Later Life in a Digital World

The charity Age UK has published a report ‘Later life in a digital world’. The research suggests that moving public services online without providing sufficient support for those who are ‘offline’ could be making it harder for some pensioners to access vital services and may deter people from seeking the support they need.

Age UK found that the majority of internet users questioned feel that the internet is hugely positive, making life easier, more convenient and cheaper, whilst also helping them to keep in touch with friends and family, and feel better informed.

However the Charity’s research with non-internet users revealed deeply entrenched barriers to using the internet. Many feel that the internet is ‘not for them’ and any benefits are outweighed by major barriers to being online.

Age UK supports those in later life who want to go online through taster sessions, on-going courses and outreach programmes.

Read the report here

Age UK press release


Public health commissioning in the NHS 2016 to 2017

Public Health England has published ‘Public health commissioning in the NHS 2016 to 2017’.

The NHS public health functions agreement sets out the arrangements under which the Secretary of State delegates responsibility to NHS England for certain public health services (known as Section 7A services).

It aims to:

  • improve public health outcomes and reduce health inequalities
  • contribute to a more sustainable public health, health and care system.

Read the report here

Allied health professionals: impact in public health

The Allied Health Professionals Federation, with support from Public Health England, has published A strategy to develop the capacity, impact and profile of allied health professionals in public health 2015-2018.  This strategy sets out vision for the role of allied health professionals (AHPs) in public health.

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It details how the strategy will be implemented, the goals to be achieved, and how success will be measured. It is intended to help AHPs, as well as their professional bodies and partner organisations, to further develop their leadership in public health, share best practice with colleagues and partners and ultimately embed preventative healthcare across all their work.

The Homelessness Monitor 2015: Scotland

The homelessness monitor is a five year (2011-2016) study co-funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that provides an independent analysis of the impact on homelessness of recent economic and policy developments across in the UK; this report focuses on Scotland.

The report shows that, while there have been 5% fewer assessments made since last year, homeless people are being forced to spend more and more time in temporary housing due to pressure on the supply of affordable homes, rising demand and cuts to benefits.

The overall scale of statutory homelessness peaked in Scotland in 2005/06, and has been on a marked downward path for the past five years. This downward trend is wholly the result of the introduction of the ‘Housing Options’ model of homelessness prevention from 2010 onwards.

While the principles of Housing Options have been widely endorsed in Scotland, there has been considerable controversy over the practical implementation of this approach to homelessness prevention, especially with regard to its interaction with the statutory homelessness framework.

You can read the full report here

Weight management services: national mapping

Baby's Healthcare

This report explores the provision of tier 2 and tier 3 weight management services for children, young people and adults that are locally commissioned through local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

It provides insights into how these services are delivered across England including

  • referral routes and entry criteria
  • service details
  • costs
  • exit routes
  • barriers to commissioning services

View the full report and other documents here

What motivates men to lose weight?

NIHR Dissemination Centre

Tackling obesity is a key government priority. Losing weight can improve people’s health in a range of ways, but also has an economic impact. It is estimated that the direct costs of obesity to the NHS are in the region of £6.3 billion for 2015, whilst local authorities are estimated to spend an extra £352 million providing social care for people who are severely obese .

Although it is not mandatory for local authorities to provide obesity interventions such as weight-loss programmes, it is clear that helping people to lose weight can support a range of public health targets.

More men than women are overweight or obese in the UK – 66% of men compared with 58% of women . In addition, men are less likely to lose that weight unsupported: recent NIHR research suggests that the chance of an obese person returning to a healthy body weight is 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women.

What attracts men to join a weight-loss programme?

Men may be motivated to join a weight-loss programme if they understand their weight is a health issue – for example if they receive a diagnosis of a weight-related health condition from a GP or other health professional.

However, there is evidence that men are not attracted by standard weight-loss programmes. NIHR research suggests that men may find use of the term ‘dieting’ off-putting and to see weight-loss groups as primarily for women. Men may prefer programmes which emphasise healthy eating or physical activity instead.

Men are more likely to join weight-loss programmes which:

  • Emphasise healthy eating and physical activity, rather than ‘dieting’
  • Are run through community settings, for example sports clubs to which some men may feel a strong sense of affiliation
  • Offer a ‘men only’ group option.

Read the full article via NIHR Dissemination Centre

Recovery, remediation and environmental decontamination

Public Health England has published resources for the management of chemical, radiation and biological incidents, including UK recovery handbooks.

The UK recovery handbooks provide:

  • a decision making framework for choosing an effective recovery strategy following a chemical, radiation or biological incident
  • a compendium of practicable, evidence-based recovery options to assist with the remediation of environmental contamination

Read the documents here