen in the decade preceding the pandemic, as well as the historical average of about 3.8%. The research comes as NHS trusts face almost impossible decisions over staff wages, waiting lists and keeping buildings and equipment up to date. The Health Foundation analysis highlighted the continued “significant uncertainty” facing the delivery of health services over the remainder of this parliament. It said there were now “difficult trade-offs” on issues such as pay and the backlog. Anita Charlesworth, director of the Real (Research and economic analysis for the long term) Centre at the Health Foundation, said that there had been “short-term relief” for the health service, especially when compared with the cuts made to non-protected departments. However, she said it would be “treading water at best as inflation bites and it faces rising pressures from an ageing population, pay, addressing the backlog and continuing Covid costs”. “If other parts of the system – especially social care and community care – are also struggling with cost pressures, this makes it harder to deliver healthcare and the 2% will buy less,” she said. “Efficiency can only take the NHS so far. Since 2010, if we had kept up with German health spending we’d have spent £73bn more each year, and £40bn more if we’d kept up with France.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 19 November 2022
  19. News Article
    Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus. In an open letter published in the BMJ, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter. It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown. Following the prime minister's announcement, health leaders called for a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of how prepared the UK would be for a new outbreak of the virus. "While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk," they wrote in the letter. "Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain." The authors of the letter, also signed by the chair of the British Medical Association, urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a "constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach", tasked with developing practical recommendations. "The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame," they said, and instead should focus on "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible". Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 June 2020
  20. News Article
    European countries should brace themselves for a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections because the pandemic is not over, the World Health Organization’s top official in Europe has said. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Hans Kluge, director for the WHO European region, delivered a stark warning to countries beginning to ease their lockdown restrictions, saying that now is the "time for preparation, not celebration". Dr Kluge stressed that, as the number of cases of COVID-19 in countries such as the UK, France and Italy was beginning to fall, it did not mean the pandemic was coming to an end. The epicentre of the European outbreak is now in the east, with the number of cases rising in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, he warned. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 20 May 2020
  21. News Article
    Death rates from coronavirus in the most deprived parts of England are more than double than in less deprived areas, according to new figures that show London is the worst-hit part of the country. The mortality rate for the most deprived areas for March and early April was 55.1 deaths per 100,000 population – compared with 25.3 deaths per 100,000 in the least deprived areas, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The statistics show London has by far the highest mortality rate, with 85.7 deaths per 100,000 persons. This was found to be “statistically significantly higher” than any other region – almost double the next highest rate. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 May 2020
  22. News Article
    More than 16% of people who had tested positive for coronavirus when they died were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, new data shows. On Monday, NHS England released data showing the ethnic breakdown of people who have died with coronavirus for the first time. The statistics come days after a review was announced to examine what appears to be a disproportionate number of BAME people who have been affected by Covid-19. Last week Downing Street confirmed the NHS and Public Health England will lead the review of evidence, following pressure on ministers to launch an investigation. Discussing the review, Professor Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, said ethnicity is "less clear" than three others factors in determining who is most at risk from coronavirus. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 April 2020
  23. News Article
    In March, while the UK delayed, Ireland acted. For many this may prove to have been the difference between life and death. The choices our governments have made in the last month have profoundly shaped what risks we, as citizens, are exposed to during the course of this pandemic. Those choices have, to a large extent, determined how many of us will die. At the time of writing, 365 people have died in Ireland of COVID-19 and 11,329 have died in the UK. Adjusted for population, there have been 7.4 deaths in Ireland for every 100,000 people. In the UK, there have been 17 deaths per 100,000. In other words, people are dying of coronavirus in the UK at more than twice the rate they are dying in Ireland. In her article, Elaine Doyle explores why this might be. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 April 2020
  24. News Article
    Criticism is mounting in Sweden of the government’s approach to Covid-19, with academics warning that its strategy of building broad immunity while protecting at-risk groups – similar to that initially adopted by the UK – amounted to “Russian roulette” and could end in disaster. The prime minister, Stefan Löfven, on Sunday night called on all Swedes to accept individual responsibility in stopping the rapid spread of the virus as the number of patients in intensive care in Stockholm continued to rise sharply. Read full story Source: 23 March 2020, The Guardian
  25. News Article
    NHSX is working on a contact tracking app to trace the spread of coronavirus through the population. Contact tracking is already in limited use for people who have tested positive and the discipline has a long history in tuberculosis outbreaks. In a statement sent to HSJ, Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of NHSX, said : “NHSX are looking at whether app-based solutions might be helpful in tracking and managing coronavirus, and we have assembled expertise from inside and outside the organisation to do this as rapidly as possible.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 March 2020
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