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David Payne

Doctors, The BMJ, and Ireland’s Easter Rising

30 Mar, 16 | by BMJ

gpoEarlier this year Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE screened a three part documentary to mark the 100th anniversary of the six day Easter Rising, the rebellion against British rule that led ultimately to the foundation of the Republic and the island’s partition to create Northern Ireland.

The programmes, screened by the BBC this week as part of its coverage of the anniversary, featured archive footage and interviews with historians alongside moving eyewitness accounts (filmed decades earlier) of some of the key personalities and their families.

Liam Neeson’s mellifluous narration and lucid storytelling described how the insurgents changed history by storming key public buildings in Dublin, the Irish capital, tearing the city apart and bringing poorly prepared soldiers from the Sherwood Foresters across to help restore order. more…

The sugar tax: “Was it The BMJ wot won it?”

21 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2“Get something out on social?” urged a colleague in response to UK Chancellor George Osborne’s sugar tax announcement in his Budget speech last week.  “I think you can claim that as a ‘win’ for The BMJ” added another after we reminded him of the many articles we have published on the sugar tax.

We quickly got tweeting, and updated our website homepage with links to some  of the articles we have published about sugar taxes over the years. This includes a call from our editor in January 2016 to listen to the evidence in response to a study we published about Mexico’s tax on sugar sweetened drinks.  more…

Junior doctor strike: Angels need to eat and pay their bills

17 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2The junior doctor strike in England triggered an Oxford Union debate last month about the extent to which patient safety is compromised when public sector workers take industrial action. But will health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s revamp of pay and conditions stop at doctors? Are nurses in his sights? And if so, how likely are they to join their medical colleagues on the picket line? more…

David Payne: How disease outbreaks drive digital innovation

3 Mar, 16 | by BMJ Group

Ebola tablet deviceTo what extent do disasters and disease outbreaks drive developments in digital health? And as the WHO and other national and global health agencies get to grips with the Zika virus outbreak, what lessons can be learned from the 2014 Ebola epidemic?

John Edmunds, Dean of the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, described how, in the early days of the Ebola outbreak, clinicians wearing protective outfits struggled to write up notes by literally shouting through a wall to colleague, which was both time consuming, error-prone, and labour intensive. more…

David Payne: Can higher education help protect against dementia?

2 Sep, 15 | by BMJ Group

David Payne2In 2001 Tony Blair’s bid for a second term as UK prime minister included a pledge to make “education, education, education” top priority for the Labour party, with a follow up target to get 50% of  students entering higher education. Critics of Labour dismissed the figure as arbitrary and meaningless. But might the policy help protect some people from developing dementia? more…

The BMJ Today: A digital day for The BMJ

13 Aug, 15 | by BMJ Group

wifi• Should all NHS premises provide free access to wi-fi?

Yes, argues Victoria Betton in a head to head article published today. Betton, mHabitat programme director at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, says the advantages of free wi-fi in healthcare settings in an increasingly digitised world make sense, facilitating more patient activation and engagement. Grant Ingrams disagrees. Ingrams, deputy chair of the BMA’s IT subcommittee, describes it as “an unaffordable luxury that would also adversely affect the relationship between the NHS and its staff, patients, and the wider public.” Where do you stand? If you’re in the UK, vote yes or no in our homepage poll. more…

The BMJ Today: Drug company payments, compassion, and patient centredness

10 Aug, 15 | by BMJ

money_referralsShould doctors be forced to disclose payments and hospitality from drug companies? The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry plans to bring in a system where healthcare professionals voluntarily declare payments and hospitality received from drug companies.

The issue is the subject of our latest online poll, which, at the time of writing, has almost 85% of readers agreeing. One reader thinks that The BMJ could be more open about its own acceptance of pharma cash.

“It does seem rather ironic that whilst viewing this article online, the text is surrounded by adverts promoting medical products! Does The BMJ not need to consider its own position?” writes obstetrician Malcolm Griffiths in a response to the article. more…

David Payne: Remembering 7/7 ten years on

1 Jul, 15 | by BMJ

IMG_1656Outside BMA House a solitary bunch of purple stocks hangs from the railings, alongside the memorial plaque to victims of the Tavistock Square suicide bomb attack on a London bus 10 years ago.

As passers-by stop to read the names of the dead, inside the building survivors of the blast, along with bereaved friends and family, join members of the emergency services for the annual 7/7 Tavistock Square Memorial Trust lecture. more…

The BMJ Today: “Rapid responses are wonderful”

1 Jun, 15 | by BMJ Group

20yrsonlineMichael Stone praises The BMJ’s article based post publication peer review in a weekend rapid response to my feature marking the 20th anniversary of the journal’s website last week. They “allow for an almost immediate analysis of “intricate and technical issues” which arise from the original paper,” he writes, adding: “It is possible to effectively “debate a point almost in real time with another individual.” His conclusion? “Rapid responses are wonderful.” more…

David Payne at Health 2:0 Europe 2015

20 May, 15 | by BMJ Group

logo_conferencia_bcn_okIs the Uber minicab model fit for healthcare? Why are doctors terrible digital adopters? And can the medical workforce benefit from using applications which promise virtual doctors on demand?

These questions and others were debated at day 1 of technology conference Health 2:0, an annual event which profiles “international innovation in patient-provider communication, consumer health, data analytics, and more.” more…

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