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Medics missing mental illness diagnosis in more than one in four patients, data suggests

More than one in four patients with severe mental health conditions are missing diagnosis when they are admitted to hospital for other reasons, new research suggests.

According to data analysed by scientists at University College London, those who are missing these mental illness diagnoses are more likely to be from ethnic minority groups or have a previously diagnosed mental illnesses.

However, the situation has improved – in 2006 it was found that mental health diagnoses were missed in more than 50% of cases.

"We found encouraging signs that clinicians are more frequently identifying severe mental illnesses in hospital patients than they were a decade ago,” Hassan Mansour, a research assistant at UCL psychiatry, said.

“But there's a lot more that can be done, particularly to address disparities between ethnic groups, to ensure that everyone gets the best care available.

Training in culturally-sensitive diagnosis may be needed to reduce inequalities in medical care."

The researchers have suggested these findings may be due to language barriers or stigma felt by patients. It was also suggested that clinicians may be less able to detect these conditions in people from other ethnic and cultural groups.

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Source: The Independent, 18 September 2020

 

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Hospitals told not to test staff or patients for COVID-19

NHS hospitals have been banned from launching their own coronavirus testing for staff and patients who have symptoms – despite a nationwide shortage in tests.

Leaked NHS documents, passed to The Independent, show the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has now capped funding for COVID-19 testing in the health service, even though the lack of tests has left hospital doctors, nurses, teachers and other key workers forced to stay at home.

The diktat warned hospitals that, if they did choose to go ahead, the six figure costs would have to come from their own budgets.

The warning was sent just a day after testing tsar Baroness Dido Harding admitted to MPs that demand for coronavirus tests is three to four times the number available.

One senior NHS director told The Independent that NHS trusts had the ability to buy Covid-19 test capacity in local laboratories but now faced the risk of not getting the money to pay for it.

They said: “This is just barmy at a time when we have cases rising and we need to get test results for staff and patients who are isolating at home waiting for results.

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Source: The Independent, 18 September 2020

 

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