Parliament resumes, British Heart Foundation and unconscious biases and Vaccines

Good afternoon,

Firstly, before I get stuck into health updates from this past week, the All Parliamentary Health Group would like to congratulate Helen Whately, previous chair of the group who is now Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Arts, Heritage and Tourism. We wish Helen all the best in her new role and thank her for her time and dedication to the group over recent years. In the interim, we are pleased to announce that Dr Lisa Cameron from the SNP will be our acting chair until our EGM.

Meanwhile, in health, evidence on the positive impact on minimum pricing in Scotland was highlighted, supporting fiscal policies in health to deter or reduce dangerous consumption of alcohol. Regarding cancer reduction targets, the government announced £200 million for cancer diagnostic equipment, in hopes of this resulting in 55, 000 lives being saved every year. In vaccine news, latest statistics from NHS Digital show that there has been a decrease in childhood vaccination in the UK, prompting Matt Hancock to ‘look seriously’ at compulsory vaccinations for school children. It will be interesting to follow how the health secretary plans on developing this as anti-vaccine backlash is something the Department of Health and Social Care will also have to carefully onsider.

Furthermore, the British Heart Foundation have issued a report looking into the ‘unconscious biases’ that exist when treating women with heart attacks. The report shows that women who suffer heart attacks are dying needlessly because they fail to recognise their symptoms and receive poorer care than men. Heart attacks are often seen as a ‘man’s disease’ the report says, and the British Heart Foundation are launching a campaign to educate social perception and end inequity.

Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies’s last day in office is today as she gets ready to embark on her new role as Master elect of Trinity College, Cambridge. We look forward to seeing what lies in the horizon in tacking the threat of AMR and wish Dame Sally all the best.

And lastly, main thing to watch out for this week in the Common is the Westminster Hall Debate on Social Care Funding motioned by Sir Vince Cable. The APHG are also looking forward to hosting their next breakfast briefing on: The State of Care with guest speaker Ian Trenholm, CEO of the CQC and chaired by Lord Hunt on October 23rd. Further information can be found in our upcoming events section.

Health Project Coordiantor - Marjan Jamal marjan.jamal [at] (marjan[dot]jamal[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk)