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Found 395 results
  1. News Article
    Regulators have raised serious concerns over trainee doctors within the maternity department at one of the largest trusts in the country. The NHS’ training regulator said it had concerns over the treatment of trainee doctors within the obstetric and gynaecology department at University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust, while some medics report being in ‘meltdown’. Reviewers raised an incident where a consultant had refused to respond to an obstetric emergency in A&E which had been requested by a junior doctor. “The panel unanimously agreed that Consultant presence was required without delay,” the report added. The latest review follows concerns in November 2020 and June 2021 when patient safety issues were also identified. It warned there was a “real risk” trainees would soon become “hesitant and reluctant” to call for consultant support when need. Read full story Source: The Independent, 5 June 2022
  2. News Article
    A retired consultant gastroenterologist has been struck off the UK medical register for “wide ranging failings” in treating young transgender patients and in prescribing testosterone for men. Michael Webberley, who was charged with failing to provide good care to 24 patients, acted outside the limits of his expertise, a medical practitioners tribunal concluded. Through the private online clinic GenderGP, which he ran with his wife Helen, a GP, Webberley prescribed puberty blockers to a child of nine and cross sex hormones to a teenager who died by suicide a few months later. He faced charges over his care of seven transgender patients, and the tribunal found that he had provided treatment that was not clinically indicated or that had been prescribed without adequate tests, assessments, or examinations. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 30 May 2022
  3. News Article
    New responsibilities for doctors regarding their use of social media and tackling toxic workplace behaviours and sexual harassment are among key proposals in the General Medical Council’s (GMC) planned update to its core ethical guidance. The regulator has launched a 12-week consultation on the draft new content of 'Good medical practice', which outlines the professional values, knowledge and behaviours expected of doctors working in the UK. This represents the first major update of the guidance since it first came into effect in April 2013, with the review process launched last year. The GMC said the draft new update follows months of working with doctor, employer, and patient representatives, as well as other stakeholders, and reflects the issues faced in modern-day healthcare workplaces. Included for the first time in the draft new guidance is a duty for doctors to act, or support others to act, if they become aware of workplace bullying, harassment, or discrimination, as well as zero tolerance of sexual harassment. For the first time, the GMC's ethical guidance proposes 12 commitments, including: Make the care of patients my first concern. Demonstrate leadership within my role, and work with others to make healthcare environments more supportive, inclusive, and fair. Provide a good standard of practice and care, and be honest and open when things go wrong. Ensure my conduct justifies my patients’ trust in me and the public's trust in my profession. Read full story Source: Medscape, 27 April 2022
  4. News Article
    In an unprecedented murder case in the United States about end-of-life care, a physician accused of killing 14 critically ill patients with opioid overdoses in a Columbus, Ohio hospital ICU over a period of 4 years was found not guilty by a jury Wednesday. The jury, after a 7-week trial featuring more than 50 witnesses in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, declared William Huse not guilty on 14 counts of murder and attempted murder. In a news conference after the verdict was announced, lead defense attorney Jose Baez said Husel, whom he called a "great doctor," hopes to practice medicine again in the future. The verdict, he argued, offers an encouraging sign that physicians and other providers won't face prosecution for providing "comfort care" to patients suffering pain. "They don't need to be looking over their shoulders worrying about whether they'll get charged with crimes," he said. The trial raised the specific issue of what constitutes a medically justifiable dose of opioid painkillers during the end-of-life procedure known as palliative extubation, in which critically ill patients are withdrawn from the ventilator when they are expected to die. Under medicine's so-called double-effect principle, physicians must weigh the benefits and risks of ordering potentially lethal doses of painkillers and sedatives to provide comfort care for critically ill patients. To many observers, however, the case really centered on the largely hidden debate over whether it's acceptable to hasten the deaths of dying patients who haven't chosen that path. That's called euthanasia, which is illegal in the United States. In contrast, 10 states plus the District of Columbia allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill, mentally competent adults who can self-administer them. That's called medical aid in dying, or physician-assisted dying or suicide. Read full story Source: Medscape, 27 April 2022
  5. News Article
    Doctors at an acute trust believe their clinical leaders have failed to tackle the ‘big personalities’ accused of being aggressive bullies, a review has found. The probe at University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust was prompted by a survey carried out last year by the British Associations of Physicians of Indian Origin, after concerns were raised by its members. The review was undertaken by Birmingham-based equalities charity Brap, and Roger Kline, a research fellow at Middlesex University Business School. It found the trust was not an outlier in statistical measures of bullying and harassment, but suggested the situation was still worse than leaders would wish. They said: “The most common reason people cited for bullying/harassment they experienced was the personality, attitude, and disposition of their managers and colleagues… it is felt senior clinical leaders have, in the past, failed to tackle these ‘big personalities’. “It is worth noting feedback from interviews suggesting many doctors feel they have endured poor behaviour – talking over people during meetings, criticising work in public, aggressive questioning – for years, and have simply become inured to it. The reviewers found that as a consequence, certain people within the organisation were perceived to be “bullet proof”, and added: “We would suggest the trust needs a big, long-term plan to ‘rehumanise’ the organisation. “The trust’s existing culture has permitted, and continues to permit infringements in behaviour… While this is not condoned by senior leaders in the trust, the lack of a plan to proactively tackle a legacy of overlooking poor behaviours has allowed them to persist.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 6 April 2022
  6. News Article
    Doctors too often "ignore" women's pain, Sajid Javid said as he called for change in the wake of the Shrewsbury maternity scandal. Writing for The Telegraph, the Health Secretary said the wider NHS needed to do much more to listen to women, adding that too many are left in pain and ignored by clinicians. On Wednesday, the Ockenden report revealed that the deaths of 201 babies and nine mothers at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust could have been avoided, citing a failure to listen to women. Mr Javid wrote: "This week we have seen the tragic reality of what can happen when women's voices are not listened to when it comes to their care. "Donna Ockenden's report into maternity failings at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals raises specific concerns for maternity services, but more widely we must address issues across the whole of the health and care system when it comes to listening to women's concerns and recognising their pain." In the joint piece with Maria Caulfield, the minister for women’s health, Mr Javid welcomed a "shift in the way we talk about women's health", with more open discussions about areas once seen as taboo. But the pair said more needed to be done – specifically to improve the treatment of endometriosis, an extremely painful gynaecological condition. "We must ensure all women feel confident in going to their GP when they experience symptoms of endometriosis and, when they do, that they are listened to," they said. Too many were "spending too long in pain waiting for a diagnosis, often feeling ignored by clinicians", they warned. Later this year the Government will publish a women's health strategy, which will examine issues including fertility, menopause, and prevention and treatment of diseases. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 31 March 2022
  7. News Article
    A doctor's bid to be voluntarily removed from the medical register on health grounds has been rejected. It means Dr Heather Steen, who is accused of failings following the death of Claire Roberts in 1996, will still face a fitness to practice tribunal. The tribunal would have been halted if she had been removed from the register, as she would no longer have been a doctor. Claire Roberts died at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, where Dr Steen worked, in October 1996. The nine-year-old's death was examined as part of the hyponatraemia inquiry. Her father Alan said his family welcomed the decision to refuse the paediatrician's application. He said the tribunal hearing was "in the public interest" and should proceed "to maintain public confidence in the medical profession, the regulatory process and to ensure that professional standards are upheld". Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 March 2022
  8. News Article
    A Derby doctor who has been the subject of eight tribunals in less than nine years has been sanctioned for a further four months. Dr Anatta Nergui was originally found guilty of misconduct in 2014 and has been found to have not fully reflected on the severity of his offending in six different hearings since. The psychiatrist was suspended by the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service (MPTS) in 2014 for running a website and blog which offered incorrect medical advice to those who got in contact with him. In 20 of 22 cases, he was found to have failed to recommend that the patient saw a doctor or psychiatrist, and failed to recommend a counselling or psychotherapy course in 30 cases, among other complaints, which put patients at "significant risk of harm". The latest tribunal aimed at assessing his fitness to practice, held in March 2022, has imposed a further four months of conditions on him, after the MPTS found that "despite there being a low risk of repetition, the remediation had not yet been completed", according to the chair of the tribunal, Jetinder Shergill. In the MPTS determination, released on Thursday (March 17), Mr Shergill said: "While the tribunal was satisfied that there is sufficient evidence Dr Nergui is a competent and safe doctor, there remains a lingering concern that he did not appreciate the findings made against him from the patient’s perspective and/or did not express this in a clear, cogent manner. The tribunal considered that Dr Nergui might have benefitted from seeking feedback from a trusted colleague or mentor, reflecting on what went wrong and setting out his thought processes on avoiding similar risk. "In short, the self-reflection has led Dr Nergui down a restricted path of understanding, leading him to focus on the legal aspects of the process and semantics rather than the primary issue which was one of patient safety. If he had sought the input of a third party, it may have led to him developing an alternative view rather than the binary approach that he has adopted. This left the tribunal with the view that whilst there has been some insight, remediation is not yet complete." Read full story Source: Derbyshire Live, 18 March 2022
  9. News Article
    A paediatrician who was at the centre of one of Northern Ireland's longest running public inquiries will appear before a professional misconduct panel. Dr Heather Steen is accused of several failings following the death of Claire Roberts at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in October 1996. The nine-year-old's death was examined by the hyponatraemia inquiry, which lasted 14 years. It examined the role of several doctors. Among his findings, the inquiry's chairman Mr Justice O'Hara said there had been a "cover-up" to "avoid scrutiny." Monday's tribunal will inquire into allegations that, between 23 October 1996 and 4 May 2006, Dr Steen "knowingly and dishonestly carried out several actions to conceal the true circumstances" of the child's death. Also that the doctor provided inappropriate, incomplete and inaccurate information to the child's parents and GP regarding the treatment, diagnosis, clinical management and cause of her death. The tribunal website adds: "It is also alleged that Dr Steen inappropriately recommended a brain-only post-mortem for Patient A (Claire Roberts) when a full post-mortem was necessary. "In addition, it is alleged that Dr Steen failed to refer Patient A's death to the coroner, inappropriately completed the medical certificate of cause of death and inaccurately completed the autopsy request form for Patient A. "Furthermore, it is alleged that during a review of Patient A's notes, Dr Steen failed to consult with the necessary colleagues and medical teams and provided a statement and gave evidence to the coroner's inquest into Patient A's death which omitted key information." Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 March 2022
  10. News Article
    A doctor who has suffered violent shakes and hallucinations during her ongoing 15-month battle with long COVID has criticised the government's plan to "live with the virus". Dr Kelly Fearnley told Sky News she contemplated ending her own life due to the debilitating long-term effects of coronavirus, which she caught while working on a COVID ward in November 2020. The 35-year-old from Leeds, who was previously fit and healthy, initially had flu-like symptoms before she suffered shortness of breath and painful rashes over her body, as well as swelling around her eye. More than a year later, she is still unable to return to work due to the effects of long COVID, which have included violent shakes lasting up to 14 hours at a time, hallucinations, night terrors, severe pins and needles in her arms and legs, and a resting heart rate of 140 beats per minute. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson set to unveil his "living with COVID" plan on Monday, Dr Fearnley branded it a "strategy of denial, driven by the need to cut costs" and she felt "angry and let down". Read full story Source: Sky News, 20 February 2022
  11. News Article
    Medical records contain a plethora of information, from a patient’s diagnoses and treatments to marital status to drinking and exercise habits. They also note whether a patient has followed medical advice. A health provider may add a line stating that the patient is “noncompliant” or “non-adherent,” signalling that the patient has been uncooperative and may exhibit problematic behaviours. Two large new studies in the US found that such terms, while not commonly used, are much more likely to appear in the medical records of Black patients than in those of other races. The first study, published in Health Affairs, found that Black patients were two and a half times as likely as white patients to have at least one negative descriptive term used in their electronic health record. About 8% of all patients had one or more derogatory terms in their charts, the study found. The most common negative descriptive terms used in the records were “refused,” “not adherent,” “not compliant” and “agitated.” The second study, published in JAMA Network Open, analysed the electronic health records of nearly 30,000 patients at a large urban academic medical centre between January and December 2018. The study looked for what researchers called “stigmatising language,” comparing the negative terms used to describe patients of different racial and ethnic backgrounds as well as those with three chronic diseases: diabetes, substance use disorders and chronic pain. Overall, 2.5% of the notes contained terms like “nonadherence,” “noncompliance,” “failed” or “failure,” “refuses” or “refused,” and, on occasion, “combative” or “argumentative.” But while 2.6% of medical notes on white patients contained such terms, they were present in 3.15% of notes about Black patients. Looking at some 8,700 notes about patients with diabetes, 6,100 notes about patients with substance use disorder and 5,100 notes about those with chronic pain, the researchers found that patients with diabetes — most of whom had type 2 diabetes, which is often associated with excess weight and called a “lifestyle” disease — were the most likely to be described in negative ways. Nearly 7% of patients with diabetes were said to be noncompliant with a treatment regimen, or to have “uncontrolled” disease, or to have “failed.” The labels have consequences, warns Dr. Schillinger, who directs the Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. “Patients whose physicians tend to judge, blame or vilify them are much less likely to have trust in their doctors, and in the medical system overall,” Dr. Schillinger said. “Having health care providers who are trustworthy — who earn their patients’ trust by not judging them unfairly — is critical to ensuring optimal health and eliminating health disparities.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The New York Times, 20 February 2022
  12. News Article
    Nearly 150 doctors have been disciplined for sexual misconduct in the last five years, as surgeons call for action on the “systemic” and “cultural” problem of sexual assault within healthcare, The Independent can reveal. Doctors campaigning for the UK’s healthcare services to address widespread problems with sexual harassment and assault in medicine have warned that people do not feel safe to come forward with allegations amid deep-seated “hierarchies” within healthcare. The Royal College of Surgeons’ Women in Surgery chair has said the issues are “widespread” across the health services and improvements to protecting whistleblowers needed to be made nationally. Last year, surgeons Becky Fisher and Simon Fleming wrote an academic paper exposing the problem of sexual assault, harassment and rape in surgery and surgical training. In interviews with The Independent, both have warned the “institutional” problem goes beyond surgery and across all of the healthcare services. Mr Fleming said the figures from the GMC were the “the very tip of the iceberg” in terms of actual levels of sexual assault within healthcare. Talking about the role of the GMC, Mr Fleming said he’d been told “by more than one person” that when they’ve reached out to the GMC over sexual assault or misconduct they were “failed” by the regulator and were “either not helped, abandoned or told to deal with it locally”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 February 2022
  13. News Article
    Health officials have “paid lip service” to racism in the NHS for years, leading black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors have warned as they called for “concrete” action to tackle inequalities exposed by a landmark review. The damning study – the largest of its kind – had found “vast” and “widespread” inequity in every aspect of healthcare it reviewed, and warned that this was harming the health of minority ethnic patients in England. In response, an NHS spokesperson said the health service was “already taking action” to improve the experiences of patients and access to services and was working “to drive forward” the recommendations made in the report. However, Dr JS Bamrah, a consultant psychiatrist in Greater Manchester and national chairman of the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, said he was unsatisfied with the response. “This 166-page review … is a terrible indictment of the current state of the NHS,” he told the Guardian. “As many of us have often said and reported, we don’t need any further reports. It’s action we need, as there are scores of patients who are not getting optimal treatment, and many are being neglected. “It really isn’t good enough for NHS bosses to say that action is being taken and it’s even more disappointing to then not see any concrete proposals on dealing with glaring disparities despite all that we have learnt during the pandemic.” Dr Rajesh Mohan, presidential lead for race and equality at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said it was “time for warm words to end” as he urged NHS leaders to “do everything they can to ensure patients from ethnic minority backgrounds get the care they need”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 February 2022
  14. News Article
    Two NHS hospital trusts are working with police after a doctor was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Staffordshire Police has launched a major incident review of the doctor's work at hospitals in Dudley, West Midlands, and Stoke-on-Trent, The Sunday Times reported. The force said the 34-year-old man from the West Midlands was arrested in December and released on bail. It is reviewing an investigation into the same suspect it undertook in 2018. The doctor was suspended from seeing patients at the Royal Stoke University Hospital in Staffordshire when the parents of a vulnerable female raised concerns about his examination of her, the Sunday Times reported. The case was referred to police in 2018 who said there was "insufficient evidence to take further action" at the time. The Staffordshire force has now reported itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs the Royal Stoke, said it was working with police and had set up a helpline for any patient and guardian who may have concerns. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 February 2022
  15. News Article
    One in four doctors in the NHS are so tired that their ability to treat patients has become impaired, according to the first survey to reveal the impact of sleep deprivation on medics during the coronavirus pandemic. Growing workloads, longer hours and widespread staff shortages are causing extreme tiredness among medics, leading to memory problems and difficulty concentrating, according to the report by the Medical Defence Union (MDU), which provides legal support to about 200,000 doctors, nurses, dentists and other healthcare workers. The survey of more than 500 doctors across the UK, carried out within the past month and seen by the Guardian, uncovered almost 40 near misses as a direct result of exhaustion. In at least seven cases, patients actually sustained harm. Despite encouraging signs the Omicron wave may be fading, doctors admitted the constant pressure of the past 22 months spent fighting coronavirus on the frontline was taking a toll on their technical skills and even their ability to make what should be straightforward medical decisions. Medics admitted for the first time sleep deprivation was causing real harm to patients in the NHS. Almost six in 10 doctors (59%) reported their sleep patterns had worsened during the pandemic. More than a quarter (26%) of medics admitted being so tired that their ability to treat patients was “impaired”. Of these, one in six (18%) said a patient was harmed or a near miss occurred as a result. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 January 2022 Read MDU press release
  16. News Article
    Thousands of overseas-qualified doctors wanting to work in the UK will be delayed after the General Medical Council cancelled exams due to the surge in Covid cases. The regulator said its decision to pause professional and linguistic assessment board tests, scheduled for January and February, was made “in direct response” to the current omicron wave. Up to 54 doctors would have been needed each per day as examiners, it said, alongside a “large number of role players and staff”. It comes as overseas recruitment is seen by government and national officials as a crucial way to boost NHS staffing, including GPs. Director of registration Una Lane said: “We are deeply disappointed to have to cancel exams at this time, but given the pressures on the NHS and the impact on examiner availability, it was the only viable option.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 6 January 2022
  17. News Article
    The NHS has a backlog of 5.8 million waiting for surgery and specialists are increasingly frustrated at how the unvaccinated have left them unable to tackle it. Doctors and nurses have told of their anger and frustration at not being able to treat seriously ill patients as new figures show that more than 90% of Covid sufferers requiring the most specialist care are unvaccinated. While the success of the vaccination rollout has reduced the overall impact of COVID-19 on hospitals, intensive care clinicians from across England have spoken out over the continuing pressure they are under. Between 20% and 30% of critical care beds in England are occupied by Covid patients and three-quarters of those have not been vaccinated, according to the latest data up to July this year. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 4 December 2021
  18. News Article
    Doctors' leaders have welcomed plans to allow GPs in England to defer some services to deliver Covid booster jabs instead. Practices can postpone minor surgery and routine health checks for over-75s and new patients until 31 March. All adults in England are expected to be offered boosters by the end of January in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant. A further 75 Omicron cases were confirmed in England on Friday. On Saturday the UK reported a further 42,848 cases of coronavirus and 127 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test while 372,557 booster jabs were administered on Friday. Dr Farah Jameel, the GP committee chair of the British Medical Association, said the new measures would release GPs from "filling out paperwork" and chasing unnecessary and often undeliverable targets. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have been struggling with significant prevailing workforce pressures - backlog pressures, winter pressures, pandemic pressures. "Whilst these changes make a difference and start to create some time, I think every single practice will have to look at just how much time it does release." Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 December 2021
  19. News Article
    A lack of support for general practice is indirectly putting patient lives at risk, amid escalating abuse in GP practices, the England LMCs conference has heard. A debate around abuse saw 99% of conference delegates agree that ‘the abuse of primary care staff directly affects patient care and puts patient safety at risk’. And 98% agreed that ‘when Government and [NHS England] choose not to support NHS staff, they directly affect patient safety and knowingly put lives at risk’. The conference also voted to ‘demand that healthcare policy is decided based on high-quality evidence on population health, and not the whims of a handful of vitriolic media’, with the vote unanimous on the topic. Speaking in the debate, which focussed on GP abuse and wellbeing, Dr Abel Adegoke of Wirral LMC told delegates that the NHS "runs on the blood of GPs" He said: "About four weeks ago, my younger sister was being buried and I had to watch via Zoom because that was taking place in Nigeria – yet I was still seeing patients. That was the day I felt so sad about being a GP because despite that sacrifice, I was still abused by a patient who wanted to be seen urgently for an absolutely non-urgent condition." "We are being taken for granted." Read full story Source: Pulse, 30 November 2021
  20. News Article
    Politicians and doctors in Germany have called for urgent action to control the spread of COVID-19 after a record number of cases were reported on 11 November. Germany had 50 196 new confirmed Covid cases on 11 November, up from 39 676 cases on 10 November and 9658 on 1 November, showed figures from the Robert Koch Institute. A total of 235 Covid related deaths were reported on 11 November, up from 23 on 1 November. Speaking in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, the federal vice chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said that immediate steps must be taken to “winterproof” Germany against what is being described as the nation’s fourth wave of Covid-19. Scholz will meet next week with the prime ministers of Germany’s 16 states to discuss new measures to fight the pandemic. “The virus is still with us and threatens the health of citizens,” Scholz said, adding that efforts must be intensified to convince unvaccinated Germans to become fully vaccinated and encourage those already vaccinated to have the booster shot." Everything must be done, he said, to ensure “that millions of citizens get a booster—that is the task of the next weeks and months.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 12 November 2021
  21. News Article
    The COVID-19 crisis triggered high levels of anxiety and depression among doctors in the UK, Italy and Spain, a new study has found The research of 5,000 survey responses, across the three countries, found Italian doctors were most likely to have suffered during the crisis last year. The study, published in PLOS ONE, measured the mental wellbeing of doctors in Catalonia (Spain), Italy and the UK during June, November and December 2020. It found that around one in four medical doctors in Italy had experienced symptoms of anxiety in June and December 2020, with around one in five reporting symptoms of depression over the same period. In Catalonia around 16% of doctors reported anxiety and around 17% experienced depression. In the UK around 12% of doctors reported anxiety and around 14% had symptoms of depression. The study is among the first cross-country analysis of mental wellbeing among healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and the first to focus on medical doctors. Across all countries, female doctors and doctors under 60 were more likely to have anxiety or depression. Professor Quintana-Domeque, professor of economics at the University of Exeter Business School, who carried out the study said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been classified as a traumatic event, with healthcare workers arguably having the most direct and longest exposure to this disease." “The results of this study suggest that institutional support for healthcare workers, and in particular doctors, is important in protecting and promoting their mental health in the current and in future pandemics.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 November 2021
  22. News Article
    Children’s doctors plan to help poor families cope with the cost of living crisis and its feared impact on health, amid concern that cold homes this winter will lead to serious ill health. In an unusual move, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) is issuing the UK’s paediatricians with detailed advice on how they can help households in poverty. It has drawn up a series of resources, including advice for doctors treating children to use appointments to talk sensitively to their parents about issues that can have a big impact on their offspring’s health. These include diet, local pollution levels, socio-economic circumstances and difficulties at home or school, which are closely linked to children’s risk of being overweight, asthmatic or stressed. “Don’t shy away from it,” the RCPCH’s 17-page manual says. “If we aren’t asking families about things which may impact on their children’s health, we are short-changing the children themselves.” However, it adds that paediatricians should “pick your timing carefully [as] parents can feel alienated if we are perceived as jumping in with two feet to ask about smoking when they are stressed about an acutely unwell child with pneumonia.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 22 September 2022
  23. News Article
    Trainee medics battling Ebola in Uganda's virus epicentre accuse the government of putting their lives at risk. "Most times you come into contact with a patient and you use your bare hands," one worker told the BBC anonymously. All trainees at Mubende's regional hospital say they are on strike and are demanding to be moved somewhere safer. But Ugandan health ministry spokesman Emmanuel Ainebyoona told the BBC there was "no strike at the hospital". Yet all 34 of the hospital's interns - including doctors, pharmacists and nurses - have announced their decision to strike in a joint statement. They say they are being put at undue risk because they lack appropriate safety kit, risk allowances and health insurance. Six interns at the hospital have already been exposed to the virus, and are awaiting their test results in isolation. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 September 2022
  24. News Article
    A leading academic is calling on new Health Secretary Therese Coffey to reconsider rolling out a Covid drug for people with weakened immune systems. Last month the government decided it would not supply Evusheld in the UK. But Dr Lennard Lee, an academic medical oncologist from Oxford University who is backed by more than 120 leading scientists and clinicians, said a rethink was needed. The government said more data was required on the treatment. Evusheld was approved for use in March, but was reviewed after the Omicron variant emerged. The drug's manufacturer AstraZeneca said there was "ample real-world data" that it worked. It is currently available in 32 countries. Dr Lee told the BBC: "It's time for a re-review of the data, and to think about transparency in terms of why they decided not to do this, and also the pros and cons of doing this. "We do know that coronavirus cases are likely to go up in winter, and we do know there are people who face increased risks... "Therefore if there is anything we can do to protect... anyone immunosuppressed I think this is something that does need to be reconsidered." Research from the US and Israel suggests Evusheld reduces the risk of infection by about 50%, and cuts the risk of serious illness by 90%. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 September 2022
  25. News Article
    Doctors suffering from burnout are far more likely to be involved in incidents where patients’ safety is compromised, a global study has found. Burned-out medics are also much more likely to consider quitting, regret choosing medicine as their career, be dissatisfied with their job and receive low satisfaction ratings from patients. The findings, published in the BMJ, have raised fresh concern over the welfare and pressures on doctors in the NHS, given the extensive evidence that many are experiencing stress and exhaustion due to overwork. A joint team of British and Greek researchers analysed 170 previous observational studies of the links between burnout among doctors, their career engagement and quality of patient care. Those papers were based on the views and experience of 239,246 doctors in countries including the US, UK and others in Africa, Asia and elsewhere globally. They found that burned-out medics were twice as likely as their peers to have been involved in patient safety incidents, to show low levels of professionalism and to have been rated poorly by patients for the quality of the care they have provided. Doctors aged 20 to 30 and those working in A&E or intensive care were most likely to have burnout. It was defined as comprising emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation – a “negative, callous” detachment from their job – and a sense of reduced personal accomplishment. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 September 2022
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