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Found 1,782 results
  1. News Article
    Hundreds of healthcare professionals in Zimbabwe have refused to work without protective equipment, beginning strike action in a standoff with the government as the nation begins to see its first impacts of coronavirus. With the risk of an outbreak increasing day by day, industry chiefs in the country have warned doctors face inadequate supplies of gloves, masks and gowns. The president of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association, Tawanda Zvakada, said doctors would return to the frontlines of the battle against the virus when adequate protection was provided. "Right now we ar
  2. News Article
    If there is a public inquiry over the handling of the coronavirus, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line staff could be a major theme. The government has been put under major pressure by staff over the past four days because of delays to the delivery of vital equipment. This left them at risk as they dealt with a flood of covid-19 cases described as “all-consuming” by one hospital chief executive (while another major trust declared a critical incident). The last two weeks have prompted a mammoth effort from local and national procurement teams to make sur
  3. News Article
    Details of a massive ramp-up in intensive care beds have been circulated to NHS bosses in London, amid concerns from national leaders that they are four days away from full capacity. In a call with local leaders, the NHS’ national director for mental health, Claire Murdoch, spoke about the intense pressures facing the acute system due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to several people on the call, she said London “runs out of [ICU] beds in four days” if urgent action is not taken. She also warned the need for intensive care beds will now double every three days, the sources sai
  4. News Article
    The government has bought 3.5 million coronavirus antibody tests — with more widespread testing of NHS workers coming “online soon”, the health secretary has said. Matt Hancock also told a press conference this evening that a new testing facility had been opened in Milton Keynes as the government aims to “ramp up” the number of antibody tests — which will determine whether people have had the virus and can therefore return to work. Mr Hancock also said the government had shipped 7.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment over the last 24 hours, following major shortages, and
  5. News Article
    The NHS must ensure that doctors have proper protective equipment, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, has urged. NHS chiefs say that there are no problems with national stock levels of items including masks, gowns and gloves and that local supply issues should have been resolved over the weekend. However, hospital staff say that they are still experiencing shortages, with nurses going to DIY shops to stock up or even refusing to work without the right equipment. One London doctor said: “Every time the government is asked they say the equipment is there, and it is just not true
  6. News Article
    NHS bosses have instructed hospitals to keep performing urgent cancer surgery despite Covid pressures, after a growing number cancelled procedures because they did not have enough intensive care beds or available staff. They have told England’s regional directors of cancer to ensure treatment of people who need cancer surgery within four weeks gets the same priority as care of patients who have Covid. The move was unveiled in a letter, obtained by HSJ, sent last Friday by Amanda Pritchard, the chief operating officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement. It was also signed by Cally Pal
  7. News Article
    Private hospitals are ‘pushing back’ on requests from NHS trusts to send them more NHS patients, following a change to the national contract with the independent sector, and amid high pressure from COVID-19. Manchester University Foundation Trust, one of the largest NHS providers, has reported difficulties in accessing capacity at its local Spire, BMI and Ramsay hospitals this month. It comes as the NHS is facing “unthinkable” pressures from coronavirus patients, with dozens of hospitals on the brink of being overwhelmed. Throughout most of 2020, the bulk of private providers in
  8. News Article
    A large-scale trial of a new treatment it is hoped will help stop COVID-19 patients from developing severe illness has begun in the UK. The first patient received the treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon. It involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection. The hope is it will stimulate the immune system, priming cells to be ready to fight off viruses. Early findings suggested the treatment cut the odds of a COVID-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease - such as requiring ventilation - by almost
  9. News Article
    A coronavirus patient's gut bacteria may influence the length and severity of their infection and their immune response to it, a new study suggests. A team of researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong examined whether the variety and quantity of microbiome played a role in COVID-19 infections. Researchers found that patients with COVID-19 were depleted in gut bacteria known to modify a person's immune response, and that this depletion appeared to persist 30 days after the virus had gone. Gut bacteria — or gut microbiome — help to digest food. But research increasingly shows
  10. News Article
    A hospital in the South East today declared a level of critical care alert meaning that it may be forced into ‘refusal or withdrawal of critical care due to resource limitation’ because it has been ‘overwhelmed’ — but later claimed it was an ”administrative error”. Data from an internal NHS dashboard for critical care, seen by HSJ, showed today Darent Valley Hospital, near Dartford in Kent, declared it was at “CRITCON level four”. CRITCON level four declarations are extremely rare. In guidance they are known as “Triage - emergency” and defined as: “Resources overwhelmed. Possibility
  11. News Article
    In a bid to fight against misinformation about the coronavirus vaccines, a group of scientists from all over the world have created an online guide to building a ‘truth sandwich’. The guide serves to arm people with practical tips, up-to-date information and evidence to talk reliably about the vaccines, and enable them to constructively challenge associated myths. The scientists, led by the University of Bristol, are appealing to everyone to understand the facts set out in the 'COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook', follow the guidance and spread the word. Professor Stephan L
  12. News Article
    London’s hospitals are less than two weeks from being overwhelmed by covid even under the ‘best’ case scenario, according to an official briefing given to the capital’s most senior doctors this afternoon. NHS England London medical director Vin Diwakar set out the stark analysis to the medical directors of London’s hospital trusts on a Zoom call. The NHS England presentation, seen by HSJ , showed that even if the number of covid patients grew at the lowest rate considered likely, and measures to manage demand and increase capacity, including open the capital’s Nightingale hospital, w
  13. News Article
    Very long waits for emergency hospital care have surged in London since mid December, due to a rapid rise in COVID-19 admissions combined with limited capacity, according to figures leaked to HSJ. Data sent to HSJ indicates that December will set a new record high nationally for the number of 12-hour “trolley waits”. This is when there are 12 hours or longer from the decision is made to admit a patient from the emergency department to hospital, to when they are actually admitted to a bed. It adds to fears about what will happen if rising covid occupancy — which has left some hospital
  14. News Article
    People with allergies and pregnant women can now be given the country’s two approved COVID-19 vaccines, the medical regulator said on Wednesday. Previous advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said people with a range of allergies to food and medicines should not be given the Pfizer vaccine. Dr June Raine, the MHRA’s chief executive, said growing evidence from a pool of at least 800,000 people in the UK and around 1.5 million people in the US who have had the vaccine has "raised no additional concerns". This, she continued, "gives us further a
  15. News Article
    Deaths from COVID-19 in England in the first half of 2021 could exceed those seen in the whole of 2020 unless the vaccination programme is vastly increased and a national lockdown implemented—with educational settings closed for at least a month—researchers have warned. In a preprint released on 24 December, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used modelling to compare the effects of varying COVID-19 restrictions on the virus spread, hospital and intensive care admissions, and deaths from 15 December 2020 to 30 June 2021. The model took account of the new v
  16. News Article
    Cancer surgery in London is under threat as rising covid admissions put pressure on services that no longer have back-up capacity from the independent sector, HSJ has learned. Research by HSJ has discovered that NHS England ended contracts with HCA, The London Clinic and the Cromwell Hospital at the end of August, after concerns about underutilisation. Under the previous deal with the private sector, rules were in place to make sure low-priority private patients were not treated ahead of NHS patients who needed surgery urgently. HCA and The Cromwell have confirmed the contracts
  17. News Article
    Women are undergoing “painful and distressing” diagnostic tests as doctors use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse not to offer them their choice of pain relief, HSJ has been told. At least 70 women who have had hysteroscopies this year in English NHS hospitals said they were left in extreme pain following the procedures, with many suffering trauma for several days, according to a survey by the Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopies group. Some women claimed doctors used COVID-19 as an “excuse” not to offer sedation or general anaesthetic. Others said they were offered an inpatient a
  18. News Article
    A major London trust’s critical care staff have urged leaders to review elective work targets amid serious concerns over workload, safe staffing and burnout, HSJ has learned. In a letter to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust’s board, staff represented by trade union Unite said they had “repeatedly” raised concerns about the provider’s approach to elective work, as well as winter pressures and second wave planning, and the implications this has had for “the health, safety and wellbeing of both staff and patients”. The letter — which was also addressed to the trust’s health and sa
  19. News Article
    London’s hospitals are already beginning to run out of critical care beds ahead of the Christmas relaxation of rules – which is expected to increase cases further, a leaked NHS briefing has warned. The update on the situation in the capital comes as major hospitals have already started to cancel operations for other patients in order to find enough staff to deal with the rise in patients as NHS trusts open up extra surge capacity. More operations are expected to be cancelled in hospitals across London, with staff warned they could be redeployed at short notice. On Wednesday, the
  20. News Article
    Dialysis patients who must travel to hospital are nearly four times as likely to die of covid than those aged over 80, but so far have not been prioritised for receiving vaccination, HSJ has learned. UK Renal Registry data shows that, from March to November 2020, 3.3% of all in-centre haemodialysis patients have died from covid (662 deaths out of a population of 20,000). This figure compares to a death rate of approximately 0.7% in all those aged over 80 and 1.8% in over 90s. Although the government classifies dialysis patients as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19, not all
  21. News Article
    The lateral flow devices used in the community testing pilot in Liverpool only picked up half the COVID-19 cases detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and missed 3 out of 10 cases with higher viral loads, according to the government’s own policy paper. Given the low sensitivity of the Innova lateral flow devices when used in the field, experts are questioning how they can be used to allow care home residents to have contact with relatives over Christmas safely or for students to know for certain that they are not infected before returning home. The information can only be
  22. News Article
    NHS staff will no longer get the coronavirus vaccine first after a drastic rethink about who should be given priority, it emerged last night. The new immunisation strategy is likely to disappoint and worry thousands of frontline staff – and comes amid urgent warnings from NHS chiefs that hospitals could be “overwhelmed” in January by a third wave of COVID-19 caused by mingling over Christmas. Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “If we get a prolonged cold snap in January the NHS risks being overwhelmed. The Covid-19 restrictions should remain appropriately tough
  23. News Article
    The NIHR-supported PRINCIPLE trial is to start investigating the inhaled corticosteroid budesonide to find out if it can help treat COVID-19 in patients who aren’t in hospital. Led by the University of Oxford, the PRINCIPLE is the UK’s national platform trial for COVID-19 treatments that can be taken at home. It is evaluating treatments that can help people aged over 50 recover quickly from COVID-19 illness and prevent the need for hospital admission. The study, funded by NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has so far recruited more than 2100 volunteers from across the UK with sup
  24. News Article
    COVID-19 could be causing lung abnormalities still detectable more than three months after patients are infected, researchers suggest. A study of 10 patients at Oxford University used a novel scanning technique to identify damage not picked up by conventional scans. It uses a gas called xenon during MRI scans to create images of lung damage. Lung experts said a test that could spot long-term damage would make a huge difference to Covid patients. The xenon technique sees patients inhale the gas during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Prof Fergus Gleeson, who is leading t
  25. Community Post
    Following the recent Patient Safety Learning webinar, ‘Patient safety: Time for questions? Non Covid-19 care and treatment’, we’ve gained a deeper understanding of the key issues frontline staff and patients are facing and have heard many more great ideas around how to address these issues and improve staff and patient safety. Due to its success, and the clear need to spend more time addressing the issues raised and identifying further issues, we plan to hold more webinars. So that we can determine what issues need to be addressed urgently, can you spare a few minutes to tell us abo
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