News in numbers: September/October 2021

A breakdown of recent community health news, in numbers. Download the PDF, here

Orphanhood and caregiver deaths are a hidden effect of the Covid-19 pandemic

More than 860,000 children in 21 countries had been orphaned or lost a custodial grandparent as a result of Covid-19 by the end of April 2021.

New non-invasive method for diagnosing coeliac disease developed

Researchers from the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and Ikerbasque have developed a new method of diagnosing coeliac disease using saliva. 

Smoke-free outdoor areas could reduce health risks

Governments should consider including private cars in smoke-free policies to protect child health, according to a systematic study review published in The Lancet.

Swimming may boost children’s vocabulary

A recent study by the University of Delaware suggests swimming could help improve vocabulary learning among children. 

More parents of teenagers in the US bought firearms during the pandemic

A national survey by Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens found 10% of all households with teenagers of high school age bought a firearm between March and July 2020. 

More research needed to improve cancer survival rates in young people

Survival rates for adolescents and young adults with cancer vary considerably depending on the type diagnosed, according to a study published in Cancer, journal of the American Cancer Society. 

Scotland: ambitious plan to improve women’s healthcare a UK first

The Scottish Government has published a Women’s Health Plan to improve women’s health and reduce inequalities, making Scotland the first UK country to do so. 

More than 2000 respond to NMC standards review

The NMC consultation, ‘Building on ambitions for community and public health nursing’, closed in August. It sought views on proposed new proficiency standards for specialist community and public health nursing (SCPHN), which were last updated 15 years ago.

Scotland: frontline health and social care workers shape vaccinations

A report from Public Health Scotland (PHS) has revealed the views of frontline health and social care workers towards the Scottish Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Wales: NHS safeguarding kept vulnerable safe during pandemic

A report from Public Health Wales (PHW) explains how the NHS Wales Safeguarding Network continued its vital work during the pandemic.

England: ministers urged to join forces to support family services

The House of Lords Public Services Committee has called on the government’s health, education and communities departments to work together with Treasury support to address the causes of child vulnerability.

Scotland: more help for young families to eat healthily

The Best Start Foods payment to low-income families was increased in August, in accordance with the promises made by the Scottish Government.

Scotland: parents praise baby box scheme

An independent evaluation has revealed that 97% of parents in Scotland rate the Baby Box and its contents as ‘very’ or ‘fairly good’.

England: autism strategy extends to children and young people for the first time

The National strategy for autistic children, young people and adults: 2021 to 2026 builds on and replaces the Think Autism strategy of 2014. 

RCPCH responds to study on long-lasting Covid symptoms in children

Children who develop symptoms of Covid-19 typically get better after six days, a large UK study in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health has found, with just 4.4% (77 out of 1734) having symptoms after four weeks.

Baby loss: a journey of grief

To mark the start of Baby Loss Awareness Week on 9 October, Clare Worgan and Marc Harder of the charity Sands look at the help available to the public and healthcare professionals.