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

Long Covid: Major study into the long term impact launched in Scotland

Every adult who has tested positive for COVID-19 in Scotland is to be invited to take part in a major new study into the effects of long Covid.

Researchers hope to identify how many people in Scotland continue to be unwell after having the virus.

The Covid in Scotland Study (CISS) will ask people what their symptoms are and how it affects their lives. Those taking part will be asked to use a phone app to answer questions about their health before and after Covid.

Early estimates suggest as many as 6,000 people in Scotland were experiencing long term symptoms after the first wave of the pandemic but it is not known what that tally is now.

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Source: BBC News, 12 May 2021

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Having minimum nurse to patient ratios cuts risk of death, new study claims

New research examining the effect of minimum nurse-to-patient ratios has found it reduces the risks of those in care dying by up to 11%. 

The study, published in The Lancet, also said fewer patients were readmitted and they had shorter stays in hospital.

It compared 400,000 patients and 17,000 nurses working in 27 hospitals in Queensland, Australia to 28 other hospitals. The state has a policy of just one nurse to every four patients during the day and one to seven at night, in a bid to improve safety and standards of care.

The research said savings made from patients having a shorter length of stay, which fell 9%, and less readmissions were double the cost of hiring the extra nurses needed to achieve the ratios.

NHS England has resisted moves towards minimum nurse to patient ratios, suspended work by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on safe nurse staffing in 2015. This came as the watchdog was preparing to call for minimum ratios in accident and emergency departments. It has advised that eight or more patients to one nurse is the point at which harm can start to occur.

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Source: The Independent, 12 May 2021

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