Your morning summary of digital health news, information and events to know about if you want to be “in the know”.   

👇 News  

🏥 The NHS should replace its traditional general hospital model to improve outcomes and reduce cost pressures, a pair of healthcare experts suggest today. The proposals come as part of a paper published today by the Social Market Foundation think tank by Nick Bosanquet, former professor of health policy at Imperial College, and Andrew Haldenby, an experienced adviser to public service organisations. Together, they set out a plan for a more efficient NHS, featuring teams led by GPs and including physiotherapists, and counsellors and specialist ‘Dynamo’ operating centres, with the goal of making many trips for hospital treatment obsolete: 30% fewer NHS patients should be attending hospitals in 10 years’ time, the paper proposes. 

👋 Nervecentre has announced the appointment of David Newey as director of transformation, to drive the next phase of its EPR implementation projects. Newey has joined Nervecentre from The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where he has spent over six years delivering their digital strategy, most recently holding the position of chief information officer. In his new role, Newey will provide executive level support to steer forward new customer EPR projects and deployments. 

🛌 The head of the NHS has praised the hard work of staff for rolling out 5,000 additional permanent, staffed beds this winter – during a period of industrial action and significant pressure. New figures published today show last week, hospitals across the country had an average of 99,750 core beds in place each day – up 2,000 since the start of the year (97,619 w/e 31 Dec) to align with the expected peak in Covid and flu admissions. However, today’s data also shows rising demand due to seasonal pressures – with the number of people in hospital with flu the highest it has been all winter.  

🧫 Human pathologists are extensively trained to detect when tissue samples from one patient mistakenly end up on another patient’s microscope slides (a problem known as tissue contamination). But such contamination can easily confuse AI models, which are often trained in pristine, simulated environments, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. 

🔬 New research has revealed changes in our blood proteins caused by our body’s own immune defences are the likely cause of long Covid. A leading medical expert says we can now develop simple blood tests to identify people with the debilitating condition. Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan , clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, said: “It has long been hypothesised that immune dysfunction underlines long Covid, and now research has determined it is due to increased activation of the complement system”. The complement system is a major part of the body’s immune defences that normally helps to clear infections and clean up damaged cells. Ironically, in long Covid cases, it is causing the problems. A new report, published in Science last week, found patients experiencing long Covid symptoms exhibited changes to their blood serum proteins. These changes indicated that the complement system was abnormally activated, altering blood coagulation and causing tissue injury. Medical professionals call this “thrombo-inflammation”. 

❓ Did you know that? 

Recent YouGov polling commissioned by clinical trials startup Lindus Health has found that 47% of Brits want the Government to be doing more to drive the production of new medicines. The research also found that numbers were highest amongst younger people (56% of 18 – 24-year-olds) and Labour voters (65%), but almost 40% of Conservative voters agreed that the Government needs to do more in new drug development.  

📖 What we’re reading 

The King’s Fund’s new chief executive, Sarah Woolnough, looks at the challenges facing the health and care service in 2024 in this blog. 

🚨 This week’s events 

25-26 January, London – 38th Global Summit on Pediatrics