Individuals with impaired vision may have great difficulty in accessing and negotiating healthcare services. In this article in the BMJ, the authors discuss the difficulties that visually impaired patients encounter in the healthcare environment and ways in which problems may be overcome. They make a number of key points and recommendations including that people with visual impairment are likely to have limited access to information and healthcare facilities and that taking time to communicate effectively about access, facilities, diagnosis, and management plans is necessary; communications, in visual or audio format, should be tailored to individuals’ needs.
eHealth literacy is defined as the ability of people to use emerging information and communications technologies to improve or enable health and health care. The goal of this study was to explore whether literacy disparities are diminished or enhanced in the search for health information on the Internet. The study showed that those who were highly eHealth literate tended to be younger and more educated than their less eHealth-literate counterparts. They were also more active consumers of all types of information on the Internet, used more search strategies, and scrutinized information more carefully than did the less eHealth-literate respondents. Finally, respondents who were highly eHealth literate gained more positive outcomes from their information search.
The General Medical Council have launched a formal consultation to help them shape Good Medical Practice for the future. Good Medical Practice is the GMC’s core guidance for doctors. It sets out the standards, principles and values expected of all doctors registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). It also plays a vital role in keeping patients safe and improving professional standards, and they want to ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant to doctors in their day to day practice. The consultation is open to anyone who wishes to respond to the issues in the revised guidance. It closes on Friday 10 February 2012.
The BMA’s General Practitioner Committee have said they are concerned giving patients access to their online record could risk their medical history being used against them, and may create more work for GPs having to explain medical terms to worried patients. The committee did not think giving patients access to their records was a bad idea. However, the committee said the GPC did have significant concerns about a number of issues including security and ensuring patients were not coerced into sharing their records with a third party.
Last year the Scottish Government (SG) set out its plans to integrate adult health and social care. The SG intends to replace Community Health Partnerships with Health and Social Care Partnerships. These will be the joint responsibility of the NHS and local authority. This event will give delegates the opportunity to ‘influence the agenda’. Speakers from the SG, local authorities, academia, regulators and health will discuss the developing policy agenda, look at evidence from research and inspection, and share existing good practice. The event takes place on 27 February 2012 in Edinburgh.
Following feedback from member organisations and consumers, The Information Standard website has been updated and is now live. The refreshed website has been designed to enhance the experience for visitors to the site. New features include a new searchbox on the homepage enabling visitors to the site to quickly find certified organisations and a new secured area for organisations that are going through certification – providing help and guidance for them.
Rheumatoid Arthritis often strikes in the prime of life when family life and work life are at their busiest! Therefore the impact on the family can be considerable. The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) is asking family members of people living with RA to complete an online survey. The aims of this survey are to capture what that impact actually is and what support/information family members want and need. If a close family member you live with, or have lived with, has Rheumatoid Arthritis NRAS want to hear from you.
In a briefing document PiF advisory group member, Ruth Carlyle summarizes the speech given by Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, at an event at the Royal Society of Public Health to launch the new public health outcomes framework on 23 January 2012. There is also a summary for PiF members on the opportunities and issues that this speech raises for consumer health information.
NHS Lothian’s work in delivering heightened levels of patient-focussed care, by turning a hospital ward into a home environment, was the unanimous winner at the Patient Experience Network’s National Awards (PENNA) 2011 last week. Knowsley Health and Wellbeing won two awards, claiming top spot in the Communicating Effectively with Patients and Familiesand Personalisation of Care categories. The Trust’s work in supporting patients suffering from cardio vascular diseases and strokes – and tackling the unplanned care costs associated with both conditions – has led to huge improvements being delivered at its three hospitals in Merseyside.
The Department of Health online Campaign Resource Centre was launched this week, providing easy access to all DH public health campaign information and resources. Keeping you up to date with the latest campaign news, the Campaign Resource Centre will also give you access to the leaflets, posters, ads and toolkits available to support the campaigns. Each campaign section offers a summary of the public health campaign together with all the resources available to support it.