Beat calls upon the Government and NHS to raise awareness of the symptoms of eating disorders

Beat the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders,  commissioned research which finds low awareness in recognising early signs linking this with delayed treatment for eating disorders and increased risk of the illness becoming severe and enduring.

Beat has published the results to mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week (26 February to 4 March). According to the survey conducted by YouGov, one third of adults in the sample (n equal to 2000) were unable to name a signs or symptoms of an eating disorder.
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Key findings:

  •  respondents who gave a correct answer, were twice as likely to list weight loss or being thin (62%) as a sign over any other.

(In fact, many people affected by eating disorders will remain at a normal weight, or even gain weight and for those who do lose weight, it is a physical sign which will appear once the mental illness is ingrained.)

  • 18% said they ‘did not know’, any signs or symptoms, 14% listed an eating disorder diagnosis like ‘bulimia’ or ‘anorexia’ rather than a sign or symptom and 1% gave an incorrect answer.
  • n average, of those who gave a correct answer, people could only list three signs and symptoms out of a potential 68 identified by Beat and 79% were not able to name a psychological symptom, which usually appear first, such as low confidence and self-esteem and a distorted perception of weight or shape.

The results of the survey confirm Beat’s previous research findings, that not knowing how to spot the signs of eating disorders early is one of the main factors that leads to sufferers facing a three-and-a-half-year delay to begin treatment.  Beat is calling on the Government and the NHS to extend their focus on early intervention, supporting measures to increase awareness of the early signs and symptoms of eating disorders. (BEAT)

Full details are available from BEAT
In the media: The Independent Third of adults don’t know any eating disorder signs or symptoms, survey finds 

BBC News: Many adults ‘don’t know signs of eating disorders’

7 in 10 millennials will be obese in middle age by 2028 predicts Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research (CRUK) warns of the obesity risk for millennials using data  on current obesity trends to predict the incidence of obesity looking at the nation’s weight in ten years’ time. The data CRUK extrapolated indicates that seventy per cent of millennials those born between 1980s and the middle of the 1990s are likely to be obese by middle age. 

Video from Cancer Research: cancerresearchuk.org

This is in comparison to approximately half of those born between 1945 and 1955, “the baby boomers” who were overweight or obese in their thirties and forties. CRUK has launched a campaign to increase awareness across the UK that obesity  is a cause of cancer.  CRUK’s director of prevention, Alison Cox said:

“being overweight is the UK’s biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking, but most people don’t know about this substantial risk. If more people become aware of the link it may spare not just millennials,  but all generations from cancer.”

Although being overweight or obese as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer including breast, bowel and kidney cancer, only 15% of people in the UK are aware of the link.  To raise awareness CRUK  handed out fake cigarette packets to shoppers in Aylesbury,Buckinghamshire posing the question: What is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer? To their surprise when shoppers opened the packets they discovered they were filled with chips, and the answer to the question was obesity.

In the media:

The Independent: Millennials will be most overweight generation since records began, cancer experts warn

BBC News: Millennials ‘will be the fattest generation on record’

Cold weather warning

Cold weather prompts further health warnings from PHE

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Fresh winter health warnings are being sounded by Public Health England after forecasts said next week will see temperatures fall and snow and ice for some.

The Met Office has forecast that temperatures will drop over the weekend and to prepare for a prolonged spell of cold.

Dr Thomas Waite, of PHE’s Extreme Events team, said:

“Cold temperatures, indoors and out, pose real health risks to many and every winter we know that thousands of people get ill and even die following exposure to cold conditions. As forecasters tell us next week temperatures will fall, it’s critical that if you know anyone over 65, with young children or who has heart or lung conditions, that you keep an eye on them and think what help they may need. Staying warm by heating your home to at least 18°C can be crucial to stay well”.

Mapping of specialist primary health care services in England for people who are homeless not linked to specialist primary health care service

Homelessness is a growing problem in many areas across England, and can have a devastating impact on health and well-being. People who are homeless and sleeping rough or staying in hostels and shelters have significantly higher levels of physical and mental health problems, and problematic drug and alcohol use, than the general population. There are many difficulties in addressing their health care needs. (King’s College)

A new study funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) collected data from 243 homeless projects not linked to a specialist primary health care service, asking about their views and experiences of primary health care arrangements for their clients. The report is the result of a systematic mapping exercise across England of specialist primary health care services for single people who are homeless (hereafter specialist primary health care services). The mapping exercise originates from a larger study (still in progress) which is is examining the integration, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of delivering primary health care to people who are homeless (HEARTH study).

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Image source: http://www.kcl.ac.uk

Key findings:

  • One in 10 managers of such projects (11%) said that their clients experienced ‘a lot’ of difficulties accessing primary health care services;
  • Nearly half (47%) said that their clients experienced ‘some’ difficulties;
  • Fewer (43%) said that there were no problems;
  • Difficulties were most commonly reported by managers of projects in parts of NHS Midlands and East Region, and the South West and South East Regions.

The lead researcher, Dr Maureen Crane said:

‘At present there are evidence gaps to guide health service commissioners and providers about the most appropriate types of primary health care services for people who are homeless. Better understanding of the effectiveness of different models in different settings is crucial if their primary health care needs are to be successfully addressed.’

Further details of the study are available from King’s College 

King’s College Social Care Workforce Research Unit have published three study mapping documents, they are all available to download from the King’s College Policy Institute website 

Alternatively each document can be accessed following the links below:

Report:  Mapping of specialist primary health care services in England for people who are homeless.

Summary report: Mapping of specialist primary health care services in England for people who are homeless. Summary of findings and considerations for health service commissioners and providers.

 

Inventory: Inventory of specialist primary health care services in England for people who are homeless  

 

 

 

Survey reveals how NHS pressures put further strain on end of life care

A survey conducted by Marie Curie Care and the Nursing Standard demonstrates how pressures on the NHS are compromising care for terminally ill  patients. 

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It found that 94% of nurses who participated in the survey (n over 600) have witnessed dying patients ‘stranded’ in hospital as delays in funding have meant they were unable to receive care in the community.

Among the survey’s key findings were:

  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of nurses say they do not have sufficient time to provide high quality care for patients who are dying, a similar proportion to those who answered the survey last year.
  • Staffing levels (38%) and time constraints (25%) were the main barriers identified to providing high quality care, followed by a lack of care provision in the community, including care homes, peoples’ homes and hospices.

The full press release is available on the Marie Curie Care website 

The full results of the survey are published in latest issue of the Nursing Standard which is available to Rotherham NHS Staff here 

Tool developed to increase transparency in reporting the results of clinical trials

Trials Tracker is a tool which has been launched this month shows which drugs companies or sponsors are reporting the results of certain clinical trials.  It has been created by a team of researchers at the University of Oxford’s Evidence Based Medicine DataLab.

The interactive tool demonstrates compliance and non-compliance in reporting, the outcomes of trials may be filtered by due, ongoing, reported or reported late.

trials tracker
Image Source: fdaaa.trialstracker.net

Non-reporting of clinical trial results is an ongoing global public health problem.The best currently available evidence shows that the results of clinical trials are routinely withheld from doctors, researchers, and patients. This is a global public health scandal.(Trials Tracker)

Full story at BBC News Tool ‘names and shames’ hidden drug trials 

Improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services

This guideline covers the care and support of adults receiving social care in their own homes, residential care and community settings | National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This NICE guideline aims to help people understand what care they can expect in residential and community settings, and to improve their experience by supporting them to make decisions about their care.

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The guideline has been developed by a committee of people who use services, and carers and professionals. It has used information from a review of research evidence about people’s experiences of care and support, and from expert witnesses. The committee also gave consideration to the potential resource impact of the recommendations. The recommendations are considered to be aspirational but achievable.

It includes recommendations on:

It is for:

  • Practitioners working in adult social care services in all settings.
  • Service managers and providers of adult social care services.
  • Commissioners of adult social care services.
  • People using services (including those who fund their own care) and their families, carers and advocates.

Full reference: People’s experience in adult social care services: improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services | NICE guideline [NG86]

See also:  NICE interactive flowchart – People’s experience in adult social care services