Category Archives: UK health and social care

Lancet editorial on north-south divide

The Lancet has an editorial highlighting an article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health which identified economic and health disparities between the north and south of England. The article reported that in past 20 years overall mortality is 20% higher in the north of England than in the south. The Lancet editorial concludes that UK government policy reports have not been an incentive for hard action.

Public Health England childhood obesity plan

Public Health England (PHE) have announced the next stage of their plan to tackle childhood obesity. This will involve setting the ambition of a calorie reduction programme to remove excess calories from the food children consume the most. This is likely to include ready meals, pizzas, burgers etc… In addition, the Department of Health have announced the funding of an Obesity Research Policy Unit at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Warfarin self-monitoring impact

The ‘My Signals‘ resource from NIHR is a new feature enabling health service users and staff to highlight NIHR research that is important to them. In this update a member of the public highlights the project on self-monitoring of warfarin as making an impact on the care of her husband. HERU were involved in the health economics component of the research.

Elsewhere on the page there is a link to a feature on research about managing the obesity of men. This is a research summary rather than a ‘My Signals’ page but does feature the HTA on the management of obesity in men that HERU were involved in.


Agreement on shape of medical education and training

The four UK nations have endorsed the conclusions of the UK Shape of Training Steering Group on medical education and training in the UK. The steering group were considering the recommendations made in Sir David Greenaway’s review of medical education and training. The recommendations relate to changes in the medical curricula, training pathways and credentialing of education and training that should be developed by the Medical Royal Colleges and the General Medical Council. The report of the group and annexes informing the recommendations are available.

Neonatal care audit

The Neonatal Maternity and Perinatal Audit have produced a report of NHS maternity and neonatal services delivered by the NHS in England, Scotland and Wales. The survey, which was completed by every NHS board or trust providing on-site birth care, covers staffing, services and facilities. The findings of the audit suggest that ‘typical maternity units do not appear to exist’.

International comparisons of UK health spending

An article in the BMJ by John Appleby and Ben Gershlick uses data from a recently published OECD report (OECD Health Statistics 2017) to analyse how UK health spending compares with other countries. The authors highlight that new methods of assessing health spending suggest that data methods have previously underestimated how much the UK spends on health compared with other countries. The article states that the UK spends roughly the same on health as the average of other EU-15 countries.

Appleby John, Gershlick Ben. Keeping up with the Johanssons: How does UK health spending compare internationally? BMJ 2017; 358 :j3568


GIRFT report from King’s Fund

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) aims to aims to bring about higher-quality care in hospitals, at lower cost, by reducing unwanted variations in services and practices. The programme is being rolled out across the English NHS and this report from the King’s Fund offers a summary and assessment of the programme.

Timmons, N. (2017) Tackling variations in clinical care: assessing the Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) programme, London: King’s Fund.