Is Downing Street turning up the heat on the NHS?

  • 14 January 2020
  • From the section Health
Hospital waiting area Image copyright Getty Images

With the election and the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill out of the way, Boris Johnson's attention has turned to the NHS.

Sources talk of a "laser-like focus" on health as the government starts charting a path to delivering the promised new nurses, doctors and hospitals and making voters feel the service has got better.

The prime minister's interview with BBC Breakfast shed some interesting light on his thoughts.

Familiar pledges about 50,000 more nurses and new hospitals were trotted out.

The most intriguing, though, was his comment on NHS day-to-day pressures in England: "I want to see improvements in performance in A&E, in waiting times across the country."

Read full article Is Downing Street turning up the heat on the NHS?

Political heat eases but NHS chill sets in

  • 20 December 2019
  • From the section Health
A doctor using a stethoscope on a patient in an Accident and Emergency department of a NHS national health service hospital Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emergency admissions to hospitals have been increasing

The politicians will be looking forward to their Christmas break, their ferocious debates on the NHS and other domestic issues temporarily put on hold.

But just because the political rhetoric has eased does not mean the state of the NHS is less of a concern. Far from it.

Read full article Political heat eases but NHS chill sets in

Child obesity: Will we see radical action?

  • 10 October 2019
  • From the section Health
Boys eating a chocolate muffin Image copyright Getty Images

Strategies for tackling obesity in England have been much talked about - but consistency has been hard to find.

Three different prime ministers in four years have all had their own approaches. Policies have been floated but implementation has been patchy.

Read full article Child obesity: Will we see radical action?

Should vaccinations be compulsory?

  • 30 September 2019
  • From the section Health
Vaccination. Pic: Thinkstock Image copyright Thinkstock

Falling vaccination rates for children in England have refuelled the debate over whether jabs should be compulsory for youngsters before they are allowed into schools.

The Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock says he is "looking very seriously" at going down that route.

Read full article Should vaccinations be compulsory?

Labour on collision course with big pharma over drugs

  • 25 September 2019
  • From the section Health
Scientist with pipette Image copyright Getty Images

Labour's newly announced policy on research funding for new medicines raises big questions about the balance between private profit and public good.

The party wants to make big drug companies hand over their exclusive research details so medicines can be made and sold more cheaply by others.

Read full article Labour on collision course with big pharma over drugs

No-deal Brexit: Drug supply plans not yet clear

  • 20 September 2019
  • From the section Health
Pharmacists checking medicines Image copyright Getty Images

Medical and pharmaceutical industry leaders are warning some of the contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit is not as well advanced as it was earlier this year.

They say details of government plans to secure ferry capacity to bring medicines into the UK have still not been finalised - with less than six weeks to go till Britain's planned exit from the EU on 31 October.

Read full article No-deal Brexit: Drug supply plans not yet clear

How much does diabetes cost the NHS?

  • 19 September 2019
  • From the section Health
A diabetes patient and doctor Image copyright Maya23K
Image caption Diabetes is a big problem for the NHS

All sorts of headlines have circulated on the spiralling cost of diabetes care. One even suggested it could bankrupt the NHS.

The extent to which the cost can be controlled by better prevention measures or more effective care has become a major policy debate.

Read full article How much does diabetes cost the NHS?

HRT: Medical leaders demand government action over shortages

  • 24 August 2019
  • From the section Health
Pharmacists checking stock Image copyright Getty Images

Medical profession leaders have called for an urgent meeting with government officials to discuss ongoing shortages of hormone replacement therapy.

Hundreds of thousands of women going through the menopause are on HRT either through tablets, patches or gels.

Read full article HRT: Medical leaders demand government action over shortages

Brexit: Health leaders issue new no-deal warning

  • 21 August 2019
  • From the section Health
Prescription medicines Image copyright Getty Images

Health leaders have written to Boris Johnson issuing new warnings on the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

In a letter to the prime minister, the heads of 17 royal colleges and health charities across the UK say clinicians are "unable to reassure patients" their health and care will not be affected.

Read full article Brexit: Health leaders issue new no-deal warning

NHS 'reality check' for PM Boris Johnson

  • 10 August 2019
  • From the section Health
The PM with paramedics Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson visited a hospital in Boston, Lincolnshire this week

There has been a string of health announcements for England this week - funding for new buildings and equipment, a deal to sort out doctors' pension tax problems, and a new artificial intelligence lab.

And Whitehall sources make clear there will be more to come when MPs return from their summer holidays next month.

Read full article NHS 'reality check' for PM Boris Johnson