News in numbers: November/December 2020

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

Public put NHS pay above waiting times, says report

The British public say better NHS pay and working conditions are a greater priority than addressing their own needs, such as reduced waiting times, according to charity Engage Britain.

England and Wales: new advice to improve immunity through exercise

Advice for healthcare professionals promoting exercise as a way of supporting immune function has been launched in response to Covid-19.

Rising numbers take district nurse qualification

The number of new students who started a district nurse specialist practitioner qualification (DN SPQ) programme in 2018-19 rose to 693, an increase of 34 students (5%) since 2017-18. 

England: supporting children and families is a frontline activity

Health visitors and school nurses should continue to support children and families over the winter and not be redeployed, says a letter from the Local Government Association, NHS and Public Health England to directors of nursing.

Northern Ireland: children’s services a priority in pandemic, says minister

Health minister Robin Swann has outlined the Department of Health’s plans to give children the care they need during the Covid-19 crisis.

Race, gender, disability affects NMC outcomes, new report finds

Nurses and midwives on the NMC register are treated differently depending on their protected characteristics, according to a new report.

Young people with mental health issues struggle to cope back at school

Many young people with mental health problems are struggling to manage back at school, reveals research by charity YoungMinds.

Wales: those with a longstanding illness expected to increase along with unemployment

A new report from Public Health Wales (PHW) suggests that the proportion of the population suffering from longstanding illnesses could increase by around 4% over the next three years, from 46.4% pre-pandemic to 50.3% in 2022-23.

England: Covid inequalities – still a gap in explanation for BAME communities

The first quarterly report from the government’s Race Disparity Unit (RDU) on Covid-19 health inequalities has concluded that ‘a range of socioeconomic and geographical factors’ contribute to the higher infection and mortality rates for ethnic minority groups.

Homeless lives at risk this winter without urgent action, charities warn

Lives will be at risk from the double threat of Covid-19 and cold weather, if the government does not act to protect people forced to sleep rough this winter. 

Wales: NHS sickness absence at start of pandemic highest on record

Sickness absence was 6% – up 0.4 percentage points from the same period in 2019 – reveals the most recent quarterly report (to 31 March 2020) on sickness absence of Welsh NHS staff.

Uncertain times loom despite largest-ever rise in nursing jobs

A total of 18,370 more nurses, midwives and nursing associates are now on the NMC’s permanent register to work in the UK compared with a year ago.

Calls for pay justice made for NHS staff battling Covid-19

Unite has joined with 13 other health unions and organisations in the campaign to demand that pay talks start as soon as possible out of respect for NHS staff who have battled Covid-19.

England: HVs fear vulnerable families left at risk due to redeployment

Health visitors have expressed concerns that the needs of children are being missed due to redeployment and increased caseloads during Covid-19.

Scotland: new resource to help people experiencing domestic abuse

A new online learning tool has been created for professionals working in sectors such as health, social work and education.