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Clive Flashman


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About Clive Flashman

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    United Kingdom

About me

  • About me
    I'm leading on the development of the hub for Patient Safety Learning. I have a background in patient safety, having worked at the National Patient Safety Agency from 2002 to 2007, designing and leading the development of the NRLS. So looking forward to sharing this bold expriment with you all!!
  • Organisation
    Patient Safety Learning
  • Role
    Chief Digital Officer

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  1. News Article
    Coronavirus patients who have lived with symptoms for up to five months have spoken about the huge impact it has had on their lives. "Long Covid" support groups have appeared on social media and the government says "tens of thousands" of people have long-term problems after catching the virus, such as extreme fatigue. Daliah, from Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, said: "It's scary because we don't know how permanent this is. There are times where I feel like life will never be normal again, my body will never be normal again." The NHS has launched a Your Covid Recovery website to offer support and advice to people affected. See video here
  2. News Article
    Five-year survival rates are expected to fall due to delays in getting urgent referrals or treatment at the height of the pandemic. Thousands of lives may be lost to cancer because 250,000 patients were not referred to hospital for urgent checks, says a report to be published this week. Family doctors made 339,242 urgent cancer referrals in England between April and June, down from 594,060 in the same period last year — a drop of 43%. The fall in the number of people seeing their GP with symptoms, and in referrals for scans, is resulting in cancers being spotted too late, according to the research by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) and Carnall Farrar, a healthcare management consultancy. Full article on The Times website here (paywalled).
  3. News Article
    Inspectors raise ‘serious concerns’ about medical wards and emergency care at Shropshire NHS trust A patient bled to death on a ward at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust after a device used to access his bloodstream became inexplicably disconnected, The Independent has learnt. The incident came to light as new concerns arose about quality of care at the Shropshire trust, with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) warning of “serious concerns” about its medical wards and emergency department following an inspection last month. Although the report from the inspection has not yet been published, it is understood that the trust has been served with a legal notice by the regulator to comply with more than a dozen conditions. It remains in special measures following the inspection and is rated inadequate overall. See full article in The Independent here
  4. News Article
    Gloucestershire Hospitals FT declares critical incident after ‘relentless demand’ on emergency care Pressure comes two months after trust downgraded one of its A&Es ‘Tired’ staff warned a ’Herculean effort’ is needed to reset emergency system NHS 111 cited as pinch point A trust has declared a critical incident after experiencing “relentless demand” on urgent and emergency care, months after downgrading one of its emergency departments. The internal critical incident was raised by Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust yesterday. An internal memo said the previous three days “have seen unprecedented demand fall on the Gloucestershire urgent and emergency care system”. Clinicians have been told that early discharges need to be identified on both its Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal hospital sites, to try to free up bed-space, and that all non-essential meetings, besides those at executive level, should be cancelled. The incident comes after the trust decided in June to downgrade the A&E department at Cheltenham General to a minor injuries unit, operating from 8am to 8pm. Previously, the unit offered a full A&E service between 8am and 8pm, with a “nurse-led” minor injuries service outside these hours. The problems appear to be unrelated to covid-19, although infection control measures are known to have reduced capacity in many A&Es and wards. HSJ understands that local managers believe NHS 111, run by Care UK Health Care, has been a particular cause of the problems in recent days, because it has not been directing enough people to alternative services; as well as workforce pressures and the hot weather. Read full (paywalled) article here in the HSJ.
  5. News Article
    Patients Know Best has launched an education programme which can be used by medical schools. Among the first to use the programme are undergraduate Pharmacy students at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). The Patients Know Best platform, which recently became the first personal health record to be fully integrated into the NHS App, has been incorporated into the curriculum to facilitate simulated interactions between patients and pharmacists. This has involved training the students to use Patients Know Best to enable their use of the platform to interact and collaborate with each other. Read the full article here.
  6. News Article
    Dr Rebecca Fisher gives the lowdown on why maintaining general practice as a ‘front door’ to the NHS that is safe for both GPs and patients is not easy. It’s fair to say that Matt Hancock’s pronouncement that henceforth all consultations should be “teleconsultations unless there’s a compelling reason not to”, has not been universally welcomed in general practice. In my surgery, practicing in a pandemic has seen us change our ways of working beyond imagination. In March, like many other practices, we shifted overnight to a “telephone first” approach. And whilst at peak-pandemic we kept face-to-face consultations to a minimum, we’re now seeing more and more patients in person again. Although many consultations can be safely done over the phone, we’re very clear that there are some patients – and some conditions and circumstances – where a patient needs a face-to-face appointment with a GP. NHS England have also been clear that all practices must offer face-to-face consultations if clinically appropriate. But maintaining general practice as a “front door” to the NHS that is safe for both GPs and patients is not easy. Options to quarantine and pre-test patients set out in national guidance and intended to help protect secondary care cannot be deployed in primary care. Other national guidance – for example regarding wearing masks in clinical sites – often seems to be issued with secondary care in mind, with little or delayed clarity for primary care. Measures like maintaining social distancing are also likely to be harder in general practice, where the ability of a surgery to physically distance staff from each other, and patients from each other and staff, is in part dependent on physical factors. Options to quarantine and pre-test patients set out in national guidance and intended to help protect secondary care cannot be deployed in primary care Things like the size and layout of a practice, or the availability of a car park for patients to wait in are hard to change quickly. Stemming from those challenges are ones related to staffing; how to keep practice staff safe from covid-19? NHS England and the British Medical Association have stated that staff should have rigorous, culturally sensitive risk assessment and consider ceasing direct patient contact where risks from covid-19 are high. The risk of catching COVID-19 – or dying from it – is not equally distributed amongst GPs. Age, sex, ethnicity, and underlying health conditions are all important risk factors. New Health Foundation research finds that not only are a significant proportion of GPs at high or very high risk of death from covid-19 (7.9 per cent), but one in three single-handed practices is likely to be run by a GP at high risk. If those GPs step back from face-to-face consultations we estimate that at least 700,000 patients could be left without access to in-person appointments. Even more concerningly, there’s a marked deprivation gradient. If GPs at high risk from COVID-19 step back from direct face-to-face appointments, and gaps in provision aren’t plugged, the patients likely to be most affected are those in deprived areas – the same people who have already been hardest hit by the pandemic GPs at high risk of death from covid are much more likely to be working in areas of greater socioeconomic deprivation. And single-handed practices run by GPs classed as being at very high risk from covid are more than four times as likely to be located in the most deprived clinical commissioning groups than the most affluent. If GPs at high risk from COVID-19 step back from direct face-to-face appointments, and gaps in provision aren’t plugged, the patients likely to be most affected are those in deprived areas – the same people who have already been hardest hit by the pandemic. Where do solutions lie? Ultimate responsibility for providing core general practice services to populations lies with CCGs. In some areas, collaborations between practices (such as GP federations and primary care networks), may be able to organise cross-cover to surgeries where face-to-face provision is not adequate to meet need. But these collaborations have not developed at equal pace across the country, have many demands on their capacity and may not be sufficiently mature to take on this challenge. These local factors – including the availability of locums – will need to be considered by commissioners. It’s vital that CCGs act quickly to understand the extent to which the concerns around GP supply highlighted by our research apply in their localities. In some cases, additional funding will be needed to enable practices to ‘buy in’ locum support for face-to-face consultations. This should be considered a core part of the NHS covid response. Face-to-face GP appointments remain a crucial NHS service, and must be available to the population in proportion with need. Just as in secondary care, protecting staff, and protecting patients in primary care will require additional investment. Failure to adequately assess the extent of the problem, and to provide sufficient resource to engineer solutions is likely to further exacerbate existing health inequalities. Original Source: The HSJ
  7. News Article
    Like most women affected by incontinence, 43-year-old Luce Brett has her horror stories. As a 30-year-old first time mum she recalls wetting herself and bursting into tears in the “Mothercare aisle of shame”, where maternity pads and adult nappies sit alongside the baby nappies, wipes and potties. But, she adds, these isolated anecdotes don’t really do justice to what living with incontinence is really like. “It’s every day, it’s all day. People talk about leaking when you sneeze or when you laugh, but for me it was also when I stood up, or walked upstairs. It was always having two different outfits every time I left the house to go to the shops. Incontinence robbed me of my thirties; it made me suicidally depressed,” Luce explains. “Everyone kept telling me it was normal to be leaky after a vaginal birth. It took quite a long time for me to find the courage or the words to stop them and say: ‘Everybody in my NCT (National Childbirth Trust) class can walk around with a sling on, and I can’t do that without wetting myself constantly’,” she adds. Read full article here.
  8. News Article
    I fell sick on 25 March. Four months later, I’m still dealing with fever, cognitive dysfunction, memory issues and much more I just passed the four-month mark of being sick with Covid. I am young, and I had considered myself healthy. My first symptom was that I couldn’t read a text message. It wasn’t about anything complex – just trying to arrange a video call – but it was a few sentences longer than normal, and I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was the end of the night so I thought I was tired, but an hour later I took my temperature and realized I had a fever. I had been isolating for 11 days at that point; the only place I had been was the grocery store. My Day 1 – a term people with Long Covid use to mark the first day of symptoms – was 25 March. Four months later, I’m still dealing with a near-daily fever, cognitive dysfunction and memory issues, GI issues, severe headaches, a heart rate of 150+ from minimal activity, severe muscle and joint pain, and a feeling like my body has forgotten how to breathe. Over the past 131 days, I’ve intermittently lost all feeling in my arms and hands, had essential tremors, extreme back, kidney and rib pain, phantom smells (like someone BBQing bad meat), tinnitus, difficulty reading text, difficulty understanding people in conversations, difficulty following movie and TV plots, sensitivity to noise and light, bruising, and petechiae – a rash that shows up with Covid. These on top of the CDC-listed symptoms of cough, chills and difficulty breathing. Read the full article here.
  9. News Article
    Doctors and surgeons’ leaders have issued a warning that the NHS must not shut down normal care again if a second wave of Covid-19 hits as that would risk patients dying from lack of treatment. Here, one patient tells her story. Marie Temple (not her real name) was distraught when her MRI was cancelled in March, shortly after the UK went into lockdown and Boris Johnson ordered the NHS to cancel all non-urgent treatment. Temple, who lives in the north of England, was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour last year after suffering seizures and shortly afterwards had surgery to remove it. She had been promised a follow-up MRI scan in late March to see if the surgery had been a success, but she received a letter saying her hospital was dealing only with emergency cases and she didn’t qualify. Read the full article here.
  10. News Article
    Up to half a million Britons are suffering the effects of "long Covid", MPs have been told, with some doctors dismissing many of the long-term symptoms suffered in the wake of coronavirus as ME.... Paywalled article in The Telegraph.
  11. News Article
    A healthy population is one of any nation’s most important assets. We have known for a long time that not everyone has the same opportunity to access the things they need to lead a healthy life, such as good quality work and safe secure stable housing. Now we can see that the COVID-19 pandemic is replicating and exacerbating deep-rooted health inequalities. Without concerted action, this health crisis will also become a health inequalities crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought health inequalities into sharp focus. While every part of the population has been affected by the current crisis, some communities have been hit much harder both by the virus itself and by the measures taken to control its spread. Evidence is starting to emerge, for example, of the unequal impact of the shutdown of the economy. For example a recent survey of UK households found that the lowest earners have been worst hit by loss of earnings, with the most severe losses for single parents. The uneven impact of COVID-19 has also highlighted the inequalities faced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Recent data shows that some ethnic groups are at much higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than the rest of the population (e.g. Black men are four times more likely to have died of COVID-19 than their White peers). Read full article here.
  12. News Article
    New analysis by the Health Foundation reveals the devastating impact the pandemic has had on social care in England. The independent charity says the findings provide further evidence that the government acted too slowly and did not do enough to support social care users and staff, and that protecting social care has been given far lower priority than the NHS. The Health Foundation finds that policy action on social care has focused primarily on care homes and that this has risked leaving out other vulnerable groups of users and services, including those receiving care in their own homes (domiciliary care). It also notes that the shortcomings of the government’s response have been made worse by longstanding political neglect and chronic underfunding of the social care system. Since March there have been more than 30,500 excess deaths* among care home residents in England and 4,500 excess deaths among people receiving domiciliary care. While high numbers of excess deaths of people living in care homes have been well reported, the analysis shows there has been a greater proportional increase in deaths among domiciliary care users than in care homes (225% compared to 208%). And while deaths in care homes have now returned to average levels for this time of year, the latest data (up until 19 June) shows that there have continued to be excess deaths reported among domiciliary care users. The Health Foundation says that decades of inaction by successive governments have meant that the social care system entered the pandemic underfunded, understaffed, and at risk of collapse. Read full article here.
  13. News Article
    Over the past few months, we have been living in unprecedented and uncertain times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown measures, school closures and social distancing have all had a substantial impact on the way we live our lives. But, what have been the experiences of children, young people and their families during this time? And how has children’s well-being been affected? Our well-being research Every year we (The Children's Society) measure the well-being of children in the UK through a regular survey, with the findings presented in our Good Childhood Report. This research has shown how, since 2009, children’s well-being in this country has been in decline. In our 2020 survey, we included a number of questions to gauge the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting social distancing/lockdown measures on children’s lives. The survey was completed between April and June, when the UK was in lockdown. Our latest briefing, Life on Hold, brings together the findings of these survey questions about Covid-19, together with children’s own accounts. Read the full article and findings here.
  14. News Article
    NHS People Plan provides a stop-gap but leaves glaring omissions 'Two years after it was first promised, the NHS is still waiting for a long-term workforce plan. Some of the measures announced in today’s People Plan are positive. As the plan acknowledges, it is important to learn from the impressive changes made by NHS staff during the pandemic. And improving support for people from black and minority ethnic communities – who make up one fifth of the NHS workforce – is rightly a top priority. 'But there are glaring omissions. The NHS went into the pandemic with a workforce gap of around 100,000 staff, yet the plan does not say how this will be addressed in the medium term. This is particularly concerning at a time when our recruitment of nurses from abroad has dropped dramatically. These details are missing because the NHS is still waiting on government to set out what funding will be available to expand the NHS workforce – without which the NHS cannot recruit and retain the doctors, nurses and other staff it needs. 'While this plan at least provides a stop-gap to help get the NHS through the winter, there is no equivalent plan for social care – a sector suffering from decades of political neglect and the devastating impact of COVID-19 on care users and staff. A comprehensive workforce plan for both the NHS and social care is needed now more than ever'.
  15. News Article
    Hospital trust ‘truly sorry that mistakes were made in care’ of Luchii Gavrilescu, who died after being sent home from hospital with undiagnosed tuberculosis. An NHS trust investigated over maternity care failings has apologised after a six-week-old child was found to have died due to mistakes at one of its hospitals. East Kent Hospitals University Trust was embroiled in a major scandal after The Independent revealed the trust had seen more than 130 babies over a four-year period suffer brain damage as a result of being starved of oxygen during birth. A report into the trust concluded in April that there had been “recurrent safety risks” at its maternity units. Read full article here.