• In Focus

    Regret motion: pharmaceutical services

    On 26 April 2021, the House of Lords is due to debate a regret motion by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on the National Health Service (Charges and Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. The purpose of the regulations is to make it easier for pharmacies to distribute specific medicines during a pandemic. However, there are concerns about the financial pressures on pharmacies in England.

  • In Focus

    Commission on Alcohol Harm: ‘It’s Everywhere’—Alcohol’s Public Face and Private Harm

    A recent report by the Commission on Alcohol Harm highlighted the damage caused by alcohol abuse. Setting out a number of recommendations, it called for the Government to publish a new comprehensive alcohol strategy. This article provides a brief overview of the report and the Government’s current policy on alcohol.

  • In Focus

    Body Mass Index as a medical guideline

    Body Mass Index is a measurement used globally to assess a person’s body size. Health professionals have said it is a quick and cheap way to make estimations about an individual’s potential risk of disease or poor health, but that it is more effective when used alongside other measurements. Concerns have recently been raised about the use of BMI as a barrier to treatment for eating disorders.

  • In Focus

    Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill

    The Prisons (Substance Testing) Bill is a government supported private member’s bill. It would amend existing legislation to allow prisons to test for a wider range of drugs, including psychoactive substances and prescription and pharmacy medicines, without the need to regularly change legislation in the future.

  • In Focus

    Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill

    The Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill would prohibit specific cosmetic procedures being performed on young people under the age of 18 in England, except under the direction of a registered health professional (such as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses). It would also prohibit businesses from arranging or performing the procedures on under-18s. The bill has completed its stages in the House of Commons and is due to have its second reading in the Lords on 16 April 2021.

  • In Focus

    An elusive vaccine: The fight against malaria

    Malaria remains a deadly disease for many countries. A complex parasite causes the illness, which means it has proved difficult to vaccinate against. Currently, only one vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval, and no candidate has ever been fully launched and distributed. Why is malaria so difficult to vaccinate against, and which vaccine candidates are currently in development?

  • In Focus

    NHS staffing after Covid-19

    The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increased focus on the NHS and whether it has enough staff to meet the country’s healthcare needs. NHS staffing after the pandemic is the subject of a question for short debate to be asked in grand committee in the House of Lords on 4 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021

    Around 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Disorders often have complex causes, and they can last for many years. To mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2021, this article provides an overview of the three most common eating disorders and identifies who is most at risk and what treatments are available.

  • In Focus

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis: Uprating compensation payment rates

    Mesothelioma and pneumoconiosis are diseases primarily affecting industrial and construction workers. Sufferers are eligible for government compensation schemes if they cannot claim civil damages against their employers. Two sets of regulations would increase the amounts payable by 0.5 percent from 1 April 2021, in line with inflation and the uprating being applied to other disability benefits.

  • In Focus

    World Cancer Day 2021: Impact of Covid-19

    Many health professionals and organisations have raised concerns about the negative impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on cancer survival rates in the UK. This is mainly due to delays and cancellations in screening and diagnostic services. Concern has also been raised about the impact of Covid-19 on cancer patients and their weakened immune systems. This article will look in more detail at the impact Covid-19 is having on cancer in the UK.

  • In Focus

    World Aids Day 2020: HIV and Covid-19

    This article looks at the World Health Organisation's latest findings on the prevalence of HIV globally, studies into HIV status and Covid-19 and UNAIDS' call for global solidarity and shared responsibility.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus: Ban on residential evictions and seizure of goods

    Following the introduction of a second national lockdown in England, the Government introduced a ban on evictions against residential tenants and restrictions on the seizure of goods inside someone’s home by bailiffs. The Government stated these measures were necessary because of the high risk of Covid-19 transmission and the difficulty in accessing public services when pressure on the NHS and local authorities was most acute. The restrictions will be in place over the mid-winter period.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Health literacy and public health information

    Public health information has been a central tool in the Government’s fight against Covid-19. However, the public’s ability to obtain, process and understand health information is variable, with 61% of adults in one observational study struggling to understand health information that included both text and numbers. This article examines some of the barriers to understanding public health information, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. It also looks at what the Government is doing to improve levels of health literacy.