Diabetes 2015 – Care in Crisis survey

InDependent Diabetes Trust, October 2015

The InDependent Diabetes Trust’s (IDDT) report, ‘Diabetes 2015: Care in Crisis’ based on a survey of more than 15,000 people, shows that almost 40 per cent of people with diabetes believe the NHS has “worsened” since the £1.1bn health service reforms.  The results of the survey also show that nearly 40 percent feel they were not given appropriate advice and information about diet and exercise at the time of their diagnosis. The report calls on the government to introduce a specialist diabetes organisation which would work with the clinical community to drive improvements in care and stresses that CCGs should be more strongly encouraged to follow NICE commissioning guidance for diabetes education courses.

Click here to read the full report.

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NHS-approved apps leaking ID data

BBC News, 25 September 2015

Many smartphone health apps vetted and promoted by the NHS leak data that could be used for ID theft and fraud, a study finds…

Click here to read the full story.

Ensuring safe medical apps

BMC Medicine 2015, 13:205

Authors: Paul Wicks and Emil Chiauzzi

Mobile health apps are health and wellness programs available on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. In three systematic assessments published in BMC Medicine, Huckvale and colleagues demonstrate that widely available health apps meant to help patients calculate their appropriate insulin dosage, educate themselves about asthma, or perform other important functions are methodologically weak. Insulin dose calculators lacked user input validation and made inappropriate dose recommendations, with a lack of documentation throughout. Since 2011, asthma apps have become more interactive, but have not improved in quality; peak flow calculators have the same issues as the insulin calculators. A review of the accredited National Health Service Health Apps Library found poor and inconsistent implementation of privacy and security, with 28 % of apps lacking a privacy policy and one even transmitting personally identifying data the policy claimed would be anonymous. Ensuring patient safety might require a new approach, whether that be a consumer education program at one extreme or government regulation at the other. App store owners could ensure transparency of algorithms (whiteboxing), data sharing, and data quality. While a proper balance must be struck between innovation and caution, patient safety must be paramount.

Click here to read the full paper.

Accessing and sharing health records and patient confidentiality

House of Commons, September 2015

This briefing describes how patients may request access to their records, and the circumstances in which access to the records of others may be allowed.  The briefing also describes statutory and public interest disclosures of patient information; information sharing rules for people who lack mental capacity; and access to information on hereditary conditions for relatives.

Click here for further information and to access the briefing.

Accessible Information Standard

NHS England, June 2015

The Accessible Information Standard will be implemented on 31 July 2016 and aims to provide people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss with information that they can easily read or understand. This means informing organisations how to make sure people get information in different formats, for example in large print, braille or via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.  All organisations that provide NHS or adult social care are required to follow the new standard, including NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts, and GP practices.

Click here for further information.

Rise Above: a new health and wellbeing site for young people

Public Health England, March 2015

Public Health England has launched a new website, Rise Above, which offers help for young people on how to deal with personal and societal issues.

Created by young people for young people, Rise Above aims to build emotional resilience in people between 11 and 16 years old, by equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to make informed decisions, and help deal with the pressures of growing up.

The site covers topics such as puberty, relationships, alcohol, self-harm, smoking, contraceptive choices, drugs, body confidence, peer pressure and mental health and encourages conversations in a safe environment.

Click here to view the website.

New Legal Publications from Mind

Mind, January 2015

Mind have launched a range of new online legal publications aiming to explain in a simple and practical way what a person’s legal rights are, and what they can do to assert them. The publications should enable everyone to better understand complex subjects such as the Mental Capacity Act and employment discrimination.

Click here for more information and to download the publications.