The Missing Million: A Practical Guide to Identifying and Talking About Loneliness | via @EndLonelinessUK

Campaign to end loneliness | Published online: November 2016

Image source: End Loneliness

There are an estimated one million, one hundred thousand people 65 and over who are chronically lonely. They are difficult to find. Our Practical Guide and Report provide guidance on how to find the loneliest in our communities.

In recent years there has been a significant increase in public interest in loneliness and the issue is rapidly moving up the political agenda. Yet, in the United Kingdom, it is estimated that in excess of one million people over the age of 65 are chronically lonely.

The Missing Million: In Search of the Loneliest in Our Communities report, published by the Campaign to End Loneliness in June 2016, provided a comprehensive overview of the existing methods being used to identify and engage with people experiencing loneliness. Drawing on this evidence, the purpose of this document is to provide practical guidance for  commissioners, service providers, front line workers and volunteers; helping you to identify older people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, loneliness and to better understand and engage with these missing million lonely older people.

Read the overview and other resources here

Read the full report here

General Practitioner Recruitment And Retention: An Evidence SynthesisS

Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System | Published online: 4 November 2016

10774-2This report presents an evidence synthesis on GP recruitment, retention and re-employment. It finds that overall the published evidence focuses primarily on attracting GPs to rural areas however the literature does provide some useful insights to factors that may support the development of specific strategies for the recruitment and retention of GPs. The report suggests that medical students should be exposed to successful GP role models and general practice and that supporting intrinsic motivational factors and career determinants can influence recruitment.

Read the full report here

Automated assessment of early autism

ScienceDaily | Published online: 3 November 2016

anatomy-1751201_960_720Autism Spectrum Disorder is usually diagnosed in early childhood, but genetic detection of this brain disorder could mean more timely interventions that improve life for the patient and their carers. Research suggests that machine learning might be used to analyze genetic data that points to an ASD diagnosis before symptoms become obvious.

Read the full overview here

Read the original research abstract here

Winter pressure in accident and emergency departments

 The House of Commons health committee has published Winter pressure in accident and emergency departments Third Report of Session 2016–17.


This report is calling on the Government to make sure that sufficient funding is available to support the infrastructure investment required to ensure that type 1 emergency departments are fit for purpose, and to review the real terms cuts to NHS capital budgets in the spending review.

The Committee is also asking for NHS Improvement to consider the steps that it can take this winter to ensure that all A&E departments are properly staffed and for Health Education England to look again at the long term sustainability of staffing, including for paramedics, within major emergency departments and the ambulance service.

The Health Committee report also calls for the  Government to urgently  address the underfunding of adult social care to relieve pressure on A&E departments.

Additional link: Kings Fund press release

STPs: where are we now and what happens next?

Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) have now been produced by NHS and  local government leaders in 44 parts of England. The plans are important, setting out the proposed direction for health and care services over the next five years. But they been developed at significant speed and, for the most part, without the involvement of frontline staff or patients.

Ahead of the publication of a new Kings Fund report on the process of developing sustainability and transformation plans in England, Hugh Alderwick evaluates the story so far.

Related: Sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) explained

What if NHS leaders were more representative of their patients?

Although the NHS is often held up as one of the most multi-cultural employers in England, the lack of diversity among its leaders is a barrier to the service achieving its full potential. In the latest essay from the Kings Fund’s ‘The NHS if…’ series, Vijaya Nath asks: what if leadership teams in the NHS were as diverse as the populations they serve?

Image source:


Commissioning and delivering children’s public health services

Public Health England has published updated high impact area guidance for early years, and added documents for school aged years high impact areas with links to supporting infographics.

The documents were first published in 2014 and are aimed at supporting local authorities and providers in commissioning and delivering children’s public health services aged 0 to 19 years.  They identify 6 areas where health visitors have the highest impact on the health and wellbeing of children aged 0 to 5 years and a further 6 areas for school aged children from 5 to 19 years.

Supporting infographics can be downloaded here

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Helping people look after themselves: A guide on self care

LGA | Published online: 26 October 2016

Image source: LGA

Self care creates a feeling of control and reduces anxiety for the individual. It improves their quality of life and disease outcomes and frees up the time of health and care staff . But there is simply not enough of it. We know from patients that they want to get more involved in care, but don’t always find it easy to communicate with or understand health and care staff.

There are other barriers too. Health and care is still too focused around single conditions, when many people live with multiple conditions. There is a lack of coordination between different services and a lack of continuity for the patient.

Addressing these barriers is a major challenge. But by working with our NHS partners and the voluntary sector, councils can play a vital part in tackling them. We can educate, inform and lead. We can reconnect people with their communities and shape those communities to make self care more likely. And, as the case studies in this brochure demonstrate, councils are involved in a range of innovative work to further embed the self care agenda.

Read the full report here