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  1. News Article
    Healthcare practitioners who committed child sexual abuse commonly did so under the guise of medical treatment, which went unchallenged by other staff even when unnecessary or inappropriate because of their position of trust, research has found. An independent inquiry into child sexual abuse report into abuse in healthcare settings between the 1960s and 2000s found that perpetrators were most commonly male GPs or healthcare practitioners with routine clinical access to children. As a result their behaviour was not questioned by colleagues, the children or their parents. In many cases patients’ healthcare needs related to physical, psychological and sexual abuse they suffered at home. They spoke of attending health institutions seeking treatment, care and recovery, but were instead subjected to sexual abuse. This included fondling, exposing children to adult sexuality, and violations of privacy. More than half who shared their experiences described suffering sexual abuse by penetration. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 December 2020
  2. News Article
    A new mother has spoken of her distress after wrongly-imposed Covid rules led to her being separated from her six-week-old baby for almost a week while she received treatment in hospital. Charlotte Jones, 29, was taken to Princess Royal University hospital in Kent by ambulance last Wednesday, after complications following the birth of her son, Leo. When she arrived, she asked whether she would be able to see her baby, whom she is breastfeeding, while in hospital, but was told it would not be allowed because of the threat of coronavirus. She did not see him until her release six days later. The restrictions as applied in Jones’s case, appear to contravene official guidance and go against the advice of NHS England, which specifies that mothers and babies should be kept together unless it is absolutely necessary to separate them. Separation at such a critical time can have an adverse impact on the physical and mental health of the mother, baby and wider family, say healthcare professionals and charities. King’s College NHS foundation trust, which manages the hospital, has admitted that although it is limiting the number of visitors during the pandemic, there is no policy stopping babies to be brought in to be breastfed. The trust has pledged to ensure staff are aware of its policies. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 December 2020
  3. News Article
    NHS staff will no longer get the coronavirus vaccine first after a drastic rethink about who should be given priority, it emerged last night. The new immunisation strategy is likely to disappoint and worry thousands of frontline staff – and comes amid urgent warnings from NHS chiefs that hospitals could be “overwhelmed” in January by a third wave of COVID-19 caused by mingling over Christmas. Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “If we get a prolonged cold snap in January the NHS risks being overwhelmed. The Covid-19 restrictions should remain appropriately tough. “Trust leaders are worried about the impact of looser regulations over Christmas.” Frontline personnel were due to have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when the NHS starts its rollout, which is expected to be next Tuesday after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved it on Wednesday. However, hospitals will instead begin by immunising care home staff, and hospital inpatients and outpatients aged over 80. The new UK-wide guidance on priority groups was issued by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) amid uncertainty over when the rest of the 5m-strong initial batch of doses that ministers ordered will reach the UK. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 December 2020
  4. News Article
    More than 60,000 people in the UK have now died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, official figures show. A further 414 were recorded on Thursday, taking the total to 60,113. Two other ways of measuring deaths - where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate, and the number of "excess deaths" for this time of year - give higher total figures. Only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more deaths than the UK, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the UK has had more deaths per 100,000 people than any of those nations. In terms of deaths per 100,000 people, the UK is the seventh-highest country globally, behind Belgium, San Marino, Peru, Andorra, Spain and Italy. Read full story Source: BBC News,
  5. Content Article
    LATEST Letter from the Chairman, December 2020 Letter from the Chairman, November 2020 Letter from the Chairman, October 2020 Letter from the Chairman, September 2020 Letter from the Chairman, August 2020 Letter from the Chairman, July 2020 Letter from the Chairman, June 2020 Letter from the Chairman, May 2020
  6. News Article
    A hospital serving the prime minister’s constituency has been issued a warning notice by inspectors over poor infection control, including staff having to share two small toilet cubicles for changing. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced it has issued the notice to The Hillingdon Hospitals FT today following an unannounced inspection in September. It comes after the watchdog placed urgent conditions on the provider following a coronavirus outbreak among staff at Hillingdon Hospital in August. At least 70 members of staff had to isolate, some of whom had tested positive for covid. The watchdog said it found there had been improvements, but that “further work is needed”. The CQC’s inspection report, published today, said there were no staff changing rooms available for people to change in and out of their scrubs, and that they were sharing two small toilet cubicles at the start and end of shifts. These were not cleaned with an “enhanced” cleaning schedule, it added, and the lack of separate changing rooms “caused a risk of cross-contamination”. However, senior leaders were aware of the risk and were seeking ways to improve access to changing areas for staff. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 December 2020
  7. News Article
    Thirteen trusts are facing billions of pounds of maintenance — in some cases, making it more cost-effective to rebuild the hospital — over ‘significant safety issues’ stemming from outdated construction methods. Reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete planks were used when constructing public sector buildings in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, including a group of prefabricated hospitals under the government’s “Best Buy” building programme. However, RAAC planks used in buildings constructed prior to 1980 have now exceeded their shelf life, meaning affected trusts need to carry out frequent inspections and expensive maintenance. For at least three of the affected trusts — Mid Cheshire Hospitals FT, Airedale FT and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn FT — it would be more cost-effective to build new hospitals than replace the planks in their existing facilities. Victoria Pickles, director of corporate affairs at Airedale FT, told HSJ 85% of the trust’s buildings’ floors, roofs and walls comprised RAAC planks, with one ward closing due to the risk. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 3 December 2020
  8. News Article
    Staff at a mental health unit missed "multiple opportunities" to realise a woman had become unwell before she died, a coroner has said. Sian Hewitt, 25, died at Milton Keynes Hospital last year after collapsing at the nearby Campbell Centre. Coroner Tom Osborne said there was "a failure to start effective CPR". A spokesman for the centre said changes have been made to how care is delivered. Ms Hewitt, who had Asperger's syndrome and bipolar disorder, was admitted to the inpatient unit on 13 March 2019. She died less than a month later on 6 April 2019 at Milton Keynes Hospital, where she was taken after collapsing on Willow Ward at the centre. An inquest concluded she died of a pulmonary embolism, caused when a blood clot travels to the lungs. In a Prevention of Future Deaths Report, Mr Osborne said the centre failed to carry out a risk assessment and there was a delay in administering a drug resulting in "her mania not being brought under control". His report said the "failure to recognise how seriously ill she had become" had "resulted in lost opportunities to treat her appropriately that may have prevented her death". He said her death suggested the NHS was "unable to provide a place of safety for those who are suffering from Asperger's syndrome" or other forms of autism "when they are also suffering additional mental health problems such as bipolar". Read full story Source: BBC News, 4 December 2020
  9. Event
    until
    Chief executive Joe Rafferty and strategic advisor for digital programmes Jim Hughes, will discuss how Mersey Care Foundation Trust has been part of a region-wide programme to develop shared understanding of covid and other pressures. Joining them on the panel will be Rebecca Malby, professor in health systems innovation at London South Bank University, and Markus Bolton, director of Graphnet Health – which is supporting the event. In a discussion chaired by HSJ contributor Claire Read, they will explore the value of a shared understanding of which pressures and caseloads exist in an area and consider how digital technologies might play a role here. Which parties need to be involved? Which information is most important to which groups? How can worries about information governance be overcome? Register
  10. Content Article
    Implementation challenges The investigation highlighted the main implementation challenges. This includes: National consistency in drug libraries – smart infusion pumps have an inbuilt dose error reduction system (DERS) which requires the use of a drug library. The investigation found that drug libraries were developed ‘locally’ and that there is no agreed national drug library for use in NHS. They also found that there is no national guidelines or standards on how to implement the libraries. Significant changes in processes – introducing the technology requires significant changes to prescribing and administration processes in trusts. The investigation found that procedure and guidance documents often needed updating, and variations in medication practice were ‘locally managed’ and were rarely shared within and between hospitals. Provision of specialist IT support and infrastructure – substantial IT infrastructure is needed to support the integration of smart pump technology. Software is needed to upload the drug library to smart pumps, download data logs (including any errors detected) and monitor the status of each smart pump. The investigation highlighted that maintaining the required IT infrastructure required specialist staff roles and often a new skill set. The investigation found that the implementation of smart pump functionality would benefit from the use of risk management practices, as requirements are complex and similar to the introduction of a new IT system. Existing NHS Clinical risk standards could provide a basis for both manufacturers and trusts to work together to manage risks.
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