News round-up (August 27)

News round-up (August 27)

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27th August 2021 about a 4 minute read

The announcement that Loughborough University is to set up a Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLIMB) seems to have set off a number of exciting AI and data research stories and funding opportunities from throughout the UK this week.


Government unveils post-Brexit global data plans to boost growth, increase trade and improve healthcare

Announcing a package of measures to boost growth, trade and improve public services, Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

“Now that we have left the EU I’m determined to seize the opportunity by developing a world-leading data policy that will deliver a Brexit dividend for individuals and businesses across the UK.”

The proposals come after the UK launched its Innovation Strategy and a plan to make the country a global leader in innovation-focused digital regulation to help cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in science, research and innovation.


Delivering a Net Zero NHS – Reducing the carbon impact of anaesthetic gases

The AHSN Network Environmental Sustainability Community of Interest are hosting a series of sharing and learning events that aim to share best practice innovations and initiatives to support delivery of a Net Zero NHS.

The second event in this series will take place online on Tuesday 28 September 10:30am to 12pm and will focus on the carbon impact of anaesthetic gases.

The event is open to anyone working in the NHS with an interest in environmental sustainability but will be of particular interest to sustainability leads, anaesthetists and those working in operating theatres and maternity wards.


Barts Health uses AI to scan 14.2 million documents to identify patients with diabetic foot disease

Barts Health NHS Trust has utilised AI technology to scan 14.2 million documents to find and identify patients with diabetic foot disease. The analysis of the documents aimed to find patients, who otherwise might have been unknown, and therefore enable the trust to focus its resources on a particular cohort.

The programme identified 61,756 patients with diabetes and, of these, 3,119 patients with DFD. The technology from Clinithink uses artifical intelligence tools to find meaning in unstructured medical notes and documents. The company notes the tool can recognise idioms, metaphors, turns of phrase, and for example all 72 different ways of saying ‘fractured left neck of femur’.

The next stage of the programme will explore whether the tool can be used to predict those patients who are most likely to develop severe complications associated with the disease.


Scottish Government publishes NHS Recovery Plan

The Scottish Government has published its NHS Recovery Plan, committing more than £1 billion of targeted investment for the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s health service. It sets out key actions for the next five years to help address backlogs in healthcare and increase capacity by at least 10%. Actions in the plan include:

  • Increasing investment in National Treatment Centres (NTCs) to more than £400 million, contributing to delivery of over 40,000 additional elective surgeries and procedures per year
  • Raising primary care investment by 25%, supporting GPs, community pharmacists, dentists and optometrists
  • Investing £29 million to target diagnostic backlogs, providing 78,000 additional procedures in 2021/22 rising to 90,000 per year from 2025/26.


NHS England has admitted that a shortage of vials used for blood tests will worsen over the next few weeks and will last until mid-September.

 It said supplies remain constrained and are forecast “to become even more constrained over the coming weeks”.

Doctors had been told to stagger some blood tests due to the shortage. They are warning that patient care will suffer due to delays.

Due to the shortage, the NHS has temporarily stopped some blood testing for fertility, pre-diabetes, allergies and certain blood disorders. NHS England issued guidance urging doctors to delay regular blood tests if clinically safe and NHS Wales issued similar guidance.