Johnson & Johnson Opens London Innovation Centre
The big pharma giant Johnson & Johnson has begun opening innovation centres with the aim to accelerate the best early-stage science in the world and to advance the development of new healthcare solutions.
The project is part of J&J’s “broader innovation strategy to advance human health through collaboration with the world's leading scientists and entrepreneurs,” said Paul Stoffels, Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, at J&J.
“We are looking forward to collaborating within the UK, home to one of the world's thriving life sciences ecosystems,” said Stoffels. “Science and technology hold unprecedented opportunities to transform healthcare, and by investing and collaborating in ground-breaking science we can deliver transformational innovations in healthcare to people across the world,” he added.
The three other innovation hubs will be located in Boston, San Francisco and, later this year, in Shanghai. Each city was selected for its “robust life sciences community,” says J&J. London was chosen as a site because of its proximity with a number of excellent universities, research councils and research charities, high concentration of small and medium-sized biotechnology enterprises (SMEs), the venture capital community in the City of London for raising funds and its good infrastructure links, adds the Department of Health.
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The London Innovation Centre will bring together ‘the best talent,’ Patrick Verheyen, who heads up the centre, told Pharma Times. It will house science and technology experts with board expertise in developing new solutions and products, and will have local deal-making capabilities to flexibly adapt deal structures to match early-stage opportunities.
This will enable scientists, entrepreneurs and emerging companies to deliver innovation via collaboration with experts who can drive partnerships across J&J's pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics and consumer healthcare companies, says the firm.
“Our on-the-ground proximity to regional scientists and entrepreneurs will allow us to build the strong personal relationships that underlie the most successful collaborations and investment deals,” Verheyen added.
The centre will focus on technologies in key areas: dementia; cancer; infectious diseases; immunology; biomarkers for disease; and devices to make surgery quicker, faster and safer.
Welcoming the new London Centre, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “Britain has a worldwide reputation for excellence in innovation - the investment by J&J here demonstrates this.”
“I want to give doctors and nurses the time and space to deliver patient-centred care - to do this we need to be innovative,” he went on. “Our universities are among the very best in the world and our scientists and clinicians are second to none. I am determined to cement and accelerate our position as the number one place for health and pharmaceutical companies to invest and grow and hopefully develop the next generation of medical breakthroughs.”
J&J is the world's largest healthcare company, with total sales of $67.2 billion in 2012.
Read The Press Release From Johnson & Johnson
COVID-19 "causing mass trauma among world’s nurses"
Healthcare providers are facing ongoing nursing shortages, and hospitals are reporting high rates of staff turnover and burnout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June a report found that levels of burnout among staff in England had reached "emergency" levels.
Registered nurses Molly Rindt and Erika Haywood are nurse mentors on US recruitment platform Incredible Health. In this joint Q&A they tell Healthcare Global about their own experiences of burnout and what can be done to tackle it.
What does it mean to be suffering from burnout?
Some of the most common reasons for nurse burnout include long work hours, sleep deprivation, a high-stress work environment, lack of support, and emotional strain from patient care.
While every profession has its stressors, the nursing industry has some of the highest burnout rates. The massive influence on patients’ lives, the long hours, and many other factors put nurses at risk of severe burnout. And with the rise of COVID-19, many healthcare professionals feel the strain more than ever.
Burnout in nurses affects everyone — individual nurses suffer, patients are impacted, and employers struggle with enormous turnover. This is why it’s crucial for healthcare systems and management to watch for signs of nurse burnout and take steps to provide a healthier workplace. Employers should be careful to watch for burnout symptoms in their healthcare staff — and not ignore them.
Symptoms include constant tiredness, constant anxiety related to work, emotional detachment and unexplained sickness.
How widespread is this problem?
Unfortunately, burnout affects approximately 38% of nurses per year and even the WHO recently labelled burnout as an official medical diagnosis. To put this statistic into perspective, nearly 4 out of 10 nurses will drive to work dreading their shift. Burnout is a reason nurses leave their positions.
Other top reasons for leaving included a stressful work environment, lack of good management or leadership, inadequate staffing, and finding better pay or benefits elsewhere.
Even before the pandemic, demanding workloads and aspects of the work environment such as poor staffing ratios, lack of communication between physicians and nurses, and lack of organisational leadership were known to be associated with burnout in nurses.
Have either of you experienced burnout?
Rindt: I have experienced burnout as an RN. I was constantly fatigued, never felt like I was off work, and would frequently dream I was still at work taking care of patients. In my particular situation, I needed to take a step back and restructure my work schedule to allow for more time off. After doing this, I was able to reduce burnout by deciding to work two shifts back-to-back and then have 2-3 days off.
Haywood: I definitely experienced constant anxiety related to work - so much so it would impact the days I wasn’t at work. At one point, I was even on medication to help combat the anxiety and stress I was facing on the job.
I had heart palpitations, chest pain, and wouldn’t be able to sleep before working the next day, which slowly started to impact other aspects of my life. I knew I couldn’t continue to live this way, it wasn’t sustainable. Because of this, I began to focus on my needs and prioritising self-care, especially during the beginning of the pandemic. Putting my needs first and not feeling guilty were necessary for me to overcome burnout.
What impact is COVID-19 having on nurses' wellbeing?
Some nurses have suffered devastating health consequences. Many nurses have dealt with excessive on-the-job stress, fears of becoming infected, and grief over seeing patients succumb to COVID-19 while isolated from their families.
New evidence gathered by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) suggests COVID-19 is causing mass trauma among the world’s nurses. The number of confirmed nurse deaths now exceeds 2,200, and with high levels of infections in the nursing workforce continuing, overstretched staff are experiencing increasing psychological distress in the face of ever-increasing workloads, continued abuse and protests by anti-vaccinators.
However, other small silver linings that came from the pandemic include increased professional autonomy, leadership opportunities and career growth potential.
How much of the cause of burnout is due to the hospitals or healthcare providers, and what can they do to address it?
Nurse fatigue poses serious problems for healthcare organisations, and a recent survey from Kronos found 63% of nurses say their job has caused burnout. The survey also found that more than 4 out of 5 nurses think hospitals today are losing good staff because other employers offer a better work/life balance.
Nurse burnout not only contributes to staff turnover, but it can impact the facility’s quality of care, patient satisfaction, and even medical outcomes.
Strategies to address burnout include training improving nurse-to-patient ratios, include nurses in policy discussions, and prioritise fostering a healthy work culture in hospitals.
What does your role mentoring nurses on the Incredible Health platform involve?
Rindt: My role can vary based on the needs of the nurses. The nurses love knowing they have someone in their corner who can give interview preparation advice or provide suggestions on how to improve their resume. Knowing that there is someone who is well-versed in the job process and can help set expectations on what to anticipate, really helps to remove a layer of uncertainty.
Haywood: When screening nurses, it is customised to what their individual RN or nurse practitioner needs, and at a time that is most convenient for them. Nurses are busy and often aren’t thought of first. Being able to provide support from the very beginning of their career advancement journey helps tremendously. We also provide resources such as resume templates and tips that can help nurses be successful and feel supported.