This report from the Health Foundation gives the findings from an independent evaluation of phase 1 of their Co-creating Health self-management support improvement programme.The first phase of Co-Creating Health began in 2007. It was a three year initiative in eight sites across the UK that aimed to demonstrate the impact, on clinicians and patients alike, of integrating self-management support into routine care for people with long-term conditions. The evaluation of the programme provides valuable insights into what worked and the further challenges health systems need to address to support people to develop confidence in managing their long-term conditions themselves.
Online health information is of variable and often low scientific quality. In particular, elderly less-educated populations are said to struggle in accessing quality online information (digital divide). Little is known about how their online behavior differs from that of younger, more-educated, and more-frequent Web users, and how the older population may be supported in accessing good-quality online health information. Results showed that health information seekers doubted the quality of information retrieved online; among poorly skilled seekers, this was mainly because they doubted their skills to navigate vast amounts of information; skilled Web users effectively filtered information according to search intentions and data sources; less-skilled users were easily distracted by unrelated information; skilled Web users searched to inform themselves; less-skilled users searched to confirm their health-related opinions such as “vaccinations are harmful.”
myhealth@QEHB is a patient records portal developed by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB). It allows patients in long-term care to remotely access much of their clinical information held at the hospital, including their letters and laboratory results. Patients can submit information direct to their consultant, allowing them to instantly see the updates and respond where necessary. Patients can store and share files pertaining to their health on the system, view and add their own appointments at and away from the hospital, interact with each other within the portal and create their own support networks.
The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Government in February 2011. The Act created the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS), an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare. The Patient Advice and Support Service is provided by the Scottish CAB Service and can be accessed from any Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) in Scotland. The Service provides general advice and help on a range of issues, such as housing, employment, benefits or money worries.
One in three people are now using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for health related issues according to a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The study, which surveyed more than 1,000 consumers and 124 healthcare executives in the US, showed people are using social media to influence decisions to seek care and to find answers to their medical wants, needs and preferences. The Health Research Institute arm of PWC monitored social media traffic for a week, and found that patients are choosing to obtain medical information from community or patient sites rather than those set up by healthcare organisations.
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.
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.