Getting serious about science, research and innovation

Plans for a new Industrial Strategy announced in January 2017 set out ten strategic ‘pillars’ intended to support a strong position for Britain in the global economy post-Brexit. 

How to save the NHS: House of Lords Select Committee proposals

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Long-term Sustainability of the NHS convened in May 2016 has released a report today, the product of a major inquiry including a public consultation and evidence sessions with selected experts (including PHG Foundation Chairman Dr Ron Zimmern). The Long-term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care sets out their conclusions and recommend...

Science and health in the Brexit-bound UK

The immediate impact of the UK referendum vote in favour of leaving the European Union boded ill for science and health as the value of the pound plunged and attempts to secure new scientific EU collaborations struggled. Thus far, the UK economy continues to defy expectations, though forecasters generally agree that it is only a matter of time before the more complex and substantial effects of act...

Science and health under the Brexit Government

Back in August, I expressed concern regarding the consequences of Brexit for UK health and science. Acknowledging the intimate links between the UK and the EU specifically in research and funding, I concluded that "so far, it doesn’t look good" for UK health and science. Despite a few developments, the prospects have not significantly improved.

Conservative Party Conference fails to answer the questions

The annual Conservative Party Conference (CPC16) was held in Birmingham earlier this month. Billed as "a chance to learn about our ideas and policies for the year ahead" and a "unique opportunity to engage with our Party", the venue teemed with predominantly men in dark blazers (blue or black), white shirts (no prints) and dark ties (blue or black). Most of the few women present were dressed ...

Nanomedicine: laying tiny foundations for a big future in personalised medicine

Since the early 2000s, the application of nanotechnology in medicine, or nanomedicine, has earned well-deserved attention for its vast potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare. From bioengineered nanoparticles that target and destroy cells and biocompatible tissue implants to nanosized implantable biosensors, nanomedicine has exciting applications in disease ...

A gloomy outlook for UK science after Brexit

As the first (though possibly not the last) state to plan to leave the EU, the UK has waded into uncharted territory. It will come as no surprise that there are significant anxieties over how it will fare on its own in various spheres. In particular, the UK science and research communities continue to express overwhelming opposition to leaving the EU, fearful of the consequences for sta...

Personalised medicine in the US: does higher spending mean better care?

Statistics show the US spends more than any other country on health. In fact, the health share of US GDP is projected to rise from 17.4% in 2013 to 19.6% in 2024. One reason for such exceptional resources may be President Obama’s enthusiastic support for personalised (or precision medicine), or as he puts it: “a new era of medicine – one that delivers the right treatment at the right time”...

Will 2016 be the year of digital health technology?

“Creating a more digital NHS has the potential to transform care for patients, save valuable time for staff and benefit the local economy”. This recent enthusiastic comment from one of digital healthcare’s most vocal advocates, Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt, was made last month during a visit to GP software suppliers. According to statistics, the global market for&n...

The Spending Review: why health and care will not go hungry - yet

Chancellor George Osborne delivered the results of the government’s spending review last week amidst great pressures on health services. An overwhelming majority of the junior doctors that voted did so in favour of strike action this winter, the NHS is in a worse position on almost every measure than this time last year and doubts persist regarding t...

7-day services: trying to make sense of all the noise

A crucial campaign promise. An unachievable dream. A necessary step towards 21st century healthcare. The proposed policy of ‘7-day health services’ has been called many things by many people, but the recent appearance of Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt before the Health Committee revealed just how much uncertainty persists in t...

Cash is king: trying to do more with less

Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt recently gave a speech in which he laid out the progress being made in the pursuit of a more human-centred NHS. Hunt described 21 Trusts in special measures hiring more doctors and nurses, ‘buddying arrangements’ and their role in pulling Trusts out of special measures and the completion of investigations into safe staffing levels. Yet recent news re...