22 – 28 February 2014

Nick Black discusses hospital death rates on BBC Radio 4’s File on 4: “I don’t think there’s any value in the publication of HMSR [Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratios] and I would go further and say it is a distraction, because it creates the risk of it giving a misleading idea of the quality of care of a hospital. That’s why I think we should be focusing on measures of the quality of care and not on a spurious measure of mortality ratios, which can be altered relatively easily. Personally, I would suggest that the public ignore them.” Also leads to coverage by The Independent, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC News and local BBC Radio.

Nick Black is also interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s World at One on the benefits of sharing patient data (39m 52s): “Patients with respiratory disease who have a heart attack, generally speaking, doctors are reluctant to put them on beta blockers… By linking data from heart attack databases, from hospital databases, from GP data, it’s been possible to show that actually those sorts of patients, their risk of death is halved if they are put on beta blockers, and as a result they are now getting those drugs.”

Val Curtis speaks to Voice of America, The Hindu and Science Daily on new research showing that the Super Amma cartoon campaign improves handwashing behaviour and reduces infection: “Handwashing campaigns usually try to educate people with health messages about germs and diseases, but so far efforts to change handwashing behaviour on a large scale have had little success. Understanding the motivating factors for routine hand washing is essential to any initiative likely to achieve lasting behaviour change.”

Martin McKee talks to The Guardian about the tobacco industry’s involvement in e-cigarette advertising: “My view at the moment is that these are things that have been around since the 1960s and people had not paid attention to them. Then suddenly the tobacco industry got interested…The advertisements they are using are almost identical to the ones the tobacco industry used historically.” He is also interviewed on LBC Radio.

Helena Legido-Quigley speaks to New Scientist on a new study showing the impact of spending cuts on the Greek health system: “We think Spain will follow if the cuts are not reversed.”

David Heymann is featured in The Guardian in an article on ‘sick cities’ and the threat of pandemics

Lucy Tusting writes for the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network on the potential of larval source management and malaria control

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