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Found 1,312 results
  1. News Article
    Some disabled people in the UK have been struggling to obtain essentials such as medication and breathing equipment during the Covid pandemic, research for the BBC suggests. Some 60% of those who rely on social care told a YouGov survey they were finding it hard to obtain at least one of their necessities. Charity WellChild said people felt more "forgotten than they ever have been". But ministers say the needs of disabled people were being considered. The Department of Health and Social Care says it has sufficient stocks and patients should contact their local care provider. Like one in 20 of those survey respondents who receive social care, Fi Anderson, a mother of two with muscular dystrophy from Bolton in Greater Manchester, said she has faced problems obtaining breathing apparatus. Her local hospital told her to re-use the filter for her portable ventilator, recommending she boil it, because supplies were so short. Disabled people who rely on social care - which funds equipment and other support to allow them to live independent lives - also said they had struggled to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks. Many of them receive funding directly to employ carers in their home, so they also need to provide them with PPE during the coronavirus crisis. The survey, which the BBC commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, asked more than 1,000 people about life in the UK with a disability and how it has changed in the shadow of a pandemic. More than 65% felt their rights had regressed, and 71% said disabled people's needs had been overlooked. The Coronavirus Act, which granted the government emergency powers, gave local councils the ability to reduce care, education and mental health provision for disabled people if it became necessary during the pandemic. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, nearly six out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 were of disabled people. Read full story Source: BBC News,
  2. News Article
    Nurses will be allowed to look after two critically ill COVID-19 patients at the same time after NHS bosses relaxed the rule requiring one-to-one treatment in intensive care as hospitals come under intense strain. NHS England has decided to temporarily suspend the 1:1 rule as the number of people who are in hospital very sick with Covid has soared to 11,514, of whom 986 are on a ventilator. The move comes amid concern that intensive care units, which went into the pandemic already short of nurses, are being hit by staff being off sick or isolating as a result of Covid. It follows a warning last week by Prof Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, that the Covid resurgence could overwhelm the NHS. Dr Alison Pittard, the dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care, which represents doctors in ICUs, welcomed the shift to a more “flexible” nurse/patient staffing ratio in critical care. But she said it must be used only for as long as the second wave is putting units under serious pressure. “Covid has placed the NHS, and critical care in particular, in an unenviable position and we must admit everyone for whom the benefits of critical care outweigh the burdens. This means relaxing the normal staffing ratios to meet this demand in such a way that delivers safe care, but also takes account of the impact this may have on staff health and wellbeing." “The 1:2 ratio is a maximum ratio, to be used only to support Covid activity, [and] not for planned care, and is not sustainable in the long term. This protects staff and patients”, she said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 November 2020
  3. News Article
    Widespread nursing shortages across the NHS could lead to staff burnout and risk patient safety this winter, the Royal College of Nursing has warned. The nursing union said a combination of staff absence due to the pandemic, and around 40,000 registered nursing vacancies in England was putting too much strain on the remaining workforce. The government says more than 13,000 nurses have been recruited this year. It has committed to 50,000 more nurses by 2025. It also hopes England's four-week lockdown will ease pressure on the NHS. The RCN has expressed concern that staff shortages are affecting every area of nursing, from critical care and cancer services to community nursing, which provides care to people in their own homes. The union said it was worried the extra responsibility and pressure placed on senior nurses could lead to staff "burnout", as hospitals struggle to clear the backlog of cancelled operations from the first wave of coronavirus and cope with rising numbers of new Covid patients, as well as the annual pressures that winter typically brings. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 November 2020
  4. News Article
    Not a single resident has contracted the coronavirus at Goodwin House’s small residential facility in Northern Virginia, USA, where about 80 seniors live in homey apartments and keep their own sleeping and meal schedules. There’s been just one case at the Woodlands at John Knox Village in Broward County, Fla., where all 140 residents live in private rooms and are cared for by nurses who earn enough not to take a second job. These facilities, part of a national movement in the US to create less-institutionalised long-term care, stand out in a pandemic that has killed more than 61,000 nursing home residents in the US since March. At “Green House” homes, the best-known nontraditional model, residents are one-fifth as likely to get the coronavirus as those who live in typical nursing homes — and one-twentieth as likely to die of the disease it causes. The model has been praised by academics and doctors and seems far better suited than traditional facilities to stave off the spread of infection and the isolation that has devastated the elderly in recent months. But it remains on the fringes of a $137 billion industry. Read full story Source: The Washington Post, 3 November 2020
  5. News Article
    A mass testing pilot of the government's "operation moonshot" has begun in Liverpool. The pilot scheme will see half a million people offered tests, including a new form of rapid testing, even if they do not have symptoms, as Botis Johnson banks on technological advances to steer the nation out of a second wave of COVID-19. Around 2,000 members of the military are helping NHS staff to administer a combination of swab tests and new lateral flow tests which give results within an hour without the need of a lab. Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) tests, which can give results in as little as 20 minutes are being trialled for hospital and care home staff. But it comes as the Guardian reported that some of the technology at the heart of the scheme missed more than 50% of positive coronavirus cases in a Greater Manchester pilot. The OptiGene LAMP test identified only 46.7% of infections during a trial in Manchester and Salford last month, according to a letter from Greater Manchester's mass testing group seen by the newspaper. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that it was "incorrect" to suggest the rapid test has a low sensitivity, adding that it had been validated in another recent pilot. Read full story Source: Sky News, 6 November 2020
  6. News Article
    The government is facing criticism over its guidance on safe visits to care homes in England. Labour and a number of charities have described the suggestions, including floor-to-ceiling screens, designated visitor pods and window visits, as impractical. Alzheimer's Society has said it "completely misses the point". Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the guidance was "non-exhaustive". The updated government advice, which came into effect on Thursday, says care homes - especially those which have not allowed visits since March - "will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities". Labour's shadow care minister Liz Kendall said many care homes would not be able to comply with the government's requirements which meant "in reality thousands of families are likely to be banned from visiting their loved ones". She said instead of suggesting measures such as screens, the government should "designate a single family member as a key worker - making them a priority for weekly testing and proper PPE". Kate Lee, chief executive at Alzheimer's Society, said: "We're devastated by today's new care home visitor guidance - it completely misses the point: this attempt to protect people will kill them." She said the pandemic had left people with dementia isolated and thousands had died. The guidelines "completely ignore the vital role of family carers in providing the care for their loved ones with dementia that no one else can", she added. She said the "prison-style screens" proposed by the government with people speaking through phones were "frankly ridiculous when you consider someone with advanced dementia can often be bed-bound and struggling to speak". That view was echoed by Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, who said she was "acutely aware" that the methods being sanctioned were "unlikely to be useable by many older people with dementia, or indeed sensory loss". Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 November 2020
  7. News Article
    Trusts in more than half English local authorities still do not have an agreed safe place to discharge recovering covid patients to, despite the government asking councils to identify at least one such ‘designated setting’ by the end of October. The situation is leading to an increase in delayed discharges from hospital just as the service comes under increased pressure from the second covid wave and returning elective and emergency demand. In a letter last month, the government told local authorities to identify at least one “designated setting” – typically a care home – which hospitals could discharge covid positive patients to when they no longer need secondary care. The designated setting would also take discharged patients who had not received a negative covid test. The plan is designed to protect residents in other homes, after thousands of care home residents died due to outbreaks of the virus in the spring. But a well-placed source in the care sector told HSJ less than half of the 151 upper tier councils met the 31 October deadline, due to a range of reasons including insurance costs, fear of high mortality rates and reputational damage to the designated homes. It means that in many parts of the country, there are a lack of options when it comes to discharging patients, which is causing a rise in delayed discharges. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 5 November 2020
  8. News Article
    The NHS has been returned to the highest level of risk on its emergency preparedness framework, a move which allows national leaders tighter control over local resources and decision making. NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced the decision at a press conference this morning. He said: “Unfortunately, again we are facing a serious situation [due to rising coronavirus infections and hospital admissions]. That is the reason why at midnight tonight the health service in England will be returning to its highest level of emergency preparedness, EPPR level 4, which of course we had to be at from the end of January to the end of July.” Placing the NHS on level 4 of Emergency Preparedness Reslience and Response framework allows system leaders to take control of decisions over mutual aid and other local priorities. Sir Simon was joined by NHSE/I medical director Steve Powis and Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. They used the press conference to stress the threat the NHS faced from the second covid peak, but also set out more positive news on the covid vaccine programme. Read full story Source: HSJ, 4 November 2020
  9. News Article
    A woman has been arrested after attempting to take her 97-year-old mother out of a care home for lockdown. Qualified nurse Ylenia Angeli, 73, wanted to care for her mother, who has dementia, at home. But when she told staff at the care home, they called the police who then briefly arrested Ms Angeli. The family have not been able to see their elderly relative for nine months, and decided to act ahead of the second national lockdown. Assistant Chief Constable Chris Noble, from Humberside Police, said: "These are incredibly difficult circumstances and we sympathise with all families who are in this position." "We responded to a report of an assault at the care home, who are legally responsible for the woman's care and were concerned for her wellbeing. We understand that this is an emotional and difficult situation for all those involved and will continue to provide whatever support we can to both parties." The incident came to light on the day the government announced new rules for families wishing to visit their loved ones in care homes. Under the guidance, issued hours before lockdown, families can meet relatives through a window or in a secure outdoor setting. Visits will need to be booked in advance, but the Department of Health and Social Care advice said care homes "will be encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities". All care home residents are allowed to receive visits from friends and family during the second national lockdown. Read full story Source: Sky News, 5 November 2020
  10. News Article
    Vulnerable patients at a major NHS hospital at the centre of England’s coronavirus second wave have been left without help to eat or drink because wards are so dangerously understaffed, The Independent can reveal. Dozens of safety incidents have been reported by doctors and nurses at the Liverpool University Hospitals Trust since April, citing the lack of nurses as a key patient safety risk. Across several wards, just two registered nurses per ward were being expected to look after dozens of sick patients – a ratio of nurses to patients far below recommended safe levels. On one ward there were 36 patients to two registered nurses – with the nurse in charge of the ward having only qualified six months earlier. The safety concerns also include a diabetic patient – where there was no evidence nurses had monitored their blood glucose levels and insulin medication, which if left unchecked could prove fatal. Other patients have been forced to eat food and drink which has gone cold by the time staff are ready to help them. The hospital is among the worst affected by the surge in coronavirus cases in the north of England. It’s medical director warned on Friday that it was at 100 per cent capacity and unable to maintain standards of care. Read full story Source: The Independent, 5 November 2020
  11. News Article
    The number of weekly coronavirus deaths in England and Wales has risen to its highest figure since early June, new statistics show. In the week ending 23 October, a total of 978 registered deaths mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This marks a 46% increase on the number of deaths reported in the previous week, and is the highest figure on record since 12 June. Of the 978 deaths that involved COVID-19, 874 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (89.4 per cent), the ONS said. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 November 2020
  12. News Article
    Over a third (35%) of healthcare professionals say they have suffered verbal or physical abuse from patients, or patients’ relatives during COVID-19, according to a survey by Medical Protection. The Medical Protection survey of 1250 doctors in the UK, also showed that a further 7% have experienced verbal or physical abuse from a member of the public outside of a medical setting, with some saying they have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket. This follows reports that GP’s are facing abuse and complaints from patient’s who believe they aren’t offering enough face-to-face appointments, despite face-to-face appointments increasing in recent months. Medical Protection said the abuse presents yet another source of anxiety for doctors at the worst possible time. In the same survey, 2 in 5 doctors say their mental wellbeing is worse compared to the start of the pandemic. “I have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket.” “I have had more unpleasantness from patients in the last 6 months than in all my previous 50 years in healthcare.I am almost at the point of stopping all clinical practice.” “There is too much verbal abuse to mention but the most upsetting is patients believing that we haven`t been open – we are all on our knees.” Read full story Source: Medical Protection, 31 October 2020
  13. Content Article
    Healthcare Improvement Scotland provide a single source of information about how Scotland's health and care staff have found ways to communicate compassionately and make that difference. Browse ideas through the links below and check back to Healthcare Improvement Scotland's website for new additions. Connecting patients with their loved ones Connecting colleagues to support wellbeing Maintaining therapeutic relationships Caring for children during COVID-19 Caring for those with additional needs Insights from published literature
  14. Content Article
    With a concerted effort that encompasses multiple sectors, Egede and Walker suggest we can change the fabric of structural racism and social risk that leads to disparities in health. In this New England Journal of Medicine article, they propose that to be effective, change must occur within federal, state, county, and city governments; within private and nonprofit businesses and in the health care, food, housing, education, and justice arenas; and at the individual level. If everyone took a stand to stop racism and found a way to participate in sustainable change in one of the six suggested areas below, the result could be transformational. Recommended action items for mitigating structural racism: Change policies that keep structural racism in place. Break down silos and create cross-sector partnerships. Institute policies to increase economic empowerment. Fund community programs that enhance neighborhood stability. Be consistent in efforts by health systems to build trust in vulnerable communities. Test and deploy targeted interventions that address social risk factors.
  15. News Article
    A senior judge has said friends and family can legally visit their loved ones in care homes, in an apparent challenge to recent government policy that has in effect banned routine visits in areas of high COVID-19 infection. Mr Justice Hayden, vice-president of the court of protection which makes decisions for people who lack mental capacity, said courts are concerned about the impact on elderly people of lockdowns. He has circulated a memo that sets out his analysis that regulations do “permit contact with relatives” and friends and visits are “lawful”. He was responding to guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) last month telling thousands of care homes in England that visiting should be stopped in areas with tier 2 and tier 3 lock down restrictions, apart from in exceptional circumstances such as the end of life. It triggered blanket prohibitions by some councils and sparked anguish from relatives who warn a lack of contact is leading to misery and early death in some cases. Within a week, Gloucestershire county council told care homes in its area to stop visits until next spring. With the England-wide lockdown starting on Thursday, care home providers, families and groups including Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society, have called on ministers to this time make clearer provisions for visiting. Hayden said exceptions in the existing regulations mean contact with residents staying in care homes is lawful for close family members and friends. He said the court of protection was concerned about “the impact the present arrangements may have on elderly people living in care homes,” citing their suffering. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 2 November 2020
  16. Event
    Westminster Health Forum policy conference. The agenda: Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the ethnic minority community, and priorities for improving health outcomes. The health and social care response to inequality through the pandemic and taking forward new initiatives. Understanding the data and risk factors for COVID-19 in ethnic minority groups. Wider health inequalities faced by people in ethnic minorities - addressing underlying factors, and the role of COVID-19 recovery strategies in supporting long-term change. Priorities for providing leadership in tackling health inequalities in the workforce. Driving forward and ensuring race equality in the NHS. Providing support to the ethnic minority health workforce and taking forward key learnings from COVID-19. Next steps for action in race disparity in healthcare. Book
  17. News Article
    There are 70% more people in hospital now as when England was approaching its spring COVID-19 peak, and twice as many non-covid patients, according to official figures leaked to HSJ. In some regions, the contrast is even sharper. In the North East and Yorkshire, where COVID-19 hospitalisations are still mounting rapidly, there are now twice as many patients in acute hospitals than there were in early April. The information also shows that there are now 13% more patients than there were on 3 April in mechanical ventilation beds – which are reserved for the most seriously ill patients. These include more than double the number of non-covid patients than there were in the spring. The information — shared with HSJ and The Independent by NHS sources — also reveals that 1 in 10 hospital beds are now occupied by confirmed covid patients – up from about 6% two weeks ago. Read full story Source: HSJ, 3 November 2020
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