Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS

The Vote Leave campaign bus has ‘We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead’ written on its side. This number is, to be polite, a bit dodgy. Due to the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher, the actual amount is about £250m a week, or £13bn a year. The EU then spends more than £4bn in the UK, mainly on farmers and badly-off parts of the country, which would push the figure down to about £165m a week. Continue reading

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Unhealthy valleys: Wales’ problem with ill-health

Greater Glasgow gets a lot of coverage for its poor health through having the lowest average lifespans in the UK. Although residents of the Welsh Valleys – the post-industrial areas north of Cardiff – don’t have such short lives, they are most likely to be living with poor health. The three UK council areas where more than 10% of adults say they are in bad or very bad health are in south Wales: Neath Port Talbot (10.5%), Blaneau Gwent (10.7%) and Merthyr Tydfil (11.1%). Continue reading

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Articles on Electric Mountain power station tour and US visas

Obviously, you don’t need a US visa to visit Dinorwig power station in Snowdonia, just a ticket from the Electric Mountain visitor centre. This buys you the chance to see a stirring film, then take a bus tour around an amazing piece of underground engineering that is capable of filling the gaps in UK power demand when millions of people put the kettle on.

I mentioned tea a lot in this article for the Register, such as the following: Continue reading

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Article on genomics for Guardian Healthcare Professionals

It’s remarkable how genomics is being used in NHS healthcare, particularly in cancer, where tests now look at the DNA of actual tumours rather than patients. As I have covered previously for ComputerWeekly.com, lung cancer is being targeted through the National Lung Matrix Study. It’s now the case that 15-20% of lung cancer patients can receive targeted treatment based on genomics.

Gary Middleton, professor of medical oncology at the University of Birmingham and chief investigator of the National Lung Matrix Study, put it this way in my new article on this for Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network: Continue reading

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New City Lit training on data journalism and digital publishing

City Lit in London has posted details of two one-day training courses I will be giving this summer. An introduction to data journalism on Saturday 16 July will be an updated version of the course I gave at City Lit in January. It will include how to deal with data, research techniques, FOI requests, processing data and how to graph and map it.

On Saturday 13 August I will be delivering a new course, an introduction to digital publishing, that will cover blogging, podcasts, online video, e-books, print-on-demand publishing and promoting what you produce. Each course costs £59 or £20 for concessions.

I also run customised courses on handling data, for in-house training by media and other organisations. There’s more information on the training I offer here, or please get in touch if you would like to discuss this.

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