News, Policy & Media

Aug 18, 2020
 The Government has today announced the creation of the National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). The organisation will be responsible for public health protection, infectious disease control and leading the UK's future COVID-19 response through a single-command structure. This comes as the disbanding of Public Health England was confirmed by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock. NIHP will be an amalgam of PHE's COVID-19 response team and the NHS Test and Trace Progr...
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Aug 17, 2020
Public Health England has defended its role in the testing strategy undertaken during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic. This comes as it was revealed that the body is to be dismantled and replaced with a pandemic-specific response unit called the National Institute for Health Protection. The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock is due to announce the merging of the pandemic response work of PHE with the NHS Test and Trace Programme this week. The new organisation’s mis...
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Aug 13, 2020
Trade deals by the UK Government with Japan and New Zealand are progressing in their negotiations. This comes as the UK prepares to ready its trade engagement and supply links ahead of the end of the Transition Period this December. After leaving the EU on 31st January, the UK is seeking trade deals with the world’s most powerful trade partners such as the US, Canada, New Zealand. Each deal will progress at its own pace in terms of the negotiations process, the US trade deal is not expecte...
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Aug 12, 2020
The rise in cases of coronavirus reaching over 1,000 positive test results per day breached a target set by Government in May. The Joint Security Centre agreed upon a ceiling figure of 1,000 cases per day, a level which the UK needed to stay under to avoid flare-ups of the virus. Last weekend, on the 9th August, the UK saw the largest daily rise in coronavirus cases in six weeks as 1,062 more people were diagnosed. It marked the first day that daily virus cases reached over 1,000 since June. Sci...
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Aug 06, 2020
Scientific researchers have advised that ramping up Test and Trace programme efforts will be key to schools reopening. They recognised the importance of getting pupils back to the classroom but stressed the work that needs to be done in terms of contact tracing before this is allowed to happen. Simon Clarke, minister for Regional Growth, told BBC Breakfast that the Test and Trace programme is ‘maturing all the time’, and that getting children back to school is a ‘top priority&r...
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Aug 06, 2020
The emergency call from Government for proposals to supply end-to-end serology / antibody testing products has ended. This announcement has been made to industry as Government says the country is past the first peak of the pandemic, and its antibody testing programme is now established. The science behind the clinical use case for serology is also developing.This means that Government will not progress new offers for serology testing. Accreditation of new serology testing products will now rever...
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Aug 04, 2020
As Britain negotiates trade deals with Japan, the United States and New Zealand, the International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has said that MPs could resist reject relevant laws and halt their progress. Truss maintains that Parliament is ‘entirely able’ to block the post-Brexit trade deals which are currently passing through negotiation stages. Through the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act process, MPs could end their support for a given free trade agreement. Ms Truss said Brit...
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Aug 04, 2020
A letter from Stephen Oldfield, Chief Commercial Officer at the Department for Health and Social Care has detailed plans to the Life Sciences industry on arrangements after the end of the Brexit Transition Period. Government has confirmed that at 11pm on the 31st December 2020, the UK will leave the EU Single Market and Customs Union and that there will be no extension to this period (read here). It is essential that the health sector is thoroughly prepared for this event. This includes the grad...
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Jul 30, 2020
A new Government testing push will double the amount of COVID-19 testing in the UK, aiming to reach 500,000 tests performed a day. Asymptomatic cases among health workers will be a focus of the expansion. More people without symptoms will be tested; the goal by September is to reach 150,000 people a day who do not know they have the virus, such as those working in health and social care and other jobs that involve contact with other people.This new campaign will launch on Thursday and aims to in...
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Jul 29, 2020
Public Health England has stated that it will not change its policy around rapid point-of-care antibody testing, despite warnings from the SAGE committee. The organisation has decided not to change its advice against rapid COVID-19 antibody tests despite evidence provided to Government that these are performing well. The report on COVID-19 antibody testing, published on 17 July 2020, was presented to the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) at its meeting on 2 July...
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