A Million Decisions: evidence-based healthcare

Health Education England and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals have launched a joint campaign for decisions in the healthcare sector to be fully evidence-based. 

Every day more than a million decisions are made that have a profound and lasting impact on people’s lives and which influence the quality of healthcare and the cost of services.

The #milliondecisions campaign calls for everyone involved in policy making and care delivery to use the skills of librarians and knowledge specialists in meeting their obligations under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

Additional links: Impact case studies | CILIP campaign information

Quarter of people would not call 999 at the first signs of stroke

Public Health England launches its Act FAST campaign to remind people of the main symptoms of stroke and importance of calling 999 immediately.

Stroke kills over 40,000 people a year and leaves around two-thirds of stroke survivors with a disability.

Research shows that 24% of people would wait to call an ambulance because they wrongly believe that they need to see 2 or more symptoms of stroke to be sure. Other barriers to dialling 999 include feeling that they need permission to act on behalf of others.

As part of the campaign, new films will encourage everyone – whether they are a stranger in the street, a family member at home or the person themselves – not to hesitate and make the call immediately when they see any of the main stroke symptoms:

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both their arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – if you notice any of these signs call 999

The Act FAST campaign will run nationally from 2 February to 31 March 2017. Read more via Public Health England

 

Producing population estimates for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community

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Public Health England has published Producing modelled estimates of the size of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) population of England.

The report has three key objectives:

  1. To critically review existing research, surveys and measurement tools to identify the strengths and weaknesses in using them to estimate the size of the LGB population.
  2. To set out and justify the proposed methodology for accurately and robustly estimating the size of the LGB population.
  3. To produce robust and reliable estimates for the LGB population that can be broken down by socio-demographic and geographic variables.

The report establishes a new estimate of the size of the lesbian, gay and bisexual population of England, providing a population denominator for use in estimating health outcomes by sexual orientation.

The full report can be downloaded here

Helping older people maintain a healthy diet

This review of evidence looks at ‘what works’ in supporting older people to maintain a healthy diet and reduce the risk of malnutrition. | Public Health England

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Malnutrition in older people can have a significant impact on their health and social care needs.It has been estimated that the greater use of healthcare because of malnutrition results in:

  • 65% more GP visits
  • 82% more hospital admissions
  • 30% longer hospital stay

Identifying and treating malnutrition is an important preventative measure that will reduce demands on health and care services

This review of evidence is intended for anyone working on older people’s health, particularly those working on nutrition and those supporting older people in daily living. It reviews the relevant national standards, such as nutritional and catering standards, relevant NICE standards and guidance, national and international evidence.

Finally, it looks at promising practice from England, to see what others are doing and the impact their work is having. For the purposes of this study older people are defined as being aged 65 or over.

Full Impact assessment : Helping older people maintain a healthy diet: A review of what works

 

Seeing the same GP associated with fewer admissions

Older patients who see the same general practitioner over time experience fewer avoidable admissions to hospital, new research shows. | BMJ | OnMedica

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The Health Foundation research, published in The BMJ, shows that if patients saw their most frequently seen GP two more times out of every 10, this was associated with 6% fewer admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions such as asthma, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia.

 

The researchers examined whether continuity of care with a general practitioner is associated with hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions for older patients. Data was analysed from over 230,000 anonymised patient records for older people aged 62-82 years.

The research found there were fewer hospital admissions for certain conditions when patients saw the same GP more consistently. The authors stress this is an observational study so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. However, they conclude, “strategies to improve the continuity of care in general practice may reduce secondary care costs, particularly for the heaviest users of healthcare.”

Full reference: Barker Isaac, Steventon Adam, Deeny Sarah R. Association between continuity of care in general practice and hospital admissions for ambulatory care sensitive conditions: cross sectional study of routinely collected, person level data

Let’s talk about cancer: the Manchester project that aims to save lives

Cancer deaths in Greater Manchester are 10% higher than the UK average. A new volunteer scheme wants to change this | The Guardian

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The idea, led by Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation, (part of Greater Manchester Cancer – the cancer programme of Greater Manchester’s devolved health and social care partnership), is to use people power to create a cultural shift in one of the UK’s cancer hot spots, and make it normal to talk about screening, healthier lifestyle options and catching symptoms early.

Working with the voluntary sector, the aim is to sign up 5,000 cancer champions by autumn 2017, and to reach 20,000 by 2019. Mobilising this cancer army is one of a series of measures to cut premature cancer deaths in the area by 1,300 by 2021.

Read the full news story here

Link between sleep disruption & cognitive impairment in the elderly

Daytime sleepiness is very common in the elderly with prevalence rates of up to 50 percent | ScienceDaily

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Caused by sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), a disruption of normal breathing during sleep, these cause recurrent awakenings and subsequent excessive daytime sleepiness.

In an editorial in the current issue of Neurology, a Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) researcher stresses that it is now time for physicians to consider the association between these sleep conditions and cognitive impairment in the elderly.

In the same issue of the journal, researchers of the “HypnoLaus Study” investigated an older population (over the age of 65), with and without cognitive impairment. They performed sleep studies on these groups and found that the group with cognitive impairments had more sleep disturbances attributed to SDB.

Read the full overview here

Read the original research article abstract here