National Smile Month

National Smile Month – the largest and longest-running campaign to promote good oral health – is running from 13 May to 13 June.

The campaign encourages dental and health professionals, schools, pharmacies, community groups, colleges and workplaces – in fact anyone with an interest in good oral healthcare – to join in and help educate, motivate and communicate positive oral health messages and improve the quality of smiles all around the world.

Together, with thousands of individuals and organisations, it highlights three key messages, all of which go a long way in helping develop and maintain a healthy mouth.

brushing-teeth-2351803_1280.pngThey are:

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Cut down on sugary food and drink, and how often you have them.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.

Further detail at Oral Health Foundation 

The social impact of participation in culture and sport

Report encourages the government to recognise the ‘unique power’ of sport and culture to change lives, transform cities and break the cycle of crime | The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee 

This report finds that opportunities to reap major benefits in criminal justice, education and health are being missed by the government’s failure to recognise and harness social impact. It argues that the full health impacts of cultural programmes are far from being reached in social prescribing and recommends that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport should encourage sporting organisations to take part in social prescribing schemes, which can go beyond physical health benefits to include social impacts, such as tackling loneliness.


The Report finds evidence that:

  • Reoffending rates can be reduced through access to sport or cultural programmes
  • Involvement in the arts and sports provides a constructive influence on young people with positive role models
  • Despite a link between sporting participation and educational attainment, sport ‘dropping off’ the agenda within education
  • Arts subjects downgraded in schools

Full report: Changing Lives: the social impact of participation in culture and sport

Working Well Together: Evidence and tools to enable co-production in mental health commissioning

National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health | May 2019| Working Well Together: Evidence and tools to enable co-production in mental health commissioning

By setting out the evidence, including examples of positive practice, this document aims to improve local strategic decisions about, and the provision of, current and future mental health services for children, young people, adults and older adults. This includes people who are not in contact with mental health services, because of existing barriers to access or for other reasons. This document also talks about co-production with people who are in at-risk populations, including those who have an increased risk of being detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and people who may face discrimination
because of their protected characteristics.
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This document will support commissioners in end-to-end co-production, providing guidance and tools for co-produced commissioning, practical recommendations for
each step and ways of measuring the effectiveness of the process. It includes key co-production principles for creating measurable standards, describes the existing
evidence gaps and identifies examples of positive practice.

National survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

The AHSN Network has published the document National Survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS,  the report outlines the national findings from the survey with local health and social care stakeholders. It includes a detailed analysis of the innovation and research needs at local level across all AHSNs.


Interviews were used to question 61 people and a survey which received more than 250 responses in total.

Commons themes were identified from these responses. They include:

  • a need for innovation and research addressing workforce challenges
  • integrating services to provide effective care for patients with complex needs – including multimorbidity and frailty
  • delivery of mental health services and providing care for patients with mental health needs, particularly in children and young people
  • use of digital and artificial intelligence technology

National Survey of local innovation and research needs of the NHS

[NICE Consultation] Specialist neonatal respiratory care for babies born preterm In development [GID-QS10137]

NICE | May 2019 | Specialist neonatal respiratory care for babies born preterm

NICE wants to know about the 5 key areas for quality improvement which you consider as having the greatest potential to improve the quality of care in this area.

The consultation is open for comments until  Friday 31 May 2019 at 5pm

Full details from NICE 

Reducing the risk of dementia

Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia | The World Health Organisation

who risk
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These WHO guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations on lifestyle behaviours and interventions to delay or prevent cognitive decline and dementia.  Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia and, with one new case every three seconds, the number of people with dementia is set to triple by 2050. The increasing numbers of people with dementia, its significant social and economic impact and lack of curative treatment, make it imperative for countries to focus on reducing modifiable risk factors for dementia.

These guidelines are intended as a tool for health care providers, governments, policy-makers and other
stakeholders to strengthen their response to the dementia challenge.

Full document: Risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia

See also: WHO press release

[Report] Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

Local Government Association | May 2019 |Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

The Local Government Association (LGA’s) Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Peer Learning Programme looked at how to prioritise early help and free up acute care for the most vulnerable in order to achieve change; supporting councils and their local partners to learn from each other, and from other councils across the country.
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Eight councils and their partners took part in two learning days and a visit to another council, gaining further knowledge and understanding on how to tackle their local issue.

The report includes a case study from Barnsley’s visit to Forward Thinking Birmingham

Improving children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing

New funding for hospital rest facilities is welcome as many are fundamentally unsafe says BMA

BMA | May 2019 | New funding for hospital rest facilities is welcome as many are fundamentally unsafe says BMA

The BMA has welcomed an announcement from the Government that  £10 million is to be invested in upgrading or installing rest areas or other facilities to improve the lives of junior doctors.   

Junior doctors often work long and intense shifts; patient care is being placed at risk if doctors, who are providing round-the-clock care, do not have somewhere to rest. Doctors report having to take a nap in their car, rent a blanket or find a space on the office floor to take a short rest break. The BMA has been told of one hospital trust which has a sign, from the medical director, on a door to a room used by doctors for their breaks, which says that “rest but not sleep” is permitted whilst on shift.

Chair of the BMA East of England regional junior doctors committee and Fatigue and Facilities Charter lead, Dr Rowan Gossedge, spoke about the challenges many doctors face when trying to take adequate breaks. He said:

“We know of doctors being charged a few pounds by a hospital, to rent a blanket, before trying to find a quiet chair or space on a floor in an office. Others are forced to grab five minutes’ rest in their cars, in a car park where they have had to pay to park, simply because there is nowhere for them to rest, refresh and reflect away from the intense environment of the ward.

“We have been told of some of our junior doctor members being threatened with disciplinary action for taking a rest on a night, others monitored by security staff and then reprimanded, as the room they slept in had cameras. Many trusts have no access to food provision between 7pm and 7am (Source: BMA).

See also: OnMedica £10m investment in junior doctors’ rest areas

NIHR Signal: Partial knee replacements have some short-term advantages compared to total knee replacements

NIHR | May 2019 | Partial knee replacements have some short-term advantages compared to total knee replacements

A recently published study, now highlighted in an NIHR Signal, suggests that partial knee replacement also has better outcomes that are important to patients, though slightly more people need subsequent revision surgery. (NIHR Signal)

Read the full Signal from NIHR 


OBJECTIVE: To present a clear and comprehensive summary of the published data on unicompartmental knee replacement (UKA) or total knee replacement (TKA), comparing domains of outcome that have been shown to be important to patients and clinicians to allow informed decision making.
DESIGN: Systematic review using data from randomised controlled trials, nationwide databases or joint registries, and large cohort studies.
DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase, Cochrane Controlled Register of Trials (CENTRAL), and Clinical, searched between 1 January 1997 and 31 December 2018.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Studies published in the past 20 years, comparing outcomes of primary UKA with TKA in adult patients. Studies were excluded if they involved fewer than 50 participants, or if translation into English was not available.
RESULTS: 60 eligible studies were separated into three methodological groups: seven publications from six randomised controlled trials, 17 national joint registries and national database studies, and 36 cohort studies. Results for each domain of outcome varied depending on the level of data, and findings were not always significant. Analysis of the three groups of studies showed significantly shorter hospital stays after UKA than after TKA, and -1.73, respectively). There was no significant difference in pain, based on patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), but significantly better functional PROM scores for UKA than for TKA in both non-trial groups. Regarding major complications, trials and cohort studies had non-significant results, but mortality after TKA was significantly higher in registry and large database studies (risk ratio 0.27 (0.16 to 0.45)), as were venous thromboembolic events (0.39 (0.27 to 0.57)) and major cardiac events (0.22 (0.06 to 0.86)). Early reoperation for any reason was higher after TKA than after UKA, but revision rates at five years remained higher for UKA in all three study groups (risk ratio 5.95 (1.29 to 27.59), 2.50 (1.77 to 3.54), and 3.13 (1.89 to 5.17), respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: TKA and UKA are both viable options for the treatment of isolated unicompartmental osteoarthritis. By directly comparing the two treatments, this study demonstrates better results for UKA in several outcome domains. However, the risk of revision surgery was lower for TKA. This information should be available to patients as part of the shared decision making process in choosing treatment options.
Full reference Wilson, H. A., et al. | 2019  Patient relevant outcomes of unicompartmental versus total knee replacement: systematic review and meta-analysis |BMJ |Vol. 364 |