Supermarkets need to ‘nudge’ customers to make healthier choices, says Royal Society for Public Health

Royal Society for Public Health | July 2019 | New RSPH report: Health on the Shelf

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is calling on supermarkets to play a bigger part in ‘nudging’ customers to make healthier choices in its new report Health on the Shelf
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The report explores the public’s perception of supermarkets and the marketing strategies retailers use to boost sales. It also showcases how supermarkets can be health promoting spaces for customers. The reports outlines how:

  • 1 in 3 of us make unhealthy impulse purchases if they are on special offer at the supermarket
  • Almost 90% of products positioned on shelves at children’s eye level were found to be unhealthy
  • By 2050 obesity is predicted to rise by 73% to 26 million
  • 50 % of those polled believe there are more unhealthy
    products on supermarket shelves than healthy products

A panel of experts in public health, nutrition, diet, weight management, consumer insights and retail, were invited to discuss what a healthy supermarket
could look like and how supermarkets could be more effective in nudging people towards healthier behaviour. The panel discussed every element of the
supermarket experience, from layout, understanding the shopper, promotions and price.

In addition Slimming World polled over 2000 members of the public and 2000 Slimming World members to hear their views on how supermarkets are contributing to the obesity
epidemic and how they could do more to help people live healthier lives.

“The environment in which we live is a major contributor towards obesity, and supermarkets have both the power and influence as well as a responsibility in tackling their contribution to this “obesogenic” environment. There has been some progress by supermarkets in areas such as removing junk from check outs, but our research shows that shoppers and industry experts feel there is much more supermarkets can and should do to promote healthier choices.”

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH

In its report the RSPH makes a number of recommendations for retailers and the government (Source: RSPH).

Press release from RSPH 

Health on the Shelf

Whole systems approach to obesity

This edition of Health Matters focuses on Public Health England’s Whole systems approach to obesity guide, which is designed to support local action on addressing obesity and promoting a healthy weight.

This guide and set of resources can be used to support the implementation of a whole systems approach to obesity.  It is intended for local authorities and partners, including the NHS, local businesses and the community and voluntary sector.

The guide covers:

  • the role of local authorities
  • the benefits of taking a whole systems approach
  • the 6-phase process – each phase provides practical support

Each phase has accompanying resources. Included with the guide is a separate ‘learning report’, explaining the findings of the co-production and testing of the guide with local authorities.

Full detail: Whole systems approach to obesity | Public Health England

The relationships between statutory and voluntary sector mental health organisations

Voluntary and community organisations provide essential support for people’s mental health that complements what statutory services can offer, but financial pressures are putting them under severe strain, according to preliminary research published today by Centre for Mental Health

This document seeks to raise a number of questions and issues about the relationships between VCSE and statutory organisations in supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing.  Many of these will require investigation in greater depth and further consideration to develop policy and practice changes where these are needed.

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Arm in arm is based on interviews with both commissioners and providers of voluntary sector mental health support. It shows that commissioners in both local government and the NHS were keenly aware of the extra value that voluntary and community organisations can bring. Some commissioners had taken action specifically to support voluntary and community organisations to get funding and retain their distinctive approaches. But they were frustrated that competition for contracts often stopped organisations from working well together and could lead to come going out of business altogether.

The report finds that the deepest disagreements between commissioners and voluntary sector organisation often centred on monitoring and accountability. Commissioners need to know that public money was being well spent but most voluntary sector organisations don’t have the data collection capabilities of NHS trusts or larger private sector companies. Some had sought to resolve this through evaluation and qualitative evidence of impact rather than onerous outcome monitoring measures.

Full report: Arm in arm: the relationships between statutory and voluntary sector mental health organisations | The Centre for Mental Health

See also: Centre for Mental Health press release

Setting up a High Intensity User service

NHS Right Care | July 2019| Setting up a High Intensity User service

NHS Right Care has published a case study about how Blackpool CCG implemented a High Intensity User (HIU) service.  The Implementation Team within NHS RightCare have undertaken evaluation of effectiveness across 4 CCGs.  It is shown to offer a robust way of reducing frequent user activity to 999, NHS 111, A&E, GP contacts and hospital admissions and this resource pack is intended to support local health communities who think that these innovations can be adapted and adopted to support an improvement opportunity in their local area (Source: NHS Right Care).

Full details from NHS Right Care


Transforming general medicine elective care services

NHS England | July 2019 | Transforming general medicine elective care services

NHS England has published a new handbook: Transforming general medicine elective care services, this has been created to support the improvement of local health and care systems for general medicine elective care services.

The handbook describes what local health and care systems can do to transform general medicine elective care services at pace, why this is necessary and how the impact of this transformation can be measured. It contains practical guidance for implementing and adopting a range of interventions to ensure patients see the right person, in the right place, first time.
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Transforming general medicine elective care services

New life-saving treatment and diagnosis technology

Diseases could be detected even before people experience symptoms, thanks to a pioneering new health-data programme as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy

Businesses and charities are expected to jointly invest up to £160 million, alongside a £79 million government investment, as part of the Accelerating Detection of Disease programme. The project will support research, early diagnosis, prevention and treatment for diseases including cancer, dementia and heart disease.

The pioneering initiative will recruit up to 5 million healthy people. Volunteered data from the individuals will help UK scientists and researchers invent new ways to detect and prevent the development of diseases.

Full story: UK to innovate new life-saving treatment and diagnosis technology | Department of Health & Social Care

Designing integrated care systems (ICSs) in England

NHS England | June 2019 | Designing integrated care systems (ICSs) in England

NHS England has produced an overview on the arrangements needed to build strong health and care systems across the country

This overview from NHS England is for all the health and care leaders working to make that ambition a reality, whether in NHS acute or primary care, physical or mental
health, local government or the voluntary sector.
It sets out the different levels of management that make up an integrated care
system, describing their core functions, the rationale behind them and how they
will work together.
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Designing integrated care systems (ICSs) in England

NICEimpact adult social care

NICE |  July 2019 | NICEimpact adult social care

NICEimpact reports review how NICE recommendations for evidence-based and cost-effective care are being used in priority areas of the health and care system, helping to improve outcomes where this is needed most. Their latest report, NICEimpact adult social care, considers how NICE’s evidence-based guidance contributes to improvements in adult social care.

1. People’s experience of adult social care and support

Most people who have help from adult social care services are satisfied overall but surveys suggest that more could be done to help people feel in control of their lives.

2. Managing medicines

Examples from NICE’s shared learning collection show how our guidance on managing medicines for adults receiving social care has been used to improve care.

3. Intermediate care including reablement

Most people who use intermediate care services have a good outcome. Many more services are being commissioned in an integrated way as recommended by NICE, helping people to move between them depending on their needs.

4. Using our quality standards to improve adult social care

Providers and commissioners have used our quality standards to assess performance and make improvements, as shown in these examples.

5. Commentary

Download from NICE 

Alternatively, read the full report online from NICE 

Transforming radiology elective care services

NHS England | July 2019 | Transforming radiology elective care services

NHS England have created a handbook has been created to support the improvement of local health and care systems for radiology elective care services.

NHS England have produced Transforming radiology elective care services, it describes what local health and care systems can do to transform radiology elective care services at pace, why this is necessary and how the impact of this transformation can be measured. It contains practical guidance for implementing and adopting a range of interventions to ensure patients see the right person, in the right place, first time.
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Transforming radiology elective care services

NICE: Health organisations working to incorporate NICE recommendations into NHS care to benefit thousands of patients who have had a stroke

NICE | July 2019| Health organisations working to incorporate NICE recommendations into NHS care to benefit thousands of patients who have had a stroke

NICE has published an NHS workforce and resource impact statement designed to support commissioners and Trusts understand the potential impact on the NHS workforce and resources of implementing specific NICE guidelines.


The statement is a collaboration between NICE NHS England and NHS Improvement, NHS Clinical Commissioners, and Health Education England

The statement also highlights the initiatives underway both within and across organisations to put the NICE guideline recommendations into practice, including support by NHS England specialised commissioning for the implementation of a thrombectomy service specification across the country. These initiatives will ensure the provision of the most effective, up-to-date treatments and in doing so will improve patient care.

Read the statement from NICE