Innovations in Digital Medicine: Effects on Rural, Low-Income…

Innovations in Digital Medicine: Effects on Rural, Low-Income Communities

1st March | Psychiatry Advisor

Innovations in digital health and medicine applications are contributing to expanding medical care, particularly among individuals in rural, low-income, or isolated environments, as reported by researchers in the Lancet.

Economic disparities and shortages of healthcare professionals worldwide have been implicated as key contributors to inadequate global healthcareaccess, particularly among individuals living in rural, low-income areas. Despite these disadvantages, improvements in digital technologies have enabled faster connection and communication between patients and providers. Digital medicine has become a more viable option for low-income and rural-residing individuals across the world, as 95% of the world's population now has cellular coverage and Internet access.

Can you Help? Primary Care Models of care for children and young…

Survey Primary Care Models of care for children and young people's mental health

The Healthy London Partnership and UCL Partners are developing a compendium of primary care models of care for children and young people’s mental health which have been implemented or tested, across London and nationally.
We know that you have good networks around the country- please would you circulate this survey or complete it yourself if you have good examples?

We would be most grateful if you could complete this positive practice survey (link below) by the 2nd of February 2018.

If you are able to support your examples with any evaluation or impact data that would be helpful.

Care models may include (but are not limited to ) those covering the following areas:


  • Early identification in primary care
  • Self-management advice, including parenting in primary care
  • Shared care prescribing in primary care
  • Shared care for CYP with eating disorders in primary care
  • Evidence based mental health assessments/treatments in primary care

If you would like to include information about more than one model within the compendium, please complete more than one questionnaire response.

We would be grateful if you could forward details of this survey to others who would be interested in completing. If you have any questions about this questionnaire or process please email [email protected]


Call for proposals for the 2019 EIT Health business plan open now!

Call for proposals for the 2019 EIT Health business plan open now!

The deadline for proposals is 9 April 2018

The Calls for Proposals for 2019 Business Plan seeks projects for inclusion in EIT Health's 2019 business plan. The call document covers the original three pillars:

  • Education
  • Innovation and acceleration
  • Societal challenges.

There is a useful summary of the different parts of the programme on page 5 of the call document or take a look at the EIT Health calls for proposals for 2019 Business Plan Summary

There are four strategic themes:

  • Prevention and management of chronic diseases
  • Empowering citizens to manage their health
  • Improving healthcare systems
  • Leveraging new technology and data. 

There are two new focus areas, identified by a call for expressions of interest:

  • Bringing care home (page 8)
  • Value from data in clinical and sub-clinical settings (page 9)  

Projects will be required to demonstrate that they address one or more themes and/or focus areas. The deadline for proposals is 9 April 2018.

If you are interested in applying, please contact either Paddie Murphy on paddie.murphy@ or Karen Morrey on [email protected], who would be happy to support you in the process. 

There has been a change to the rules of participation, which has serious implications for WMAHSN members wishing to participate in EIT Health Innovation and Education projects. Under the new rule, we are not able to use WMAHSN as a vehicle for West Midlands' organisations to lead or be partners in EIT Health projects. Instead, any participation under the WMAHSN badge must be done by WMAHSN itself and not delivered on its behalf by others. Some work can be subcontracted, but the limit is 50K Euros to any organisation per year. The only exception to this is University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which, as host of WMAHSN, is the signatory to all EIT Health agreements and seen as interchangeable.  

Zero suicide

Zero Suicide

BBC News | 17 November

How much could the death toll from suicide be reduced?

Deaths by suicide annually in the UK are the equivalent of the likely number of fatalities if 20 long-haul flights crashed each year, according to campaigners launching the Zero Suicide Alliance.

Figures from the Samaritans show 6,188 suicides were recorded in the UK in 2015, an average of 17 per day.

How preventable are these losses of life with all the tragic consequences for bereaved families? And is zero suicide a realistic direction of travel?

The aim of the new alliance is to get specific commitments to reduce suicide deaths, and for NHS organisations to aim for zero amongst patients in their care.

At the launch there was an impassioned speech from Steve Mallen, whose 18-year-old son Edward took his own life in 2015.

He acknowledged there was greater national awareness of mental health as an issue but said there had been little change in recent years on the NHS frontline.

"Enough is enough", he said, "we can save more lives than at present". He called the current state of the mental health system an "indictment on society" and said frontline services were in a "terrible state".

Mr Mallen's hard-hitting comments and criticism of the state of mental health care were made in the presence of Jeremy Hunt.

The health secretary argued there had been an improvement in crisis care but said there was "lots more to do". Mr Hunt called on mental health trusts in England to commit to zero suicide among their patients.

New research funding opportunity: NIHR i4i Product Development Awards…

New research funding opportunity: NIHR i4i Product Development Awards - Call 15

New research funding opportunity: NIHR i4i Product Development Awards - Call 15

Applications are invited for the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) research proposals for translational R&D projects aimed at cultivating new techniques or technologies into innovative interventions which address existing or emerging healthcare needs. i4i supports projects developing innovative medical technology including medical devices, active implantable devices and in vitro diagnostic devices. i4i also supports projects which utilise and develop techniques or technologies from other industry sectors that could have a potential impact if applied in a healthcare setting.

For more information and to apply visit the NIHR website.

If you need help with your application or would like to discuss whether your idea is in scope email us at [email protected] or call us on 020 8843 8015.

Organisations can apply for contracts of £100,000 to develop…

Organisations can apply for contracts of £100,000 to develop innovative new products and services that improve mental health provision or surgery in the NHS.

NHS England and Academic Health Science Networks are to invest in projects that either develop new products and services to improve mental health provision or create new technologies for use in surgery.

The 2 competitions are being run alongside each other under SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative). They are open to single companies or organisations from the private, public and third sectors, including charities.

Under both competitions, there is a first phase for organisations to carry out studies into the feasibility of their ideas. Up to £100,000 is available per project. The best ideas could go on to win further funding in a second phase for more detailed product development.

Patients are helping this mental health trust transform its services​

Patients are helping this mental health trust transform its services​

1 November 2017 | The Guardian

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust calls on both employees and patients to participate and lead workshops and offer feedback

For new mothers with mental health conditions, being separated from their babies during treatment can have a devastating impact on their recovery. So too can waiting for a place at a specialist mother and baby unit.

In the case of women referred to the Brockington mother and baby unit, part of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, processes meant that there was a delay of more than a day between referral and admission. The admission criteria also prevented the unit from accepting women with severe personality disorders, meaning they would be placed in other mental health facilities without their children.

Young people 'not receiving mental health care they need'

Young people 'not receiving mental health care they need'

27 October 2017 | BBC News

Young people are facing long waiting times and unequal access to mental health services, a review by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said.

The commissioner said this could be "putting young people's lives at risk".

The review found nearly 40% of specialist child and adolescent services in England needed improvement.

Alice Gibbs, who was diagnosed with anorexia at the age of 12, said a lack of access to specialised services had had a long-term effect on her recovery.

She waited six months to see a mental health professional. "Knowing that we had to wait for that help and things were only getting worse was scary," she says.

She received treatment in Leicester for several years, but it was later recommended that she get specialist treatment. At the time, the nearest specialist unit for eating disorders was in London.

"It's a complete postcode lottery," she says. "I was 16 years old, and apart from being really physically unwell, I was mentally unwell. I didn't want to be away from my family."

Mental ill-health sees 300,000 people leave their jobs each year

Mental ill-health sees 300,000 people leave their jobs each year

26 October 2017 | BBC News

Up to 300,000 people with long-term mental health problems have to leave their jobs each year, a report says.

It also claims poor mental health costs the UK economy up to £99bn each year.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who commissioned the report, said it showed "we need to take action". She is asking NHS England and the civil service to accept the report's recommendations.

Paul Farmer, co-author of the Thriving At Work report, said mental health was a taboo subject in many workplaces.

Smartphone apps may improve symptoms in patients with depression

Smartphone apps may improve symptoms in patients with depression

4 October 2017 | Clinical Advisor

Smartphone interventions have a positive effect on depressive symptoms and may be a promising self-management tool for patients with depression, according to a study published in World Psychiatry.

New advancements in smartphone technology may present an opportunity to deliver mental health interventions on a population scale. Joseph Firth, from the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University in Campbelltown, Australia, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials that evaluated 22 smartphone apps and included 3,414 participants.