The Impact of Deprivation on Health in Scotland

Here I am highlighting health inequalities again. On Friday 24th. Public Health Information for Scotland (ScotPHO) released their latest report showing the scale of the problem. They found that people living in the poorest areas in Scotland have double the rate of illness and early death than people in our wealthiest areas. Nearly a third (32.9%) of early deaths and ill health in Scotland could be avoided if the whole population had the same life circumstances as the people who live in the wealthiest areas. The report comes from an ongoing project at ScotPHO called National Burden of Disease, Injuries and Risk Factors Study in Scotland and was initially a two year ScotPHO project funded by the Scottish Chief Scientist Office, which has now become an ongoing research study. You can download this new report  The Scottish Burden of Disease Study, 2016 Deprivation report HERE They also have a neat page on the NHS Health Scotland Page which shows the leading causes of ill-health and early death at Impact of deprivation on health

I also found this!

A neat 7 minutes on Power as a fundamental cause of Health Inequality

Could Specialist Palliative Care in the UK be Ageist?


Providing good end of life care is an NHS priority. Good end of life care tries to ensure that people can die with dignity, with access to appropriate specialist care wherever that person chooses to die. There is no arguement that referrals to hospice-based specialist palliative care would benefit older people most but it appears from a large National Institute of Healthcare Research study that people aged under 50 years were referred to hospice specialist palliative care about a month before people over 75 years.

The majority of people referred for specialist palliative still have cancer which you might expect but specialist palliative care should be available to people with other illnesses that may be equally difficult to manage. However, if you are person with dementia or are in the terminal stages of a stroke were referred about nine days before death compared to much earlier for those with other diseases.

The NIHR study, which you can download here,  is the first to provide detailed data on patterns of referrals to UK hospices in England and Wales. I am not sure whether something similar has been done for Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The study clearly highlights variations in referral patterns that depend on your age, disease and where you live. It also highlight a need to better understand the reasons for the delay, which looks suspiciously ageist to me amongst services whose priority you would think would be older people.

Something else new this week. Have you downloaded the FREE Cochrane Library App?

Get the latest evidence when and where you need it. See   Available for iPads, iPhones, and Android.

Focussing on Care Homes.

If you are working in a Care Home on Scotland last week was quite important because the Care Inspectorate has announced that they are changing how they are going to inspect care homes for older people. Their new inspections will reflect the new Health and Social Care Standards and will focus more on outcomes and experiences for people. More details about the new regime for inspections are available from the Quality Framework for Care Homes for Older People which you can finds by clicking HERE

You can also find out what’s changing by watching their short video


Also at the end of last month the RCN launched an online resource to support nursing care in older peoples care homes. This resource allows you to follow a resident’s care home journey through from pre-admission to end of life. Each section demonstrates the role of nursing staff when supporting the resident, their families and nursing colleagues at a particular stage of the resident’s journey. It also provides real life scenarios signposting you to high quality, evidence based resources to answer the clinical questions that frequently affecting those caring for older people. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE


Older People’s Events During Edinburgh Festival Time!


In Scotland, the world’s biggest arts festival starts today. As always I’ll spend some time through there over the month and try and take in some shows/events etc. with my family.

So what might be worth seeing that focuses on Older People? Well, these aren’t my recommendations this list comes from Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing organisation, which runs a diverse programme of creative events and activities throughout the year. So they know better than me what to see. So here is their list of recommendations.

What to See in Edinburgh 2018

I’m intrigued by one in particular… Who Do You Want to Wipe Your Bum?

Which features Dr Anna Schneider of Edinburgh Napier University highlighting a few things worth thinking about; considering you’ve got an 80% chance of needing care at the end of your life.

I suspect she will have to say something about this Global Health Workforce Labor Market Projections for 2030