Variation in access to healthcare

The Medical Technology Group has published The north–south NHS divide: how where you are not what you need dictates your care.

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Image source: http://www.mtg.org.uk

This report examines CCG indicators to find how effective CCGs are at giving patients access to medical technology.  Providing each CCG with a grading based on how they scored in comparison to other CCGs, the report finds wide variation in access between the north and south of England and argues that CCG performance against access indicators should be clearer to patients.

Additional link: The Medical Technology Group press release

Bridging The Health Care Gap Through Telehealth

This case study looks at two telehealth models in Mexico and the U.S. targeting low- to middle-income parts of the population | Commonwealth Fund

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In many developing nations, the public health system is unable to meet demand for services, driving people to seek costly services in the private sector. Telehealth can expand access to care while, in some cases, reducing unnecessary use of services, such as immediate acute care for non–health emergencies.

Using a call centre as the point of access, these models have reduced unnecessary use of services and supported patient navigation of local health services.

North-South health divide bigger than ever

Dying early (under age 75) is 20% more likely in northern compared with southern England according to research led by The University of Manchester

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The study uncovers a North-South divide in deaths among middle aged adults, which has been rising since the mid-90s and is now at alarming levels:

  • 49% more deaths among 35-44 year olds in the North in 2015
  • 29% more deaths among 25-34 year olds in the North in 2015

The team shows that a sharp increase in premature deaths among middle aged adults in the North first emerged in the mid-90s, increasingly quickly but consistently until the end of the study period in 2015.

Podcast: What’s going on with life expectancy?

The increase in life expectancy in England has almost “ground to a halt” since 2010 and austerity measures are likely to be a significant contributor | BMJ Talk Medicine

In this podcast Michael Marmot, director at University College London’s Institute of Health Equity, joins us to discuss what might be causing that drop off, and why a decrease in early life chances is particularly problematic.

Read more about the report here

Reducing health inequalities: Marmot indicators 2017

This briefing provides an update on progress since the 2008 Marmot Review into the most effective evidence-based strategies for reducing health inequalities in England. | The Institute of Health Equity 

This update finds that improvements on life expectancy at birth and remaining life expectancy at 65 have slowed since 2010. The analysis also finds that inequalities within and between local authorities have persisted.

Full document: Marmot Indicators Briefing 2017 – updated

Additional links: BBC News report | AgeUK

Are we living longer?

Health profile for England. A report combining Public Health England (PHE) data and knowledge on the health of the population in England in 2017.

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This report focuses on the question ‘are we living longer, and are the extra years spent in good or bad health?’.

It summarises and interprets current trends in health outcomes in England, in particular:

  • life expectancy
  • health life expectancy
  • morbidity
  • mortality

It explores the impact of risk factors on these health outcomes and considers how England compares with other developed countries. It summarises inequalities in outcomes and the impact of the social determinants of health.

The 7 chapters can be read alone or as a series:

  1. Life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and years lived in poor health
  2. Major causes of death and how they have changed
  3. Trends in morbidity and risk factors
  4. European comparisons
  5. Health inequalities
  6. Social determinants of health
  7. Emerging health protection issues

Full report available here

Millions of children in England living vulnerable or high risk lives

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, is today (Tuesday 4 July) publishing new analysis that reveals, for the first time, the scale of vulnerability among children in England.

  • Almost 700,000 children are living in families that have vulnerabilities, including over 15,000 children living with an adult receiving alcohol treatment and nearly 12,000 living with an adult in drug treatment.
  • 580,000 children – equivalent to the population of Manchester – are so vulnerable that the state has to step in and provide direct care, intervention or support.
  • 370,000 children whose actions have put their futures at risk, including 160,000 children temporarily or permanently excluded from school in England.
  • 800,000 children aged 5 to 17 suffer mental health disorders.
  • 200,000 children are judged by their local authority to have experienced trauma or abuse.
  • An estimated 46,000 children are thought to be part of a gang.
  • 119,000 children are homeless or living in insecure or unstable housing.
  • 170,000 children are estimated to do unpaid caring for family members, of which many have not been identified and offered support.
  • 1,200 children are newly identified victims of modern slavery per year.

Full report available here