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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    The deaths of more than 50 hospital and care home workers have been reported to Britain’s health and safety regulator, which is considering launching criminal investigations, the Guardian has learned. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigates the breaking of safety at work laws, has received 54 formal reports of deaths in health and care settings “where the source of infection is recorded as COVID-19”. These are via the official reporting process, called Riddor: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences. Separately, senior lawyers say any failures to provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) may be so severe they amount to corporate manslaughter, with police forces drawing up plans to handle any criminal complaints. Despite weeks of pleading, frontline medical staff complain that PPE is still failing to reach them as hospitals battle the highly contagious virus. Senior barristers say criminal investigations should be launched, and that there are grounds to suspect high-level failures. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 May 2020
  2. News Article
    Tens of thousands of outpatient video consultations have been carried out by NHS trusts following the national rollout of a digital platform to support the coronavirus response. Digital healthcare service Attend Anywhere was introduced across the country at the end of March after NHSX chief clinical information officer Simon Eccles called for its rapid expansion. There has been a major push to boost digital healthcare services across the country in order to support the national response to coronavirus. Much of primary care has already switched to working virtually. Undertaking hospital outpatient appointments digitally has been identified as a way of keeping patients safe by removing their need to travel. There have now been more than 79,000 consultations with Attend Anywhere. The number of consultations started at around 200 per day, but has rapidly increased to more than 6,000 per day. Data released by NHS Digital showed that GPs moved swiftly to change their practice model in the face of COVID-19. The proportion of appointments conducted face-to-face nearly halved and the proportion of telephone appointments increased by over 600 per cent from 1 March to 31 March as GPs moved to keep patients out of surgeries except when absolutely necessary. However, concerns have been raised over the limitation of remote appointments, particularly in mental health services. Royal College of GPs chair Martin Marshall raised concerns that video appointments could make it difficult for doctors to diagnose and manage patients’ conditions during the pandemic. Read full story Source: HSJ, 11 May 2020
  3. News Article
    Tens of thousands of cancer patients have not yet received letters advising them to “shield” themselves from the coronavirus threat, The Times has learnt. Peter Johnson, national clinical director for cancer, has written to charities asking for their help in tracing the missing patients and alerting them to the need to take stringent self-protection measures against infection. His appeal comes as the government increased by one million its estimate of the number of people at greatest risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19. Its new strategy document stated that it had identified 2.5 million people who were “clinically extremely vulnerable and advised to shield”. At the onset of the lockdown in March, ministers estimated the number at 1.5 million. Professor Johnson’s letter, seen by The Times, states: “We are still receiving reports of cancer patients who believe that they should have received a shielding letter but have not yet received one or have not been added to the national list. It is crucial that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable receive a letter advising them to shield. Read full story Source: The Times, 12 May 2020
  4. News Article
    Drugs that could relieve the symptoms of coronavirus in vulnerable patients and help them avoid admission to hospital are to begin trials in homes across the UK. The experiment, led by a team at Oxford University, seeks to test pre-existing treatments for older people in the community who show signs of the disease. Known as Principle, or “Platform Randomised trial of interventions against Covid-19 in older People”, it is the first to take place in primary care settings such as health clinics. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Independent, 12 May 2020
  5. News Article
    Ministers faced fresh allegations on Wednesday of failing to prepare care homes for a pandemic, as it emerged that COVID-19 may have killed 22,000 residents in England and Wales – more than twice the official toll. Council social care directors in England warned the government two years ago, in a series of detailed reports, about care homes’ exposure to a pandemic, the Guardian has learned. They called for better supply plans for personal protective equipment (PPE) – warning that “demand for PPE could rapidly outstrip supply” – plus improved infection control and a system to enlist volunteers to help services expected to be stretched to breaking point. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), which represents directors of adult social services in England, told the Guardian it carried out the work to improve government planning for a flu pandemic at the request of the Department of Health and Social Care. But it said: “We are not aware of whether government departments picked up on any of the recommendations set out.” A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “As the public would expect, we regularly test our pandemic plans – allowing us to rapidly respond to this unprecedented crisis. Our planning helped prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and means we are past the peak of the virus.” Read full story Source: Guardian, 13 May 2020
  6. News Article
    NHS England has set up an advisory group to look at how physical and mental health services can be delivered to patients who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and have been asked to shield themselves from the pandemic. There are now around 2.5 million patients on the list of people considered to be at the highest clinical risk, including solid organ transplant recipients and patients on chemotherapy, who have been told to cut themselves off from society as far as possible. They are going to have to stay that way beyond the end of June, with suggestions that their isolation could continue for many more months hence, and there is significant concern about the impact of this on their ongoing physical and mental health. The NHS has therefore set up an advisory group to examine how care can be provided to these patients. Read full story Source: HSJ, 13 May 2020
  7. News Article
    A&E admissions in the UK have fallen to the lowest on record, with a 57% year-on-year drop in attendances in England, new NHS data shows. The latest figures show a dramatic fall in demand for emergency treatment, falling below one million attendances per month for the first time since records began in 2010. The coronavirus crisis has placed additional strain on NHS resources, but is thought to have had the opposite effect on A&E, with the public staying at home and avoiding hospitals where possible. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 14 May 2020
  8. News Article
    Hospitals have been refusing requests for caesarean sections during the COVID-19 outbreak despite official guidance and NHS England advice that they should go ahead. Multiple NHS trusts have told women preparing to give birth since March that requests for a caesarean section will not be granted due to the viral pandemic. It has led to accusations from the charity Birthrights that the coronavirus outbreak is being used as an excuse to promote an ideology that more women should have a natural birth. Maria Booker, from Birthrights, told The Independent: “We continue to be contacted by women being told they cannot have a maternal request caesarean and we are concerned that in some places coronavirus is being used as an excuse to dictate to women how they should give birth, which contravenes NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidance. Official guidance from NICE says women should be offered a caesarean section where they insist it is what they want. NHS England has warned hospitals they need to “make every effort” to avoid cancelling caesarean sections and work with neighbouring trusts to transfer women if necessary. It said surgery should only be suspended in “extreme circumstances” where there is a shortage of obstetricians or anaesthetists. Read full story Source: The Independent, 17 May 2020
  9. Content Article
    Some aspects of COVID-19 presentation and treatment present special challenges for safely confirming nasogastric tube position. The dense ground-glass x-ray images can make x-ray interpretation more difficult, and the increasing use of proning manoeuvres in conscious patients increases the risk of regurgitation of gastric contents into the oesophagus and aspiration into the lungs which will render pH checks less reliable This aide-memoire is not designed to replace existing, established, NHSI compliant practice of NG confirmation. If a critical care provider is in the fortunate situation of having nursing and medical staff who have all completed local competency-based training in nasogastric tube placement confirmation aligned to local policy, they would be able to continue more complex local policies. Such policies might include specific advice indicating which critical care patients could have pH checks for initial placement confirmation, and which require x-tray confirmation, and how second-line checks should be used if first-line checks are inconclusive. However, staff returning to practice, or redeployed to critical care environments, including in Nightingale hospitals, will be helped by reminders of established safety steps in a form that can be used for all critical care patients, rather than requiring different processes for different patients.
  10. News Article
    Global efforts to vaccinate children against fatal diseases such as measles and polio could be set back a decade due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Unicef has warned. Immunisation campaigns and routine vaccine services have been suspended across the world to limit the transmission of COVID-19, leaving countries with weak health systems susceptible to a resurgence in preventable illnesses once lockdown restrictions are lifted and societies reopen. More than 25 vulnerable countries have placed their immunisation programmes for measles on hold, while the delivery of Ebola vaccinations across central Africa, in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR), has similarly been suspended or curtailed. “Our immediate concern is with disruption to currently available vaccines,” Dr Robin Nandy, global chief of immunisation at Unicef, told The Independent. “We expect to go back maybe five to 10 years. The longer the disruptions continue, the more concerned we are as it builds the number of susceptible kids in populations. “What we’re trying to avoid is countries recovering from the current Covid pandemic then being hit by another outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 May 2020
  11. Content Article
    The ME Association has produced a leaflet which includes guidance on the following: what is PVF and PVFS? what are the symptoms of PVF and PVFS? PVFS and possible progression to ME/CFS management of PVF and PVFS convalescence activity management mental wellbeing nutrition sleep work and education finances drug treatments when to check with your GP research into PVF and PVFS further information.
  12. News Article
    Dozens of intensive care units are still running well over their normal capacity – in some cases more than double – weeks after the peak of demand, figures seen by HSJ reveal. It contrasts with the picture painted at some government coronavirus press conferences that there is huge “spare capacity” in critical care and has been throughout the outbreak, with Downing Street charts putting England-wide occupancy at around 20% currently. The government’s assertions include the additional “surge” capacity which was hurriedly established at the start of the outbreak. But intensive care staff have been frustrated by this being labelled spare capacity, when the number of patients being treated is still well above normal levels. In addition, the ongoing reliance on keeping surge beds open – with ICUs still spilling over other spaces and calling on staff and equipment from other services – will limit hospitals’ ability to resume normal care, such as planned surgery. Steve Mathieu, a consultant in intensive care medicine in the south of England, said: “The majority of ICUs will currently be operating at over 100 per cent capacity and typically somewhere around 130-150 per cent, although there is significant regional variation". “There are uncertainties whether this will now represent the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future and there is a national need to plan for further potential surges in activity requiring more critical care demand." Read full story Source: HSJ, 21 May 2020
  13. Content Article
    This first insight document focuses on adult social care: reviewing data on outbreaks, deaths and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and in particular highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing and the financial viability of adult social care services. It describes the need – now more acute than ever – for whole system working across different sectors to ensure safer care. It also outlines future areas of focus, including infection control both within and between services, how local systems are engaging social care organisations in the management of COVID-19, and how care for people from vulnerable groups is being managed through the crisis.
  14. Content Article
    If the recession that follows the economic effects of the virus is similar to 2008, this analysis indicates that about half a million more people will experience a mental health difficulty over the next year. But if there is a second wave of COVID-19 and the economy is damaged further, the effects on mental health will be greater still, and last much longer. The briefing looks at specific groups of people whose mental health will be put at risk as a result of the virus and the lockdown. These include people who have been bereaved at this time, those who have received intensive hospital treatment for the virus, and staff working in health and care services. Many people who have been through these experiences will experience serious grief and trauma symptoms over a long period of time. The briefing also notes that some groups of people face an especially high risk to their mental health. They include people facing violence and abuse, people with long-term health conditions, and people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. People with existing mental health difficulties also face significant risks that their health will worsen at this time.
  15. News Article
    The World Health Organization has said it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drug Donald Trump said he is taking as a precaution — from its global study into experimental coronavirus treatments after safety concerns. The WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in light of a paper published last week in the Lancet that showed people taking hydroxychloroquine were at higher risk of death and heart problems than those who were not, it would pause the hydroxychloroquine arm of its solidarity global clinical trial. “The executive group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the solidarity trial while the safety data is reviewed by the data safety monitoring board,” Tedros said on Monday. “The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 25 May 2020
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