Health e-news Friday 5 June

Health E-News is a weekly update on policy and guidelines from organisations including NICE and individual Royal Medical Colleges, and news and views on health related subjects and research from trusted sources such as The King’s Fund, Cochrane, The Health Foundation, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care.

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COVID-19 guidance and policy

CSP publish Covid-19 palliative care standards

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) has launched a new set of Covid-19 rehabilitation standards, specifically for use in palliative care. The standards, available in full on the CSP website are relevant for all settings, and provide a framework for those providing rehabilitation and physiotherapy for those with Covid-19 who are approaching the end of their life.

BPS publish guidance for psychologists working in palliative care

New guidance from the British Psychological Society (BPS) offers considerations and recommendations for psychologists working in palliative care. The guidance highlights some of the impacts that Covid-19 might have upon end of life care, and the modifications or adaptations that may be necessary to manage these. The guide notes the importance of adhering to the existing relevant NICE Quality Standards, and also stresses the importance of communication and how best to enable this.

Intercollegiate general surgery guidance on Covid-19

Updated intercollegiate guidance on general surgery and Covid-19 has been published, to reflect the information on re-starting surgery available from various organisations, and the emerging data and evidence available. The guidance specifically highlights two separate streams of surgical patients: elective patients known to be free from Covid-19; and acute patients whose status is unknown, and offers considerations for these.

COVID-19 related news

Research bodies boost support for mental health research on COVID-19

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are seeking research proposals on the identification and mitigation of the mental health effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Immediate priorities for research that have been identified include the effects of the pandemic on mental health in the whole population and in vulnerable groups; brain function and cognition; and the mental health of patients with COVID-19. The aim of the appeal for proposals is to reduce the emergence of new mental health problems, and to improve outcomes for those whose mental health has already been affected by the pandemic.

Public Health England review of disparities in Covid-19 risks

Public Health England (PHE) have published a review of surveillance data on the disparities in risks and outcomes of Covid-19 infection. Disparities were identified for those of older age, living in deprived areas, and male sex, which replicate the existing inequalities present in UK mortality rates. As broadly reported and discussed, a disparity for those from BAME groups also exists, which deviates from typical data. Many healthcare organisations have responded to the publication, including the NMC, the CSP, the RCP, the RCN, and the AOMRC.  The Health Foundation commented, the  BMA called for action to tackle the issues highlighted, while a report in the HSJ suggests that a section of the report was removed by the government before its publication.

NHS Employers highlight resources to support diversity and equality in the NHS

NHS Employers have highlighted a series of resources that can offer support, recommendations and guidance on implementing positive change on diversity, inclusion and equality within healthcare workplaces. Noting the diversity of the NHS workforce, the organisation points out the need to ensure that the working environment in health and social care is one where all staff feel supported and valued in their work, and are safe.        

Other news

Evidently Cochrane on the absence of evidence

The Evidently Cochrane blog, from the Cochrane Library, considers what the absence of evidence might or might not mean when it comes to research, using examples from recent Cochrane reviews, and newspaper reports of studies to illustrate the matter. The piece highlights some reasons why evidence may not exist, or might be unreliable, including small study sizes, insufficient data, or poorly designed studies, but goes on to impress that the lack of evidence for a treatment does not equate to proof of no effect.

NICE guidance

Nice guideline

NG157 Joint replacement (primary): hip, knee and shoulder

Technology appraisal

TA631 Fremanezumab for preventing migraine

NIHR alerts 

Apps to help patients take medication on time need to be evaluated in a consistent way


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