Bursting the Biomedical Bubble

A new report from NESTA argues that UK policy needs to shift dramatically away from the existing model of support for biomedical research which is dominated by big pharmaceutical industry towards research into social and non-traditional health solutions.

It argues that this approach will generate balance in research but would require significant political will to “tackle the power and influence of the biomedical community in shaping research priorities and the allocation of resources.”

Co-ordinating Health and Care

‘Destined to sink or swim together’ is a new report from the Richmond Group of major health charities calling for better integration between the health and social care sectors, more investment in public health and an increased role for the voluntary and community sector in delivering healthcare.

Health in Scottish Culture Plan

A draft cultural strategy produced by the Scottish Government places a strong emphasis on health as a key outcome for investment in culture.

The strategy - which is open for consultation until September 2018 cites the impact culture can have on those experiencing the greatest health inequalities.

NICE Guidance on Dementia

Revised guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggests that tailored activities are the best way to offer support for people with a dementia diagnosis.

“Dementia: assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers” suggests that activities designed to promote wellbeing and tailored to people’s preferences will promote cognition and independence. It also advises that group reminiscence work should be offered to people living with mild to moderate dementia.

Deadline for Government Loneliness Consultation

A Government consultation on what works to tackle the health implications of loneliness is due to conclude on 20 July 2018.

The consultation is seeking responses about what works to prevent loneliness and how this could be better supported. The consultation will support the creation of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy.

Dance Features in Health Guidance

A new evidence review has listed dance as one of five key activities everyone should participate in for muscle and bone strengthening and balance. The review by Public Health England argues that dancing as a strengthening and balance activity reduces the risk of falls in older people and also helps improve mood, sleeping patterns, increases energy levels and reduces the risk of an early death.

Patient Engagement in AI

The innovation foundation NESTA has called on the NHS to act urgently to involve patients in digital innovations before it is “too late”. It suggests that Artificial Intelligence is likely to be in common usage in primary care within 5 years and that without public involvement, “AI technology could make NHS harder to access, or squeeze out doctor-patient dialogue”.

Attitudes to Ageing Linked to Health

A new report by the Royal Society for Public Health has found that people with negative attitudes to older people and ageing experience an adverse effect on their own health and wellbeing.

The report found that two thirds of the public have no friends with an age gap of 30 years or more. Of the 18-34 year olds asked, 25% of them believe it is "normal for older people to be unhappy and depressed". 30% of the public believe "being lonely is just something that happens when people get old"

Circus for Care Homes

The Baring Foundation has published a booklet of guidance for care settings that want to use circus to improve the health and wellbeing of older participants. Written by circus company Upswing, the guidance enables care homes and day centres to try out some simple circus games themselves.

Upswing was commissioned by Hull City of Culture 2017, funded by The Baring Foundation, to deliver a multi-sensory circus experience in care homes in the city. This booklet emerged out of that project and is designed for use by care homes and staff even without previous circus training.

US Report on Arts, Health and Wellbeing

An American network of artists, activists and community leaders has published a major report billed as a road to ‘Art and Wellbeing: Toward a Culture of Health’. The report includes a number of UK examples of good practice and offers a US perspective on challenging health inequalities through culture.


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