Published Thu, 2012-02-09 11:31; updated 4 years ago.

Health Information News February 2012

This newsletter is intended for staff who provide health information to the public across the West Midlands to keep informed of latest news and resources available in the Health Information field. These newsletters will now be archived on the NHS local website under the section for EQUIP newsletters - you would like to submit a news item – email

I am now Twittering as @equipNHS – I intend to post a lot of these sorts of news items and events on an (almost) daily basis – so ‘follow’ @equipNHS.

Focus on… New Public Health System

The new public health system - This suite of factsheets provide more details on the design of the new public health system, including the role and responsibilities of local government in public health, the operating model for the new executive agency Public Health England and an overview of how the whole system will work.

Launch of public health outcomes framework; implications for consumer health information -In a briefing document  PiF advisory group member, Ruth Carlyle summarizes the speech given by Andrew Lansley, Secretary of State for Health, at an event at the Royal Society of Public Health to launch the new public health outcomes framework on 23 January 2012. There is also a summary for PiF members on the opportunities and issues that this speech raises for consumer health information. Read more

Healthy lives, healthy people: improving outcomes and supporting transparency - This new public health framework sets out the desired outcomes for public health and how these will be measured. It focuses on two high-level outcomes in particular: increased healthy life expectancy; and reduced differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy between communities.

For the latest information and news about the changes taking place in public health system and the future Public Health England. Read the lastest issues of the bulletins here:

  1. Transforming Public Health Bulletinfrom Anita Marsland, Transition Managing Director for Public Health England to keep up-to-date with recent developments.

  2. Public Health Responsibility Deal BulletinThis bulletin allows partners and interested parties to keep up to date with work on the Deal and will highlight interesting developments across the Deal.

Keep up to date with recent development in Public Health England in the Department of Health's dedicated webpage


New DH Campaign Resource Centre provides easy access to latest public health campaigns -The Department of Health online Campaign Resource Centre was launched this week, providing easy access to all DH public health campaign information and resources.  Keeping you up to date with the latest campaign news, the Campaign Resource Centre will also give you access to the leaflets, posters, ads and toolkits available to support the campaigns.  Each campaign section offers a summary of the public health campaign together with all the resources available to support it.

Bowel Cancer Awareness Campaign and factsheet for GPs - DH has published ‘How GPs can prepare for Be Clear on Cancer’. This 4-page factsheet has been produced to support GPs in the first NHS national bowel cancer symptom awareness campaign in Englandbeing launched this month. They provide GPs with further information about the campaign and suggest how they can prepare for it. The aim of this national campaignis to raise public awareness of the symptoms of bowel cancer and to encourage those with persistent symptoms to present promptly. Although the great majority of people may not have bowel cancer, some may. By catching the cancer earlier it should be more treatable. This is part of the programme aimed towards improvement of cancer survival rates. The national Be Clear on bowel  cancer awareness campaign will run from 30 January 2012 to the end of March and further information is available from the dedicated Bowel Cancer UK website. There is also a DH press releaseofficially launching the campaign. See also the press release from Cancer Research UK.

Food and drink – new guidelines in early years - The School Food Trusthas published new guidelines on food and drink in early years. Nurseries, childminders and other providers of early years services now have extra support on providing healthy meals for young children and to help reduce obesity in under-fives. This follows an independent report in 2010 which flagged demand for clearer guidance from childcare providers and parents. Whilst many childcare providers are already doing good work in this area, research suggests that some are giving young children food which is more appropriate for older children and adults. This can mean children eat too little energy, carbohydrate and essential minerals such as iron and zinc, and too much salt and sugar. There is also a BBC News report.

NHS Quit Kit - DH has announcedthe launch of a national TV and radio advertising campaign to encourage smokers to quit. Smokers can pick up a new and improved NHS Quit Kitfrom thousands of pharmacies across England to help them. The campaign aims to increase the number of quit attempts by smokers and to help make those quit attempts more successful. It will run until 31 March 2012. More than 7,000 pharmacies across England have already signed up to distribute Quit Kits in 2012 – nearly double the number of participants in 2011.

Pfizer UK Foundation: Funding for Health Inequality projects -The Pfizer UK Foundation supports healthcare organisations in the UK working at a local level to address health inequalities resulting from social, economic, cultural and demographic factors. The community-based projects supported tackle those health inequalities in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales that fall outside core NHS statutory funding.  The Pfizer UK Foundation donates £1 million in grants each year and supports projects that clearly tackle a defined health inequality in a specific local area or marginalised community. Charities, community-led organisations, local authorities, academic bodies and NHS organisations are eligible. Read more

Research about eHealth Literacy: Extending the digital divide to the realm of health information -eHealth literacy is defined as the ability of people to use emerging information and communications technologies to improve or enable health and health care. The goal of this study was to explore whether literacy disparities are diminished or enhanced in the search for health information on the Internet.  The study showed that those who were highly eHealth literate tended to be younger and more educated than their less eHealth-literate counterparts. They were also more active consumers of all types of information on the Internet, used more search strategies, and scrutinized information more carefully than did the less eHealth-literate respondents. Finally, respondents who were highly eHealth literate gained more positive outcomes from their information search.

New resources give practical, culturally sensitive dietary advice for South Asian population -Nutrition and Diet Resources UK (NDR-UK) this week launched South Asian Nutrition’s (SAN) resources which give practical culturally sensitive dietary advice for South Asian populations. This range of 13 different titles is available to order (not available online) in English, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu language versions.  It includes topics such as healthy eating, heart health and diabetes, with advice for specific dietary concerns such as meal and snack ideas, calcium and iron intake.

Patient access concerns voiced by GPC -The BMA’s General Practitioner Committee have said they are concerned giving patients access to their online record could risk their medical history being used against them, and may create more work for GPs having to explain medical terms to worried patients. The committee did not think giving patients access to their records was a bad idea. However, the committee said the GPC did have significant concerns about a number of issues including security and ensuring patients were not coerced into sharing their records with a third party

New Information Standard website goes live- Following feedback from member organisations and consumers, The Information Standard website has been updated and is now live. The refreshed website has been designed to enhance the experience for visitors to the site. New features include a new searchbox on the homepage enabling visitors to the site to quickly find certified organisations and a new secured area for organisations that are going through certification – providing help and guidance for them. Read more

Youthhealthtalk launches information about patient and parent experience of medicines trials in young people -Insight into the experience of being a child taking part in a clinical trial designed to test new medication or vaccines – as well as the experience of deciding whether to allow your son or daughter to participate in such a study – is provided in two online resources launched this week. Two new sections of the experiential health websites, and, carry interviews with parents and children talking about how they found out about trials, why they decided to take part or, in some cases, decline an invitation to participate, as well as what information they needed and were given and how they felt about the experience. Read more

New website and app launched -EMIS has re-launched its patient information website with a new look and plans for a a series of apps; including one that will let patients book an appointment from their smartphone. receives 5m unique visits a month. The number of people viewing it on a mobile device rose from 8.6% to around 21% between January and December last year. The re-launched site has a more modern look and simpler navigation.

Assistive technology - DH has published the following press release 'Three million lives will be improved through hi- tech health project'. Over the next five years DH will work with industry, NHS, social care and professionals to bring the benefits of assistive technology such as telehealth and telecare to people with long term conditions. Telehealth and telecare use electronic equipment to read vital health signs such as pulse, weight, respiration and blood oxygen levels, which can be read remotely by health professionals in a different location. It means that people can stay in their own homes knowing that a doctor or nurse will be alerted should there be a problem.

Care planning and diabetes - NHS Diabetes has launched a new edition of the NHS Diabetes Knowledge and Information Repository seriescovering care planning and diabetes. It provides an overview of diabetes care planning and synthesises key policy papers; national body statements; clinical and care guidelines; and key research and evaluation papers.

Smokefree Creative Toolkit - NHS Smokefree has published ‘The Smokefree Creative Toolkit’. Designed to support local marketing activity, the toolkit contains free artwork templates that can be localised for a range of promotional activities. Please note staff will have to register on the site to access the full toolkit.

Long term conditions- NHS Improvementhas published 'Effective pathways for long term conditions'. This brochure identifies four key areas across a pathway where patients and carers want improvements: stabilising the condition to get patients back to living their lives; supporting patients to live their lives through monitoring and review; timely intervention to the appropriate service when things go wrong; and providing choice and support towards the end of life.  The examples within the areas of focus highlight specific specialty approaches but they have wider applicability regardless of the disease or for patients with one or more conditions.

NHS 111: getting lost in translation? - The NHS Alliancehas published ‘NHS 111: getting lost in translation’?According to a recent NHS Alliance discussion paper and survey, the new urgent care telephone number NHS 111 has the potential to bring real benefits to the health care system but is in danger of ‘getting lost in translation’. It found that the new clinical commissioners currently feel a lack of engagement with NHS 111, despite the fact that they are the key people responsible for its implementation across England by April 2013.

Local HealthWatch - DH has announced further information, including a new start date and more funding for local HealthWatch bodies. Following feedback from local authorities and Local Involvement Networks (LINks) they now have until April 2013 to work with local health experts and volunteers to establish the local HealthWatch. The new local health bodies are set to replace LINks and will be the local consumer champion for patients, service users and the public. From next year, an additional £3.2m will also be made available to local authorities to establish local HealthWatch. In addition, more than £370,000 will also be made available until the end of the 2011/12 financial year for 75 HealthWatch pathfinders, who are pioneering and testing out plans ahead of the full establishment of local HealthWatch across the country. In a related but separate development, DH has published the following Dear Colleague letter ‘Local Healthwatch’. This letter from David Behan, Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships, explains about the establishing of Local Healthwatch in April 2013 which will require support towards closer alignment for establishing new bodies such as the Health and Wellbeing Boards.

Macmillan Cancer Supportpublishes 2012 directory of information materials for people affected by cancer - Macmillan Cancer Support's 'A directory of information materials for people affected by cancer' is a single source of reference to leaflets and booklets written for people affected by cancer. It covers cancer in general, specific cancers, cancer treatments, and living with cancer. It is arranged by cancer type and detailed indices allow users to identify resources by title, subject, language and format. This edition has details of 1165 booklets and leaflets published in the UK in the last five years by a wide range of organisations, such as national cancer charities and support groups and government departments.   



NHS local learning website goes live -We are very pleased to announce that NHS local Learning is live. NHS local Learning is a new digital service through which health professionals in the West Midlands can take e-learning courses and update their skills. If you have not visited already, please take a look around. We hope you like what you see. Please share it with colleagues and other learners. At NHS local we are always looking for ways to improve what we build so if you have suggestions and comments please get in touch as we will be updating the site regularly. You can in touch by emailing Patrick Flavelle , NHS local’s head of content, or viaTwitter@NHSlocal

Patient choice -One of our key ambitions at NHS local is to improve patient choice across the region. We plan to release a new service that enables patients to easily understand how well a hospital trust is performing.  Performance and Opinion will offer the opportunity for patients to rate hospitals themselves and give their own comments and tips, so that others can make a well-informed decisions about where they want to be treated. We have already worked with a group of staff and patients to test this new service. We plan to go live in the next few weeks so watch this space!

Sorted!- A new self-help books service called ‘Sorted!  It’s all about me’ is now available in public libraries and in pilot schools and colleges in Warwickshire, endorsed by CAMHs and Educational Psychology teams and with books chosen by young people for young people in Warwickshire.  There are a number of schemes in public libraries for children and young people based on the Books on Prescription model, however Sorted! is aimed primarily at adolescents, plus it is being piloted in school and college settings in Warwickshire.  A similar scheme is also soon to be introduced in public libraries in Coventry, in response to requests from health professionals who work across both Coventry and Warwickshire.  For full details of the Warwickshire scheme go to

Telford & Wrekin Libraries are starting to promote the Six Book Challenge for 2012.  Each year when we have done this, it has proved really successful and we would love other individuals to take part. The Six Book Challenge is coordinated by The Reading Agency and it is aimed at people who are trying to improve their essential skills or who have got out of that reading habit and need a little encouragement to get back into it again. It is ideal for:

  • adult learners of all abilities including people new to English

  • people with a variety of disabilities who may find it hard to access traditional adult books

  • newly retired people who find they now have time to read but have no idea where to start

  • people who may find reading for pleasure of benefit to their mental health

The idea is that you need to read six books between now and May 31stfrom the libraries’ range of “First Steps” books. These are shorter, sharper and more accessible than many “traditional” books and cover a wide variety of levels. There is also the option of reading children’s books/ picture books for people with particular disabilities and needs. The main thing is it should be an enjoyable experience. The reader completes a reading diary as they go and collects incentives for each book they read.  When they complete six books, they receive a certificate and are entered into a national prize draw – top prize is an overnight stay for 2 people in London plus a show plus £150 spending money all courtesy of the Reading Agency! People can start the Challenge at their local library and I am also very willing to visit local groups to promote it. Some groups who cannot visit the library may be able to do it at their regular setting with help from their normal staff and collections of books I can leave on site so, if you would like to know more, contact the Adult reader Development Team based at Madeley Library on 01952 382921 or ask at your local library.

Making it Real Peer Challenge Coventry, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton local authorities have agreed to be pilot site areas for the Making It Real Peer Challenge project. Think Local, Act Personal is the sector wide commitment to transform adult social care through personalisation and community-based support. It committed over 30 national organisations to work together and to develop, as one of the key priorities, a set of markers. These markers will be used to support all those working towards personalisation. This will help organisations check their progress and decide what they need to do to keep moving forward to deliver real change and positive outcomes with people. This exercise will help Councils understand views about Personalisation from people who use services. Changing our Lives are delivering workshops to capture the thoughts and ideas of the people personalisation matters most too.

  • 7th February 10.00am to 12.00pm or 1.00pm to 3.00pm

Molineux Stadium, Room 20, Waterloo Road Entrance

  • 8th February 10.00am to 12.00pm or 1.00pm to 3.00pm

A4I Centre, 25-38 Albert Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 0AF

  • 9th February 10.00am to 12.00pm

Molineux Stadium, Room 20, Waterloo Road Entrance

Your comments and feedback will be used to identify what works well and areas for improvement. Thank you for participating, the results of the exercise will be made available to you. Please could you let Claire Johnson know on 0121 533 7174 or Claire@changingourlives.orgif you are able to attend.

Upcoming Expert patient Programme (EPP) Courses February/March 2012 in Wolverhampton - The Expert Patient Programme is a course for anyone over 10 who has a long term condition physical or emotional, who would like to find ways of managing their illness more positively in order to improve/maintain their quality of life. The programme builds on the principle that people with long-term health problems know best how their condition affects the way they feel, their lifestyle and their ability to accomplish activities important to them. The course also looks at ways to positively manage symptoms, to improve on daily activities and manage the changing emotions that can be brought about by a physical/emotional illness. Courses are available throughout the whole year and the next set of sessions start early in February. To book or for further information contact the Expert patient Team on 01902 445627.

For more local health news stories visit NHS Local –



Would you like to improve your understanding of how the Internet might be used for healthcare? University of Plymouth and Devon Partnership NHS Trust are running a free online discussions programme where you can learn about various Internet resources for healthcare (such as forums, web-based interventions, video-calling) and share your views with other health professionals and health service users.

  • All participation will be anonymous enabling informal, safe and open discussions

  • Step-by-step guidance given & online assistance available

  • £10 e-voucher for service users & Certificate of Programme Completion for health professionals (beneficial for CPD records) who complete the programme

  • No need for travel as programme is run online & accessible from your home computer

They are running online discussion programmes on e-health for:

  • Carers - Wed 22nd Feb - Wed 29th Feb

The programme only takes a few hours participation, beginning with a 1-hour live webcast (6-7pm) presented from Plymouth University (with up-to-date knowledge of the literature on the effectiveness of e-health for healthcare) and discussion forum access. The forum remains open for a week for new topic discussions and concludes with a final 1-hour live webcast (6-7pm). The aim is to raise awareness of various methods, facilitate communication and gather stakeholders' views. more info.

28th February, 16th May and 27th June 2012Free Information Standard Workshops -The Information Standard is a scheme designed to improve health and social care information available to the patient & public.The Information Standard is a scheme supported by The Department of Health to help patient and public identify trustworthy and reliable sources of health and social care information through an easily recognisable quality mark. The scheme is designed for producers of health and social care information to improve their processes and provide a structure framework to produce health and social care information that will be clear, concise, accurate, up-to-date, impartial & trustworthy information. If you are interested in The Information Standard and would like to know more please sign up to attend one of our one-day training courses which is free of charge.  Even if your interest in The Information Standard is at an early stage attending one of these sessions will help learn more about the scheme and understand the steps to becoming certified. If you wish to book a place at one of these training days please click here. Places are limited so please book before you miss out. Can't make any of these dates? click here and let us know so that we can schedule more dates in your region.

Wednesday 29thFebruary, 2012 from 12:00pm - 2:30pm at St Peter's Community Centre, Charles Street 'City Wide' Healthier Neighbourhood Group Meeting, Coventry. The meeting is for Coventry health professionals, service providers, statutory and voluntary sector professionals working in health or work which impacts directly on the health of local residents. We are very privileged to be able to present Comedian and Journalist Natasha Donovan who also works at Kings College Medical School London training doctors with their communication skills.  She will take us on a unique learning opportunity via light-hearted journey from the patients point of view in accessing various healthcare services from a wide range of medical and health professionals. This is an ideal opportunity to network with other professionals working across Coventry and enhance the patient experience. If you wish to attend please could you confirm your attendance via email to by Monday 27th February, 2012 to cater for numbers for lunch and seating.

1stMay 2012 - PiF Annual Conference– 9.30am - 5.00pm
Thinktank Science Museum, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham B4 7XG. “Choice- valueless without meaningful information”, is the seventh annual Patient Information Forum conference, looking at how consumer health information enables patients and the public to make choices, take part in shared decision making, change behaviour and manage long term conditions. The programme is a mix of plenary sessions, workshops and debate, which gives delegates the opportunity to learn about ongoing and new work in consumer health information, understand the impact that information can have and learn new practical skills to apply in their own place of work. The draft programme currently includes sessions on shared decision making, information that changes behaviour, evaluating the impact of information and assessing quality. Practical sessions include short show and tell sessions on using major social media, creating decision aids and using online communities and patient experience. The full programme and speakers are being confirmed and details will be available shortly. Booking now available at discount rate, or contact Nicole Naylor at

2nd-8thJuly – Health Information Week– a West Midlands campaign to raise awareness of good quality health information resources for the public. Contact sarah.greening@westmidlands.nhs.ukfor more information.

EQUIP has a wider list of events that is regularly updated - can also add your own events to EQUIP using the online form -

Other online newsletters in the West Midlands:

Telford & Wrekin PCT Community Health & Enterprise Centre (CHEC) have a newsletter available at the docs folder.

Voluntary Action Coventry Newsletter -

Health Newscan found on the NHS Birmingham East and North website at

Reading Agency (is National but interesting newsletter about public libraries etc) -

Other links to health-related news -