21 – 27 February 2019

Martin McKee is interviewed by Al Jazeera about the potential impact of Brexit on the NHS, after Martin co-authored a Health Policy review in the Lancet examining the impact Brexit may have on the NHS. Martin said: “There is an argument that you could say that people who can no longer come from the EU can come from the rest of the world and that is fine, but then you lose all the safeguards that the EU has built up, the alert mechanisms, so there will be a lot of problems with staffing the NHS.”

The news was also covered by Press Association, Reuters, The Times, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, ABC and Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Martin also comments on a new PHE report on use of e-cigarettes among young people, which shows that one in six children have tried e-cigarettes. The report also showed that since 2014 the number of children ages 11-18 using e-cigarettes has doubled. Martin said: “We have seen what is happening in the USA, with an explosive growth in e-cigarette use among young people. For PHE to be pushing them out to the public and making them as easily available as possible does not seem like a good idea. It is further evidence that England is out of line with the rest of the world.”

Martin’s comments were included in coverage in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph.

Martin also spoke to Politico about a new initiative that calls for e-cigarettes and vaping to be treated differently from traditional smoking and how industry are backing the call. Martin said: “Vaping may not bring the same risk of lung cancer as smoking but there are serious questions about cardiovascular disease and there are enough questions there that I think the precautionary principle should be adopted.”

Wendy Macdowall speaks to BBC News about plans to introduce sex education into schools by 2020, after the Department of Education published new proposals on sex education in schools. Wendy said:Sex Education is associated with better sexual health outcomes but as we’ve heard the guidance that exists at the moment is from 2000, so is well in need of updating. The landscape has changed considerably and until this point the delivery of sex education has been very patchy and not statutory in all schools.”

Heidi Larson speaks to Wired about vaccine scepticism for a piece that looks at the distrust around vaccines. Heidi said: “I hear it in all corners of the world – this anxiety against all the evidence. Now things are not at a panic situation, though maybe they should be. But this is kind of a slow burn – a growing kind of hubris.”

Claudia Allemani comments in The Guardian about the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancers after new research finds that almost half of children with cancer face difficulties in accessing healthcare and have their symptoms confused with other conditions, such as TB or malaria. Claudia said: “Only real world data can give us the true picture in a given country or region of the world. Cancer registries must be given the legislative, political and financial stability to collect complete and high-quality data in a timely fashion.”

Dan Bausch comments in Stat on his experience of working with recently retired Dr Pierre Rollin, a public health doctor who worked extensively on Ebola during his career. Dan said: “He has an incredibly diverse knowledge, and is just willing to do whatever needs to be done.”

Virginia Berridge speaks to BBC World Service about post-war Britain and LSHTM’s research linking smoking with cancer in 1950. Virginia said: “Howard Macmillan, when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, made an entry in his diary in 1956 and he said if people really think they will get cancer of the lung from smoking then it’s the end of the budget. So he saw this as pretty much a financial disaster.”

On social media

This week’s social media highlight comes from the LSHTM Instagram account which ran a week takeover with photographer James Sykes. James Sykes recently photographed life in the LSHTM labs for the new research in action feature on Gene editing, predatory bacteria and zebrafish: Getting creative to control infection.

Comments are closed.