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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    Some extremely vulnerable people have been told they have been removed from shielding lists via text message, without the knowledge of their GP. This has caused confusion, with charities demanding clearer guidance for this group as lockdown eases. GPs say they should be notified when their patients are added or removed from the lists. Shielding has now been extended until the end of June and is under constant review, the government says. Around 2.2 million people in the UK are staying at home to protect themselves from the virus because they were told they were at high risk of being seriously ill with COVID-19. But 40 healthcare charities say the lack of a clear plan for their future is causing anxiety and potentially putting their health at risk. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 May 2020
  2. Content Article
    Panelists include: Dr Keita Franklin, LCSW, Chief Clinical Officer, PsychHub, Tennessee, United States Bernadette Wilson, MBA, Certified Neurocoach & Mindfulness Coach, Founding Partner, BrainFit Institute, CEO, Cognitive Performance, California, United States Dr Ariele Noble, Research Psychologist & Clinical Supervisor, Mental Health Innovations, United Kingdom Anca M. Sarbu, MSPH, Head of Quality Management and Organisational Development at Klinik Meissenberg AG - Psychiatric and psychotherapeutic hospital for women, Switzerland, Founder and Project Lead at The Digital Aid Project, PSMF Ambassador Switzerland and Austria, Healthcare Innovation Mentor at EIT Health, MIT COVID-19 Challenge, EUvsVirus - EU Commission
  3. Content Article
    Currently, as I work from home developing materials for our new PgCert and MSc ‘Human Factors for Patient Safety’ course, I am also, as are many others, watching our current pandemic unfold and reflecting on how this emphasises the importance of such a course for those working within the health and social care sectors. We are living in uncertain times, which for most people is stressful and worrying for many different underlying reasons: loss of income, loss of a job, fear of contracting the illness and the lottery of outcomes, living in isolation or living in crowded homes 24/7, reduced opportunity to exercise, concern for children and other family members and friends, fear of what comes next… to name just a few. As a human factors professional, this comes as no surprise since our job is always to consider the range of human responses and human characteristics in order to identify to what extent it is possible to support this range; and this is indeed happening. For those with mobile phones and internet access, the virtual world is rapidly expanding with new and newly found apps to connect extended families and friends, to undertake virtual meetings, online lessons and assessments, access to art and museums, research opportunities, theatre performances, online exercise classes and increased opportunities to shop. For those without this access the difference is stark. Let’s turn our attention to these apps; someone first has to have the idea and check that there are people out there who would be interested, then there is the need to design the app, and in such a way that we want to use them and can use them. To do this is dependent upon considering the user, i.e. us humans – this is achieved by integrating user-centred design (UX design) and human factors (ergonomics). Turning our attention back to the health and social care sector, we need to consider human factors when assessing the myriad of health apps out there and the increasing use of apps to support our health and social care – from prompting individuals to take their medication to monitoring our health or providing health advice. So what else are we seeing as this pandemic embraces us all? Information is constant, we are truly a connected global society, from daily ministerial briefings to news reports and social media. This provides very public and graphical representations of our human responses – intellectual, emotional, behavioural and physical. For example, we see numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, graphs and charts showing where these are occurring, the age and gender, we see percentages of the population affected BUT to do something about this requires us again to dig deeper. We need to find out the underlying reasons. In the same way, when we respond to patient safety incidents we need to dig deeper and identify the underlying and root causes so that we can truly do something about it. I'd like to provide some examples of how my work in human factors is influencing COVID-19 research and resources. In response to the UK Government asking for businesses to provide thousands of ventilators to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, myself and other human factors professionals collaborated with Patient Safety Learning to provide human factors/ergonomics input to support the design effort for these new ventilators. This resulted in a ventilator safety in use driver diagram developed by Patient Safety Learning and a human factors guide from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. In addition, in an example of cross-industry collaboration, Yorkshire Water gave me permission to share their human factors engineering specification with designers of ventilators and other critical medical device designers, which quickly took place. Following this, my attention was turned towards sharing advice on working in high heat and heat stress. Based on the Health & Safety Executive Guidance (HSE (2013) INDG451 ‘Heat Stress in the workplace’), I produced a document and flowchart addressing what happens to us when we experience extreme heat, this has been welcomed and shared by the London midwife managers. Next, came questions relating to shift work and fatigue, which led to me creating a summary document based again on a Health Safety Executive website and an ORR document (Office of Rail Regulation [Jan 2012] Managing Rail Staff Fatigue) that emphasises the need for a fatigue management system plus tips for helping ourselves and each other to sleep better when shift working and to recognise and respond to the symptoms of fatigue (www.staffs.ac.uk/clinical-skills). It has also been interesting to note the range of public and enforcement behaviours shown in the media that relate to our response to the ‘lockdown’ in this and other countries. Human responses often link to aspects of culture and sub-cultures, power and influence, personal responsibility and risk perception. All of which are highlighted during our Human Factors for Patient Safety course. Looking ahead, I can see many learning and research opportunities evolving from this pandemic and the opportunity to add to our human factors knowledge base for the good of society. Within the Staffordshire School of Health and Social Care our mix of staff provides us with a unique opportunity to achieve new research in human factors and patient safety and we look forward to embracing the opportunity to learn together.
  4. News Article
    NHS staff at a hospital that has stopped taking new patients amid a COVID-19 spike have lodged a series of concerns, including that they are not routinely being informed of when colleagues test positive for the virus. The concerns were laid out in a letter from union representatives to management at Weston general hospital in Somerset, which is now testing all staff while carrying out a deep clean. Another concern raised by Unison was that priority for testing was not being given to BAME staff. University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS foundation trust said on Wednesday that as many as 40% of staff from a cohort tested after contact with infected patients were found to be positive. The trust’s chief executive, Robert Woolley, told the BBC the figure was from a sample testing last week and authorities were now attempting to understand the scale of the infection. More than 60 patients were found to be infected last weekend. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 28 May 2020
  5. News Article
    Dental practices in England have been told they can reopen from Monday 8 June, if they put in place appropriate safety measures. All routine dental care in England has been suspended since 25 March. The British Dental Association (BDA) has welcomed the announcement but says key questions remain. Currently, any patient with an emergency dental problem is supposed to be referred to an Urgent Dental Care (UDC) hub for treatment. In a letter to all practices, NHS England's chief dental officer, Sara Hurley, said: "Today, we are asking that all dental practices commence opening from Monday, 8 June for all face-to-face care, where practices assess that they have the necessary IPC and PPE requirements in place." The BDA said that while dentists would be relieved by the announcement, the ability of practices to reopen would depend on the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). "It is right to allow practices to decide themselves when they are ready to open. Dentists will be keen to start providing care as soon as is safely possible, but we will need everyone to be patient as practices get up and running," said BDA chairman Mick Armstrong. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 May 2020
  6. News Article
    The first hospital dedicated to helping coronavirus patients recover from the long-term effects of the illness has received its first patients. Surrey's NHS Seacole Centre opened this month at Headley Court, a former rehab centre for injured soldiers. COVID-19 patients can be left with tracheostomy wounds from having a tube inserted in the windpipe or need heart, lung or muscle therapy, the NHS said. Others who have survived the virus may need psychological or social care. NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "While our country is now emerging from the initial peak of coronavirus, we're now seeing a substantial new need for rehab and aftercare." He said while patients had survived life-threatening complications, many would see a longer-lasting impact on their health. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 May 2020
  7. News Article
    Delays have begun to cancer treatments, as patients are reprioritised ahead of capacity becoming overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis. In three separate developments: A London trust announced it was cancelling chemotherapy and routine cancer operations for a fortnight due to coronavirus pressure; An NHS England covid-19 guidance document indicated palliative care cancer patients will be less likely to receive appropriate treatment; and Cancer waiting times guidance has been changed to provide for some urgent referrals for suspected cancer to be sent back to GPs without diagnosis. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 March 2020
  8. News Article
    Lack of staff testing, workforce shortages and running out of personal protective equipment (PPE)are the three biggest concerns for trusts fighting the coronavirus outbreak, according to an HSJ chief executive survey conducted over the last 36 hours. Thirteen of the 34 trust chief executives who responded to the snap survey, who were from trusts across England, also warned they would run out of intensive care capacity by next week as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise. The survey also revealed some trusts were already being forced to dilute safe staffing ratios and ration facilities. One chief warned: “We are preserving ventilation capacity by ensuring that only those who may survive are considered.” However, the majority of respondents were supportive of system leaders’ guidance so far. Several respondents praised the “impressive pace and detail of the advice." The three biggest areas of concern raised by the chiefs surveyed were: Lack of staff testing, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%); Staff shortages, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%); and PPE shortages, raised by 23 of the 34 respondents (68%. Read full story Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020
  9. News Article
    As the world writhes in the grip of Covid-19, the epidemic has revealed something majestic and inspiring: millions of health care workers running to where they are needed, on duty, sometimes risking their own lives. In his article in the New York Times, Don Berwick says he has never before seen such an extensive, voluntary outpouring of medical help at such a global scale. Millions of health care workers are running to where they are needed, sometimes risking their lives. Intensive care doctors in Seattle connect with intensive care doctors in Wuhan to gather specific intelligence on what the Chinese have learned: details of diagnostic strategies, the physiology of the disease, approaches to managing lung failure, and more. City by city, hospitals mobilise creatively to get ready for the possible deluge: bring in retired staff members, train nurses and doctors in real time, share data on supplies around the region, set up special isolation units and scale up capacity by a factor of 100 or 1000. "We are witnessing professionalism in its highest form, skilled people putting the interests of those they serve above their own interests." Read full article Source: New York Times, 23 March 2020
  10. News Article
    The Financial Times tracks the countries affected, the number of deaths and the economic impact of the coronavirus. Read full story Source: Financial Times, 25 March 2020
  11. News Article
    A family from East Sussex may have been Britain’s first coronavirus victims, catching the virus in mid-January after one of them visited an Austrian ski resort that is now under investigation for allegedly covering up the early outbreak. If confirmed by official tests, it would mean the outbreak in Britain started more than a month earlier than currently thought. As things stand, the first recorded UK case was on January 31, and the earliest documented incidence of transmission within Britain occurred on 28 February. Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh, said cases like this demonstrated the need for widespread antibody and viral genome sequencing testing. These tests can show who has and has not been exposed to the virus, and therefore help epidemiologists trace the history and spread of the illness. "A really significant unknown in this epidemic is whether or not the cases that are symptomatic are simply the tip of the iceberg," he said. "If there are hidden cases in large numbers, then it tells us that the infection is more difficult to control than we thought… but it also suggests that there is a possibility herd immunity may have built up." Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 25 March 2020
  12. News Article
    Data collected via the NHS's 111 telephone service is to be mixed with other sources to help predict where ventilators, hospital beds, and medical staff will be most in need. The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Three US tech firms are aiding the effort - Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir - as well as London-based Faculty AI. The plan is expected to be signed off by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. "Every hospital is going to be thinking: Have we got enough ventilators? Well we need to keep ours because who knows what's going to happen - and that might not be the optimal allocation of ventilators," explained a source in one of the tech companies involved. "Without a holistic understanding of how many we've got, where they are, who can use them, who is trained, where do we actually have patients who need them most urgently, we risk not making the optimal decisions." Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 March 2020
  13. News Article
    More than 80% of young people with a history of mental ill health have found their conditions have worsened since the coronavirus crisis began in the UK, a survey has found. In a study by the mental health charity YoungMinds, 2,111 people aged under 25, who had a history of mental health needs, were asked how the pandemic had affected them. Of the 83% who said the pandemic had made their mental health worse, 32% said it had made it “much worse” and 51% said it had made it “a bit worse”. Among the respondents who were accessing mental health support leading up to the crisis – including from the NHS, school and university counsellors, charities, helplines and private providers – 74% said they were still receiving support and 26% said they were unable to access support. Emma Thomas, the chief executive of YoungMinds, said the pandemic was a “human tragedy that will continue to alter the lives of everyone in our society. The results of this survey show just how big an impact this has had, and will continue to have, on the mental health of young people.” Read full story Source: Guardian, 31 March 2020
  14. News Article
    National and regional NHS chiefs will seek to share out scarce ventilators to ”areas with the most immediate need, on a fair share basis relative to patient ventilation need," they have told hospital chiefs, who are increasingly concerned about what they will receive and when. Many are expecting demand for ventilated beds to outstrip what they have as the number of patients seriously ill with covid-19 ramps up. Trust leaders yesterday told HSJ they were growing increasingly worried about the lack of information over when the machines would be sent to their trusts. Some are worried London, and other regions which see their demand spike first, will get more supply. A letter from NHS England and Improvement to trust chiefs late on Wednesday told them that as “extra ventilators become available we will coordinate distribution via regional teams who will work with local health systems”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 March 2020
  15. News Article
    A GP surgery has apologised after sending a letter asking patients with life-limiting illnesses to complete a "do not resuscitate" form. A letter, from Llynfi Surgery in Maesteg, asks people to sign to ensure emergency services would not be called if their condition deteriorated due to coronavirus. "We will not abandon you.. but we have to be frank and realistic," it said. Cwm Taf health board issued an apology from the surgery, the Guardian reports. The letter says in an "ideal situation" doctors would have had this conversation in person but had written to them due to fears they were carrying the virus and were asymptomatic. Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 April 2020
  16. News Article
    Major transplant centres have stopped performing many of their procedures due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the national coordinating body says a complete cessation “may only be days away”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 April 2020
  17. News Article
    Elderly care home residents have been categorised “en masse” as not requiring resuscitation, in a strategy branded unacceptable by the healthcare regulator. People in care homes in Hove, East Sussex and south Wales are among those who have had “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) notices applied to their care plans during the coronavirus outbreak without proper consultation with them or their families, MPs and medical unions fear. Care homes in Leeds have reported that district nurses have been asking them to “revisit do not resuscitate conversations with people who said they didn’t want them” and a care worker in Wales told the Guardian that after a visit from a GP, all 20 of their residents had DNAR notices attached to their plans. DNAR notices are a common part of care plans and many people wish to have them in place because, in the event of cardiac arrest, attempts to resuscitate can cause serious trauma, including broken bones. But the Care Quality Commission and other medical bodies are so concerned about the blanket application of the notices that it has issued a warning to stop. “It is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion, to be applied to groups of people of any description,” the notice states. “These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 April 2020