Preventing serious violence: a multi-agency approach

Public Health England and Home Office| October  2019 | Preventing serious violence: a multi-agency approach

Public Health England and Home Office (PHE) has produced a resource- Preventing serious violence: a multi-agency approach- for local partners to help them take a public health approach and work together to prevent serious violence.

This information is for partners in local areas across the country, including police and crime commissioners, public health departments and community safety partnerships. It will help them understand and respond to serious violence that affects their communities.

Preventing serious violence: summary

Preventing serious violence: full resource

First UK-wide guidelines for alcohol

Public Health England | October  2019 |UK alcohol clinical guidelines development begins

Public Health England  (PHE)  is working in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments, to produce UK-wide clinical guidelines for alcohol treatment to provide support for alcohol treatment practice.

There is currently no equivalent for alcohol to the UK drug misuse treatment guidelines (the ‘orange book’), which has been vital in establishing and maintaining good practice for drug treatment. The proposed alcohol treatment guidelines will fill this gap.

The main aim of the guidelines is to develop a clear consensus on good practice and help services to implement interventions for alcohol use disorders that are recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The aim is also to promote and support consistent good practice and improve the quality of service provision, resulting in better outcomes.

The project begins in November with the guidelines anticipated in early 2020.

Further details from the Department of Health and Social Care

UK alcohol clinical guidelines development begins

Mental Health of Doctors and Dentists

Department of Health and Social Care  | October 2019| Dedicated mental health support for all NHS doctors and dentists

Doctors and Dentists will have 24/7 access to confidential advice and support through NHS Practitioner Health

Over 180,000 doctors and dentists can get confidential advice and support, in person or over the phone, if they’ve faced a stressful incident at work or feel they are struggling with their mental health.


Staff can access support 24/7 through a dedicated phoneline and a crisis text service available through the night. The service is currently staffed by 200 experts whose training is tailored to understand the specific circumstances of clinical life.

After being assessed, the patient can continue to be seen by their lead clinician who can:

  • prescribe medication
  • support them while off work
  • follow up as appropriate

They will also have access to a range of individual and group therapies.

Feedback from those who piloted the service has been very positive:

  • 88% said the service had a positive impact on their wellbeing
  • 85% said it had a positive impact on their ability to work or train

Full details on how to contact Practitioner Health are available from the Department of Health and Social Care 

Dedicated mental health support for all NHS doctors and dentists


ASH: Smoking and poverty

ASH | October  2019 | Smoking and poverty

Analysis of UK Government data carried out for ASH (Action on smoking and health) shows that the high cost of tobacco is driving over a million people
into poverty. The research also indicates that poverty rates across all smoking households increase from around one fifth (22.3%) to one third (31.3%) when the cost of tobacco is taken into account. 


ASH’s analysis shows that:

  •  447,000 households in the UK are currently living in poverty due to the cost of tobacco.
  • Around 1,011,000 people – including 263,000 children – live in poverty as a direct result of income lost to tobacco.
  • 143,000 pensioners are pushed into poverty by the cost of tobacco, which increases the proportion of pensioners living in poverty from 14.9% to 26.5%.
  • A third (31.3%) of households which include at least one person who smokes live in poverty, which would reduce to one in five (22.3%) if income lost to tobacco was returned.

Read the report Smoking and poverty


See also:

OnMedica Smoking link to poverty highlighted

Healthy ageing: consensus statement

Public Health England and the Centre for Ageing Better  | October 2019 | Healthy ageing: consensus statement

PHE and the Centre for Ageing Better have produced a policy paper on healthy ageing, it is the first time that such a wide range of organisations have come together to voice their intention to promote healthy ageing. Signatories span the areas of health, employment, housing and communities, and are from academia, local government, the NHS, and the public and voluntary sectors. 


Their vision is for England to be the best place in the world to grow older, giving everyone the opportunities and support they need to have a healthy and good quality later life and making the best use of the strengths, skills and experience of older people.

The statement outlines five commitments from PHE and the Centre for Ageing Better


These are:

  1. Putting prevention first and ensuring timely access to services and support
    when needed.
  2. Removing barriers and creating more opportunities for older adults to
    contribute to society.
  3. Ensuring good homes and communities
  4. Narrowing inequalities
  5. Challenging ageist and negative language, culture and practices

Organisations can get involved in this work by championing the 5 principles across their workplaces and networks, which we hope will inspire action for change

Full details from Healthy Ageing 

A consensus on healthy ageing

Reform: Digital by default

Reform | September 2019 | Digital by default

The think-tank Reform has published Inclusive by Default, a new report assesses the causes of digital exclusion and what can be done to make digital public services inclusive by default. 

The communities that could benefit most from digital public services, however, are more likely to be digitally excluded – meaning that they lack the ability to access or utilise digital technologies effectively. The digitally excluded are more likely to be older, less educated, unemployed, disabled and socially isolated (Source: Reform).

Full press release available from Reform

Inclusive by Default

NICE updates antidepressant guidelines to reflect severity and length of withdrawal symptoms

BMJ | 2019| NICE updates antidepressant guidelines to reflect severity and length of withdrawal symptoms| 367| BMJ | doi: (Published 18 October 2019)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has amended its guidelines on depression to recognise the severity and length of antidepressant withdrawal symptoms.

The guidance on treating depression in adults now states that withdrawal symptoms may be severe and protracted in some patients.

NICE’s previous guideline, which was originally published in 2009 and updated last year, said that withdrawal symptoms are “usually mild and self limiting over about one week.”

But in an amendment, NICE acknowledges that “there is substantial variation in people’s experience, with symptoms lasting much longer (sometimes months or more) and being more severe for some patients.”

Clinicians should “advise people taking antidepressant medication that, before stopping it, they should discuss this with their practitioner,” the updated guideline says.

Read the full article from The BMJ