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Found 156 results
  1. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has issued a trust with a warning notice following an inspection that found wards did not have enough staff to care for patients. Staff at York hospital told inspectors they were not able to interact with individual patients and cater to their needs, with one saying: “We have to choose, do we turn, check, and make sure all patients are not soiled, or do we fully wash ten? Some of these patients haven’t been washed for two to three days.” York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals CEO Simon Morritt said: “Many of the issues raised by the CQC were known to us, and reflect the extreme pressures facing the trust, the demands of covid and associated staff absence, and the well-documented recruitment challenges. The report demonstrates that, when faced with these pressures, it is not always possible to give the standard of care we would want for all of our patients all of the time.” The CQC said there were “significant safety concerns about fundamental standards of patient care” at the hospital. “The service didn’t have enough nursing staff with the right skills, training and experience to keep patients safe and to provide the right care and treatment,” said Sarah Dronsfield, the CQC’s head of hospital inspection. “It was disappointing that managers didn’t regularly review the situation and change the staffing arrangements to accommodate this.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 9 June 2022
  2. News Article
    Criminal acts of violence at GP surgeries across the UK have almost doubled in five years, new figures reveal, as doctors’ leaders warn of a perfect storm of soaring demand and staff shortages. Police are now recording an average of three violent incidents at general practices every day. Staff are facing unprecedented assaults, abuse and aggression by patients, with surgeries struggling to cope with “unmanageable levels of demand” after years of failure to recruit or retain sufficient numbers of family doctors. Security measures such as CCTV, panic buttons and screens at reception are now increasingly being rolled out across GP surgeries, the Guardian has learned, with senior medics claiming ministers perpetuate a myth that services are “closed”. Last night, Britain’s two most senior doctors condemned the wave of violence and called for urgent action to finally resolve the workforce crisis. “It is unacceptable that GPs and their staff are afraid and at risk of being verbally or physically abused, when they are working amid exceptional pressures and striving to do their best for patients,” said Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association. “GP practices are facing unmanageable levels of demand with 2,000 fewer GPs than in 2015.” He added it was “no surprise” that patients were struggling to get appointments because of the national “lack of capacity” and “lack of historic investment in general practice”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 31 May 2022
  3. News Article
    NHS bosses in England are urging hospitals to offer staff more overtime and tempt retired employees back, to help tackle waiting lists. A letter sent by NHS England said tackling the backlog that had grown during the pandemic would require a "number of high impact actions". And many hospitals were already taking innovative approaches to the issue. More than six million people are on waiting lists for treatment such as knee and hip surgery. According to the General Medical Council, 21,000 doctors are due to retire in September. And part of the plan would be to tempt some of those back by offering part-time opportunities to: train students run virtual consultations help with follow-up check-ups. Other measures recommended by NHS England are: removing caps on consultant hours - in some places senior doctors are limited to 40 hours a week - to offer extra shifts where safe offering more bank shifts - overtime opportunities for trust rather than agency staff increasing the use of NHS reservists - members of the public who have signed up to work for the NHS for at least 30 days a year - to help run wards, feed patients and provide support for the Covid-vaccination programme exploring taking simple procedures, such as cataract surgery, out of operating theatres and into other parts of the hospital. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 May 2022
  4. News Article
    A 94-year-old man has said his GP refuses to see him “unless it’s life or death”. Dennis Baker, from North Hampshire, said he felt “put off” by his doctor's surgery, which is a three-minute walk from his house. The pensioner, who lives with his wife who has advanced dementia and is bed-bound, said he found it “quite difficult to carry on a conversation with a doctor” and cannot get one to visit him at home. “The chances are [the receptionist] will say… ‘you're not dying, a doctor will phone you at some stage today’, that’s the usual response,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One. It comes as the president of the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) said family doctors should start “saying no” to extra work to tackle the crisis in primary care. Speaking at Pulse Live last week, Professor Dame Clare Gerada said the workload crisis was not the fault of GPs and they “cannot innovate [their] way out”. “When you’re in debates and people are saying to you 'you’ve got to work harder and smarter' - no, the rest of the system has to adapt,” she told the conference. “You have to start saying no.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 3 May 2022
  5. News Article
    Nurses have spoken of the shocking abuse they face from patients as the NHS struggles to cope with a rise in demand for care. Both patients and staff are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation the NHS is in, with staff shortages and a patient backlog of six million people causing already stretched services extra strain. "As we are the faces that the public see we do get the brunt of a lot of their anger as they are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation that the NHS is in," one nurse wrote on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page. "Staff are equally frustrated with the whole situation and knackered from working long hours and covering for the many staff still absent." Nurses given the task of conveying ‘unwelcome messages about the limitations of resources’ Another said: "Working in an ED abuse occurs on a daily basis… it is not acceptable but even when you Datix these incidents nothing gets done, staff are reduced to tears and frightened to walk into patient waiting areas, it is not acceptable." It comes as former chief inspector of social services Lord Herbert Laming accused health service managers of putting nursing staff in the public firing line during a House of Lords debate on reducing abuse of nurses in the NHS. Read full story Source: 12 April 2022, Nursing Standard
  6. News Article
    Mums who have given birth at Sheffield's largest maternity unit have revealed all about the "horrible" conditions, with some parents saying they feared for their baby's lives. One mum - a midwife herself - was so concerned about her unborn baby's welfare that she and her partner temporarily moved to London just weeks before her due date. "I felt like my son and I might have died if we had the pregnancy in Sheffield," she said. Several mums have spoken to Yorkshire Live about their stories after a scathing report uncovered the scale of the issues on the Jessop Wing. CQC inspectors highlighted all manner of major issues about the care given at Sheffield Teaching Hospital's specialist maternity unit, including examples of emergency help not arriving when staff called for it. Distraught mums said they were left naked and covered in bodily fluids while others complained about being ignored for hours despite begging for pain relief. Dangerously low staffing levels exposed patients to the risk of serious harm, while midwives themselves revealed a toxic environment of a "bullying and intimidating culture" from senior management. As a Trust spokesperson said "we are very sorry" and vowed to make big improvements, we spoke to some of the families worst affected by the problems as they explained how "basic dignity and care have gone out the window". Read full story Source: 12, April 2022, Yorkshire Live
  7. Content Article
    Key recommendations The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England should: develop specific plan to address gaps in diagnostic workforce, short-term and long-term shortages in key professions and level of investment required to deliver sustainable long-term increases. publish a detailed analysis of the extent of the cancer backlog to support the delivery of the elective care recovery plan. set out an estimate of what level of additional capacity in NHS cancer services will be needed to address the backlog in cancer services and treatment by March 2023. set out an action plan to ensure that NHS cancer services are able to provide this additional capacity above normal levels. The new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities should conduct a rapid review of existing evidence of the impact of demographic factors on cancer outcomes and commits to developing a joint strategy with NHS England to address disparities in outcomes.
  8. News Article
    Public satisfaction with the NHS has dropped to its lowest level for 25 years after a sharp fall during the pandemic, a survey suggests. The British Social Attitudes poll, seen as the gold standard measure of public opinion, found 36% of the 3,100 asked were satisfied in 2021. That is a drop from 53% the year before - the largest fall in a single year. Only once have satisfaction levels been lower since the poll started in 1983. That was in 1997, and shortly after that the Blair government started increasing the budget by record amounts. The public said it was taking too long to get a GP appointment or hospital care, and there was not enough staff. Satisfaction with GP care and hospital services were both at their lowest levels since the survey began. Dan Wellings, senior fellow at the King's Fund, described them as "extraordinary". He said the NHS initially saw a "halo" effect early on in the pandemic, with satisfaction rates being maintained as the NHS battled through the first wave. But he said it was clear that had now gone. "People are often struggling to get the care they need. These issues have been exacerbated by the extraordinary events of the past two years, but have been many years in the making following a decade-long funding squeeze, and a workforce crisis that has been left unaddressed for far too long." Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 March 2022
  9. Content Article
    "Urgent and emergency care is in crisis. While the focus has been on the serious elective backlog, a dangerous situation has been developing in our already pressured emergency care system. Emergency departments are full and struggling to receive ambulance patients, resulting in delays and patient harm. Hospitals are full and are struggling to get beds for the patients needing admission. Patients are stuck in the back of ambulances, on trolleys in ED corridors and increasingly in hospital beds because of the paucity of community support for discharges. We now find ourselves in the completely unacceptable situation where the “solution” to ambulance handover problems is to put up tents or sheds in front of emergency departments... The blindingly obvious problem here, as ever, is staffing. Neither hospitals nor the ambulance service has enough staff to cover another clinical area, let alone a tent. Not only that, but these tents do not have the usual safety features of a hospital and while covid is still circulating extensively pose a risk of cross infection. They are a danger to patients’ health and dignity."
  10. Content Article
    The report highlights the following key findings: The maternity service was offering care to women whose pregnancies represented a high risk, but did not have the necessary systems or staff with the appropriate skills in place to manage such cases. There was a lack of input from consultants at crucial times, and there was an over reliance on junior staff to manage complex and difficult cases with little guidance or support. Consultant obstetricians did not routinely carry out ward rounds when they were responsible for overseeing care in the labour ward and the teamwork between midwives and obstetricians was not as effective as it should have been. Therefore, there was no adequate mechanism in place for staff to discuss concerns that they may have had about the women. There was an excessive reliance on the use of locum and agency staff, who did not always receive the necessary guidance or support. Deficiencies in the management structures also contributed to the poor quality of care the women received, for example midwives were expected to manage a busy delivery suite that was reliant on agency and locum staff, with at times, little professional or managerial support. Around the time of the first deaths the midwives received little professional support from the supervisors of midwives. In the majority of cases the women attended their hospital and GP antenatal appointments and sought help when they felt unwell. Yet despite this, in a number of the cases, clinical staff failed to recognise and respond to the severity of the condition of the women, thereby reducing the chances of survival of the women. In some of the cases there were minor deficiencies in care which, in isolation, may not have had such a dramatic impact, but when occurring together had serious consequences for the health of the women concerned. The anaesthetic staff involved in the care of the women responded well, often in difficult circumstances. The haematology department responded efficiently in providing the necessary, and at times large, volumes of blood and blood products. In two of the cases there was an absence of documentation for surgical procedures that were carried out by the obstetric staff and in one case there was an absence of contemporaneous documentation. Related reading An independent review of serious untoward incidents and clinical governance systems within maternity services at Northwick Park Hospital (16 September 2008)
  11. News Article
    A crisis in cancer care at NHS Tayside could have been averted if the health board had publicly supported doctors who were criticised by an official report, according to a top oncologist. The last remaining breast radiotherapy specialist left at the end of January, with the board unable to replace him. Patients must now travel to Aberdeen, Glasgow or Edinburgh for radiotherapy. The situation has emerged three years after an investigation into chemotherapy treatment at Ninewells Hospital. NHS Tayside apologised to patients in 2019 after an investigation found doctors deviated from national standards on chemotherapy dosages given to breast cancer patients after surgery. A subsequent review found that the lower dosages were highly unlikely to have led to the deaths of any patients. Last year the doctors involved were cleared of any wrongdoing by the General Medical Council (GMC), who also found no fault with the treatment patients received. Some clinicians close to those involved told BBC Scotland the cancer doctors felt they had no choice but to leave because they did not have the backing of the board. Colleagues who support the oncologists say none of this needed to happen. Prof Alastair Munro, emeritus professor of radiation oncology at Dundee University, who previously worked as a cancer doctor in the department, said: "It's a totally avoidable tragedy, this should not have happened. "The first thing the health board need to do is to come clean, and say we got it wrong, we put our hands up, we want to start again with a clean slate and we want to attract good people to come to Tayside to deliver breast cancer services to the patients whose needs we serve." Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 February 2022