Police and Public Health Innovation in practice: an overview of collaboration across England

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This paper supports the October 2016 Police and Public Health Summit. It was developed to stimulate discussion and sharing of good practice with a view to developing a national consensus statement on policing and public health.

It is intended for use by police forces, police and crime commissioners, local authorities and NHS and as an information source for the wider public health system.

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How the intersection of ageing, gender and sexuality magnify dementia concerns among lesbian and bisexual women

Westwood, S. (2016) Dementia15(6) pp. 1494-1514

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There is a growing appreciation of the significance of socio-cultural context for the experiences of an individual living with dementia. There is, too, an emergent awareness that dementia is a gendered issue, disproportionately affecting women compared with men. However, little attention has been given as yet to the experiences of lesbian and bisexual women living with dementia.

This article addresses this gap in knowledge, exploring the significance of the intersection of ageing, gender and sexuality for lesbian and bisexual women with dementia. It suggests that stigma and social marginalisation associated with dementia and with ageing, gender and sexuality intersect to compound the social exclusion of lesbians and bisexual women. This has implications for early diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, community care policy, which is predicated on heterosexist norms fails to take into account older lesbians and bisexual women’s support networks and so is less likely to be attuned to their needs. Residential care provision is perceived by older lesbians and bisexual women as being heteronormative at best and homophobic at worst. Services which do not recognise, validate and support their identities will compound their anxiety, confusion and distress. This may be contrary to Equality and Human Rights legislation and UK social policies.

This paper draws upon, and analyses, extracts from a range of authorship, synthesising the material to present novel insights into the significance of gender and sexuality for the experience of dementia and dementia care.

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Public unaware of the factors that increase the risk of dementia

Just 2% of people in Britain can identify all the health and lifestyle factors that can increase risk of developing dementia. | Public Health England

More than a quarter (28%) of the British public is unable to correctly identify any potentially modifiable risk factor for developing dementia, according to new findings from the British Social Attitudes survey, which was commissioned by Public Health England (PHE).

The survey, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), asked the public if they could identify any of the following risk factors: heavy drinking, smoking, high blood pressure, depression and diabetes as well as the protective factor of taking regular exercise and found just 2% of the public is able to identify all of them.

Also, more than 1 in 4 people (27%) in Britain incorrectly believe that there is nothing anyone can do to reduce their risks of getting dementia. There is growing evidence that a third of dementia cases could be a result of factors potentially in our control, and actions like taking regular exercise and not smoking can reduce your risk of developing it. This means there is huge potential for prevention.

Full report: Attitudes to dementia: Findings from the 2015 British Social Attitudes survey

Suicide prevention: developing a local action plan

The development of a local suicide action plan is recommended by government and supports the 2012 strategy ‘Preventing Suicide in England. A Cross Government Outcomes Strategy to save Lives’.

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Image source: http://www.gov.uk

This document advises local authorities how to:

  • develop a suicide prevention action plan
  • monitor data, trends and hot spots
  • engage with local media
  • work with transport to map hot spots
  • work on local priorities to improve mental health

New web app for online mindfulness course launched

The Mental Health Foundation have launched a new web app for an online mindfulness course.

The ‘Be Mindful‘ course is a fully online mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and stress reduction course, and it has been evaluated for its effectiveness and backed up by leading academic research.

The cost for individual participants is £30. On average, people completing the course experience a 39% reduction in stress, 52% reduction in depression and a 53% reduction in anxiety.  For the NHS, Be Mindful could reduce service costs and shrink waiting lists, which is good news when budgets are tight for public services.

In workplaces, Be Mindful has been proven to reduce staff fatigue and rumination and improve sleep quality, all of which can contribute to reducing staff sickness, increasing resilience, reducing stress levels and assisting staff in returning to work.

The Mental Health Foundation and online mental health programme producer Wellmind Media partnership is now offering annual licenses for the course that enable organisations and services to offer unlimited access to the programme for their staff and patients.

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Policy changes to implement the NHS five year forward view: a progress report

The Kings Fund has published ‘Policy changes to implement the NHS five year forward view: a progress report’.

Two years on from the publication of the NHS five year forward view, The Kings Fund assesses how much progress has been made and what still needs to be done to align policies with the plan.

In October 2014, NHS England and other arms-length bodies published the NHS five year forward view (Forward View). The Forward View set out a vision of how NHS services need to change to meet the needs of the population. It argued that the NHS should place far greater emphasis on prevention, integration of services, and putting patients and communities in control of their health.

The Forward View differed from previous policy documents; instead of setting out a blueprint for the future, it outlined a number of care models that can be adapted to put in place services appropriate to the needs of local populations. The emphasis was on ‘diverse solutions and local leadership, in place of further structural distraction’ supported by ‘meaningful local flexibility in the way payment rules, regulatory requirements and other mechanisms are applied.

This new document looks at:

  • How services are commissioned and paid for
  • How the NHS is regulated
  • How improvements in care are delivered by local leaders
  • How might a transformation fund contribute
  • Where next?

The Kings Fund asks:

  • What the Kings Fund says?
  • What has been done?
  • What still needs to happen?

For each of the above areas.

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Factors important for women who breastfeed in public: a content analysis of review data from FeedFinder

Simpson, E. et al. BMJ Open.6:e011762

baby-21167_960_720Objective: To examine how the breastfeeding experience is represented by users of FeedFinder (a mobile phone application for finding, reviewing and sharing places to breastfeed in public).

Design: Content analysis using FeedFinder database.

Setting: FeedFinder, UK, September 2013–June 2015.

Methods: Reviews obtained through FeedFinder over a period of 21 months were systematically coded using a conventional content analysis approach, average review scores were calculated for the rating criteria in FeedFinder (comfort, hygiene, privacy, baby facilities) and review texts were analysed for sentiment. We used data from Foursquare to describe the type of venues visited and cross-referenced the location of venues with the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

Results: A total of 1757 reviews were analysed. Of all the reviews obtained, 80% of those were classified as positive, 15.4% were classified as neutral and 4.3% were classified as negative. Important factors that were discussed by women include facilities, service, level of privacy available and qualities of a venue. The majority of venues were classified as cafes (26.4%), shops (24.4%) and pubs (13.4%). Data on IMD were available for 1229 venues mapped within FeedFinder, 23% were located within the most deprived quintile and 16% were located in the least deprived quintile.

Conclusions: Women create content that is positive and informative when describing their breastfeeding experience in public. Public health bodies and business owners have the potential to use the data from FeedFinder to impact on service provision. Further work is needed to explore the demographic differences that may help to tailor public health interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding rates in the UK.

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