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  1. News Article
    Major transplant centres have stopped performing many of their procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the national coordinating body says a complete cessation “may only be days away”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 April 2020
  2. News Article
    Boris Johnson has been forced to shift strategy on the government’s testing regime for coronavirus after criticism of the slow pace of checks being carried out on frontline NHS staff. Private laboratories are now being drafted in to do the tests where before these were being performed through a centralised process. The prime minister accepted last night that mass testing was the way out of the crisis and said in a tweet that it would “eventually unlock the puzzle of coronavirus”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 2 April 2020
  3. News Article
    A father has described the "huge impact" of losing respite care for his young daughter who has complex special needs. Tim Clarke and his wife Ana look after their six-year-old daughter Molly at home in Worcester. The family normally receives a few hours of outside care and educational help a week, but that ended with the coronavirus pandemic. Molly has been diagnosed with autism and also has medical issues including a cyst on her brain. One charity worker from the Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) Society, a condition which is on the autism spectrum, described parents of children with special needs as being in "survival mode". Watch video Source: BBC News, 1 April 2020
  4. News Article
    The procurement of digital tools to support online primary care services during the coronavirus outbreak are to be fast-tracked for providers who don’t have the resources. In a letter sent to primary care providers and commissioners, GP surgeries were told to move to a triage-first model of care as soon as possible as the NHS bolsters its response to COVID-19. The letter, sent by medical director for primary care, Nikita Kanani, and director of primary care strategy and NHS contracts, Ed Waller, states practices and commissioners should promote online consultation services where they are in place or “rapidly procure” them. “Rapid procurement for those practices that do not currently have an online consultation solution will be supported through a national bundled procurement,” wrote in the letter. Read full story Source: Digital Health, 30 March 2020
  5. News Article
    Doctors have been reminded not to prioritise coronavirus patients at the expense of others in new ethical guidance backed by royal colleges. There are increasing concerns that patients are not getting treatment for serious problems, including strokes or heart attacks, because they are afraid to go to hospitals. The guidelines were drawn up by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) amid worries that a shortage of ventilators and beds could force doctors to make difficult decisions on which patients get lifesaving treatment. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 2 April 2020
  6. News Article
    Stable coronavirus patients could be taken off ventilators in favour of those more likely to survive, it emerged on Wednesday, as another sharp rise in deaths left the UK braced for the outbreak to reach up to 1,000 deaths a day by the end of the week. In a stark new document issued by the British Medical Association (BMA), doctors set out guidelines to ration care if the NHS becomes overwhelmed with new cases as the outbreak moves towards its peak. Under the proposals, designed to provide doctors with ethical guidance on how to decide who should get life-saving care when resources are overstretched, hospitals would have to impose severe limits on who is put on a ventilator. Large numbers of patients could be denied care, with those facing a poor prognosis losing the potentially life-saving equipment even if their condition is improving. The BMA suggested that younger, healthier people could be given priority over older people and that those with an underlying illness may not get treatment that could save them, with healthier patients given priority instead. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 April 2020
  7. News Article
    A major hospital trust has told staff they should attend work even if a household member is showing covid-19 symptoms, contrary to national guidance. Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust’s occupational health department has told staff who had reported having family members with covid-19 symptoms they were still expected to attend work. In the email exchanges seen by HSJ, some as recently as a couple of days ago, the trust’s occupational health department was clear there was an NUTH policy agreement with Public Health England. Read full story Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  8. News Article
    Healthcare professionals have been told to consider not treating patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus if they themselves would be put at risk, part of new ethical guidance that calls on doctors to prioritise some ailments over the pandemic. The new recommendations for healthcare professionals over 70 years, or with pre-existing conditions, to put themselves first when tackling the pandemic comes following the death of a doctor who returned to the frontlines as a volunteer following a call to arms from the government. The guidance from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) makes up part of a sweeping list of ethical considerations faced by healthcare workers in the face of the global pandemic. Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 April 2020
  9. News Article
    Hospitals should allow parents to be with children who are being treated for the coronavirus, NHS England has confirmed, after a 13-year-old boy died without any family members beside him. Under its national guidance to hospitals, parents are considered essential visitors, but hospitals do have discretion to suspend visitors if it is “considered appropriate”. Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed to visit a hospital. NHS England confirmed the position after 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab died at King’s College Hospital in south London in the early hours of Monday without any family members present. A statement by his family suggested he was alone because of the risk of infection. On its website the hospital repeated the guidance sent to trusts by NHS England that states children are allowed one parent or carer as a visitor, but declined to explain why his family were not with him. The end-of-life charity Marie Curie has also called on doctors to allow families to be with their loved ones, describing it as an “important part of their duty of care”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 April 2020
  10. Event
    ORCHA are hosting a free #COVID19 webinar today. ⁦‪@LizAshallPayne⁩ and ⁦‪@AndyJeans5⁩ will be showing how you can find the best apps to support remote care. Follow the link to register
  11. Content Article
    The key new points, effective immediately, are: Cease ALL routine dental care (including orthodontics) (UK-wide). Cease ALL aerosol generating procedures (UK-wide). Offer patients with urgent needs appropriate advice and prescriptions over the phone (UK-wide). Cease ALL face-to-face urgent care (England, Scotland). Other new advice includes: Dental team members who are pregnant or immunosuppressed should not provide or assist in the direct care of patients. Update practices’ messaging and websites. Stop all community outreach activities. Practices in England should inform their regional commissioner of any change in practice availability hours or cover arrangements.
  12. News Article
    The government has ordered an urgent national audit of personal protective equipment (PPE), body bags, swabs and infection control products, HSJ can reveal. Local resilience forum planners were earlier this week asked to share stock levels and daily consumption rates of the items at ambulance, acute trusts and in primary care and other services by 9pm on Tuesday. They were asked to indicate whether each figure represented a “major” or “minor” supply problem, or no problem at all, in an email seen by HSJ. As well as trusts, resilience forum staff were asked to share stock levels among adult social care services, numbers of mortuary staff, other local authority staff, police, prisons, fire and rescue services and funeral directors. The email also asked planners if local services had access to PPE supplies above their immediate need and whether local authorities were in discussions with any private PPE suppliers. The email noted the Department of Health and Social Care wanted to develop a “systematic days of supply picture” for all PPE at all providers. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  13. News Article
    GPs are having end of life conversations with their patients because of concerns over a lack of intensive care beds during the coronavirus crisis. Multiple GPs have told HSJ they are talking to patients who are older or in very high risk groups about signing “do not attempt to resuscitate” forms in case these patients were to go on to contract the virus. Some practices have also sent letters to patients requesting they complete the forms, it is understood. One leader of a primary care network, who asked not to be named, told HSJ: “Those in the severe at-risk group and those over 80 are being told they won’t necessarily be admitted to hospital if they catch coronavirus.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
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