Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 21-27 October 2020

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 29 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4131


Research losses of £7.8bn are predicted by 2027

Medical research charities in the UK are expected to have lost almost 38% of their fundraising income in the past academic year and to lose over 25% this next academic year because of restrictions on fundraising events, charity shop closures, and economic uncertainty, the Institute for Public Policy Research found. The losses add up to £7.8bn (€8.6bn; $10.1bn) less in health research from now to 2027, which could be terminal for the prime minister’s “science superpower’” aspirations, said researchers, who called for a three year life sciences charity partnership fund equal to the predicted losses.

Elderly patients are avoiding GP contact

Over half (53%) of 1000 GPs surveyed by Cancer Research UK in September were concerned that fewer older people were contacting them with symptoms than before the pandemic. They were also concerned about less contact from patients with learning difficulties, patients whose first language was not English, people from poorer backgrounds, ethnic minorities, and people with existing health conditions. While fewer GPs were now reporting reductions in the number of patients contacting them—29%, down from 62% in June—the charity said that patients needed more reassurance that practices were open and safe.

Reclassify emergency contraception, says BPAS

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service called for emergency contraception to be reclassified by the health secretary as a general sales list medication, which would allow women to purchase it directly from the shelf rather than requiring …

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