Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?

Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research holds its summer reception in parliament. This annual event has become an important fixture on the health research calendar. The ‘great and the good’ assemble to focus on a key issue of the day and to network. At some point in proceedings they will be addressed by […]

A brief update on NIHR’s review of public involvement in research

We have just passed the mid-way point in the ‘evidence-gathering’ phase of NIHR’s strategic review of public involvement entitled ‘Breaking Boundaries.’  So here’s an unofficial Chair’s view. The announcement of the review on 31st March, its terms of reference and our initial call for views can be found on NIHR’s website here People can at the […]

The medical marathon; a piece to mark the #LondonMarathon2014

What is, I wonder, the equivalent of Noel Coward’s lyric ‘only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,’ which might encapsulate the phenomenon that is the Virgin Money London Marathon? This morning tens of thousands of runners will set out from Greenwich Park as they do every year with high hopes of finishing two, three, four […]

Fight the good fight: medical research charity advertising slogans

Over the last few months, I have been noting down charity advertising copy as I go about London. Here are ten. Notice any trends? Diagnosed with blood cancer, Chloe only has one hope…YOU. Text HOPE…. Anthony Nolan Trust 2013 Elliot is deafblind. He can’t tell it’s Christmas. Text TOY to….Sense Help us beat cancer sooner […]

Comment: So what next for care.data?

The fundamental issue at stake here is respect for the citizen. The last month of debate about care.data feels like the previous ten years of discussion about the sharing of personal data bottled as a concentrate solution of ill-temper or should that be distemper? Many will say that NHS England – who yesterday announced a […]

My view on that pancreatic cancer ad campaign

The charity Pancreatic Cancer Action have caused a storm with their new ‘cancer envy’ advertising campaign in which patients are pictured saying things like: ‘I wish I had breast cancer.’ So if it’s shock tactics they were after, and public attention to go with it, then they must be delighted.  As must the advertising company […]

Musings on #patientdata and: ‘the moral case for public involvement in research is dead, long live…’

There’s a big push on #patientdata at the moment. Leaflets explaining how patient data will be shared in the future are being stuffed through people’s letter boxes.  This is part of an initiative called ‘care.data.’ Medical research charities have meanwhile funded a national newspaper advertising campaign exhorting the benefits of sharing patient data for research. The […]

Political spotlight on Health Research Authority (HRA) intensifies

I am sure the new Health Research Authority (HRA) can take care of itself.  But the expectations being heaped on it by others show no signs of abating. I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow someone calls on it to cure cancer. If it had been created by a Blair Government it would surely have been […]

The lay summary is dead, long live the lay summary (#A2UComp)

‘They can’t write for toffee.’ ‘They’ being scientists of course. But like most generalisations, this statement is utter tosh. You only had to be at the ‘Access to Understanding’ awards (#A2UComp) at the British Library on Monday night to realise that. The lay summaries that I and my fellow judges had been asked to review […]

At last! A patient-centred statement on the proposed EU Clinical Trials Regulation

First, a brief history of time in the Europe Union (EU). It goes slowly. That’s it! For the last two years or so the European Commission has been consulting on plans to revise the European Clinical Trials Directive.  The Directive has been in force since 2001.  Researchers hate it.  To be fair so do many […]

Royal College looks to boost child health research with children’s charter

I am prone to beating up our Royal Colleges for one reason or another.  But, over the last few years, I have grown to admire and respect the work of one of their number in particular - the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). Yesterday, RCPCH launched a new report entitled ‘Turning the Tide: […]

Text of speech to INVOLVE 2012 – Public involvement in research: would you like that shaken or stirred?

Public involvement in research: would you like that shaken or stirred? So, ladies and gentlemen, there I was on Saturday afternoon, at the pictures, watching the new James Bond movie, ‘Skyfall.’  This was background research for today you understand; listening to Adele dolefully sing: ‘This is the end’ which is the opening line of the […]

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, […]

New science networks herald more fertile ground for health innovation

If contemplating NHS change rest assured, and this from one who once visited Mt Etna, that the lava does solidify, some old structures do survive, and it is possible for new ones to be built with solid foundations. Herewith some new and some not so new ‘kids’ on the block in the world of research. […]

DH and charities reach acoRD over medical research costs

Divvying up the costs of conducting research in the NHS funded by medical research charities is an intricate business.   Who pays for that research nurse, their time in administering the extra treatment required in a clinical trial, the procedures and equipment needed as part of its conduct, the oversight and governance needed to ensure that things are done […]

The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary

Good Guardian blog yesterday giving a lay summary of the ‘open access’ debate vis a vis papers published in scientific journals.  There’s also been a healthy exchange of letters in The Times this week but ironically that’s behind their paywall.  However, at least The Times is available in all good newsagents at a reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, I […]