Skip to main content
HighlightsHighlights Archive

Media Monitoring: 11 – 17 January

By January 17, 2024No Comments

Report: NHS Supply Chain and efficiencies in procurement

  • The NHS is not maximising its spending power to save money when purchasing medical equipment and consumables, according to a new National Audit Office (NAO) report.
  • The report found that the NHS continued to spend more than £3 billion outside NHS Supply Chain, its purpose-built procurement route, as customer satisfaction with Supply Chain has declined.
  • The watchdog examined NHS Supply Chain’s efficiency across NHS procurement and whether it has met its goals of saving money and increasing its share of products (medical equipment and consumables) bought through it by the NHS.
  • The report identified several issues around the reporting of progress on savings and market share targets, including that neither DHSC or NHS England has validated or checked savings that Supply Chain claims to have made.


Another record-breaking year for NHS cancer checks

  • More people than ever before are getting tested for cancer with almost 3 million checks over the last 12 months, new analysis shows today.
  • Almost 3 million people (2,980,258) were seen for urgent cancer checks over the last year (Nov 2022 to Oct 2023) – the highest year on record. Up by 147,960 on the same period last year, and up over a quarter (622,562) on the same period before the pandemic (2,357,696).
  • The new analysis also shows there has been a 133% increase in the number of people getting checked for cancer, over the last decade – with 1,275,231 urgent cancer referrals between Nov 2012 to Oct 2013.


UK launches International Science Partnership Fund worth £218 million

  • The International Science Partnerships Fund, which is open to countries including Malaysia, puts research and innovation at the heart of UK international relationships, supporting researchers and innovators to work with peers around the world on the major themes of our time: planet, health, technology, and talent.
  • ISPF directs government investment and effort into the science and research issues that really matter. It builds partnerships based on excellence to share knowledge and research infrastructure, cultivate strong diplomatic ties, promote global standards and values, and foster mobile talent in Southeast Asia and in the UK.
  • For anyone who wishes to get more information on the ISPF calls can register using this form.


MPs surprised by Covid mega lab’s Rightmove sale

  • The Rosalind Franklin Laboratory opened in June 2021, processing about 8.5 million Covid tests during the pandemic.
  • It shut in January 2022 and was listed for sale in November.
  • MPs have expressed surprise at the lab appearing on Rightmove and want it to be used to combat antibiotic resistance.
  • The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the site’s future was being explored.


Cancer forecast to hit one diagnosis a minute (paywall)


UK cancer survival rates among worst in rich world (paywall)


The Monthly Diagnostics data for November 2023 can be found here.

  • The total number of patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests at the end of November 2023 was 375,200. This was 23.3% of the total number of patients waiting at the end of the month.
  • Nationally, the operational standard of less than 1% of patients waiting six weeks or more was not met this month.
  • Compared with November 2022 the total number of patients waiting six weeks or more decreased by 52,800 while the proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more decreased by 3.5 percentage points.
  • In the last 12 months, the proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more at the end of a month has varied between 23.3% (November 2023) and 31.3% (December 2022).
  • The estimated average time that a patient had been waiting for a diagnostic test was  2.8 weeks at the end of November 2023.
  • There were 1,609,000 patients waiting for a key diagnostic test at the end of November 2023. This is an increase of 16,000 from November 2022.
  • A total of  2,317,600 diagnostic tests were undertaken in November 2023. This is an increase of 136,700 from November 2022.