News, Policy & Media

Jul 13, 2021
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is to receive expanded sequencing and surveillance capacities in order to bolster its ability to prepare, prevent and respond to threats to the nation’s health. In a remit letter which details the agency’s future priorities, the top task for UKHSA is to take forward the fight against COVID-19 and ensure that the country is prepared to react against other future external health threats.These increased capacities exhibit the UKHSA’s commitmen...
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Jul 13, 2021
The Government has confirmed that lateral flow tests for COVID-19 will be available free-of-charge until at least the end of August. The scheme to provide various settings including workplaces with these lateral flow devices has therefore been extended after doubts were raised over the length of the free-of-charge offer. LFDs have been available via the postal service, and also pharmacy collection programmes. The Government says employers have until 19 July to order free rapid lateral flow tests...
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Jul 05, 2021
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has published a new Delivery Plan for the 2021-2023 time period. “Putting patients first: A new era for our agency” is the title of the document, which aims to put a “constant focus on delivering meaningful outcomes for patients”. The plan sets out 14 objectives, and is grouped into six central areas: scientific innovation, healthcare access, patient safety, dynamic organisation, collaborative partnerships and...
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Jul 01, 2021
The Government has provided an update on the negotiations between the United Kingdom and New Zealand on their future trading relationship. Between the 8th – 16th June, the fifth round of talks between both nations has taken place. Clear paths to closure have been agreed upon regarding a wide range of subjects. These include digital, goods, telecoms, labour, customs and rules of origin. During the previous rounds, there has been completion of talks on the areas of SMEs, competition and reme...
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Jun 28, 2021
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Sajid Javid as the new Health and Social Care Secretary, following the resignation of Matt Hancock on Saturday. Mr Javid will be in charge of overseeing key responsibilities for health in the coming period, including future health policy, the appointment of a new NHS England Chief Executive and the Government’s lockdown-easing strategy. Matt Hancock resigned from his role as Health Secretary on Saturday, after CCTV footage was released of him kiss...
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Jun 22, 2021
The United Kingdom has entered into formal negotiations around its potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Department for International Trade Minister Liz Truss began discussions on the morning of Tuesday 22nd June with Minister for TPP Yasutoshi Nishimura from Japan, who is this year’s chair of the CPTPP. The United Kingdom would strengthen trade connections with this powerful bloc of economies in the Pacific region –...
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Jun 21, 2021
The Government has announced the establishing of a new ministerial council and Office for Science and Technology Strategy. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chair of the new National Science and Technology Council which will provide strategic direction on the use of scientific and technological tools in tackling great societal challenges in future. Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has been asked to lead the Office for Science and Technology Strategy, in conjunction with his c...
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Jun 15, 2021
New antibody tests, described as ‘game-changing’, have been developed by researchers that can detect which variant an individual has immunity from. The tests can pick up on which particular COVID variant(s) someone has been exposed to, something similar antibody tests cannot do. The tests have been developed by researchers from the University of Aberdeen, in a collaboration with the biotechnology group Vertebrate Antibodies Ltd and NHS Grampian. It is not yet clear when these tests w...
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Jun 14, 2021
Some services in the NHS have returned to their pre-pandemic levels, including operations, elective care and cancer treatment. New data from the NHS England show that the number of people waiting more than 52 weeks to start treatment, decreased by more than 50,000 in April. Regarding diagnostic services, 1.8 million patients were able to access testing services in the month of April. There was also an increase in the number of operations and elective care carried out, returning to pre-pandemic l...
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Jun 11, 2021
BIVDA has launched the latest in its series of strategic papers, ‘The Digital Revolution’. You can find a copy of the paper attached to this page. BIVDA is publishing this paper to ensure that the digitisation of In vitro Diagnostics (IVD) and the breakthroughs, experiences and collaboration resultant from the coronavirus pandemic are not limited to being a short-term phenomenon. The last year has demonstrated that the IVD industry has the ability and capacity to transform healt...
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