Prescription Charges fall to £3 on the 1st of April 2016

Prescription charges in Scotland will fall to £3 from tomorrow (the 1st of April 2016).  If you live in Wales or Northern Ireland then prescriptions are already free.  It is planned to phase out prescription charges in Scotland by 2011.  If you live in England you still have to pay £7.20.

Not everyone in [...]


Waiting Times Update

Figures out this week show that 96 % of people who were urgently referred and then diagnosed with cancer were treated within 62 days.  This means the 95 % target has been reached every quarter for the past year.  The average wait was 35 days.  NHS Grampian treated 96.8% of people within 62 days.



Scottish Chromatin Group – Meeting and Webcast

This one is for the scientists, the Scottish Chromatin group are having a meeting next Wednesday (the 10th of February 2016).  The meeting is being held at the University of Edinburgh from 2pm-6pm, so obviously if you are in (0r near) Edinburgh you can just go along. Interestingly they are also webcasting the meeting, [...]


NHS Scotland Spends more than England and Wales

Last week there were several news stories about a report released by the Nuffield Trust showing that NHS Scotland is less efficient and spends more than Wales and England and Northern Ireland.  NHS staff in Scotland also see less patients than their counterparts south of the border.  For some interesting statistics read this report [...]


Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer

A Cancer Research UK press release out today suggests that people with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood have a lower risk of colorectal cancer (you can read the original paper in the British Medical Journal Jenab et al 2016).  This is particularly important in Scotland because we only get about 5 [...]


The James Lind Library – Fair tests of medical treatments

I think this post is important, I’m going to write about The James Lind library and a book that is freely available for download called “Testing Treatments – Better Research for Better Healthcare“. I think everybody should read this book. It is 100 pages long and it is free to download, the download version [...]


NHS Websites – There are a lot of them…

This post is as much for my benefit as anyone elses, the NHS have umpteen different websites, many of which have “News” sections, however very few of these have RSS feeds, so it is very hard to keep up to date with them.  If  I make a list of them here, hopefully I’ll be [...]


Cancer, cold weather and fuel payments

It’s freezing so now seems as good a time as any to mention Mamcillan’s campaign to Freeze out Fuel Poverty. According to Macmillan 1 in 5 cancer patients can’t afford to heat their homes.

If you have cancer Macmillan provide a factsheet about help with fuel bills. In the first instance they suggest you [...]


RSC – Centenary Lectureship 2015

The Royal Society Centenary Lectures are now underway.  This year they are being given by Professor John Katzenellenbogen from the University of Illinois at Urbana, U.S.A.  The lecture tour started off today, at the Open University in Milton Keynes.  The lecture tour includes Nottingham, Leeds, York and Southampton. He will speak at St Andrews [...]


Scottish Health Council

Apparently there is a “Scottish Health Council“, I hadn’t heard of them until last week. The Council is part of the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland and it is their job to evaluate how well NHS boards are taking account of people’s views.  They produce a Newsletter three times a year, this is available in [...]


Scottish Health Statistics – Figures for 2014

Last week the Scottish Government released statistics on premature death, these focused on coronary heart disease (which includes heart attacks), stroke and cancer. The population of Scotland is about 5 million,the estimated population for 2014 is 5, 168, 500.

In Scotland, 2014 there were:

8,841 deaths from coronary heart disease (CHD).

5,367 [...]