Adding extra years to life and extra life to those years: Local government guide to healthy ageing

Local Government Association, March 2018

The population is ageing. Over the last 10 years the number of people aged over 65 in England increased by a fifth – that’s nearly 1.7 million extra older people. But while the greater longevity is to be welcomed, far too many of those later years are being spent in poor health. That is bad for the individual and bad for the state. The longer a person spends in poor health the more health and care they need, so tackling it is a priority for local government aiming to reduce the impact of long-term conditions, turn the tide and make sure that those in old age are able to maintain their health, wellbeing and independence for as long as possible.

Click here to view the report.

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What makes us healthy?: An introduction to the social determinants of health

The Health Foundation, March 2018

This guide explores how a person’s opportunity for health is influenced by factors outside the health and social care system. It also shows that many people don’t have the same opportunities to be as healthy as others.  It identifies  how circumstances in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age: the social determinants of health. These can enable individuals and societies to flourish, or not.

Click here to view the full report.

The health, safety and wellbeing of shift workers in health and social care environments

The NHS Staff Council, March 2018

This guidance has been developed to highlight some of the key health, safety and wellbeing issues associated with shift work; and support managers to work in partnership with union representatives to mitigate the impact on staff and the organisation. Whilst patients are outside the scope of this document, by mitigating the impacts on staff, there is likely to be better  outcomes for patients.

This guidance covers staff under Agenda for Change terms and conditions but can be used to promote best practice in other areas.

Click here to view this guidance.

The risks to care quality and staff wellbeing of an NHS system under pressure

The Picker Institute, February 2018

Report  jointly authored by The Picker Institute and The King’s Fund on the impact of pressure on staff as a result of the current pressures on the NHS.  It finds that staff experience was associated with sickness absence rates, spend on agency staff and staffing levels. This indicates that staff wellbeing is impacted negatively by a workforce that is overstretched and supplemented by temporary staff. The consequence of this is that patient experience is also negatively associated with workforce factors: higher spend on agency staff, fewer doctors and especially fewer nurses per bed, and bed occupancy results in a poorer patient experience.

Click here to view this report.

Visual arts, mental health and wellbeing: evidence review

What Works Wellbeing, January 2018

This systematic review looks at the subjective wellbeing outcomes of engaging with (taking part in, performing, viewing) visual arts for ‘working-age’ adults (15-64 years) with diagnosed mental health conditions? It also examines the evidence on which processes have an impact on subjective wellbeing. It identifies evidence that shows that engaging in the visual arts for adults with mental health conditions can:

  • reduce reported levels of depression and anxiety
  • increase self-respect, self-worth and self-esteem
  • encourage and stimulate re-engagement with the wider, everyday social world
  • support in participants a potential re-negotiation of identity through practice-based forms of making or doing.

Click here to view the paper.

The wellbeing of 15 year-olds: further analysis of the 2014 What About YOUth? survey

Public Health England, January 2018

Report from Public Health England highlighting associations between health behaviours, other self-rated life factors (such as bullying and body image) and wellbeing. Its four main findings are:

  1. Young people who engaged in behaviour which might harm their health such as drinking and smoking, having poor diet or exercising rarely, or who had negative feelings towards their body size reported lower wellbeing than those who did not.
  2. Self-reported wellbeing varied depending on the relative affluence or deprivation of the family, with those whose families were in more affluent groups and living in the least deprived areas reporting higher average wellbeing.
  3. Young people who stated that they had a disability, long-term illness or medical condition reported lower wellbeing than those who did not.
  4. Young people who described their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or ‘other’ were more likely to have lower wellbeing than those who declared themselves heterosexual. On average these young people also reported lower life satisfaction and happiness, and higher anxiety.

Click here to view the full report.

Life in ‘likes’: Children’s Commissioner report into social media use among 8-12 year olds

Children’s Commissioner, January 2018

Children’s Commissioner’s report on the effects of social media on 8-to-12-year-olds examines the way children use social media and its effects on their wellbeing. ‘Life in Likes’ fills a gap in research showing how younger children use platforms which social media companies say are not designed for them. Whilst most social media sites have an official age limit of 13 years, some research has suggested ¾ of 10-to-12 year olds have a social media account.

While 8-10s use social media in a playful, creative way – often to play games – this changes significantly as children’s social circles expand as they grow older. This report shows that many Year 7 children are finding social media hard to manage and becoming over-dependent on ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ for social validation. They are also adapting their offline behaviour to fit an online image, and becoming increasingly anxious about ‘keeping up appearances’ as they get older.

Click here to view the report.