Improving healthcare access for people with learning disabilities

Guidance for social care staff on how to help people with learning disabilities get better access to medical services to improve their health | Public Health England

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The health charter for social care and accompanying guidance provide information about the steps organisations and providers can take to improve the health and wellbeing of the people they support. There are practical tips as well as links to further information and useful resources.

There is also a self-assessment tool to enable organisations signed up to the health charter to measure progress and develop an action plan for improvements.

The series of short information sheets show social care staff how they can help people with learning disabilities to get better access to health services.

The documents can be accessed via Public Health England

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Suicide Prevention Planning Guidance – One Year On

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Image source: Public Health England/National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

In this latest Public Health Matters article, Helen Garnham and Gregor Henderson look at the progress made since the publication of Public Health England’s  suicide prevention planning guidance

Along with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance  (NSPA), Public Health England have produced a range of resources to support suicide prevention, and the latest release includes examples of good practice and a series of case studies.

These are supported by a slide pack which professionals can use to make the case and provide guidance on developing suicide prevention activities as well as a range of infographics. 

Full detail via Public Health Matters

Alcohol, drugs and tobacco: commissioning support pack

Annually updated alcohol, drugs and tobacco commissioning support pack for local authorities | Public Health England

This commissioning support pack will help local authorities to develop joint strategic needs assessment and local joint health and wellbeing strategies which effectively address public health issues relating to alcohol, drug and tobacco use.

The pack covers 4 topics, which are:

  • planning alcohol harm prevention, treatment and recovery in adults
  • planning drugs prevention, treatment and recovery in adults
  • planning comprehensive interventions for young people
  • planning comprehensive local tobacco control interventions

For each of these topics, there are:

  • a set of good practice principles and indicators to help local areas assess need and plan and commission effective services and interventions
  • bespoke data for each local area to help them commission effective services and interventions

Documents available via Public Health England

Depression in children and young people

NICE has published a guideline on identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years.

This guideline covers identifying and managing depression in children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years. Based on the stepped care model, it aims to improve recognition and assessment and promote effective treatments for mild, moderate and severe depression.

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Image source: www.nice.org.uk

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Full guideline: Depression in children and young people: identification and management

NICE recommends ‘lifestyle tips’ for 1.7m at risk of type 2 diabetes

People at the highest risk of type 2 diabetes should be given intensive exercise and weight loss help by the NHS, NICE has recommended.

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Healthcare professionals, from GPs to community nurses and pharmacists, should refer people with elevated blood sugars to exercise classes and nutrition courses, NICE has said in updated guidance.  Lifestyle-change programmes, such as NHS England and Public Health England (PHE)’s ‘Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’, provide personalised help for patients to change their diet and increase their physical activity.

NICE has identified 1.7 million people as having the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and  recommends that GPs should see specific groups of patients for a diabetes risk assessment.

Full guidance: Type 2 diabetes: prevention in people at high risk

Mental health services: cost-effective commissioning

Return on investment resources to support local commissioners in designing and implementing mental health and wellbeing support services. | Public Health England

Public Health England has produced a series of resources around mental health services.

The commissioning report summarizes the evidence on promoting good mental health and reducing the impact of poor mental health, generated through a rapid evidence review.

The return on investment (ROI) tool and user guide:

  • builds on the evidence in the commissioning report
  • can be adapted to local conditions
  • presents results showing the economic benefits of each intervention
  • show you how to use the ROI tool

The barriers and facilitator report identifies issues that can make the commissioning of mental health and wellbeing interventions easier or more difficult in a local area.

Local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, Health and Wellbeing Boards and their local partners (for example schools, employers, police) can use these set of resources to improve the provision of mental health services.

The documnets can be accessedd via Public Health England

Improving air quality across England

Councils should do more to enforce no vehicle idling outside schools, hospitals, and care homes, to protect the vulnerable from the harmful effects of air pollution and improve air quality across England. | NICE | Public Health England | via OnMedica

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Joint guidance issued today from NICE and Public Health England (PHE) suggests bylaws to enforce engine switch-off while cars are stationary could help protect the vulnerable from the harmful effects of air pollution.

Air pollution is harmful to everyone, but some people are more at risk than others, it says: children and young teens and older people are more susceptible, as are those with respiratory conditions or heart problems. PHE estimate long-term exposure to particulate air pollution has ‘an effect equivalent to’ around 25,000 deaths a year in England, making air pollution the largest environmental risk linked to deaths every year. The health impact of air pollution caused by human activities in the UK is thought to cost between £8.5 and £18.6 billion a year.

Full story at OnMedica

Download the guidance: Air pollution: outdoor air quality and health