Is Healthwatch England, Barking up the wrong tree?

Call me simple-minded but it never bodes well for an organisation in my view, if WORD persists in underlining your name in red. I should know. Nor does it bode well if your strategy doesn’t fit on one side of A4. If people can’t print it out they won’t read it. In my opinion. But […]

A bit of a public involvement mash-up including that idea for an NHS Civil Society Assembly

So here’s my unsubstantiated personal theory. It is that one of the root causes of the problems besetting today’s NHS’ is our failure to pay proper heed to the growing crisis in accountability and responsibility that has been a feature of our increasingly complex health system over the last seventy years.  From almost the day […]

Round round get around I get around – Caldicott2, patient data, dementia portal and more!

So sang The Beach Boys who were on Radio 2’s ‘In Concert’ this week.  Not that I’m a great fan but it seemed apposite given my week.  This has involved visits to TrialReach, Oxford (well, virtually!) to discuss plans for public involvement in the Biomedical Research Centre there, my good colleagues at BioMedCentral and, tomorrow, […]

Government consults on Healthwatch membership

The Government last week launched a public consultation seeking views on the membership of Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England will be the ‘consumers champion’ under the NHS reforms. It will be what they call a ‘statutory committee’ of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is expected to be up and running by the autumn. Many, including […]

I’ve got a pile of irony to do tonight – from Scottish independence to NHS reform

On my train journey from Edinburgh this morning, I listened to a BBC Radio Scotland phone-in about the implications of Scottish independence.  The intricacies of a possible de-coupling from the UK are fascinating – from the economy to people’s pensions, to the NHS. I’ve yet to read an article written specifically about the pros and cons […]

NHS research culture awards

Given my post yesterday I am delighted to congratulate Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust on winning the Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) first ever research culture award last night. The full list of winners and highly commendeds is as follows: Winner: Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust Highly Commended: Portsmouth Hospitals […]

Manning and crowd weigh in on NHS reforms at the eleventh hour

Goodness me the nation’s health must be in peril if the Royal Colleges have kicked off their slippers and downed their pipes to emerge like Dad’s Army into the affray about the NHS reforms.  All seems to rest now on those of their number who reside in the Upper House.  How peculiarly English but ultimately unsatisfactory […]

NHS reforms to face a tough round of Peer review this autumn

We are a nation that no longer knows when to put its rubbish bins out. So I reflected, as I dragged our two overflowing wheelie bins back to their usual place. To be fair to Bromley Council, it’s not that they fail to pick-up our rubbish; just that no one can quite predict what sort […]

Rising cancer rates and the NHS reforms…plus NIHR and ‘impact’

I suspect you have seen today’s news bulletins covering Macmillan Cancer Support’s report predicting a significant rise in the number of people who will get cancer. To quote the opening lines of their statement today: Cancer rates are increasing at such a rate that research shows 42% of people who die in this country will […]

‘Scroll down’ for clinical trials

To begin with, here’s more on that Pfizer story about use of mobile phone technology etc in clinical trials. It seems to have piqued an interest among many of you anyway. Also on the subject of clinical trials, I was rather perplexed by this story running out of the NHS Confederation this morning. I’m delighted […]

Flying in the face of an interregnum

As a self-confessed member of the worried well, I ask that people think carefully before they throw strange words at me.  Particularly on the day of a regular visit to my ‘prescription-happy’ doctor. A colleague asked me this morning how my interregnum was going.  It  sent me into a momentary panic.  Is it treatable I […]

International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up

It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council’s Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials – well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research […]

Department of Health about to have a Field day taking calls, I believe.

The NHS seems to be dominating my life this week.  Quite apart from the news headlines, it has involved two visits to the doctors and a blood test so far ..but I am on the mend I am pleased to report.  All I can say is, a 45 minute wait for a blood test and excellent […]

NHS reforms, research and 'localism'

I really would encourage you to read this morning’s article in The Guardian about the impact of the NHS reforms on doctor  expertise and research.  Its the first article that I’ve seen thus far which really conveys the message about health research that AMRC has been trying to put across and on which we anticipate stepping up […]

mICRA, PROSPERO, Beddington and Bell

Announcements are like buses.  There are none for what seem like days and then several come all at once.  My job is to make sure you get on the right one… NIHR has several announcements out today which AMRC and its members have had some involvement or interest in.  The first is the launch of the new […]

Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill: An open letter to MPs

Dear Member of Parliament, This afternoon the Health and Social Care Bill will recieve its Second Reading in the House of Commons.  The legislation sets out a far-reaching programme for reforming the NHS and the provision of patient care.  The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and its 127 member charities believe that high quality […]

Health and social care reforms on trial

What better starting point for today’s blog than the comments of two leading clinicians speaking about the importance of clinical trials to patient outcomes.  First, Dr Duncan Wheatley, a Clinical Oncologist and Lead for Research in the South West Peninsula, who is quoted in a BBC Cornwall story today about medical research at the Royal […]