Health and Wellbeing Policy News 27th May - 5th June

There is a full list of health and wellbeing policy news items from the past week here.  Some of the more significant items were:


  • The system of serious case reviews is to be overhauled and the legal requirement to have a local safeguarding children's board removed, the Government has indicated (26th May).  Instead there is to be a national framework with 'local learning inquiries' and some 'national serious case inquiries'.
  • BAME staff in the NHS are more likely than white staff to be bullied by colleagues (2nd June) according to the first NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard report.
  • About half of midwives are afraid of making a mistake at work because of exhaustion, according to a survey by the Royal College of Midwives (2nd June).
  • The new Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch, which is due to start work later this year, should have its independence guaranteed in primary legislation the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has said (2nd June).  The first head of the new body is likely to be Keith Conradi, currently the UK's chief investigator of air accidents (4th June).
  • Over a quarter (28%) of young people referred to mental health services received no support, according to a report by the Children's Commissioner (28th May)
  • There appear to be some significant breakthroughs in cancer treatment on the horizon.  From my very limited technical knowledge, two sorts of approach sound to be promising.  One is targeting the treatment based on a detailed understanding of the specific tumour (often through DNA analysis), which is discussed in an article about research presented at the world's largest cancer conference in Chicago (4th).  The other approach seems to be based on immunotherapy - finding ways to enable the body's own immune system to recognise and attack cancer cells.  While these developments could lead to a dramatic improvement in cancer treatment they are at an early stage and don't always merit the sensational headlines produced.  Still, worth keeping an eye on them as they develop.

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