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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    UK doctors fighting coronavirus still say they don't have personal protective equipment (PPE). Jon Snow spoke to Dr Jenny Vaughan, a leading member of the Doctors’ Association who have written to the government to demand better personal protective equipment for medical staff. He asked her whether the PPE equipment promised by the government was starting to reach the medical staff on the frontline, and what kinds of problems medical personnel had been encountering. Watch news story Source: Channel 4 News, 23 March 2020
  2. News Article
    GPs are demanding "urgent clarification" from the government on whether they should now wear protective equipment to examine all patients. Family doctors now wear it if they see a patient with suspected coronavirus. But the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ask if GPs should wear it for all face-to-face consultations. It says patients with the virus but no symptoms could still infect staff. The BBC understands GPs in some surgeries have decided to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for all face-to-face consultations, but this is not currently recommended by Public Health England. In the letter, Prof Martin Marshall, chairman of the RCGP, wrote: "GPs across the country have never been more concerned, not just for the safety of themselves and their teams, but for patients too. They are unsure as to whether they have enough supplies [of PPE], either now, or as the crisis deepens". "They are not confident that the current guidance provides the necessary clarity about whether GPs are using the right type of equipment, at the right times," he said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 March 2020
  3. News Article
    A woman with brain cancer has been told her chemotherapy has stopped because of the coronavirus outbreak. Nancy Carter-Bradley, 44, from Hampshire, said the health secretary should ring-fence cancer treatment. She said her treatment at a London hospital had paused as it was at full capacity and oncologists were helping with the response to coronavirus. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said it was "exploring use of private healthcare facilities". Mrs Carter-Bradley, from Penwood, said she had been dealing with "unbelievable stress" since she was informed her chemotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital for stage three brain cancer would be paused. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 March 2020
  4. News Article
    The Red Cross called Friday for increased psychological support to health workers and others fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, warning of rising suicides as a result of pressure and isolation. Countries around the world have taken dramatic measures to try to halt the spread of the virus, which first emerged in China late last year, with more than three billion people now living under lockdown. The demand for psycho-social support has "increased significantly" since the start of the crisis, said Jagan Chapagain, the Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). In an interview with AFP, he said he understood that providing mental health support "may not be very high on the agenda as we are trying to contain the virus," but stressed that the issue is important and "impacts millions and millions of people." "I think that could be the big silent killer if sufficient attention is not paid to psychosocial needs and mental health needs," he said. Read full story Source: Agence France-Presse, 28 March 2020
  5. News Article
    Gowns for front-line staff were not included in the national pandemic stockpile of personal protective equipment, procurement chiefs have been told. Trust procurement leads have raised concerns over dwindling gown supplies. Health Care Supply Association chief officer Alan Hoskins tweeted he could not order the products through NHS Supply Chain, even after escalating the matter to NHS England. Mr Hoskins’ tweet on Sunday, which has since been deleted, said: “What a day, no gowns NHS Supply Chain. Rang every number escalated to NHS England, just got message back — no stock, can’t help, can send you a PPE pack. Losing the will to live, god help us all.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 March 2020
  6. News Article
    National NHS leaders are to take action over growing fears that the “unintended consequences” of focusing so heavily on tackling covid-19 could do more harm than the virus, HSJ has learned. NHS England analysts have been tasked with the challenging task of identifying patients who may not have the virus but may be at risk of significant harm or death because they are missing vital appointments or not attending emergency departments, with both the service and public so focused on covid-19. A senior NHS source familiar with the programme told HSJ: “There could be some very serious unintended consequences [to all the resource going into fighting coronavirus]. While there will be a lot of covid-19 fatalities, we could end up losing more ‘years of life’ because of fatalities relating to non-covid-19 health complications. “What we don’t want to do is take our eye off the ball in terms of all the core business and all the other healthcare issues the NHS normally attends to." “People will be developing symptoms of serious but treatable diseases, babies will be born which need immunising, and people will be developing breast lumps and need mammograms.” HSJ understands system leaders are hopeful that in the coming days they will be able to assess the scale of the problem, and the key patient groups, and then begin planning the right interventions and communications programme to tackle it. Read full story Source: HSJ, 5 April 2020
  7. News Article
    When Victoria Gianopoulos-Johnson got a call from her midwife to say her home birth would be cancelled, panic took hold. She says she “lost it” for two days, crying constantly, gripped by uncertainty and then anger. Now she has reached the decision to have a free birth, also known as unassisted childbirth. Maternity rights groups say there has been a rise in the number of women seeking advice about freebirthing owing to pressures on hospitals and new restrictions around birth partners. More than a fifth of birthing centres and more than a third of homebirth services have closed due to a shortage of midwives and concerns about ambulance response times. Alison Edwards, of Doula UK, whose 700 members advocate for expectant mothers, says she has seen a threefold increase in calls about freebirthing in the last fortnight. “Initially women were concerned about staff shortages,” says Edwards. “Now they don’t want to go to hospital at all, it’s about infection. It is inevitable that some who should not be freebirthing because they are in a high-risk category will give birth at home because they fear the alternative – infection from [coronavirus] or spending time in hospital without their partner’s support.” Read full story Source: Guardian, 5 April 2020
  8. News Article
    People who may be having a stroke should still call 999 for emergency medical care, even during the coronavirus pandemic, say UK experts. They are concerned that many are not seeking urgent help when they most need it, possibly due to fear of the virus or not wanting to burden the NHS. Any delay in seeking help can lead to disability or even death, warns the Stroke Association. Prompt assessment and treatment saves lives, it says. Data suggest people are currently staying away from hospitals, which is fine unless you really need care. Latest figures for England and Scotland suggest attendance to Emergency Departments has dropped by over a third on the same week last year. Those who need urgent medical help should still attend, say experts. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  9. News Article
    Doctors, nurses and paramedics have been given conflicting advice about when to start resuscitation for coronavirus patients, amid fears the procedure could put them at risk of infection. While Public Health England has said it does not believe CPR creates a risk, the UK’s Resuscitation Council – which is responsible for setting standards for resuscitation in the NHS – has said it believes there is a risk and staff should wear full equipment. The Independent has seen several examples of different messages being sent out to hospital staff and ambulance workers, and some NHS trusts were forced to change their guidance within a matter of days after PHE changed its stance. One set of guidance could mean a delay in starting CPR for patients while staff put on protective equipment, while the other means staff could be at risk of being infected with coronavirus. Ken Spearpoint, a former consultant nurse and resuscitation officer at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, said the situation had led to confusion and created an “ethical dilemma” for some staff who were being forced to choose between the Resus UK’s position and their trust’s guidance. Read full story Source: The Independent, 6 April 2020
  10. News Article
    Health apps have grown enormously in popularity, even more so during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since early March, more than 500 health apps contain coronavirus-related keywords in their description. People are taking advice from these apps, often using them to share sensitive information. Yet, in a time of fake reviews, scams and personal data breaches, not all health apps can be trusted. The Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) has launched a health app formulary to help healthcare professionals and consumers know which health apps they can trust. As a free to use resource, the site includes reviews of health apps across a range of health conditions relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, including reviews of COVID-19 apps launched to date. Read full story Source: ORCHA, 6 April 2020
  11. News Article
    Nick has terminal bowel cancer. He’s been told he won't receive chemotherapy for three months because it would put him more at risk of the coronavirus. He fears having the treatment taken away would shorten his life. Current NHS guidelines say cancer specialists should discuss with their patients whether it is riskier for them to undergo or to delay treatment at this time. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  12. News Article
    The health service has been promised “whatever it needs” to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but government spending choices reveal possible long-term changes to funding and policy. Having initially promised the health service “whatever it needs, whatever it costs” on 11th March, the government made this official when Matt Hancock issued a ministerial direction allowing the Department of Health to “spend in excess of formal Departmental Expenditure Limits”—effectively providing a blank cheque. But while the government’s actions are designed for the immediate crisis, they may be difficult to reverse once the peak of coronavirus has passed. Indeed, they could yet change how the health service operates on a permanent basis. Read full story Source: Prospect, 7 April 2020
  13. News Article
    Some Welsh NHS staff with Covid-19 have been given wrong test results and were told they did not have coronavirus, BBC Wales has learned. They are among a group of ten who have been given incorrect results - including eight from Aneurin Bevan Health Board and two from elsewhere. It is not clear how many of the ten had Covid-19 and were told they did not, or vice versa. The Gwent-based heath board said the staff were contacted "immediately". It happened when a small number of test samples from a batch of 96 were attributed to the wrong patients. Read full story Source: BBC Wales, 7 April 2020
  14. News Article
    A major new model of post-acute care is needed for the discharge and rehabilitation of patients following COVID-19 infection, say Alice Murray, Clare Gerada, and Jackie Morris. A comprehensive plan must be made for the 50% of COVID-19 patients who will require some form of ongoing care following admission to intensive care, with the goal of improving their long-term outcomes and freeing-up much-needed acute hospital capacity. While the current focus is quite rightly on emergent cases, planning should be set in place to create post-acute care resources and facilities for the surge in numbers of people with the physical, psychological and functional consequences of prolonged ITU stays and or hospital admission following COVID-19 infection. One potential solution is to provide mass facilities, on a scale to match the Nightingale Hospitals in so-called “Centres of Excellence”, requisitioned for those who survive but need care and cannot return to their own homes, with both residential and day care units available. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 April 2020
  15. News Article
    London trusts have been warned not to expect deliveries of gowns from the national supply chain for at least the next few days, HSJ understands. Without central deliveries, providers risk running out of gowns ahead of the Easter weekend. Trusts will have to rely on existing supplies and any new stock they procure independently. Staff performing or assisting aerosol-generating procedures on confirmed or suspected covid-19 patients should wear gowns, according to the latest guidance from Public Health England. But supplies have been an issue for weeks, with trust procurement leads raising concerns about dwindling gown stocks last month. It recently emerged that gowns were not included in national pandemic stockpiles, unlike other forms of personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 April 2020
  16. News Article
    Medical leaders have warned sick patients not to avoid getting help from the NHS after a huge drop in the numbers of people attending A&E departments sparked fears some could die without care. In March, the number of people going to their local emergency department fell by 600,000, or 29 per cent, compared to same month last year, the lowest number of attendances since 2010. While the NHS has battled for years to reduce the number of people going to A&E for unnecessary reasons, the sudden fall during the coronavirus epidemic has worried officials that the pandemic could be deterring people who have genuine need and who could become sicker or even die as a result of staying away. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 April 2020
  17. News Article
    Hospitals are turning to the veterinary workforce to fill staffing gaps on intensive care wards ahead of an expected peak of COVID-19 patients, HSJ can reveal. Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust has recruited 150 vets to enrol as “respiratory assistants”, amid preparations for a 10-fold increase of intensive care patients. Another trust, Hampshire Hospitals FT, has asked vets and dentists to become “bedside support workers” as part of its response to COVID-19 pressures. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 March 2020
  18. News Article
    The next few months will be full of grim updates about the spread of the new coronavirus, but they will also be full of homecomings. Patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19, some having spent weeks breathing with the help of a mechanical ventilator, will set about resuming their lives. Many will likely deal with lingering effects of the virus — and of the emergency treatments that allowed them to survive it. “The issue we’re all going to be faced with the most in the coming months is how we’re going to help these people recover,” says Lauren Ferrante, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Yale School of Medicine. Hospital practices that keep patients as lucid and mobile as possible, even in the throes of their illness, could improve their long-term odds. But many intensive care unit doctors say the pandemic’s strain on hospitals and the infectious nature of the virus are making it hard to stick to some of those practices. Read full story Source: Science, 8 April 2020
  19. News Article
    Doctors seeing patients with blood oxygen levels so low they are surprised they are conscious – yet they are sitting up and talking. British and American intensive care doctors at the front line of the coronavirus crisis are starting to question the aggressive use of ventilators for the treatment of patients. In many cases, they say the machines – which are highly invasive and require the patient to be rendered unconscious – are being used too early and may cause more harm than good. Instead they are finding that less invasive forms of oxygen treatment through face masks or nasal cannulas work better for patients, even those with very low blood oxygen readings. Dr Ron Daniels, a consultant in critical care at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, on Thursday confirmed reports from US medics that he and other NHS doctors were revising their view of when ventilators should be used. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 9 April 2020
  20. News Article
    Hundreds of people are dying in care homes from confirmed or suspected coronavirus without yet being officially counted, the Guardian has learned. More than 120 residents of the UK’s largest charitable provider of care homes are thought to have died from the virus in the last three weeks, while another network of care homes is reported to have recorded 88 deaths. Care England, the industry body, estimated that the death toll is likely to be close to 1,000, despite the only available official figure for care home fatalities being dramatically lower. The gulf in the figures has prompted warnings that ministers are underestimating the impact of Covid-19 on society’s most frail, and are failing to sufficiently help besieged care homes and workers. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 April 2020
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