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Keep up to date with the latest news, research and activity in patient safety


Coronavirus: People in deprived areas face higher risk of death – with women disproportionately affected

The risk of dying from coronavirus is more than twice as great in the most deprived areas of England – with the disparity largest for women, analysis shows.

A study by the Health Foundation of deaths from COVID-19 showed women in the most deprived parts of the country had a risk of dying that was 133% higher than those in the least deprived neighbourhoods.

Between men the difference in risk was 114% higher in worse-off areas, suggesting that while deprivation is a key factor in risk of death from coronavirus for both sexes, its effect is worse for women.

Experts say the evidence shows the impact of COVID-19 is falling disproportionately on the poorest in society.

Mai Stafford, principal data analyst at the Health Foundation, told The Independent: “This pandemic could and should be a watershed moment in creating the social and political will to build a society that values everyone’s health now and in the long term. Without significant action, there is a real risk that those facing the most disadvantage will eventually pay the highest price.”

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Source: The Independent, 21 May 2020

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Lack of social distancing in NHS staff social areas alarms national chiefs

National leaders have said healthcare workers must do better on social distancing amid growing evidence that staff-to-staff transmission is the significant factor in the spread of coronavirus throughout hospitals.

NHS England national clinical director for trauma Dr Chris Moran, said: “I’ve witnessed and I’m sure you’ve all witnessed that actually healthcare workers are not necessarily been the best at managing social distancing. We know when directly managing patients that it [social distancing] is impossible, that’s what PPE is for to protect both sides of the equation. But I think in the staff-only areas we could do quite a lot better in some of the places that I’ve visited.”

National director for acute care Keith Willett added: “The evidence we’ve seen coming through suggests the infection risks from staff to patients or patients to staff seems very low but the risks to staff of infection, COVID-19 infection, within hospitals is much, much, much higher between staff and staff, and patients and patients.”

The warning comes after NHS England’s patient safety director Dr Aidan Fowler said he was concerned about the rates of "nosocomial spread within our hospitals”.

Following national guidance designed to facilitate an increase in elective operations and other routine work, NHS trusts have been asked to set up “covid free” green zones and blue zones with a higher COVID-19 risk.

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Source: HSJ, 21 May 2020

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