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Policy and Public Affairs Update: 10th - 14th July

BSI weekly Policy and Public Affairs update

July 10th – July 14th


Government publishes Great Repeal Pill

The Government has published its European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, or Great Repeal Bill, thus setting out the proposed legal mechanism that will ultimately end the supremacy of EU law in the UK.

Where possible, the Bill will transfer existing EU legislation onto the UK statute book. However, it does also contain provisions that would enable ministers to tweak laws and create new institutions where necessary to ensure a smooth transition. Under the current proposals, these powers would be effective for up to two years post-Brexit. 


House of Commons select committee chairs announced

Following select committee chair elections on Wednesday, it was announced that Norman Lamb MP has been appointed to be the new Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. A list of all the select committee Chairs can be found here.

Norman Lamb is the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk and the party’s health spokesperson. He was previously a health minister in the coalition government.

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP retains her position as Health Committee Chair, as does Hilary Benn MP, Chair of the Committee on Exiting the European Union. 


New report published on the health of the population in England

Public Health England (PHE) has published a new report on the health of the population in England. Broken down into several chapters, the report highlights data and knowledge on the health of the population, specifically reflecting on life expectancy, health inequalities and morbidity.

The report notes that life expectancy has increased significantly in recent decades. However, this has not been matched by a concurrent increase in the number of healthy years lived, meaning we may be living longer but the majority of our later years are spent in poor health.

The report also investigates changing patterns of disease. Heart disease and stroke remain the biggest killer of men, despite the fact that deaths have halved since 2001, while dementia is the biggest killer of women. For the first time, diabetes is listed in the top 10 causes of morbidity and mortality. 


Animal statistics of scientific procedures on living animals published

The Home Office has published its annual statistics on the use of animals in research, covering the year 2016.

The number of animal procedures in the UK dropped 5% to 3.94 million compared with 2015. 51% or 2.02 million of those procedures were experimental and 49% or 1.91 million were for the breeding or maintenance of Genetically Engineered animals no included in further experiments. 


Entrepreneurial training scheme for healthcare scientists announced

A new scheme from NHS England designed to give healthcare professionals the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills and aspirations will open up for applications this autumn.

This is the second year of the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, with 103 junior doctors making use of the scheme to  develop their ideas and business skills last year.