A vision of the future for personalised healthcare

Earlier this month, a major report was released recommending fundamental changes to the UK National Health Service (NHS).

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...

Rights, responsibilities and rhetoric: health and politics

The Conservative Party Conference last week came hot on the heels of the emergence of a new Prime Minister and government. Brexit dominated much of the discussions, with science and health taking a relative backseat, but some recurring themes pertaining to health were evident.

It's time to get on with IT in healthcare

The NHS will simply not be able to provide high levels of service at an affordable cost without digitisation and appropriate use of digital data at every level. This is the view of the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England which last week released its report on how the NHS can harness the Power of Health Information Technology to Improve Care in England. The Advisor...

Health data security: a question of cost

Data sharing is not only essential to the delivery of high quality healthcare services now, but is also core to driving the innovations and improvements needed for a modern and sustainable health system in the future. However, UK data use in healthcare still lags behind many other sectors, with a previous attempt to underpin a digital health service, the infamous care.data, being lar...

Review of data security, consent and opt-outs

The National Data Guardian’s long-awaited review of Data Security, Consent and Opt-Outs attempts to grapple with several enduring challenges which have beset the NHS. This blog, the first of a series, examines what is perhaps the most intractable issue, namely reconciling the need for more extensive data sharing and data integration with fostering sufficient public trust such that pat...

Responsible, proportionate data sharing for better and safer genetic services

UK health policy is increasingly focusing on making better use of healthcare data and digital technologies to improve and enhance models of care delivery. To achieve this goal, and accelerate developments in health innovations and drive forward efficiency in health services, much greater levels of information sharing is required.

Big data's big issues

‘Big data’ – the buzzword excites some and is reviled by others. Either way it’s a term hard to escape. Not a week goes by without some conversation about how data, ‘big’ or otherwise can transform healthcare services. Earlier this month Public Health England hosted PHE Data Week; a series of activity focussing on data and its importance to health protection, prevention and care. I...

A virtuous cycle - using evidence to improve genetic testing

From an analytical perspective the successful application of genetic and genomic medicine depends on the ability to distinguish disease causing ‘pathogenic’ genetic differences (variants) from those that are harmless, and to ascertain the degree of disease risk conferred by these variants. Identifying pathogenic variants and estimating their contribution to disease risk is by no means trivial....

NHS England strategy: foundations for improvement

NHS England has published its business plan for 2015/16, Building the NHS of the Five year Forward View.