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Found 1,338 results
  1. News Article
    The government said it will set up ‘dedicated team’ to look for innovative ways for the NHS to continue treating people for coronavirus, while also providing care for non-covid health issues. In its pandemic recovery strategy published today, the government also said step-down and community care will be “bolstered” to support earlier discharge from acute hospitals. The 60-page document contained little new information about plans for NHS services, but said: “The government will seek innovative operating models for the UK’s health and care settings, to strengthen them for the long term and make them safer for patients and staff in a world where COVID-19 continues to be a risk. “For example, this might include using more telemedicine and remote monitoring to give patients hospital-level care from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Capacity in community care and step-down services will also be bolstered, to help ensure patients can be discharged from acute hospitals at the right time for them". To this end, the government will establish a dedicated team to see how the NHS and health infrastructure can be supported for the COVID-19 recovery process and thereafter. Read full story Source: 12 May 2020
  2. Content Article
    The Committee identified the following health-related objectives of the lockdown withdrawal strategy: 1. Reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus. 2. Minimise loss of healthcare professionals and maximise their safety and availability to continue the work. 3. Increase case management capacity in existing hospitals and new hospitals. 4. Increase testing to eliminate community spread. 5. Ensure access to normal healthcare requirements of the population. 6. Maintain normal healthcare capacity during the coronavirus period. 7. Maintain public health initiatives (vaccinations, food/nutrition of children and pregnant/feeding mothers.
  3. News Article
    The leader of the NHS’ pandemic testing programme has highlighted concerns about the rate of COVID-19 transmissions in hospitals, HSJ can reveal. NHS England’s patient safety director Dr Aidan Fowler told an industry webinar that he and his team “are concerned about the rates of nosocomial spread within our hospitals”. Dr Fowler leads the NHS and Public Heath England testing programme (know as “pillar one”). He said the concerns had led to a focus on discovering where transmissions of covid-19 are occurring in hospitals, and how the NHS can reduce the rate of staff and patients becoming infected while on the NHS estate. His comments come as the NHS attempts to restart the provision of routine elective care and prepares for a significant increase in emergency admissions. The NHS has been told to create separate areas for covid positive and negative patients where possible, regardless of what they are being treated for. Patients are being to self-isolate at home for two weeks before attending hospital for treatment. Read full story Source: HSJ, 18 March 2020
  4. Content Article
    View recording of the webinar To read more about our top highlights and takeaways from the webinar, and how we're using your questions and concerns to shape our work in non COVID-19 care and patient and staff safety, please see our blog. We'd love to hear more of your views and questions to help inform Patient Safety Learning's future webinars. Please share ideas for topics in our Community thread.
  5. Content Article
    This statement highlights an anticipated increase in the need for rehabilitation across four main population groups: 1. People recovering from COVID-19, both those who remained in the community and those who have been discharged following extended critical care/hospital stays. 2. People whose health and function are now at risk due to pauses in planned care. 3. People who avoided accessing health services during the pandemic and are now at greater risk of ill-health because of delayed diagnosis and treatment. 4. People dealing with the physical and mental health effects of lockdown. The rehabilitation needs of these at-risk groups are vitally important and need to be met as AHPs collectively support people to recover, regain health and wellbeing, and reach their potential, and ultimately ensure we flourish as a nation.
  6. News Article
    More than 460 people with a learning disability have died from coronavirus in just eight weeks since the start of the outbreak in England. New data shows between the 16 March and 10 May 1,029 people with a learning disability died in England, with 45 per cent, 467, linked to coronavirus.Overall the number of deaths during the eight weeks is 550 more than would be expected when compared to the same period last year. The charity Mencap warned people with a learning disability were “being forgotten in this crisis” and called for action to tackle what it said could be “potentially discriminatory practice.” It highlighted the percentage of Covid-19 related deaths among learning disabled people was higher than those in care homes, where the proportion of Covid-19 deaths was 31 per cent for the same period. The data has been published after an outcry over the lack of transparency about the impact of Covid-19 on mental health patients and people with a learning disability or autism. Read full story Source: The Independent, 19 May 2020
  7. News Article
    European countries should brace themselves for a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections because the pandemic is not over, the World Health Organization’s top official in Europe has said. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Hans Kluge, director for the WHO European region, delivered a stark warning to countries beginning to ease their lockdown restrictions, saying that now is the "time for preparation, not celebration". Dr Kluge stressed that, as the number of cases of COVID-19 in countries such as the UK, France and Italy was beginning to fall, it did not mean the pandemic was coming to an end. The epicentre of the European outbreak is now in the east, with the number of cases rising in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, he warned. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 20 May 2020
  8. News Article
    People will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks even if they are asymptomatic after coming into ‘high-risk’ contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 – a testing chief has told NHS executives. This marks a change from the official guidance given to users of the government’s contact tracing app – on NHS’ COVID-19 website – which states: “If you do not have symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate at this time.” John Newton, a leader of the UK’s testing programme, would be “directed towards those people at high risk” instead of the wider public. He added the government faces a “huge communications exercise” next week ahead of the launch of the test and trace programme. Giving an update on the test and trace programme – which is due to launch on 1 June – Professor Newton said: “People who are deemed high risk contact of confirmed [COVID-19] cases will be told to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms at the time. Professor Newton said: “The point is there will still be a requirement to contain the virus, but the impact in terms of containment will be directed towards those people at high risk so the rest of the population can enjoy more normal life." He said the programme’s success would depend on the public’s response in terms of: Presenting themselves for a test if they have symptoms; Providing the information needed to identify high risk contacts; and Those people identified as high risk contacts complying with advice to self-isolate. Read full story Source: HSJ, 21 May 2020
  9. News Article
    The risk of dying from coronavirus is more than twice as great in the most deprived areas of England – with the disparity largest for women, analysis shows. A study by the Health Foundation of deaths from COVID-19 showed women in the most deprived parts of the country had a risk of dying that was 133% higher than those in the least deprived neighbourhoods. Between men the difference in risk was 114% higher in worse-off areas, suggesting that while deprivation is a key factor in risk of death from coronavirus for both sexes, its effect is worse for women. Experts say the evidence shows the impact of COVID-19 is falling disproportionately on the poorest in society. Mai Stafford, principal data analyst at the Health Foundation, told The Independent: “This pandemic could and should be a watershed moment in creating the social and political will to build a society that values everyone’s health now and in the long term. Without significant action, there is a real risk that those facing the most disadvantage will eventually pay the highest price.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 May 2020
  10. Content Article
    The eight minute video addresses the three pillars (stakeholders) in fighting the pandemic: individuals and society, government and authorities, and other stakeholders such as the media, industry and HNIs. The video emphasises on some of the less addressed but critical issues, putting them in to perspective. This was recorded 2 April 2020 but the advice continues to be relevant to not only India but globally.
  11. News Article
    NHS England has said disabled and vulnerable patients must not be denied personalised care during the coronavirus pandemic and repeated its warning that blanket do not resuscitate orders should not be happening. In a joint statement with disabled rights campaigner and member of the House of Lords, Baroness Jane Campbell, NHS England said the COVID-19 virus and its impact on the NHS did not change the position for vulnerable patients that decisions must be made on an individualised basis. It said: “This means people making active and informed judgements about their own care and treatment, at all stages of their life, and recognises people’s autonomy, as well as their preferences, aspirations, needs and abilities. This also means ensuring reasonable adjustments are supported where necessary and reinforces that the blanket application of do not attempt resuscitation orders is totally unacceptable and must not happen.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 May 2020
  12. News Article
    Facial recognition has been added as a way of logging in to an NHS app that lets people order prescriptions, book appointments and find healthcare data. Initially, it will allow faster access to the services on the app, which is separate from the contact-tracing one, but its developers say it could also be used for COVID-19 "immunity passports". The NHS facial-recognition system, built by iProov and available for both Android devices and iOS, requires users to submit a photo of themselves from an official document such as their passport or driving license. They then scan their face using their phone and, following a short sequence of flashing colours, their identification will be verified and they will have access to all the services on the NHS app. Immunity passports need to link a person's identity to their coronavirus test results, so would require a robust way of allowing people to verify themselves. Those deemed clear of the virus could then prove their status via a code generated by an app. However, the idea is controversial, not least because there is no hard scientific evidence that having had the coronavirus provides people with long-lasting immunity. The World Health Organization has warned countries against implementing such passports, saying: "There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection." Dr Tom Fisher, a senior researcher at Privacy International, said the implementation of such measures needed to be "necessary, proportionate and based on the epidemiological evidence". "For the moment, immunity passports do not meet this test," he said. "We must be concerned about the broad societal impact of such immunity passports. They are essentially about limiting the rights of those who are not deemed to be immune. This is a route to exclusion and discrimination." Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 May 2020
  13. News Article
    Deaths resulting from COVID-19 infection account for only half of the number of excess deaths taking place in private homes, expert analysis of latest data suggests. Figures from the Office for National Statistics from the seven weeks to 15 May show that more than 40 000 COVID-19 deaths have now taken place in hospitals, care homes, and private homes in England and Wales. The figures also show 14 418 excess non-covid deaths. Although COVID-19 was mentioned on death certificates 13 500 times in care homes and private homes over the past seven weeks, some 23 500 more non-covid deaths have taken place in the community than would be expected. Discussing the data, David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, said that “as soon as the pandemic started we saw a huge immediate spike in non-covid deaths in [private] homes that occurred close to the time hospitals were minimising the service they were providing." “Over the seven weeks up to 15 May, as the NHS focused on covid, around 8800 fewer non-covid deaths than normal occurred in hospitals.” He added that these had not been “exported” to care homes, since fairly few care home residents normally died in hospitals. Instead, he said, it seemed that these deaths had contributed to the huge rise in extra deaths in private homes during this period. Read full story Source: BMJ, 27 May 2020
  14. Content Article
    Face masks for the public during the covid-19 crisis Face coverings for the public: Laying straw men to rest
  15. Content Article
    My dad is 60 years old. He was diagnosed with young-onset dementia 3.5 years ago. For the past 2.5 of those, he has been relatively stable – a slow, but steady decline. In the past year, he’s changed dramatically. Problem 1 – why were they left with no ongoing support? As Dad is young, he slipped through the net of adult social care. Apart from a home visit 3.5 years ago, my parents have been left to deal with the dementia by themselves. No one knew who should pick his care up. Just before Christmas, we hit crisis point – Dad’s behaviour was becoming far too difficult and unpredictable for one person to handle. In February, we’d had another home visit and a checklist assessment was carried out. This was the first step towards help through an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment. Problem 2 – No protocol in place for adults with young-onset dementia Fast forward a month, and adult social care has washed their hands of Dad. Even though he’s an adult, he doesn’t fall under their team. He falls under the mental health team – and even though they work in the same building, his case hasn’t been transferred internally. The request for help has to be resubmitted. So, we start again. Problem 3 – COVID-19 hits The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful time for all of us. But for carers, there’s an extra layer of uncertainty – how long will any respite or day care continue, before they’re left out in the cold? More pressingly for our family, Dad’s care home went into lockdown while he was there for respite. It meant we faced the agonising choice – leave him there for the foreseeable, or know that we would have no help, support or relief from his 24-hour care needs. We opted to leave him there. A few weeks later, the fever started. The next day, his persistent cough developed. The care home wanted him out and asked my mother to collect him – against all Government and NHS advice. They risked him passing it onto her. My initial concern was if he did, who would call for help if she needed it? The situation calmed and he has been allowed to stay for at least the remainder of his period of self-isolation. But, while he’s there he’s just sitting alone in his room. No one to talk to, no comprehension of what’s going on outside. Nothing. What will he be like after self-isolation? Will his dementia deteriorate rapidly? Will he recognise anything afterwards? Only time will tell. Problem 4 – the financial assessment As part of NHS Continuing Healthcare funding, the adult social care element requires a financial assessment. (Yes, you’ll note adult social care is apparently taking an interest now money is involved.) They ask that you try to fill in the mammoth form within 7 days. It’s overwhelming, especially in the middle of a stressful situation. You’re given no information as to what support package you might be offered – but expected to give out some of the most personal details about yourself. The pandemic has exacerbated an already overburdened sector. There’s no face-to-face support for those overwhelmed with documentation. There’s no time to explain what it all means. There’s no time for help for those who need it. How can the Government help? Government has stepped in to provide much needed help and support to many people – but their job is essentially fighting fires. Adult social care is a ticking time bomb, and it’s putting people’s lives at risk. I’ve three asks of them: Care assessments must continue. Care homes must treat those with COVID-19 in line with NHS and Government guidance. Adult social care services must be adequately funded to allow them to fulfil their duties and provide support during this nightmare time.
  16. Content Article
    Imagine... You are 80 years old. You live independently and have a full social life with friends of similar ages. You have no close family; your friends are your family. You are very much part of the community and enjoy life. Every winter you get a ‘bad chest’. You visit the GP when this happens and get antibiotics. This is your only health issue. Being locked down hasn’t been an issue for you. Life is different, but the village you live in has a great support network, you can get shopping delivered, you are connected via the internet to your activity groups – even tai chi on zoom! You receive a phone call from your GP. They state "...with your chest, it's unlikely that you will survive this virus. So, I need to ask you... do you want to be placed on a ventilator and do you want to be resuscitated?" They expect an answer while they are on the phone to you. You have less than 5 minutes to respond. "Errrrrr, yes… I have lots to live for, please do everything you can" is your reply. You put the phone down and cry. You are scared. What now? This is a real case that was told to me this morning. ‘Difficult conversations’ are needed. They have always been needed. Whether that be in primary care or secondary care, these conversations are important. It is important to find out what patients and families wishes are, important to offer informed choice of what treatments will be of benefit and important to manage expectations from both, patient, families and clinicians. Much has been written on how to have these conversations, when to have these conversations and by whom – this advice has been written in a non-pandemic time where people have the time, have up to date, clear information that patients and families can discuss the issues. Some GPs are using the RESPeCT document, its been slow to adopt and spread, but if completed makes the world of difference. Having an open conversation about dying may feel taboo, but you only get to die once (usually)… you may as well do it well. Where I work clinically, all patients who are suspected COVID-19, have a treatment escalation form completed as they are admitted. This informs other clinicians what treatment that patient can receive during their admission. If a patient doesn’t have a treatment escalation discussion, patients may experience unnecessary pain, suffering or futile treatment that they didn’t want, but were unable to say. The treatment escalation form and process we are using has transformed and streamlined our care. We are now able to give the right care to the right patient at the right time. Patients and families are fully informed and are grateful for having the conversation. But what happens during the pandemic in primary care? GPs are unable to wait for their patients to turn up to the surgery to have these conversations. Many of their patients are the most vulnerable, in care homes, the homeless and often difficult to reach. Is a telephone call, out of the blue the best way of having this conversation? GPs have hundred, if not thousands of patients on their case load, how are they to have meaningful conversations during this pandemic with the most vulnerable? This blog is not to highlight the bad practice. It is not a time for naming and shaming. We are learning together. Are you doing things differently? Do you have a solution? Are you a patient and have an idea on how we can do this better?
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