PHE Cancer Board Plan

 Public Health England (PHE) has published PHE Cancer Board Plan 2017 – 2021 a plan for PHE staff.  This internal plan outlines PHE’s approach to co-ordinating PHE’s cancer work for the next five years. It highlights how PHE will work in partnership with others to achieve the recommendations.

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Combating the ‘super-size’ snack culture

NHS England has announced hospitals will get financial incentives in 2018/19 if they implement new guidelines to reduce obesity, diabetes and tooth-decay.  The guidelines include 80% of confectionery stocked do not exceed 250Kcal, 75% of pre-packed sandwiches and savouries contain 400kcal or less, and 80% of drinks stocked must have less than 5g of added sugar per 100ml.

The Impact Of Homelessness On Health

New report warns that that the rising number of older homeless will create significant extra pressures for councils | Local Government Association

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The Local Government Association (LGA) says that older homelessness is a growing hidden phenomenon that needs greater understanding.  Latest figures show that between April and June this year, councils accepted 620 people aged over 60 as homeless – at a rate of nearly 10 a day. This is up from the 270 accepted between October and December 2009, which was the lowest number since records began in 2005.

The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, is warning that based on existing trends, this is set to double by 2025.

The LGA is calling for government to address the undersupply in specialist housing for older people, and an adaption to the implementation of welfare reforms to reduce the risk of homelessness. It says councils need to be able to borrow to invest in new council housing to increase supply, boost home ownership and reduce homelessness.

Full report: The Impact of Homelessness on Health: A guide for Local Authorities

 

Stay Well This Winter

Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England’s national winter campaign, Stay Well This Winter returns for 2017

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The Stay Well This Winter  campaign will be running from 9th October 2017. The campaign encourages at-risk groups to get the free NHS flu vaccination, and to take simple, easy-to-achieve actions to avoid admission to hospital during the winter period.

A range of resources, such as leaflets, posters, guides and resource packs for the campaign are avilable to order via the Public Health England Website

PHE will again this year be supporting pharmacies to promote the key campaign messages in-store by distributing materials. All small-chain and independent pharmacies will be receiving a kit of promotional materials (including posters, shelf wobblers and leaflets) via the Healthcare Distribution Association.

Improving work health for a healthy economy

New initiative launched to support small businesses in improving work health

Illness among working age people costs the UK economy £100 billion a year. About 330,000 every year become unemployed because of health-related issues.

However, workplace health and wellbeing programmes such as exercise, healthy eating and stop smoking support have been shown to make a real difference. Successful programmes such as these have been found to return £2 to £10 for every £1 spent, benefiting staff wellbeing and economic productivity.

Most big employers already have some plans in place that help to improve and protect their staff’s health but many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not currently benefit from such programmes.

PHE and Healthy Working Futures, a workplace health provider, has set out advice for SMEs, which account for 60% of private sector employment.

PHE has also created a series of guidance for employers on important issues, such as musculoskeletal (MSK) and mental health, impacting on employees with Business in the Community. Further advice is being developed covering issues including:

  • physical activity
  • diet and weight
  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • tobacco

Full press release at Public Health England

Preventing heart attacks and strokes

NHS launches new drive to save thousands of people from heart attacks and strokes | Public Health England

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New analysis from Public Health England suggests that there is now an opportunity to prevent more than 9,000 heart attacks and at least 14,000 strokes over the next 3 years with better detection and management of:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • atrial fibrillation (AF)

Around 5.5 million people in England have undiagnosed high blood pressure and nearly half a million have undiagnosed AF, which are both usually symptomless conditions that substantially increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia and limb amputations.

The new analysis shows the scale of the prevention opportunity across England over 3 years if treatment of these high-risk conditions is optimised. Achieving optimal treatment in all people with diagnosed high blood pressure has the potential to avert up to 9,710 heart attacks and 14,500 strokes, saving up to £274 million. Achieving optimal treatment for those diagnosed with AF has the potential to avert up to 14,220 strokes, saving £241 million.

Full story at Public Health England

Change in loneliness after intervention with cochlear implants or hearing aids

The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of hearing aid (HA) and cochlear implant (CI) use on loneliness in adults| The Laryngoscope

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Image source: Joonas Tikkanen – Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

One hundred and thirteen adults, aged ≥ 50 years, with postlingual hearing loss and receiving routine clinical care at a tertiary academic medical center, were evaluated with the University of California at Los Angeles Loneliness Scale before and 6 and 12 months after intervention with HAs or CIs. Change in score was assessed using linear mixed effect models adjusted for age; gender; education; and history of hypertension, diabetes, and smoking.

Treatment of hearing loss with CIs results in a significant reduction in loneliness symptoms. This improvement was not observed with HAs. We observed differential effects of treatment depending on the baseline loneliness score, with the greatest improvements observed in individuals with the most loneliness symptoms at baseline.

Full reference: Contrera, K.J. et al. (2017) Change in loneliness after intervention with cochlear implants or hearing aids. The Laryngoscope. Vol. 127 (Issue 8) pp. 1885–1889