Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 23-29 Oct 2019

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 31 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6230

Social prescribing

New academy will develop best practice

The Department of Health and Social Care announced a new charity, the National Academy for Social Prescribing, to benefit patients with long term health problems by helping health professionals to prescribe social activities such as reading circles, choir groups, and walking football. The academy, which will be chaired by the outgoing chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Helen Stokes-Lampard, will share best practice, develop training and accreditation, and improve the evidence base for social prescribing. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l6170)

Devolved nations

NI woman is acquitted over abortion pills

A woman in Northern Ireland who was prosecuted for buying abortion pills over the internet for her 15 year old daughter was formally acquitted at Belfast Crown Court, a day after abortion was decriminalised in the province. Judge David McFarland directed a jury to find the woman not guilty, after the prosecution offered no evidence. She had been reported to police by her GP after disclosing that she had bought the pills in 2013, unaware that she was committing a criminal offence. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.l6207)

Scottish NHS needs urgent reform, says auditor

The NHS in Scotland is running out of time to reform care delivery and ensure financial sustainability, Audit Scotland warned. It said that progress towards health and social care integration was too slow and that a new strategy was needed for large scale, systemwide reform from 2020. Without change, it warned, the …

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