Public Health Update
Starting and Developing Well
NCMP operational guidance
PHE has published National Child Measurement Programme: operational guidance 2019 comprising new guidance for local commissioners and providers involved in implementing the programme, which is key to monitoring progress with the Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan.
Local authorities are required to deliver, to NHS Digital, the NCMP surveillance data that informs PHOF indicators on excess weight in children aged 4-5 years, and 10-11 years; LAs are also encouraged to provide parents with their children’s results. The guidance includes separate chapters covering; planning and carrying out NCMP measurements; how children’s results should be shared with parents, and what proactive follow-up should be offered; and information governance aspects of the programme, including sharing and analysis of the data.
New resources to help midwifery teams support smoke-free pregnancies
Public Health England has worked with the NHS and the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training to develop new e-learning resources highlighting the importance of supporting women to have a smokefree pregnancy, focussing on the delivery of Very Brief Advice (VBA) and Carbon Monoxide monitoring. There is also a series of new educational materials to support local training on this issue. The new e-learning resources have been developed to complement existing e-learning programmes and include two short films to help maternity teams think about real-life situations they may face and consider how they can act to offer women the best possible support. The new resources are available here (registration required to access). Two associated blogs have also been published this week from Viv Bennett (PHE Chief Nurse) and Jacqui Dunkley-Bent (NHS E, Chief Midwife).
Early Help Resource Pack
‘Early help’ covers a broad range of services and support that are brought in before any formal interventions to help children, young people and families achieve good outcomes. This resource pack is designed to help all councillors to better understand their own local offer and how they can look at the role of evidence in developing and improving early help services. ‘Early intervention’ is the part of early help that provides support to children and young people who are identified as being at risk of poor outcomes, such as mental health problems, poor academic attainment or involvement in crime or antisocial behaviour. This support is more intensive than, or additional to, the help available through universal early help services, targeting specific issues to prevent problems occurring, or to tackle them head-on before they get worse.
Spotting the Signs of Perinatal Mental Health Problems
A new campaign is encouraging new and expectant mums in Humber, Coast and Vale to look after their mental health. The Every Mum Matters Campaign aims to support new mothers, mums-to-be and their families to recognise symptoms of perinatal mental health problems early and to seek help promptly.
NHS to Launch Young People’s Gambling Addiction Service
The first NHS gambling clinic for children will open this year as part of a new network of services being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Up to 14 new NHS clinics are being opened starting with the NHS Northern Gambling Service in Leeds this summer, followed by Manchester and Sunderland. The National Problem Gambling Clinic in London will also offer specialist help for children and young people aged 13 to 25, as part of an expansion that will also increase available treatment for adults.
Health and Social Care Committee launch inquiry into dental services
Dentistry has been a part of the NHS since its inception in 1948. Previous governments have acknowledged that NHS dentistry has been too focused on treatment rather than prevention. The government is currently testing prototypes for a new dental contract with an emphasis on prevention.
Public Health England has published the following information relating to vaccination:
- Poster for the 2019 to 2020 flu season – shows the different types of flu vaccines available and the clinical risk groups that they are applicable to
- Vaccination of individuals with uncertain or incomplete immunisation status – single page reminder based on ‘Immunisation against infections disease: the Green Book’ to help health professionals vaccinate people correctly
Local Suicide Prevention Planning in England – An independent progress report
This joint report between the Samaritans and the University of Exeter is the first ever nation-wide view of suicide prevention planning within local authorities in England. This is critical to understanding what needs to happen next to save more lives.
The key findings were:
- Reducing risk in men – This was included in 97% of local authority plans and 70% were delivering action.
- Children and young people – This was included in 92% of local authority plans and 80% were delivering action.
- Bereavement support – This was included in 97% of local authority plans and 71% were delivering action.
- Preventing self-harm – This was included in 92% of local authority plans and 55% were delivering action.
The report concludes that local plans include a wealth of ambition to prevent suicide, and cites a number of Yorkshire and Humber Local Authority plans. The focus should now be on ensuring actions are delivered effectively to save lives. The full report provides an overview of activity in plans, with regional analysis and recommendations against a number of priority areas and can be downloaded here.
Free Online Suicide Prevention Training – Zero Suicide Alliance
There is a free online training course in suicide prevention from the Zero Suicide Alliance available that takes just 20 minutes. All NHS staff are currently being encouraged to complete the training and the training is also suitable for local government staff. The training aims to enable people to identify when someone is experiencing suicidal feelings, to be able to speak out in a supportive manner, and to empower them to signpost the individual to the correct services or support.
Respiratory health in Yorkshire and the Humber
Public Health England has published State of respiratory health in Yorkshire and the Humber 2019. This report examines respiratory diseases across the life course for the Yorkshire and Humber population, highlighting examples of good practice, as well as opportunities for improvement in both primary prevention and disease management.
Older people’s medicines
Age UK has published More harm than good: why more isn’t always better with older people’s medicines (pdf). This report highlights the ways that older people can end up taking medicines that do them no benefit and may put them at risk of harm. It also looks at the risk of undertreating older people who miss out on beneficial treatments because of assumptions about their age and health status. It calls for every older person to be treated as an individual with their care optimised to best meet need.
Housing for older and disabled people
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has updated its guidance on housing for older and disabled people.
Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health Bulletin August 2019
Please click here to view the bulletin.
Call for local authorities to help rough sleepers in hot weather
Heather Wheeler, Minister for Housing and Homelessness, has written to local authorities to remind them of the importance of triggering the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol that aims to move rough sleepers off the street when hot weather poses a risk to their health. The protocol, from the charity Homeless Link, provides advice on what can be done to help those on the streets that are struggling to cope in extreme heat; the public are encouraged to use the Streetlink tool to alert local support services to those in need. To read more about PHE’s advice, please consult our heatwave guidance for England.
Mental health implementation plan published, including addressing mental health needs of rough sleepers
NHS England have published its mental health implementation plan. The plan includes transformation funding that will be made available to at least 20 areas over the next five years, via targeted allocation, to fund new specialist mental health provision for people who sleep rough. In addition, all areas, whether or not they receive the new funding, are expected to have a mechanism in place to ensure mental health services can support rough sleepers, which should be reflected in local five-year plans.
The King’s Fund has produced an animation What is population health? The animation looks at what a ‘population health’ approach is and what role everyone can play in keeping communities healthy.
New guidance for local authorities on preparing for climate change
Boosting climate change resilience in local authorities, and helping them to manage and plan for climate change risk, are the aims of Preparing for a changing climate: good practice guidance for local government, published by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT). The new guide is designed for a wide range of officers working to implement adaptation within local government. It was developed by ADEPT and the Local Adaptation Advisory Panel (LAAP), with input from the Local Government Association, Core Cities, the NHS England Sustainable Development Unit and Public Health England.
Building healthy communities is an essential part of reducing health inequalities and “community hubs” are one way of building community capacity, strengthening social connections and widening access to services at a local level. PHE has produced a range of resources derived from the experience of the Bromley by Bow Centre charity, currently celebrating its 35th anniversary, with a view to sharing the evidence and learning gained from that project.