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Found 368 results
  1. News Article
    A Harley Street doctor suspended for working while testing positive for Covid at the height of the pandemic has said that his patient’s cancer treatment took priority. Dr Andrew Gaya was found to have “blatantly disregarded” the rules by going to work at a centre for patients with brain tumours after he tested positive for the disease. The “highly regarded” consultant oncologist “dishonestly” misled colleagues that he was safe to work by keeping his positive test secret, a tribunal found. Dr Gaya, whose work is at the forefront of tumour care and has been described as “world class”, said he defied Covid-19 rules because he believed “the risk of harm to his patient” in delaying treatment was “greater than the risk he posed”. Now, the doctor of 27 years has been suspended for three months at a Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 20 Ocotober 2022
  2. News Article
    Thousands of doctors are being prevented from working in overstretched GP surgeries across the UK because of unnecessary “red tape”, leaving NHS patients experiencing “unprecedented” waits for care, the head of the doctors’ regulator in the UK has said. Charlie Massey, the chief executive of the General Medical Council, said barriers that stopped medics from being deployed to meet areas of high demand, such as in primary care, must be removed urgently if the NHS workforce crisis was to be resolved and access to care improved. “Red tape is stopping the UK from making the most of many of its skilled and experienced doctors,” he said. “Without action, patients will suffer.” The regulator will on Tuesday call for a relaxation of rules so the fastest-growing part of the medical workforce – skilled doctors in non-training roles – can undertake a wider range of work beyond hospitals, such as in GP surgeries. “There are no easy answers to the challenges facing the NHS. There is no army of new doctors coming over the horizon, so part of the solution must be to make sure that we have more doctors in the places that patients need them,” Massey said. “The government should make a start immediately by changing the performers list criteria so more doctors are allowed to work alongside GPs. That needs to be done urgently. “But beyond technical changes there is also a need for fresh thinking in the way our health services are structured and in how teams of health professionals work together. We can’t keep doing things the same way they have always been done, or nothing will change." Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 October 2022
  3. News Article
    Long Covid clinics across Australia are being inundated with requests for assessments from patients struggling with ongoing symptoms, an inquiry has heard. Doctors told the federal parliamentary inquiry into long and repeated coronavirus infections that they were struggling to keep up with demand as waitlists increased. At least 10 million Australians have been infected with Covid and it is estimated 3-5% will develop Long Covid at some point. “Our waitlist is increasing because what we’ve observed is that it can take some time for the recognition of post-Covid conditions, particularly with the fatigue-predominant types, to reach us,” Royal Children’s hospital Associate Prof Shidan Tosif told the inquiry on Wednesday. Patients are usually referred to specialist clinics through a GP and while there is no official cure, symptoms can sometimes be treated on a case-by-case basis. The inquiry by the House of Representatives health committee is investigating the economic, social, educational and health impacts of long Covid and repeat infections. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 October 2022
  4. News Article
    Doctors recruited from some of the world's poorest countries to work in UK hospitals say they're being exploited - and believe they're so overworked they fear putting patients' health at risk. A BBC investigation has found evidence that doctors from Nigeria are being recruited by a British healthcare company and expected to work in private hospitals under conditions not allowed in the National Health Service. The British Medical Association (BMA) has described the situation as "shocking" and says the sector needs to be brought in line with NHS working practices. Dr Jenny Vaughan of the Doctors Association UK said, "This is a slave-type work with… excess hours, the like of which we thought had been gone 30 years ago. It is not acceptable for patients for patient-safety reasons. It is not acceptable for doctors. " Read full story Source: BBC News, 11 October 2022
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Content Article
    "Patients are my top priority. Purposefully, this plan is ‘Our plan for patients’. The NHS has rightly been recognised with the award of the George Cross and the admiration of the British people, particularly for getting us through COVID-19. Most of the time, patients have a great experience, but we will not paper over the problems that we face. Some of our challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and we expect backlogs to rise before they fall as more patients come forward for diagnosis and treatment. As we face these immense challenges, I am determined to be the champion of the patient and focus the NHS and social care on how best to deliver for them. My approach is to trust and empower to deliver. I will be proactive, not prescriptive, with a relentless focus on measures that affect most people’s experiences of the NHS and social care. This could be putting more information at the fingertips of patients or freeing up the time of clinicians. We have listened and we are responding by removing various reasons that healthcare professionals say are holding them back from what they do best: caring for patients. This plan sets out a range of measures to help the NHS and social care perform at their best for patients. To succeed, we need a national endeavour. That could involve clinicians who have retired to return to work or opening up opportunities for the million people who volunteered to help during the pandemic, like becoming community first responders or Good Neighbour Scheme leaders. Our plan will sit alongside the NHS Long Term Plan, the forthcoming workforce plan, and our plans to reform adult social care. It shows the concrete steps we are taking across several areas that matter to patients and people who draw on care and support, like creating more appointments in general practice, and getting more staff on the frontline. This plan is a first step on an important journey. It clearly shows our commitment to putting patients first; using insights from data to deliver better services across the country. While we are not being prescriptive, we will share best practice in order to improve outcomes for patients. The data shows that sadly there is too much variation in the care people receive – dental deserts; discharge delays; ambulance delays. I will endeavour, through a powerful partnership with the NHS and local authorities, to level-up and match the expectations that the public rightly have. Whether you live in a city or a town, in the country or on the coast, this government will be on your side when you need care the most." Rt Hon Thérèse Coffey MP Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
  8. 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
  9. Content Article
    The study found that among doctors in private practice in Victoria, 20.5% experienced at least one complaint over the decade. Among doctors who were the subject of a complaint, 4.5% had four or more complaints, and this group accounted for 17.6% of all complaints to the Victorian Health Services Commissioner. Multivariate analyses showed that surgeons and psychiatrists had higher odds of being in the complaint-prone group than general practitioners. Doctors trained overseas had lower odds of being complaint-prone than those trained in Australia. Interventions to improve patient satisfaction and public confidence in health services should target complaint-prone subgroups of practitioners.
  10. 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
  11. Content Article
    This poster can be downloaded here or by clicking on the image.
  12. News Article
    Trying to strike a balance between free speech and public health, California’s Legislature on Monday approved a bill that would allow regulators to punish doctors for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccinations and treatments. The legislation, if signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, would make the state the first to try to legislate a remedy to a problem that the American Medical Association, among other medical groups and experts, says has worsened the impact of the pandemic, resulting in thousands of unnecessary hospitalisations and deaths. The law would designate spreading false or misleading medical information to patients as “unprofessional conduct,” subject to punishment by the agency that licenses doctors, the Medical Board of California. That could include suspending or revoking a doctor’s license to practice medicine in the state. While the legislation has raised concerns over freedom of speech, the bill’s sponsors said the extensive harm caused by false information required holding incompetent or ill-intentioned doctors accountable. “In order for a patient to give informed consent, they have to be well informed,” said State Senator Richard Pan, a Democrat from Sacramento and a co-author of the bill. A paediatrician himself and a prominent proponent of stronger vaccination requirements, he said the law was intended to address “the most egregious cases” of deliberately misleading patients. Read full story (paywalled) Source: New York Times, 29 August 2022
  13. News Article
    A proposed pay settlement is making doctors consider leaving the health service, the British Medical Association (BMA) in Northern Ireland has said. In a BMA survey of more than 1,000 doctors, 85% of respondents said the proposed uplift of 4.5% was too low. The representative body said discontent was very high among junior doctors with 93% of them saying it was too low. "When asked about their intentions as to the likelihood of them continuing to work in Northern Ireland, junior doctors said they were now more likely to leave because of the low pay award," said the BMA. Read full story Source: BBC News (31 August 2022)
  14. News Article
    Liz Truss has pledged to halt the exodus of doctors from the NHS to tackle the Covid backlog and surging waiting lists. The frontrunner in the Conservative leadership race is planning to unveil a series of radical reforms that will stop doctors from retiring early and entice retirees to return. One in 10 consultants and GPs is expected to retire in the next 18 months because of pension rules that mean they are "paying to work". A source close to her said she would deal with it by “cutting red tape and dealing with issues in the pension and tax system that currently act as barriers for people wanting to return”. It comes amid concerns that the NHS backlog after lockdown is causing more than 1,000 excess deaths per week - more than the figure now killed each week by coronavirus. A source close to Liz Truss also said: “The Covid pandemic put unprecedented strain on our NHS, and the resulting backlog is seeing people struggling to get appointments and treatments. We must act to tackle it, and we will. We will make it easier for doctors and nurses who have recently left or are planning to leave the NHS but want to return or stay to do so.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph (20 August 2022)
  15. News Article
    Nearly 700 doctors are likely to leave the Welsh NHS as a result of a recent 4.5% pay rise, the British Medical Association has warned. The warning follows a survey by BMA Cymru, in which more than half of the 1,397 respondents said they could leave and most felt morale had dropped. The below-inflation pay rise will apply to consultants, junior doctors and GPs. The Welsh government said it accepted the NHS pay review body's advice and was limited on how far it could go. Dr Iona Collins, chairwoman of the BMA's Welsh Council, said the findings resonated with what she was hearing from colleagues across Wales. "Doctors' take-home pay has reduced over several years, making the NHS an increasingly unattractive employer," said Dr Collins. Read full story Source: BBC News (23 August 2022)