New resource to reduce alcohol stigma

New e-learning programme  developed for NHS healthcare professionals to reduce the stigma faced by patients with alcohol problems.

A package of training materials, including facilitator’s notes, are included in a new e-learning programme, which aims to help health professionals to have a better understanding of alcohol dependency and to improve longer-term outcomes for patients.

The resources will be of interest to health and social care staff who come in to contact with patients with alcohol problems in either: hospital, primary care or community settings.

A new film also complements the e-learning package and uses emotional and thought-provoking real stories voiced by patients to highlight the problems they face.

Access the free Alcohol Stigma e-learning programme here.

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Access and waiting times in children and young people’s mental health services

New report by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) examines new data on access to specialist treatment for children and young people with mental health problems, and the waiting times they face. 

This report shows that over a quarter of young people referred to specialist mental health services are not accepted for treatment. Little progress has been made in reducing the high proportion of young people who are not accepted into specialist services despite having been referred by a concerned GP or teacher. While in some areas good quality early intervention services are in place to help these young people, these are not consistently provided across the country.

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Image source: epi.org.uk

When referrals are accepted, young people in many areas are still waiting an unacceptably long time for treatment. The case for national waiting time standards to be put in place is therefore strong. Some progress is, however, being made in reducing waiting times to treatment, which may be due to the additional funding earmarked for children’s mental health services.

Full report: Access and waiting times in children and young people’s mental health services | Emily Frith | Education Policy Institute

PHE launches Rise Above for Schools programme

New schools programme to equip young people with coping strategies for modern life | PHE

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Image source: VFS Digital Design – Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Dynamic new resources for teachers will help build crucial life-skills for young people to boost their resilience and improve their mental health and wellbeing, as part of a new evidence-based programme for schools unveiled by Public Health England (PHE).

With around 1 in 5 young people experiencing cyberbullying and 1 in 3 reporting that their body was “too fat”, pupils aged between 11 and 16 will be taught how to cope with some of modern life’s most challenging issues, equipping young people with resilience skills that will help them throughout adulthood.

PHE has developed a series of new resources for secondary school teachers to use in their lesson plans as part of the Rise Above for Schools programme. The resources will help teachers to engage pupils with coping strategies about ‘traditional’ health issues, like smoking and alcohol, while also addressing some of the most challenging pressures young people face today in an ‘always on’ social media generation.

Read the full press release here

New liver disease data shows major variation across England

The rate of people dying early from liver disease in some parts of England is almost 8 times higher than others. | Public Health England

New data published by Public Health England (PHE) shows a wide variation of premature mortality rates from liver disease across England.

Liver disease is almost entirely preventable with the major risk factors, alcohol, obesity and Hepatitis B and C, accounting for up to 90% of cases. The atlas will help health professionals to allocate their resources to improve patient outcomes.

The atlas shows premature mortality rates – dying before the age of 75 – ranged from 3.9 per 100,000 in South Norfolk clinical commissioning group (CCG) to 30.1 per 100,000 in Blackpool CCG, a 7.7 fold difference.

The atlas paints a mixed picture, with 10 indicators showing improvements including a reduction of premature deaths and fewer alcohol-specific hospital admissions for under 18s.

Nine of the indicators have become worse over time, including a doubling of hospital admission rates for cirrhosis from 54.8 per 100,000 to 108.4 per 100,000 people over the past decade. This indicator also varies significantly across the country with an 8.5 fold variation across CCGs and this gap has widened over the past decade.

The 2nd Atlas of Variation in risk factors and healthcare for liver disease in England will be published on the PHE fingertips website.

Health economics: evidence resource

This resource provides a summary of economic evidence underpinning public health interventions

The health economic evidence resource  tool shows the key cost-effectiveness and return on investment evidence on activities in the public health grant.

Each piece of evidence is summarised across over 20 criteria to provide details on how the results were created and to highlight the inputs and assumptions used in the original studies. This allows users to understand the relevance and apply the evidence to their local setting.

Also updated is Health economics: a guide for public health teams. This guide includes health economics evidence and tools that can help:

  • calculate the best public health investments or disinvestments in your local area
  • compare costs, savings and clinical outcomes

 

 

Preventing heart attacks and strokes

NHS launches new drive to save thousands of people from heart attacks and strokes | Public Health England

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New analysis from Public Health England suggests that there is now an opportunity to prevent more than 9,000 heart attacks and at least 14,000 strokes over the next 3 years with better detection and management of:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • atrial fibrillation (AF)

Around 5.5 million people in England have undiagnosed high blood pressure and nearly half a million have undiagnosed AF, which are both usually symptomless conditions that substantially increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, dementia and limb amputations.

The new analysis shows the scale of the prevention opportunity across England over 3 years if treatment of these high-risk conditions is optimised. Achieving optimal treatment in all people with diagnosed high blood pressure has the potential to avert up to 9,710 heart attacks and 14,500 strokes, saving up to £274 million. Achieving optimal treatment for those diagnosed with AF has the potential to avert up to 14,220 strokes, saving £241 million.

Full story at Public Health England