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Media Monitoring: 26th March – 1st April

By April 1, 2022No Comments

Brand new Ascot hospital unveiled to tackle NHS backlog

  • Heatherwood Hospital, part of Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, will give priority to those patients waiting the longest, especially for orthopaedic and ophthalmology services
  • The hospital boasts six operating theatres, 48 inpatient beds and 22 day-case cubicles and will give patients in Berkshire, Surrey and Hampshire access to state-of-the-art diagnostic, surgical and outpatient care
  • Its unveiling was welcomed by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and NHS Chief Executive, Amanda Pritchard


UK experts fear and end to community COVID testing will put vulnerable people at risk

  • In spite of soaring cases, COVID levels are expected to decline due to a lack of testing caused by the Government’s decision to end free testing across England, with devolved nations set to follow soon
  • Experts feat that a lack of community testing will impact our ability to monitor vaccine effectiveness and the severity of current COVID strains
  • From April 1st, only a few groups will have access to free tests if symptomatic, including healthcare staff and hospital patients


Government update: Research and innovation sanctions on Russia and support for Ukraine

  • George Freeman MP, Minister for Science, Research & Innovation, announces UK government response with £3 million package to support Ukrainian researchers at risk
  • All payments for projects delivered through UK public research funds with a Russian dimension have been paused
  • The Government have suspended existing government to government dialogue through our science and innovation network team in Russia including their collaborative science projects


Test for head and neck cancer patients can determine best treatment pathway

  • Research has shown that testing based on the levels of a key immune protein (PD-L1) can determine whether immunotherapy, chemotherapy or both is most effective for those with head or neck cancer
  • It is hoped that the test is implemented into guidelines to ensure that patients receive more personalised, effective care


NIHR publishes latest annual report for 2020/21

  • The NIHR has published its latest annual report highlighting its milestones and achievements during 2020/21
  • The report celebrates NIHR’s response to COVID as well as highlighting their continued investment in groundbreaking research
  • NIHR rapidly funded research into COVID-19 and trials , to the tune of £108 million, to ensure world-class scientists across the UK and lower and middle income countries could tackle the virus in a multitude of ways, including discovering effective COVID treatments


Government report: Clinically-led review of NHS cancer standards – models of care and measurement

  • The Government have released a report examining ways in which to improve cancer waiting times and patient outcomes
  • Members will be particularly interested in their focus on diagnosis (page 11) and testing (pages 14-15) pages
  • More patients should go ‘straight to test’ without wasting time seeing a clinician in order to satisfy outdated 2 week wait standards
  • The 2 week wait will be replaced in 2022, instead focusing on diagnosing or ruling out cancer as quickly as possible through testing


Study urges UK and US to take more action to solve global cancer epidemic

  • The study shows that, while cooperation between the US and the UK has increased over the past 40 years, key gaps have been identified
  • Research, while effective, has been far too narrow in scope – often neglecting important domains including screening, surgery, radiotherapy, health services research (including implementation science), palliative care, and survivorship
  • Researchers state that focusing on a broader agenda involving increased data intelligence will yield better results globally and show decisive international leadership on the issue


Scientists develop revolutionary synthetic antibiotics which can kill superbugs

  • University of Liverpool scientists have discovered a new class of synthetic antibiotics which can kill superbugs, including MRSA, without detectable resistance
  • This key discovery could revolutionise the way in which bacterial infections are treated
  • The synthetic teixobactin molecule, which has been developed in versions to optimise safety and efficacy, can also be produced inexpensively at scale – potentially saving millions of lives


£500 million Canary Wharf project to build Europe’s biggest commercial lab

  • Dutch company Kadans Science Partner, lab-building specialists and the Canary Wharf Group have announced a deal to build a new 22-storey building that will have 750,000 square feet of space devoted to labs
  • The £500 million building will be filled with a mixture of biotech startups, academics, clinicians, and more established pharmaceutical companies and provide thousands of jobs
  • The block, to be completed in 2026, will be the largest commercial lab space in Europe and form the cornerstone of a new 3.3 hectare development on the Wharf’s North Quay meant to attract life sciences businesses spanning biotech to healthcare


Lifechanging technology to be rolled out to all type 1 diabetes patients

  • Everyone living with type 1 diabetes will be eligible for lifechanging flash glucose monitors on the NHS, thanks to new guidance published today
  • The wearable gadgets, the size of a £2 coin, have a sensor that easily sits on the arm, allowing patients to check their glucose levels with a one-second scan
  • New research presented this week at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2022 revealed that flash monitoring not only helps to improve blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, but also has a positive effect on their quality of life


Ben Kemp