Person-centred care made simple – Health Foundation Resources

In person-centred care, health and social care professionals work collaboratively with people who use services. Person-centred care supports people to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to more effectively manage and make informed decisions about their own health and health care. It is coordinated and tailored to the needs of the individual. And, crucially, it ensures that people are always treated with dignity, compassion and respect.

This guide seeks to provide a quick overview of person-centred care. This is not a ‘how to’ guide. Instead, it offers a clear explanation of the principles of person-centred care, why it is important, how it has developed, and some examples to help those considering putting person-centred care in to practice.

Link to guide document:



via Person-centred care made simple – Health Foundation.

Allergy myths lead to underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis, say specialists

Urban myths and quackery have developed around allergies and put people needlessly at risk, say the authors of a new patient guide.

Making Sense of Allergies, written by allergy specialists and published by the charity Sense About Science, aims to help the public make sense of the evidence and refute some of the misconceptions surrounding the subject.

The guide warns that many allergy tests sold on the high street and online have no scientific basis and do not work, giving incorrect results that stop people getting the right treatment. It details various tests that it says are worthless, such as hair testing, food specific IgG testing, and applied kinesiology.

Self diagnosis is common, the guide says. For example, a study of 969 children found that 34% of parents reported their child as having a food allergy but that only 5% were actually found to have an allergy. Fears about food allergies mean that some parents cut major food groups from their children’s diets, leading to unnecessarily restrictive diets and even malnutrition. The guide also examines myths around allergies being caused by artificial additives, junk food, and immunisations.

On the other hand, dangerous allergies may be trivialised, the guide warns. Seven times as many people were admitted to hospital with severe allergic reactions in Europe in 2015 than in 2005. In the United Kingdom, hospital admissions for anaphylaxis increased by 615% from 1992 to 2012.

Full Report:

Asking patients a simple dignity question helps improve care

Health Foundation

Asking patients a simple question systematically and acting on the response can improve people’s perceptions of palliative care in hospital.

Researchers from England tested whether asking people a question about dignity whilst in hospital could improve palliative care in acute hospitals. The Patient Dignity Question (PDQ) was designed based on empirical studies and asks “What do I need to know about you as a person to take the best care of you that I can?” Thirty patients, four family members and 17 health professionals took part. There was a correlation between scores on the Patient Dignity Question and other measurements of quality, suggesting that the PDQ may support developing a person-centred environment and empathy. Tracking changes over time found that once the question was asked systematically, there were improvements in the amount of information people told professionals, the time professionals spent talking with people and the extent to which care was person-centred.

Reference: Johnston B, Pringle J, Gaffney M, Narayanasamy M, McGuire M, Buchanan D. The dignified approach to care: a pilot study using the patient dignity question as an intervention to enhance dignity and person-centred care for people with palliative care needs in the acute hospital setting. BMC Palliative Care. 2015 Apr;14:9-9.

Even low levels of air pollution are linked to more deaths in over 65s, study finds | The BMJ

Death rates in people aged over 65 are higher in areas where the air contains more fine particulate matter (PM2.5), even when levels are in line with recommended standards, a study published online in Environmental Health Perspectives has shown

Although exposure to high levels of fine particulate matter has been shown to increase mortality, the effect of levels within the recommended range has been unclear. In the United States the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that PM2.5 exposure should not exceed a 12 microgram/m3 yearly average or a 35 microgram/m3 daily average. The World Health Organization’s recommended upper levels of PM2.5 are a 10 microgram/m3 yearly average and a 25 microgram/m3 daily average, and the European Union recommends a 25 microgram/m3 yearly average.

Researchers from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, used satellite data to determine particle levels and temperatures in every postal code in New England. This allowed them to examine the effects of PM2.5 on locations far from monitoring stations and to look simultaneously at the effects of short term exposures and yearly average exposures. They analysed health data from everyone covered by the Medicare programme in New England—2.4 million people—from 2003 to 2008 and followed them each year.

via The BMJ Briefing: Air pollution in UK—the public health problem that won’t go away (BMJ 2015;350:h2757, doi:10.1136/bmj.h2757)