What’s happening in the world of public health? We take a look at the latest stories affecting the professions.

News in numbers: February 2020

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

England: student nurses to receive grant of at least £5000 a year

All nursing and midwifery students on courses from September 2020 are to receive a payment of at least £5000 a year towards living costs which they will not need to pay back.

Scotland: UK’S first integrated health and social care workforce plan

Increased nurse training and recruitment in Scotland are among the steps set out in the first integrated health and social care workforce plan in the UK, which will try to meet growing service demand.

Wales: awareness of ACEs is strong – but not the confidence to help

Public sector workers have a good awareness of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and can identify opportunities for improvement, a Public Health Wales (PHW) survey has shown.

Premature babies at higher risk of diabetes

Babies born before 37 weeks are at an increased risk of developing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, a study says.

Pregnant smokers are more likely to develop diabetes

Pregnant women who smoke increase their risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, research shows.

Living near a busy road can stunt children’s lung growth

If you live within 50 metres of a major road, your risk of developing lung cancer may increase by up to 10%.

Scotland: classroom obesity - a growing problem

The obesity inequality gap among Scottish school pupils is continuing to grow, with almost a quarter of children now starting school at risk of being overweight or obese.

Wales: six ways to stop suicide among young people

Public Health Wales (PHW) has highlighted six key ways to prevent deaths by suicide among children and young people.

Northern Ireland: disability-free life expectancy tumbles

Life expectancy free of disability declined in Northern Irelandin 2016-18. It is now 57.3 years for men and 57.2 years for women, a decline of 3.0 years for men and 4.6 years for women since 2012-14.

HV strike success

The long-running Lincolnshire health visitors’ dispute is coming to an end with a pay victory that sees the vast majority of the workforce being upgraded.

Big story: down with social media?

The evidence around the ill effects of social media and long periods of screen time is not straightforward, writes journalist Juliette Astrup. She looks at the latest research on how young people can make the most of online positives and blot out the dark side of the internet.

Help for HVs facing fitness-to-practise proceedings

Nurses, midwives and nursing associates involved in fitness-to-practise (FtP) proceedings can now access a new, free and confidential support service.

England: mother and baby app used by local maternity systems

The Mum & Baby app designed in London that provides women with information throughout pregnancy and new motherhood is being picked up by services across England.

NHS in Scotland struggles to stay in the black

The health service in Scotland could suffer a £1.8bn shortfall in less than five years without reforms, Audit Scotland has warned.

District nurse student numbers are on the up

The number of students enrolled in district nurse education is up by almost a fifth.

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