Start active, stay active: infographics on physical activity

Department of Health. Published online: 28 July 2016

These infographics outline the duration, frequency and type of physical activity required to achieve general health benefits for different age ranges.

The infographics relate to the report by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers for the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity.

Physical activity benefits for babies and children (birth-5 years old): infographic


Mental health and prevention: taking local action for better mental health

The Mental Health Foundation has published ‘Mental health and prevention: taking local action for better mental health | Mental Health Foundation’.

Mental Health Prevention
Image source:

The evidence presented in this report should inform the local prevention plans for mental health in every local authority area, should help make sure that these are based on sound evidence and analysis of the key data, and should support effective work in each area to drive down the incidence of mental ill health over the years to come.

The report advocates a whole population approach. This means that a local area, a school, an employer, a public service or any organisation, would look at the risks and needs of everyone before drawing up a strategy to encourage overall mental health literacy and a proportionate approach that brings in more help and attention as risk increases. Understanding and responding to different levels of risk and resilience requires services in all areas to achieve a picture of the mental health inequalities in the population they serve.

Outlining how this would work in practical terms, the report suggests that mental health improvement should be integrated into daily work, with messages and interventions tailored to address the specific circumstances of those at highest risk of developing mental health problems.

The report explores different life stages, showcasing methods to improve people’s mental health across the life-course, from infant mental health, to supporting good mental health in later life.

Read more here

Transforming Care Must Know | Children’s and adults’ services

transmforming care
Image source:

The Transforming Care programme is based on the assumption that children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism with behaviours described as challenging have the right to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect. They should have a home within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships, and get the support they need for a life that is healthy, safe and rewarding.

The Local Government Association is one of six national delivery partners (along with NHS England, the Department of Health, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, the Care Quality Commission and Health Education England) supporting delivery of the programme through sector led improvement, including regional support to Transforming Care Partnerships.

Read the full report here

A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2016

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published ‘ A Minimum Income Standard for the UK in 2016’.

A minimum income standard
Image source:

This is the 2016 update of the Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom, based on what members of the public think people need for an acceptable minimum standard of living.

This report shows:

  • what incomes different family types require in 2016 in order to meet the minimum standard; and
  • influences on the ability of families to meet the standard.

This update of minimum budgets is based on new research into what members of the public believe households require in order to have a minimum acceptable standard of living. Budgets for families with children have been researched again from scratch, for the first time since 2012. Budgets for families without children, both working age and pensioners, have been reviewed.

Overall, the report finds that the basket of minimum household requirements has been stable, with a slight reduction for couples with children seeking more economical ways of meeting the standard. In a tough economic environment, it is becoming harder for many families to achieve a minimum income.

Read more here

One-third of students report elevated psychological distress, survey shows

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada). Published online: 21 July 2016

More than one in three – an estimated 328,000 — Ontario students in grades seven to 12 report moderate-to-serious psychological distress, according to new survey results from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Girls are twice as likely as boys to experience psychological distress.

OSDUHS 2015 Infographic - Psychological distress
Image source: CAHM

Screen time, social media use, and problem gaming on the rise

Survey results also showed that in 2015, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of students spent three hours or more per day of their free time in front of a TV or tablet/computer. The percentage of students who are screen-time sedentary has increased from 57 per cent since 2009, the first year of monitoring this behaviour.

At the same time, while the majority of students rate their health as excellent or very good (66 per cent), only 22 per cent of students met the recommended daily physical activity guideline, defined as a total of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, during the past seven days.

OSDUHS 2015 Infographic - Screentime
Image source: CAMH

Read the full news release here

Tools for assessing value for money for alcohol and drug treatment

Public Health England Blog. Published online: 25 July 2016

In 2014-15 there were 295,244 adults in alcohol and drug treatment services across England.

The latest official statistics on drug-related deaths in England showed the highest number of substance misuse related death since these records began and highlights a worrying rise in the number of older, more vulnerable drug users dying from heroin overdose.

Image source: Sean Stephens – Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

PHE economic tools

PHE produces several tools to help Local Authorities and public health commissioning teams understand and inform their spending. Different tools are useful for different purposes and it’s important to know which one to use to get the most out of them.

For example, the SPOT (Spend and Outcome Tool) provides a broad overview of spend against a selection of relevant outcomes, allowing local authorities to make comparisons across some public health interventions.

Whilst is if often used by Health and Wellbeing boards and councillors, providing a high-level overview of spend and outcomes, it does not estimate value for money or return on investment.

The alcohol and drugs Value for Money tools bring together a range of tools to support local authorities, specifically alcohol and drugs commissioners, to explore ways in which the existing substance misuse budget can be spent to maximise cost-effectiveness.

Alcohol and Drugs Commissioning Tool

Developed by our Drugs and Tobacco team, this tool supports areas in understanding and improving cost-effectiveness. The Cost Calculator helps commissioners estimate local spend and unit costs, while the cost-effectiveness section helps answer a variety of questions on treatment interventions and the use of existing resources.

The Tool compares spend on the treatment system with outcomes of different types of treatments accessed by opiate users, non-opiate users and alcohol only (i.e. leaving treatment free of substance(s) of dependency).

Read the full blog post here

Diabetes guidance updated

NICE has published updated guidance concerning diabetes in adults

  • NG17      Type 1 diabetes in adults: diagnosis and management: This guideline updates and replaces the sections for adults in NICE guideline CG15.  In July 2016, recommendation 1.15.1 has been reworded to clarify the role of GPs in referring people for eye screening and also to add information on when this should happen.


  • NG28     Type 2 diabetes in adults: management: This guideline updates and replaces NICE guideline CG87, NICE guideline CG66, NICE technology appraisal guidance 248 and NICE technology appraisal guidance 203. In July 2016, recommendation 1.7.17 has been reworded to clarify the role of GPs in referring people for eye screening and also to add information on when this should happen.