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Department of Health

Department of Health appoints Teva and Sanofi veteran as commercial head

Published on: 27/07/17

The UK Government has announced a new appointment within the Department of Health: Steve Oldfield, a former veteran of Teva and Sanofi, has been selected as the department’s new Chief Commercial Officer.  

Number of patients at risk from NHS mail mistake revealed

According to the patient records that have been examined so far, at least 1,700 may have been put at risk by the recent blunder that saw NHS correspondence held in a warehouse for a number of years. The problem was revealed in February, revealing that over 700,000 pieces of medical correspondence had been waylaid in a warehouse by the private company, NHS Shared Business Services (SBS).

Cancer Drugs Fund ‘not sustainable in current form’

More than 10,000 people were able to access Roche's Avastin through the fund between 2013 and 2015

The Cancer Drugs Fund has improved access to treatments, although the UK still lags behind other countries despite its ‘unsustainable’ cost, a report has found.

An investigation by the National Audit Office (NAO), an independent watchdog that scrutinises public spending, looked into questions about the “rationale for the fund and how it relates to mainstream NHS processes” that were identified during an NAO report on cancer outcomes and services published in January.

NHS is struggling to improve cancer care

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The Department of Health and NHS England are struggling with the demand required to improve its cancer services according to a new government report.

MPs in the Public Accounts Committee suggest that the NHS’ drive to improve its cancer services has ‘lost momentum’ over the last two years.

“More and more people are getting cancer but the resources available to support improvement have gone down,” says the chair of the committee, Margaret Hodge.

Government lays out rare diseases plan

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The UK government has set out new plans to improve the lives of patients with rare diseases by 2020.

The ‘UK Strategy for Rare Diseases’ will see all four home nations commit to a number of actions including improving patient access to their personal data, as well as making sure they have a say in decisions about treatment and planning of services.

Finance director general for Department of Health retiring

Published on: 04/03/15

The Department of Health’s director general for finance and the NHS Richard Douglas is to retire at the end of May.

Douglas was appointed director general in 2007 and is the longest standing director general for finance in central government – having been a board member at the DoH since 2001.

He started his career in finance with the National Audit Office, and his current role is his third spell with the department. Prior to his return there in 2001 he was finance director for National Savings & Investments.

DH publishes dementia map

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People will be able to view the quality of dementia care and support in their local area, thanks to a new interactive online map launched by health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Around 670,000 people in England live with the degenerative condition - but that figure is set to double in the next 30 years, presenting a massive problem for health services.

Hunt has singled it out as one of the areas in which he will attempt to effect lasting change during his tenure as health secretary.

‘Game-changing’ cancer database launched

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The national register will use data from patients at every acute NHS trust

The Department of Health has unveiled a new system for co-ordinating cancer treatment which it hopes will save thousands of lives each year.

Data from millions of patient records has been brought together in the biggest cancer registration database, giving specialists instant access to detailed clinical data.

The national register will use data from patients at every acute NHS trust as well 11 million historical records. It will eventually track how each sub-type of cancer responds to treatment, which will inform treatment for future patients.

Physios and podiatrists to gain new prescribing powers

Physiotherapists and podiatrists are set to gain new prescribing powers by 2014. 

Ministers are looking to amend medicines legislation so that podiatrists and physiotherapists can prescribe drugs independently - they currently need a GP to underwrite any prescriptions they make. 

The Department of Health has already consulted on these proposed changes, and it is now looking to see these new powers realised by 2014.

DH admits cancer awareness campaigns failed

The government’s £9 million cancer awareness campaigns were built upon failed pilots, according to newly released data.

The national awareness campaign focused on encouraging earlier diagnosis of breast, lung and bowel cancer and was launched by the Department of Health at the start of the year.

But before running these national campaigns, the government tested their effectiveness by running pilots, but these failed to increase cancer detection.

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