Whole systems approach to obesity: a guide to support local approaches to achieving a healthier weight

Local Government Association | December  2019 | Whole systems approach to obesity: a guide to support local approaches to achieving a healthier weight

A new guide from the Local Government Association Whole systems approach to obesity: a guide to support local approaches to achieving a healthier weight. A Whole systems approach describes a six-phase process, which can be used flexibly by local authorities, taking into account existing structures, relationships and actions that are already in place to tackle obesity.

local.gov.uk
Image source: local.gov.uk

A whole systems approach can provide additional benefits, over and above
the benefits of tackling obesity:
• effect of collective actions is greater than the sum of the individual actions
• reflect the local leadership role of local authorities

• aligns health with all policies 

• maximise all assets in the local area, including community assets
• supports a community centred approach to tackling health inequalities.

 

Whole systems approach to obesity: a guide to support local approaches to achieving a healthier weight

 

Driving digital transformation in the NHS

Driving digital transformation in the NHS | Healthcare Financial Management Association

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The newly created NHSX and the NHS long-term plan and Interim NHS people plan all highlight the need for digital transformation across health and social care. However, the NHS and social care are made up of thousands of different entities, each with varying levels of information technology investment, digital skills and different funding structures. The HFMA has been working with Oracle to consider examples of new enabling technologies and how digital transformation might best be approached in a multi-organisational environment.

This briefing explains some of the new enabling technologies available and how digital transformation might best be approached in a multi-organisational environment.  It considers how to develop a digital transformation strategy and shares case study examples of where technology is already being used to improve health and social care.

Full briefing: Driving digital transformation in the NHS

Cancer survivors have raised heart risk, reports a US population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk patients with cancer

Sturgeon, K.M , et al | 2019| A population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk in US cancer patients| European Heart Journal| ehz766| https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz766

The European Heart Journal has published research that looked at three million US patients, across 28  types of  cancers, over a period of  40 years, the experts behind this analysis found that more than one-tenth of patients died from cardiovascular diseases. The research highlights the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD)  in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer.  The team also observed that from the point of cancer diagnosis onward patients with cancer (all sites) are at elevated risk of dying from CVDs compared to the general US population (Source: Sturgeon, et al. 2019).

 

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The journal article is available in full from The European Heart Journal

Abstract

Aims

 

This observational study characterized cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk for multiple cancer sites, with respect to the following: (i) continuous calendar year, (ii) age at diagnosis, and (iii) follow-up time after diagnosis.

 

Methods and results

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program was used to compare the US general population to 3 234 256 US cancer survivors (1973–2012). Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated using coded cause of death from CVDs (heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and aortic aneurysm/dissection). Analyses were adjusted by age, race, and sex. Among 28 cancer types, 1 228 328 patients (38.0%) died from cancer and 365 689 patients (11.3%) died from CVDs. Among CVDs, 76.3% of deaths were due to heart disease. In eight cancer sites, CVD mortality risk surpassed index-cancer mortality risk in at least one calendar year. Cardiovascular disease mortality risk was highest in survivors diagnosed at less than 35 years of age. Further, CVD mortality risk is highest within the first year after cancer diagnosis, and CVD mortality risk remains elevated throughout follow-up compared to the general population.

Conclusion

The majority of deaths from CVD occur in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer. We observed that from the point of cancer diagnosis forward into survivorship cancer patients (all sites) are at elevated risk of dying from CVDs compared to the general US population. In endometrial cancer, the first year after diagnosis poses a very high risk of dying from CVDs, supporting early involvement of cardiologists in such patients.

 

In the news:

BBC News Cancer survivors ‘have higher heart risk’

Improving physical activity for people with mental health problems

This report presents the findings from an exploratory study of a physical activity intervention based in Northern Ireland for people with severe and enduring mental health problems. The report finds that people with mental health problems care about their physical health and by providing the right kind of help, can be supported and encouraged to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives | via Mental Health Foundation

Fifty-seven participants from different mental health service use settings signed up for the programme and 31 participated regularly over the 12-weeks.

The research found the following:

  • Overall the participants reported physical and mental health benefits. These include improved sleep, improved energy and a reduction in the negative side effects of medication.
  • The mental health and psychological benefits of engaging in physical activity were articulated by participants. These benefits included better decision-making, feeling mentally clearer and more alert. Improvements in mood and lower levels of stress were also reported.
  • These achievements often resulted in behaviour change, with some participants able to establish new routines, incorporating more structure into their daily lives and making adjustments to diet and other lifestyle behaviours.
  • The effects were noted to be particularly important for people with caring responsibilities involved in the study. The weekly activity created an outlet to engage socially, be active and promote self-care which in turn had a positive impact on their coping skills.
empowering
Image source: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

 

 

Full report:  Empowering people through physical activity: A co-produced research project studying how to improve physical activity for people with severe and enduring mental health problems | Mental Health Foundation

Royal College of Psychiatrists: Integrated care and mental health

Royal College of Psychiatrists | December  2019 | Integrated care and mental health  

A new guide from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, this guide aims to understand the priorities and lessons for improving mental health services in established and emerging ICSs and makes recommendations that reflect the opportunities and challenges for areas in doing so.  

Full details from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Improving mental health services in systems of integrated and accountable care:
emerging lessons and priorities Executive summary

A quarter of cancer patients experience avoidable delay to diagnosis

One in four cancer patients experienced a delay to their diagnosis that could have been avoided, according to a new study | via Cancer Research UK

A new study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, looked at data the national cancer registry of around 14,300 people diagnosed with cancer in England in one year.

It found that nearly 3,400 patients experienced a delay that could have been avoided. Half of these patients waited around two months longer to be diagnosed compared with those who didn’t have an avoidable delay.

The reasons for delays are complex but researchers on this study attempted to identify what could go wrong. The study authors asked GPs to identify when the delay happened – before the patient saw their GP, while they were still being assessed by the GP practice or after they had referred them.

The data showed 13% of all avoidable delays happened before the patient saw their GP and 38% after the GP referred them to hospital. The other half (49%) happened while the patient was being assessed by the GP surgery including waiting for tests to be done and results to be sent back.

Full story at Cancer Research UK

Research article: Swann et al. | The frequency, nature and impact of GP-assessed avoidable delays in a population-based cohort of cancer patients | Cancer Epidemiology | published online 3 December 2019.

Improving mental health services

Improving mental health services in systems of integrated and accountable care: emerging lessons and priorities | The Royal College of Psychiatrists

This report aims to better understand the priorities and lessons for improving mental health services in established and emerging Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and makes recommendations that reflect the opportunities and challenges in doing so. It is recognised that further lessons and priorities will emerge as more ICSs are established across the country.