Investing in prevention: is it cost-effective?

This is the second in a series of blogs on health economics and investing in prevention. This blog will explain why most public health investments are cost-effective, meaning they generate a better outcome than the next best alternative use of resources.

For example, seriously tackling the obesity epidemic and ensuring that this does not afflict children of future generations is a major challenge: most measures taken now will only show success in 10-20 years’ time. Decision makers must be brave to invest in preventive activity of proven cost-effectiveness, even if the benefits may not be seen for a decade or more.

Read more here 

How can children’s services tackle child exploitation? Live Q&A

Join a panel of experts on Monday 29 February to discuss the challenges child sexual exploitation, trafficking and radicalisation present to social workers, children’s services and other agencies

CSE exists within a wider context of exploitation of children. Child trafficking is also an increasing issue of concern, where children are moved from one country to another, or between different parts of the UK, in order to be exploited or forced into work. And another area beginning to affect children’s services is radicalisation, where young people are drawn into terrorism. Since the government released its Prevent agenda (pdf) last year, schools and childcare providers have a statutory duty to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. But a Community Care poll in December 2015 found that more than half (54%) of social workers surveyed were not confident in their knowledge of the correct intervention in a radicalisation case.

To discuss some of these issues, we’ve put together a panel of experts from the social care sector. We’ll be looking at:

  • How CSE, radicalisation and trafficking are affecting practice.
  • What social workers and other practitioners need to know about these issues.
  • The challenges facing practitioners and services.
  • How different agencies – such as children’s services, schools, healthcare services and the police – can work together to tackle child exploitation.

The discussion will take place on Monday 29 February between 12 and 2pm in the comments section below this article. Taking part is easier than ever: you can create a free Guardian account, or log in using your Twitter or Facebook profiles to comment. Alternatively, you can email us to post your questions for you.

A guide for health professionals on the support system for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND)

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Image source: DoH

This guide is for:

  • clinical commissioning groups
  • health professionals
  • local authorities

It explains the duties and responsibilities of health professionals who deal with children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) and their families.

This guide should be read alongside the ‘Special education needs and disability code of practice: 0 to 25’.

sen comm.png

Image source: DoH

Read the full overview here

Read the full report here

New training to support mental health professionals to tackle stigma and discrimination within services

A new training pack has been launched today to help reduce the stigma and discrimination experienced by people when using mental health services. Time to Change, the mental health anti-stigma campaign, in partnership with NHS England, has worked with mental health professionals and people using services to develop new training materials, which will be available to all mental health Trusts in England.

The initiative is in response to research, which shows that – despite positive changes in attitudes towards people with mental health problems in some areas of life – 1 in 3 people report stigma and discrimination when they use mental health services.

Time to Change, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, developed the training pack specifically to encourage open dialogue amongst mental health teams about the positive changes that they can make to improve their culture and practice – both in secure and community settings. The pack is available through the Time to Change website and will include a film and supporting materials to be used as part of staff supervisions.

ttc pack

Image source: Time to Change

Find more information via NHS England and Time for Change

Investing in prevention

Public Health England’s chief economist has published the first in a series of four blogs looking at health economics and the case for investing in prevention initiatives.  The blog focuses on four key questions: does prevention save the health service money; are public health initiatives really providing the best value for money; and how can we better incentivise local authorities, NHS commissioners and health care providers to invest more in prevention and early intervention.

Active Ageing and the Built Environment

Research shows that older people with easy access to the outdoors and community facilities are more likely to be physically active and enjoy the health and social benefits that brings. Good built environments also reduce the risk of falls and can reduce health inequalities.

This Housing LIN Practice Briefing looks at active ageing and the different aspects of the built environment that can promote and sustain it, with examples of good and emerging practice and resources for further information.

Full briefing: Active Ageing and the Built Environment

Health and housing guides provide roadmap for integrated working

Public Health England (PHE) and the Housing Learning & Improvement Network (Housing LIN) have published two practical resources aimed at improving services around housing and end of life care and on the built environment’s role in promoting active ageing. The free documents are intended to build on a major undertaking by PHE, NHS England and its partners to improve integration and partnership working between health, social care and housing.

Active Ageing and the Built Environment opens new window

Cover HLIN PHE Practice Briefing Active AgeingResearch shows that older people with easy access to the outdoors and community facilities are more likely to be physically active and enjoy the health and social benefits that brings. Good built environments also reduce the risk of falls and can reduce health inequalities.

End of Life Care: Helping people to be care for and die at home opens new window

Cover HLIN PHE Practice Briefing End of Life CareEnsuring that people nearing the end of life are cared for at home if that is their choice is the focus of this briefing. Research shows that most people prefer to die at home. Despite improvement over the last decade, nearly half (47%) of deaths in England occur in hospital. Older people and those on lower incomes and from ethnic minorities are less likely to die in their usual place of residence. It should help those working in specialist or mainstream housing and public health to work with local health organisations to support people to die in their usual place of residence.

View the full story here