• POSTnote

    Innovation in adult social care

    The UK Government’s 2021 People at the Heart of Care white paper identified innovation as key to delivering “outstanding quality” in adult social care in England. This POSTnote gives an overview of innovation in adult social care. It provides a summary of the types of innovation in the sector and evidence on key barriers to and facilitators of innovation. It also presents lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on England but includes examples from all four UK nations.

  • Rapid response

    Drug Therapies for COVID-19

    Research studies involving thousands of people have allowed scientists to test which drugs are effective at treating COVID-19. Several drug therapies are now available to treat people who are in hospital with COVID-19, or to prevent infections in vulnerable people becoming more serious. This briefing explains which drugs are available, the groups of people in which they are used and how they work. It also outlines the importance of monitoring the emergence of new variants and drug resistance.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: Omicron, recent developments, and the likely impact of future variants on the pandemic

    The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, has been found across the world since it was first detected in early November 2021. This article describes the characteristics of the variant and its health impacts. It also discusses vaccine effectiveness against the variant and the medium and long-term outlook for the future course of the pandemic.

  • POSTnote

    Genome edited food crops

    Genome editing creates the possibility of making more precise alterations in the DNA of food crop plants than existing approaches. This POSTnote: describes genome editing technology; identifies which food crops are currently undergoing editing and why; describes the regulation and registration of genome-edited food crops; discusses issues around trade; and describes stakeholder views about the technology.

  • POSTnote

    Preventing emerging zoonoses

    Zoonoses are diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans. This POSTnote summarises approaches to preventing zoonoses with pandemic potential by targeting animal-environment-human interactions. It reviews current biosecurity measures in the UK and globally, notes lessons from COVID-19 and identifies future strategies.

  • POSTnote

    Conversion Therapy

    The UK Government intends to prepare legislation in the new year to ban ‘conversion therapy’ (CT) in England and Wales, for introduction when parliamentary time allows. This POSTnote outlines data on CT and reviews the quality of available research evidence and the impact of CT. It summarises UK stakeholder perspectives on a CT ban and outlines key challenges for policymakers to consider.

  • Rapid response

    COVID-19: The Omicron Variant

    The Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, has been found across the world since it was first detected in early November 2021. This article describes the characteristics of the variant, why scientists are concerned, and the possible impact that it might have on the course of the pandemic.

  • POSTnote

    Advances in vaccine technologies

    This POSTnote provides an overview of vaccine development and technologies. It also covers opportunities and challenges to vaccine discovery and manufacture, as well as policy approaches to stimulate vaccine research and development (R&D) in the UK.

  • POSTnote

    Smart Cities

    "Smart cities" describes places that incorporate a range of technologies (especially those that collect and use data) to address economic, social, and environmental challenges. Projects usually take place in urban areas, but are also deployed in rural settings. This POSTnote looks at smart city innovation in the UK and the technologies involved. It considers the factors driving the adoption of smart city technologies, and the potential benefits, barriers and risks associated with their implementation.

  • POSTnote

    Children’s Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic

    A POSTnote describing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children's mental health. This briefing summarises the latest understanding from research about the effects on children throughout the pandemic, and the factors that increase vulnerability to poor mental health. It also reviews policy approaches that seek to protect children's mental health, with particular focus on recent initiatives to address this.