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About Sam

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    United Kingdom

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    Lead Editor for the hub
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    Patient Safety Learning
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  1. Content Article
    Prevention of surgical site infection (SSI) remains a main priority in operating theatres. This has previously led to the introduction of practices, often referred to as rituals and behaviours and sometimes labelled as ‘myths’. Some of them are not underpinned by sound scientific evidence, but they are established in everyday practice, and considered by many as traditional to help ensure discipline and professionalism in the operating theatre. Previous Healthcare Infection Society guidelines were published 20 years ago, and they aimed to debunk some of the practices. Since then, new techn
  2. News Article
    Thousands of NHS operations and appointments have had to be cancelled because of the nurses' strikes in England this week. Over the two days, NHS England said 27,800 bookings had to be rescheduled, including 5,000 operations and treatments. There were more than 30 hospital trusts affected with some saying between 10% to 20% of normal activity was lost. They warned the dispute was hampering progress in reducing the backlog. Saffron Cordery, of NHS Providers, which represents hospital bosses, said the strike days caused "significant disruption" and were "some of the hardest"
  3. Event
    The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and BMJ bring you one of the largest international conferences focused on improving outcomes for patients and communities through quality improvement. Themed Adapting to a changing world: equity, sustainability and wellbeing for all, the conference programme will focus on how the improvement movement can help healthcare systems adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing world. Key topics we will address include equity, sustainability, wellbeing and learning from adverse events. Further information and registration
  4. News Article
    Ministers must use legislation to address an “unacceptable and inexcusable” failure to address racial disparity in the use of the Mental Health Act (MHA), MPs and peers have said. The joint committee on the draft mental health bill says the bill does not go far enough to tackle failures that were identified in a landmark independent review five years ago, but which still persist and may even be getting worse. The committee says the landmark 2018 review of the MHA by Prof Simon Wessely – which the bill is a response to – was intended to address racial and ethnic inequalities, but that
  5. News Article
    Consultants who blew the whistle at a major teaching trust have raised “grave concerns” about the impartiality of three reviews into the safety and bullying allegations they made. Last month, Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board announced three investigations into University Hospitals Birmingham, following worries about bullying and poor workplace culture. Former trust consultants Manos Nikolousis, John Watkinson and Tristan Reuser have now written to the cross-party reference group holding the investigations to account. Their letter, seen by HSJ, outlines their concerns abo
  6. News Article
    An artificial pancreas has been successfully trialled in patients with type 2 diabetes, a university said. Scientists at the University of Cambridge developed the device which combines a glucose monitor and insulin pump with an app. The app uses an algorithm that predicts how much insulin is required to keep glucose levels in the target range. Average glucose levels fell while patients trialled the device, the university said. The researchers have previously shown that an artificial pancreas run by a similar algorithm is effective for patients living with type 1 diabetes, w
  7. News Article
    A GP surgery accidentally told patients they had aggressive lung cancer instead of wishing them a merry Christmas. Askern Medical Practice sent the text message to people registered with the surgery in Doncaster on 23 December. Sarah Hargreaves, who was waiting for medical test results, said she "broke down" when she received the text, only to be later told it was sent in error. The first text told recipients they had "aggressive lung cancer with metastases", a type of secondary malignant growth. It directed patients to fill out a DS1500 form, which allows people with termi
  8. News Article
    Technology that accurately predicts when patients will be ready to leave hospital upon their arrival in A&E is being introduced to solve the NHS bed-blocking crisis. The artificial intelligence (AI) software analyses data including age, medical conditions and previous hospital stays to estimate how long a patient will need to remain. Hospital managers can then alert social care services in advance about the date when patients are expected to be discharged, allowing care home beds or community care packages to be prepared. Nurses said the technology had “revolutionised” their
  9. News Article
    Woodside Care Village in Warwick is staged like a town centre in miniature, with benches and a fountain, cafe tables and front doors to homes styled as either “town”, “country” or “classical”. But none of the places are quite what they seem, because here everything has a greater purpose: to improve the wellbeing of people with dementia. Modelled on a groundbreaking Dutch experiment in looking after people with Alzheimer’s disease, the purpose-built facility, which opened in 2019, is quietly breaking new ground for a better kind of dementia care. “Everything is dressed and staged to l
  10. News Article
    Some integrated care systems (ICSs) still require “an awful lot of control” from the centre, Patricia Hewitt has told HSJ, tempering any expectations that her government-commissioned review will bring about a wholesale roll-back of national performance management. The former Labour health secretary, who is also an integrated care board chair, was commissioned in November by chancellor Jeremy Hunt and health secretary Steve Barclay to review ICS autonomy and accountability. In her first interview since she started the work, Ms Hewitt also said: She had not ruled out “legislat
  11. News Article
    Families of people with dementia have said there is a national crisis in care safety as it emerged that more than half of residential homes reported on by inspectors this year were rated “inadequate” or requiring improvement – up from less than a third pre-pandemic. Serious and often shocking failings uncovered in previously “good” homes in recent months include people left in bed “for months”, pain medicine not being administered, violence between residents and malnutrition – including one person who didn’t eat for a month. In homes in England where standards have slumped from “good
  12. News Article
    Hundreds of thousands of children have been left waiting by the NHS for the developmental therapies they need, with some waiting more than two years, The Independent can reveal. The long waiting lists for services such as speech and language therapy will see a generation of children held back in their development and will “impact Britain for the long haul”, according to the head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). More than 1,500 children have been left waiting for two years for NHS therapies, according to internal data obtained by The Independent, while a f
  13. News Article
    The government could scrap a number of NHS targets after a review of the health service, it has been reported. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and health secretary Steve Barclay commissioned Patricia Hewitt, a former Labour health secretary, last month to review how the NHS’s new integrated care systems should work, as well as how the health service should work to “empower local leaders”, giving them more autonomy. According to the i newspaper, the government could abolish a majority of health service targets as a result of the review, so it can be run along similar lines to schools. Ms Hewit
  14. News Article
    Coronavirus modelling data will stop being published in early January, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) says. Statistics covering the growth rate of the virus are currently released fortnightly, but the agency says this is no longer necessary. Chief data scientist Dr Nick Watkins said this is due to the UK living with Covid-19 because of vaccines and therapeutics. At the height of the pandemic both the R rate and growth rate for England were published weekly. Since April this year it has been published fortnightly. Dr Watkins said it served as a useful and simple indic
  15. News Article
    The NHS is set to eliminate hepatitis C in England by 2025 due to targeted screening campaigns for those at risk and effective drug treatments, according to health officials. NHS England said the measures are helping to dramatically cut deaths from the virus five years ahead of global targets. Deaths from hepatitis C – including liver disease and cancer – have fallen by 35% since NHS England struck a five-year deal worth almost £1bn to buy antiviral drugs for thousands of patients in 2018. The World Health Organization’s target of a 10% reduction in hepatitis C-related death by 2020