News, Policy & Media

Aug 02, 2021
The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for a ‘rescue plan’ to alleviate pressures on GPs and the services they provide to the public. Martin Marshall has described the GP sector in the UK as ‘crisis-torn’, in need of an emergency-style rescue plan. RCGP has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid and new NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard for them to implement a five-point action plan to tackle these challenges. Mental health s...
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Jul 28, 2021
Amanda Pritchard has been selected as the new Chief Executive of NHS England (NHSE). Ms Pritchard is to take over from the previous NHSE CEO Lord Simon Stevens, who steps down from his role after seven years in the position. Lord Stevens is to officially leave his role at the end of this week, making way for the first female Chief Executive of the NHS since its creation in 1948. Ms Pritchard has worked as the organisation’s Chief Operating Officer for the last two years, and is the former ...
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Jul 26, 2021
Workers in critical sectors are to be offered daily contact testing services, in order to lessen the potential impact of disruption to employee work. Police officers, emergency services staff and transport workers are among those who will be able to undergo testing. This means they will be able to continue to deploy essential services to the UK without the need to enter into a period of self-isolation. Clinical trial results have prompted the move to expand the contact testing service to these g...
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Jul 21, 2021
A call for evidence has been launched by the Health and Care Select Committee regarding a planned inquiry into how the backlog of healthcare triggered by the pandemic can be cleared. The Committee will be investigating how to quantify the level of pent-up demand for key healthcare services; and to consider whether “fundamental changes to the organisation and delivery of NHS services will be required to manage the backlog of cases caused by the pandemic”. Levels of funding, capacity, ...
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Jul 20, 2021
The Government has announced the opening of the ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’ funding programme, designed to boost the UK’s post-pandemic economy. The funding will be provided to the country’s most high growth, innovative and R&D-intensive companies. These firms are essential to propelling the UK’s economy forward, and it is estimated that 1% growth in these firms could grow the UK economy by £38 billion. The funding push was announced at Budget 2021, and wi...
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Jul 20, 2021
A Government response has been provided by the Department for Health and Social Care to the consultation regarding private COVID-19 testing validation. The public consultation opened from 8th April 2021 and closed on 5th May 2021. It proposed a requirement that all COVID-19 tests place don the UK market undergo a mandatory validation process to assess their performance, above and beyond CE marking. Please see the below points from the Response document: ‘Broad support’ was received b...
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Jul 14, 2021
The second reading of the Health and Care Bill is taking place this afternoon in the House of Commons, with a statement on the legislation being read by Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid. The Bill has proved controversial in terms of its shake-up of NHS procurement changes, enactment of Integrated Care Systems in England and provision of closure powers to the Secretary of State. The Bill was first introduced to the House last week by Mr Javid, who stated that it would make the NHS &ld...
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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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