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Welcome to the Public Health online newsfeed. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.

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The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services

Guidance for commissioners, providers and clinicians on the roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England. | Public Health England

This resource describes the many potential roles of nurses in alcohol and drug treatment in England to help commissioners and providers of specialist adult alcohol and drug treatment services to recruit the right workforce to meet local needs.

The document outlines:

  • The roles of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment including the contribution they can make to health and social care outcomes
  • The added value nurses can bring to alcohol and drug treatment
  • The competences and skills that should be expected of nurses working in alcohol and drug treatment
  • What is required to develop and maintain these competences

Full document: The Role of Nurses in Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services:  A resource for commissioners, providers and clinicians

New collaborative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness

Equally Well: A new collaborative to support the physical health of people with a mental illness | via Centre for Mental Health

In October 2016, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published the report ‘Improving the physical health of adults with severe mental illness: essential actions’  The report outlined the changes that were needed to make a sustained impact on the physical health of people living with a mental illness. It highlighted that coordinated national effort would be needed to bring good practice to scale and support further innovation and improvement across the country.

Equally Well  is an initiative from New Zealand which seeks to promote and support such collaborative action to improve physical health among people with a mental illness.

Now in the UK, the Centre for Mental Health, Kaleidoscope and Rethink Mental Illness are working together with support from the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Psychiatrists to create an Equally Well collaborative in this country.

Key Data on Young People

Key Data on Young People 2017 | The Association for Young People’s Health (AYHP) | via OnMedica

This report looks at the living circumstances, education and employment, health behaviours and lifestyle, sexual health, mental health, physical health and long-term conditions, and use of health care services of children and young people.

The report  found evidence of a number of positive trends, with rates of drinking, smoking and teenage pregnancy all continuing to fall. However, authors explained the teens and early 20s remain a ‘risky period’ in health terms, for a range of issues that will have lifetime implications. These include: diet, activity and obesity; sexually transmitted infections; the peak age for diagnosis of a number of chronic conditions such as asthma and type 1 diabetes; the peak age for hospitalisation for challenging conditions such as eating disorders and self-harm; the most common age for concerns around child sexual exploitation.

The report also highlighted the impact of health inequalities, with young people living in the most deprived areas are more likely to be killed or seriously injured on roads, more likely to be obese, and more likely to have worse physical, mental and sexual health outcomes.

Full report: Key Data on Young  People 2017:  Latest information and statistics 

OnMedica News story: We are ‘sitting on a young people’s health time bomb’

New £15 million grant scheme to improve mental healthcare

The Beyond Places of Safety fund will focus on improving urgent mental healthcare in local areas | Department of Health 

The Department of Health has launched a £15 million fund to better support people at risk of experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Beyond Places of Safety scheme aims to improve support services for those needing urgent and emergency mental healthcare. This includes conditions such as psychosis, bipolar disorder, and personality disorders that could cause people to be a risk to themselves or others.

The Beyond Places of Safety scheme will focus on:

  • preventing people from reaching crisis point in the first place
  • helping to develop new approaches to support people who experience a mental health crisis

Full story at Department of Health

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

 

New £15 million programme to help train mental health ‘first aiders’

New programme will train a million people in basic mental health ‘first aid’ skills 

The programme, designed and delivered by Public Health England (PHE), will help people assess their own mental wellbeing and learn techniques to reduce stress. It will improve personal resilience and help people recognise and respond effectively to signs of mental illness in others.

There will be an online learning module designed to improve the public’s knowledge, skills and confidence on mental health.

The campaign will aim to build resilience and give people advice, based on what has been shown to work, so that we can all be better at supporting people experiencing poor mental health.

The government will invest £15 million in the campaign which will be launched next year for three years. Public Health England will work closely with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England and other mental health organisations to ensure the campaign builds on the knowledge and experience of the sector.

Musculoskeletal conditions: return on investment tool

Return on Investment of Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of Musculoskeletal Conditions | Public Health England

This tool has been designed to aid healthcare commissioners and providers in England who wish to assess the cost-effectiveness of interventions for the prevention musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

It is hoped that the tool will aid decision-making and increase the uptake of cost-effective interventions aimed at the prevention of MSK conditions. Conditions within the scope of this tool are: Lower back pain; chronic knee pain and osteoarthritis (hip and knee).

Full detail at Public Health England