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  • 27Apr

    Over 85% of callers to telenurse helpline follow advice

    Healthcare advice phone lines staffed by nurses can be a cost-effective method of addressing the self care needs of patients and prevent visits to A&E departments, according to a study led by the University of Alberta. The study followed up people who had sought advice from the Canadian LINK healthcare advice phone line. It found that seven out of eight followed the self-care advice they received, ranging from providing treatment at home to calling an ambulance. Callers were much more likely to engage in self-care if the nurse stressed the importance of following the professional advice they were being given and they agreed with the advice that had been provided.

  • 27Apr

    Updated Cochrane review on Decision aids for people facing health treatment or screening decisions

    The updated Cochrane review of 86 studies found that when patients use decision aids they improve their knowledge of the options; are helped to have more accurate expectations of possible benefits and harms; and reach choices that are more consistent with their informed values; and participate more in decision making. Decision aids were found to have a variable effect on actual choices but they reduce the choice of elective surgery when patients consider other options. When patients use decision aids, there appears to be a positive effect on communication with their health practitioner, and a variable effect on the time required for this consultation. Although there is an improvement with more detailed decision aids compared to simpler decision aid, the amount of improvement is smaller than that seen when decision aids are compared to usual care.

  • 27Apr

    SIGN booklet for women about mood disorders during pregnancy and after birth

    This booklet from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) aims to make women and their families aware of the treatment and care they should expect to receive if they have a mood disorder during pregnancy and after the birth of their child. It also aims to help women, their partners and their families to manage their condition by understanding the latest research evidence. The booklet is based on the recommendations from the SIGN national clinical guideline on perinatal mood disorders.

  • 27Apr

    What will Local HealthWatch and Healthwatch England look like?

    LINks will be abolished and replaced by Local Healthwatch April 1st 2013. A paper from the National Association of LINks members explains what Local HealthWatch and Healthwatch England will look like and explains the intentions of the Health & Social Care Act 2012 in relation to public involvement in health and social care. New roles include that Local HealthWatch will provide advice, information and will support patients to choose the services which best meet their needs. The PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) currently provided by Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) will transfer, with its funding, to the Local Healthwatch.

  • 27Apr

    Health Foundation’s Shine programme open for funding applications

    The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK. Its innovation programme, Shine, is open for a new round of funding applications from 1 May 2012, with over £1 million available to support up to 18 innovative healthcare teams. The Shine 2012 challenge is to find new innovative approaches to delivering healthcare that aim to achieve support for patients to be active partners in their own care, to improve patient safety or to improve quality while reducing costs. The scheme is open for applications from 1 May 2012.

  • 27Apr

    GSK IMPACT Award winners announced this week

    Eight charities have all won GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) IMPACT Awards for their outstanding contributions to improving the UK’s health.The awards run in partnership with The King’s Fund, gives £25,000 for each organisation, providing essential funding during a time of financial challenges, and training to take their organisation to the next level. This year’s winners cover a wide range of services and disease areas. They include a national charity aiming to reduce the number of deaths from ovarian cancer and supporting those with the disease, a Cornish centre providing support for women who have experienced domestic or sexual abuse and a Scottish organisation providing healthy living interventions for rural communities affected by mine closures.

  • 27Apr

    Enter the “Best use of social media in healthcare” category at this year’s EHI Awards

    Have you been able to exploit the explosive growth of social media to engage the general public? Then enter the Best use of social media in healthcare category at this year’s EHI Awards, in association with BT. Media such as Twitter and Facebook can be useful tools to seek out hard-to-reach groups or deliver information to support specific campaigns. But there are many other forms of social media and their functions include listening as well as giving out messages. EHI want to hear about the best examples of social media use in this category. Last years winner was for Interactive health services by digital TV and mobile phone at NHS Sefton, and David Hammond from their team is coming to speak at the PiF conference next week. The deadline for entries is 1 June 2012.

  • 25Apr

    Government announces independent group to look at impact of NHS Constitution

    Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has today announced the formation of a new independent expert panel which will contribute to a Government report on the NHS Constitution. The NHS Future Forum Working Group on the NHS Constitution, which met for the first time this week, is made up of medical professionals, patient champions, staff representatives and charities. The Future Forum group will explore whether there is any scope for strengthening the NHS Constitution to support high quality services for patients. A public consultation later this year will give patients and staff the opportunity to have their say about what can be done to improve and reinforce the Constitution.

  • 20Apr

    Member’s experiences: Developing the Cancer Genetics StoryBank

    PiF member and Wales co-ordinator Rachel Iredale has written an article about her experiences of developing The Cancer Genetics StoryBank, a web based resource which provides engaging information about the risk of inheriting cancer. The StoryBank website contains a bank of digital stories from patients and staff from the Cancer Genetics Service for Wales (CGSW), an all-Wales service offering cancer genetic risk assessment, genetic counselling, and genetic testing for people with a family history of cancer. The StoryBank gives others the opportunity to the hear real-life experiences of people at various risk levels of cancer. The team believes that hearing real stories about people’s experiences can help those affected by, or concerned about, familial cancer, as well as raising awareness of the role that family history plays in cancer generally.

  • 20Apr

    College of Medicine Conference: “Healthy Ageing, Radical New Solutions”

    The 2nd College of Medicine Annual Conference will look at answers to the challenge of how healthy ageing can be achieved, and how care can be provided sustainably. With a combination of practical pre-conference workshops, keynote addresses and inspiring presentations from leading UK and international practitioners, clinicians and researchers, join the conference to explore new solutions towards healthy ageing. The conference takes place in London on 4 May 2012.

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