11 – 17 February 2017

A School-led study that found approximately 30,000 deaths in England & Wales in 2015 could be linked to failures in the health and social care system, is widely covered by the UK print, broadcast and online media. The Daily Telegraph ran the story on its front page, quoting Martin McKee on “the relentless nature of the cuts,” causing services to suffer.

The research is also covered by The Guardian, The Times (£), Daily Mail, The Independent & i News, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Express, BMJ.com, Boots WebMD, International Business Times UK and via the Press Association to over 130 UK regional outlets.  Martin is interviewed by Sky News, ITV News, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News, and his comments featured on regional UK morning news bulletins.

Seb Funk is interviewed by BBC World Service Radio’s Newshour (from 48m08s) & Science In Action (from start) programmes, on a study he co-authored that found ‘super-spreaders’ were the driving force behind two-thirds of cases during the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak: “We need to distinguish between two ways in which someone could be a so-called ‘super-spreader,’ biologically someone could be infectious and shed a lot of material or socially, one might have many contact with others.” Seb is also interviewed by Radio France International with news of the study also featuring in BBC Radio morning news bulletins.

The study is covered widely with Seb quoted by Reuters and further coverage in: BBC News, Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and an article from the AFP generates coverage in outlets worldwide such as Times of India, France24 and Al Jazeera. Roz Eggo provides comment on the study to International Business Times UK: “We already know there is variation in the number of transmission events for individuals. This study really adds evidence of this effect during the Ebola outbreak. I think it’s a novel use of valuable data.”

Sir Nick Black appears on BBC Radio 4’s Inside Health NHS debate special, discussing the pressure, unprecedented demand and spending concerns the service is facing: “We need to be clear on the suggestion of payments, it is to raise money or to deter demand? […] The fairest way to raise money is through a progressive income tax where we redistribute the money from those who can afford it most to those least.”

Heidi Larson provides the Wall Street Journal (£) with comment on the growing anti-vaccine trend in Italy. Referring to the UK MMR controversy, Heidi says: “It led to a drop of vaccination in England, and it took 15 years to recover. In those 15 years the MMR anxieties have travelled to Europe and other countries, most recently Malaysia and India.”

James Logan is quoted by CNN on wearable technologies to help protect against mosquito bites: “It’s always going to be a combination of different interventions taken to communities. Wearable technologies won’t eliminate malaria on their own, but they will help.”

Eleanor Riley provides comment to WIRED magazine on the news of a malaria vaccine demonstrating 100% efficacy during human trials: “[The paper] is a significant technical achievement [but] how does the vaccine work? How long does the protective effect last? And is it really feasible to vaccinate many millions of people, including babies and small children, intravenously?”

Johanna Hanefeld & Richard Smith write a BMJ editorial on ‘health tourism’ and the ongoing debate: “Their pursuit seems more of a response to the xenophobic overtones of the Brexit movement and a smokescreen to divert attention from the more fundamental issues within the NHS, such as chronic funding crises and staff burnout.”

Peter Piot speaks to WIRED magazine about the risks of infectious and non-communicable diseases ahead of his talk at the Wired Health 2017 event: “The biggest epidemic of all is not caused by a microbe, and it’s spreading all over the world. It’s obesity; it’s diabetes […] you can see that obesity and diabetes are spreading like an infectious disease. In the future that’s going to be a big challenge.”

Martin McKee is interviewed by BBC World Service Radio’s Business Daily programme (from 10m00s) on global approaches to health services funding: “There is recognition in the academic community that progressive taxation is the best way to support universal care. [For example] the rise of what is called the ‘gig economy’ pose a serious challenge to social insurance.”

David Moore provides comment to the New Scientist on research that shows two new drug therapies may be able to cure all forms of tuberculosis: “The results are exciting and encouraging, but we must be cautious saying we can treat everyone with these regimes. These are only preliminary data, so there’s a danger of jumping the gun.”

Sally Bloomfield is quoted in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences news feature [PDF] discussing the shift of the hygiene hypothesis, saying that it is a “dangerous misnomer which is misleading people away from finding the true causes of these rises in allergic disease.”

Jennifer Gosling is quoted by Management in Practice on her research into the gender inequalities of practice management: “What I wasn’t expecting was that the women coming from outside general practice, who had had other jobs, were still getting lower salaries than the men.

A participant on the School’s Health in Humanitarian Crises MOOC discuss their experience and what they’ve learnt in a Huffington Post blog.

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