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 … Continue reading Flying in the face of an interregnum
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 … Continue reading Department of Health about to have a Field day taking calls, I believe.
Tomorrow is Budget day. Having just finished AMRC's own budget and business plan for 2011-2012 all I can say is: George you know where I am if you want to crunch some last minute numbers? The Financial Times is reporting today that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce a £100million cash injection for capital … Continue reading Science and the budget, peer review and a spot of crowd-sourcing
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 … Continue reading NHS reforms, research and 'localism'
I begin with a public information announcement....If you are following the debate about the Health and Social Care Bill then you really must come to AMRC's workshop on 29th March to discuss its impact on research and what's to be done about it. If it is anything like the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research … Continue reading Health and Social Care Bill and other reasons to switch-on
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 … Continue reading mICRA, PROSPERO, Beddington and Bell
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 … Continue reading Second Reading of the Health and Social Care Bill: An open letter to MPs
Over the holidays I caught a BBC Radio 4 item about the days of the touch typist. It was one of those gems of broadcasting which looked through a narrow lens to tell the listener much about how the world has changed. It also brought back many memories of my time as a messenger at the old … Continue reading Getting touchy over the information revolution
In a blog 'exclusive' - albeit more by technical chance than design - I am today sharing with you the independent report of the AMRC/INVOLVE patient workshop on health research regulation that took part in early November. We were invited to undertake this important piece of work by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) as … Continue reading What do patients want from health research regulation?
Some of you may know that today was being dubbed 'Super Wednesday' by some because today is the day that the Department of Health has set out its response to the consultation on the NHS White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.' The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has very helpfully published an … Continue reading NHS white paper next steps
'Healthy Lives, Healthy People,' the White Paper on public health has been published and is available on the Department of Health website. The news release sets out the Secretary of State's 'ladder of intervention' - from the rather refreshingly titled 'do nothing' up to 'eliminate choice altogether' - which sound like the different states of readiness one … Continue reading The Public health white paper – a new school of thought
I thought you may be interested in this extract from the Health Minister, Earl Howe's, speech to out AGM on Wednesday: It also gives me pleasure to note [that] AMRC member expenditure on research having exceeded £1 billion for the year for the first time. Given the economic circumstances, I think this is something about which … Continue reading Earl Howe's Speech at the AMRC AGM
The news earlier this week that the National Institute of Clinicial and Health Excellence (NICE) is to lose its powers for deciding which drugs should be made available on the NHS (to be replaced by a new system based around GP commissioning) brought an alternative version of Adam Smith's remarks about shopkeepers to mind: "To found a … Continue reading 'A nation of General Practitioners' and other bits of philosophising
Monday saw the Science Mnister, David Willetts, and Health Minister, Earl Howe, announce what are being called therapeutic capability clusters (research consortia) at the ABPI/BIA conference in London. PharmaLetter has an article on it and what I think is the formal news release can be found on Pharma Live. Don't be fooled by the PR … Continue reading Capability Dave announces cluster therapy for research
A quick post to say that we have today posted our comments on the NHS White Paper on our website. Our response is the first-listed on the consultations page for 2010 here. If you want to get some idea of the Department of Health perspective on the issues we raise you might like to read … Continue reading AMRC Responds to NHS White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS'
Stumbling half-asleep across my hotel room this morning I overheard a spokesman from the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on the TV saying that every £1 invested in arts in the city generated a further £29 in economic activity. Or something along those lines. As Orwellian visions filled my mind of a day to come where every … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference – notes from a large fringe
'So we will give priority to spending that supports growth in our economy. That means investment in the transport schemes, the medical research and the communications networks that deliver the greatest economic benefit.' George Osborne, 4 October 2010 Welcome, good, important? Yes. Victory, game over? Of course not. A noticeable frisson went through the room … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference – it ain't over until it's over
I read in the Birmingham local press that about 14,000 people are expected at the Conservative Party Conference. It certainly seems busier than the preceding two, even on a Sunday evening. Each conference has its own feel but common to them all is the herd of grey-suited buffalo (including myself I suppose) that migrates from one … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference – avoiding the herd mentality
Two down, one to go. Here's science related 'matter' at the Conservative Party Conference which starts in Birmingham tomorrow. Birmingham University was of course the venue for the Science Minister, David Willett's, first speech after taking office. I am looking forward to being one of the hosts when he joins us for a roundtable breakfast … Continue reading Science at the Conservative Party Conference