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The health news that you might have missed this week – Friday Five

Not sure about you, but we were bombarded with plenty of big health stories this week, like the first ever smear test campaign as attendance hits 20 year low, the second person ever to be cured of HIV and the four-hour target is set to be scrapped. Sure, it’s interesting stuff, but this week we decided to focus on the stories which maybe got a little lost in the crowd.


Innovative digital tech lab launched to stimulate product development

The first digital testing space of its kind has been launched by the NHS, entitled the LiverNerds lab at Liverpool’s Life Sciences Accelerator. The space simulates both a hospital room and patients home, which are equipped with the latest digital equipment and will give companies a chance to test products and drive the digital reform in health and social care.

Read more from the Digital Health.

Health has been topped as the public’s top concern

Immigration is now no longer the public’s main concern, according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Health and social security has overtaken immigration as the main concern and economists believe that this shift signals “a return to traditional, domestic issues” as the UK prepares to leave Europe and that Brexit is going to be a way to reduce immigration.

Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs(IEA) said, “There’s a perception that Britain is getting control back of their borders so people are focussing on the traditional issues like health and the NHS, social security and spending”

Read more from the Telegraph.

NHS offer new career route into health and social care

In April the first degree-level apprenticeships in physiotherapy and occupational therapy, which will address the continuing workforce recruitment and retention problems, whilst offering an alternative earn-while-you-learn route to professional qualification.

They fit alongside a growing and diverse portfolio of other new lower-level apprenticeships. The NHS alone has 350 different job roles – 120 of which have an apprenticeship route, 30 are degree-level.

Read more from The Guardian.

Local areas to be given much greater control over NHS workforce policy

Workforce implementation plan chair Dido Harding and national executive lead Julian Hartley said in a letter sent to chief executives yesterday that they would look to devolve more responsibility for workforce issues to sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems.

Workforce has become a major area of concern for NHS providers and policymakers in recent years with the service facing vacancies of more than 100,000. The NHS long-term plan failed to offer any solutions with the issue pushed back to the spending review later this year.

Read more from the HSJ.


Quote of the week

As it is International Women’s Day, the quote of the week has been focused towards women’s health and comes from Dr Rebecca French, associate professor of sexual and reproductive health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:

“I think there is still a lack of knowledge about what different methods are available to people and to help women to make informed choices.”

Figures obtained by The Guardian, show that almost nine in 10 women (a total of more than 3.1 million women in England in 2017-18) who receive contraception from the GP or pharmacies take either the combined pill or “mini pill”, making it the most popular form of contraceptive in the UK. However, experts say these findings raise concerns that women might be missing out on the latest contraceptive options.

Read more from the The Guardian.

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