News

Seven days in medicine: 8-14 February 2017

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j802 (Published 16 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j802

Patient safety

Warning over another Mid Staffs-type scandal

Robert Francis QC, who led the UK public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire Hospital after more than 400 excess deaths occurred from 2005 to 2008, warned that another such hospital scandal is “inevitable.” Francis told the Health Service Journal, “Let’s make no bones about it, the NHS is facing an existential crisis . . . The service is running faster and faster to try and keep up and is failing, manifestly failing. The danger is that we reach a tipping point, we haven’t reached it yet, but there will come a point where public confidence in the service dissipates.”

Brexit

MPs vote against NHS amendment

MPs voted down an amendment to the UK government’s Article 50 Bill on leaving the European Union that would have required the government to publish a report on the effect of EU withdrawal on national finances, particularly health spending. Proposed by a Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, the amendment followed claims by Leave campaigners that withdrawal from the EU would allow an extra £350m (€412m; $434m) a week to be spent on the NHS.

New cancer drugs could be delayed by two years

UK patients are likely to wait longer for access to new cancer drugs after the UK leaves the European Union because drug companies will prioritise winning approval for access to the larger European market ahead of the UK market, a former chair of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Alasdair Breckenridge, warned on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. David Jeffreys, …

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