Alcohol and drugs prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

A new resource by Public Health England (PHE) poses this question, to support local commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals to make the case for investing in drug and alcohol treatment and interventions. 

Source: Public Health England

They have produced a set of 32 slides, like the example above which can be downloaded and shared in presentations.

All the Why invest? slides are available from PHE to download here 

There is more guidance on PHE’s website


Type 2 diabetes can be reversed with very low-calorie diet

Study shows that it is possible to achieve remission from type 2 diabetes by dieting | The Lancet | via National Institute for Health Research


Type 2 diabetes is a growing epidemic, costing the NHS £23.7 billion per year. By 2016 there were nearly 3.6 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and a further one million estimated to have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Rates of diabetes appear to be increasing.

This study aimed to see if a very low-calorie diet program delivered in primary care could lead to at least 15kg weight loss and remission of type 2 diabetes.

The study found that by 12 months:

  • Weight loss of 15kg or more was achieved by 24% of the intervention group compared to none of the usual care group. Average weight loss was 10kg in the intervention group versus 1kg in the usual care group.
  • Diabetes remission occurred in 46% of the intervention group compared to 4% of the usual care group. It only occurred in people who had lost weight.
  • Remission was 20 times more likely with the intervention.
  • Better adherence to the regime increased the amount of weight loss and the chance of diabetes remission.
  • Diabetes medication did not need to be reintroduced for 74% of the intervention group. This was compared to 18% of the usual care group who were able to stop them. Blood pressure tablets were also no longer required for 68% of the intervention group compared to 39% of the usual care group.

Full reference: Lean MEJ, Leslie WS, Barnes AC, et al. |  Primary care-led weight management for remission of type 2 diabetes (DiRECT): an open-label, cluster-randomised trial.  | Lancet. 2017. [Epub ahead of print].

Evidence review of homeless adults with complex needs

Public Health England South East have produced an evidence review examining homeless situation across England with insights into the current evidence base to support action to prevent and reduce homelessness. 


The evidence review has a particular focus on individuals who are street homeless and those who street beg to support efforts to prevent and reduce homelessness and the adverse outcomes associated with this.

PHE’s purpose was to provide an overview of the national picture in relation to homelessness and provide insights into the current evidence base to support action in preventing and reducing homelessness, particularly with those who are street sleeping and street begging.

This evidence review highlights some of the gaps in data, research and evidence that exist and recommends that:

  •  local authorities consider the findings of this review and how they may be able to utilise it in the context of their local situations (the publication has some toolkits, guides and strategies)
  • PHE considers the research/evidence/data gaps in this area and how they  may beable to overcome some of these and support the development of the evidence base for this highly complex and vulnerable group

    Further information from Public Health England
    The full review is available from PHE

Challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children

This guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people | Local Government Association

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At least one in 10 children and young people are affected by mental health problems, and the unreported figures are likely to be even higher. Young people are increasingly struggling with problems like anxiety, depression and self-harm, with nearly 19,000 young people admitted to hospital after harming themselves in 2015 – a 14 per cent rise over three years. This guide provides an overview of the challenges facing mental health and wellbeing services for children and young people.


Full report: Don’t be left in the dark: children and young people’s mental health

Adult obesity trends for England map

Public Health England Obesity Risk Factors Intelligence team have published a moving map showing the change in prevalence of adult obesity for each region in England from 1993-2016 based on Health Survey for England (HSE) data.

This is a useful presentational tool for local, regional and national practitioners and policy makers as it gives a visual representation of the scale of obesity in adults across England and how this has progressed over the years. It can be downloaded and used freely with acknowledgement to Public Health England.

The map along with other PHE obesity–related resources can be downloaded here


Independent expert e-cigarettes evidence review

An evidence review commissioned by Public Health England has been published on e-cigarettes.

Th review considers:

  • cigarette use among young people and adults
  •  public attitudes
  • the impact on quitting smoking
  • an update on risks to health and the role of nicotine

 The main findings of the evidence review are:

  • vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits
  • e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more
  • e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country
  • many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette
  • there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine)
  • the use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million
  • the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked).

An executive summary is available from Public Health England

The full report can be read here