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Found 1,169 results
  1. News Article
    Lifting lockdown must be handled better this time round to avoid a surge in Covid that could overwhelm the NHS, doctors say. The British Medical Association has published a blueprint for how it thinks England should proceed with any easing. It includes replacing the "rule of six" with a two-households restriction to reduce social mixing and banning travel between different local lockdown tiers. Government has yet to say if or exactly how England will exit on 2 December. It will decide next week, based on whether cases have fallen enough and how much strain hospitals are under. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 November 2020
  2. News Article
    A top teaching hospital has blamed covid measures for a dramatic rise in the number of trolley waits in its accident and emergency department. In October, 111 patients at Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital, waited more than 12 hours for admission, despite the region’s relatively low covid rates. CUH recorded just nine 12-hour waits in September and 27 in August. It had no 12-hour waits in either June or July this year, and in October 2019, it had only one. The trust also had 761 patients who waited more than four hours from the decision to admit to admission last month, out of a total of 2,998 emergency admissions. CUH director of operations Holly Sutherland said: “We have had to reorganise the hospital to meet infection control requirements and to reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission. With limited side room availability due to the age of our facilities, this has reduced the number of beds in the hospital by around 100 and has impacted on patient flow from the emergency department." “We would like to apologise to anyone affected by this, and to reassure our patients that their safety is our utmost priority and we are doing everything we can to treat them as quickly as possible.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 November 2020
  3. News Article
    Coronavirus cases in the US will spike after Thanksgiving, further stressing health care systems and prompting new restrictions, an emergency physician said Saturday, as states continued to report soaring numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, told CNN's Erica Hill he is "terrified" about what's going to happen this holiday season. "We're going to see an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year, and if people don't learn from Thanksgiving, we're going to see it after Christmas as well," Phillips said. Already, grim indicators offer a glimpse of what's to come. A little more than a week after the US first topped 100,000 daily infections, it reported a record of more than 184,000 new cases Friday. Hospitalisations also hit a new high – for the fourth consecutive day – with more than 68,500 COVID-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And the country's daily death toll has topped 1,300 at least three times this week. "Things are going to get much, much worse," said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. She expressed concern over the impact on the already-strained health care system when the new cases added in recent days are reflected in hospitalisations. Read full story Source: CNN, 15 November 2020
  4. News Article
    Mothers are being needlessly separated from their babies under strict hospital restrictions introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19, doctors and charities have warned. The measures preventing UK parents from staying with their babies when one or both require hospital treatment are causing trauma and increasing the risk of physical and mental health problems, it is claimed. Some parents of sick babies are also being barred from seeing their child in neonatal units, which is causing distress and preventing bonding. Campaigners have written to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, to raise their concerns. They want hospitals to review these policies urgently and have called for a working group to draw up national standards to meet families’ needs during pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 November 2020
  5. News Article
    Labour is demanding new investment for the NHS as part of the government’s spending review next week, after analysis shows hundreds of thousands of patients are waiting for life-changing operations. The party’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, will challenge Matt Hancock in Parliament on today over the latest NHS data, which reveal almost 500,000 patients are waiting for surgery on their hips, knees and other bones. Last week, NHS England published new data showing more than 1.7 million people were waiting longer than the NHS target of 18-weeks for treatment. The target was last met in February 2016. An analysis of NHS England data reveal which specialities have been hardest hit by the growing backlog of operations, which has soared since the first wave of coronavirus caused widespread hospital cancellations earlier this year. There were 4.3 million patients on NHS waiting lists for hospital treatments in September. Labour said this included 477,250 waiting for trauma and orthopaedic surgery, with 252,247 patients waiting over 18 weeks. The next worst specialty was ophthalmology, which treats eye disorders, with 444,828 patients on waiting lists, 233,425 of whom have waited more than 18 weeks. There were six figure waiting lists over 18 weeks for other specialties including gynaecology, urology, general surgery, and ear, nose and throat patients. Read full story Source: 17 November 2020
  6. News Article
    A key expansion of services for patients recovering from coronavirus has been delayed by several months, HSJ has learned. In July, NHS England hailed a “ground breaking” new service with the launch of a website with information for patients on how to recover from covid following hospital discharge. It promised a second phase of the service would allow patients to be connected with health professionals for more tailored support, to be launched “later this summer”. But in a memo sent to professional bodies on 30 October, NHSE said the national roll-out was delayed until at least January 2021, with no date confirmed for the launch beyond that. Documents on the website itself said a “first cohort of patients from Leicester will begin to work through the programme” in November, with a further rollout scheduled for early December, followed by a “refresh” in January 2021 and a “full national rollout accessible across the country” at an unspecified date beyond that. The second phase is seen as vital for ensuring that people with covid receive personalised support to help them recover from its debilitating effects, especially as a separate face-to-face rehabilitation programme was scrapped due to costs. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 16 November 2020
  7. News Article
    Eight months after phrases such as “stay at home,” “flatten the curve” and “social distancing” started to become part of our daily vocabulary, people are experiencing a type of burnout experts call COVID-19 fatigue. “By this point, we know people are tired — tired of missing family and friends, tired of not having a routine, of not going into the office,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Infectious Diseases. “Whatever disruptions to a person’s normal life have occurred, there is no denying the mental, physical and emotional toll people are experiencing. What we’ve learned — and what we keep learning — is how to combat burnout in safe ways that minimize the spread of the virus and enable us to feel some sense of normalcy.” Figuring out how to safely navigate the new normal is more important than ever, explain UAB experts, particularly heading into more vulnerable and trying winter months that present unique challenges. Read full story Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, 6 November 2020
  8. News Article
    No single solution will stop the virus’s spread, but combining different layers of public measures and personal actions can make a big difference. It’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand that a vac­cine, on its own, won’t be enough to rapidly ex­tin­guish a pan­demic as per­ni­cious as Covid-19. The pan­demic can­not be stopped through just one in­ter­ven­tion, be­cause even vac­cines are im­per­fect. Once in­tro­duced into the hu­man pop­u­la­tion, viruses con­tinue to cir­cu­late among us for a long time. Fur­ther­more, it’s likely to be as long as a year be­fore a Covid-19 vac­cine is in wide-spread use, given in­evitable dif­fi­cul­ties with man­u­fac­tur­ing, dis­tri­b­u­tion and pub­lic ac­ceptance. Con­trol­ling Covid-19 will take a good deal more than a vac­cine. For at least an­other year, the world will have to rely on a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach, one that goes be­yond sim­plis­tic bro­mides and all-or-noth­ing re­sponses. In­di­vid­u­als, work-places and gov­ern­ments will need to con­sider a di­verse and some­times dis­rup­tive range of in­ter­ven­tions. It helps to think of these in terms of lay­ers of de­fence, with each layer pro­vid­ing a bar­rier that isn’t fully im­per­vi­ous, like slices of Swiss cheese in a stack. The ‘Swiss cheese model’ is a clas­sic way to con­cep­tu­al­ize deal­ing with a haz­ard that in­volves a mix­ture of hu­man, tech­no­log­i­cal and nat­ural el­e­ments. This article can be read in full on the WSJ website, but is paywalled. The illustration showing the swiss cheese pandemic model is hyperlinked to this hub Learn post.
  9. News Article
    The NHS will launch a network of more than 40 ‘long COVID’ specialist clinics within weeks to help thousands of patients suffering debilitating effects of the virus months after being infected. The clinics, due to start opening at the end of November, will bring together doctors, nurses, therapist and other NHS staff to physical and psychological assessments of those experiencing enduring symptoms. NHS England has provided £10 million to fund the pioneering clinics, which will see patients who have been hospitalised, officially diagnosed after a test or reasonably believe they had COVID-19. Ten sites have been earmarked for the Midlands, seven in the North East, six in the East of England, South West and South East respectively, five in London and three in the North West. Patients will be able to access services through a GP referral or referral from other healthcare professional, allowing doctors an opportunity to rule out any other possible underlying causes for symptoms, such as suspected stroke, lung cancers or respiratory conditions. The NHS has also launched a new taskforce, with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians, to help manage the NHS approach to ‘long COVID’ and produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals to develop a wider understanding of the condition. NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Long COVID is already having a very serious impact on many people’s lives and could well go on to affect hundreds of thousands. “That is why, while treating rising numbers of patients who are sick with the virus and many more who do not have it, the NHS is taking action to address those suffering ongoing health issues." “These pioneering ‘long COVID’ clinics will help address the very real problems being faced by patients today while the taskforce will help the NHS develop a greater understanding of the lasting effects of coronavirus.” Read full press release Source: NHS England, 15 November 2020
  10. News Article
    Young and previously healthy people with ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 are showing signs of damage to multiple organs four months after the initial infection, a study suggests. The findings are a step towards unpicking the physical underpinnings and developing treatments for some of the strange and extensive symptoms experienced by people with “long Covid”, which is thought to affect more than 60,000 people in the UK. Fatigue, brain fog, breathlessness and pain are among the most frequently reported effects. On Sunday, the NHS announced it would launch a network of more than 40 long Covid specialist clinics where doctors, nurses and therapists will assess patients’ physical and psychological symptoms. The Coverscan study aims to assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 on organ health in around 500 “low-risk” individuals – those who are relatively young and without any major underlying health complaints – with ongoing Covid symptoms, through a combination of MRI scans, blood tests, physical measurements and online questionnaires. Preliminary data from the first 200 patients to undergo screening suggests that almost 70% have impairments in one or more organs, including the heart, lungs, liver and pancreas, four months after their initial illness. “The good news is that the impairment is mild, but even with a conservative lens, there is some impairment, and in 25% of people it affects two or more organs,” said Amitava Banerjee, a cardiologist and associate professor of clinical data science at University College London. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 15 November 2020
  11. Content Article
    Detailed results from the report show: - The regions that have seen the sharpest decline in the number of people referred for routine elective care during the first 8 months of the year are London (37% reduction as compared to 2019), North West (35% reduction) and South East (35% reduction). The South West saw the smallest reduction in the number of people referred for elective care compared to 2019 (29%). The North East and Yorkshire saw a 34% reduction and Midlands and East of England both had a 33% reduction. - Those regions that experienced the lowest rates of COVID-19 during the first wave, namely the South West and East of England, are also those that have made the most progress in reopening elective care services. While there are currently only limited signs that more treatment is being postponed in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, this may change in the future. - Referrals to clinical areas have declined as follows: oral surgery (43% lower than in 2019, representing 177,591 fewer people) trauma and orthopaedics (42% lower, representing 622,593 fewer people). This includes surgery for hip and knee replacements ophthalmology (41% lower, representing 531,660 fewer people). This includes cataract operations thoracic medicine (29%, or 98,546 fewer people) cardiothoracic surgery (29%, or 7,889 fewer people) neurosurgery (29% lower, or 23,872 fewer people); urology (28% lower, representing 186,119 fewer people).
  12. Event
    The Deteriorating Patient Summit focuses on recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient through improving the reliability of patient observations and ensuring quality of care. The conference will include National Developments including the recent recommendations from the Royal College of Physicians on NEWS2 and COVID-19, and implementing the recommendations from the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch Report Investigation into recognising and responding to critically unwell patients. The conference will include practical case study based sessions on identifying patients at risk of deterioration, improving practice in patient observations, responding to the deteriorating patient, improving escalation and understanding success factors in escalation, sepsis and COVID-19, involving patients and families in recognising deterioration, and improving the communication and use of NEWS2 in the community, including care homes, and at the interface of care. Follow the conference on Twitter #deterioratingpatient Register
  13. News Article
    Thousands of frontline workers delivering treatments where the risk of transmitting coronavirus is heightened are still being denied personal protective equipment (PPE), according to multiple unions and professional bodies. Eleven organisations, including Unison and the British Association of Stroke Physicians, believe numerous procedures have been “wrongly excluded” from the list of 13 “aerosol generating procedures” that require PPE, despite the NHS now having adequate supplies. They say their members are “facing illness and even death” while performing procedures such as chest physiotherapy, introducing feeding tubes, and assessing whether a patient can swallow safely. The unions have formed an alliance to lobby on the issue, and its chair Dr Barry Jones told HSJ: “We’ve asked ministers and the Department of Health and Social Care again and again to take action and provide PPE to frontline NHS staff carrying out procedures which are not currently listed as AGPs but which the scientific evidence shows should be. Read full story Source: HSJ, 13 November 2020
  14. News Article
    Black and Asian people are up to twice as likely to be infected with COVID-19 compared to those of white ethnicities, according to a major new report. The risk of ending up in intensive care with coronavirus may be twice as high for people with an Asian background compared to white people, data gathered from more than 18 million individuals in 50 studies across the UK and US also suggests. The report, published in the EClinicalMedicine by The Lancet, is the first-ever meta-analysis of the effect of ethnicity on patients with COVID-19. The scientists behind it said their findings should be of "importance to policymakers" ahead of the possible roll out of a vaccine. Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 November 2020
  15. News Article
    People with learning disabilities are dying of coronavirus at more than six times the rate of the general population, according to “deeply troubling” figures that have prompted a government review. A report from Public Health England (PHE) found that 451 in every 100,000 people registered as having learning disabilities died after contracting Covid-19 in the first wave of the pandemic, when the figures were adjusted for age and sex. Because not all Covid deaths among people with learning disabilities are registered as such, the true figure is likely to be 692 in every 100,000, or 6.3 times the UK average, the report estimated. Campaigners said the figures showed the government had failed to protect the most vulnerable. The report found that Covid deaths among those with learning disabilities were also more widely spread across age groups, with far greater mortality rates among younger adults. Those aged 18-34 were 30 times more likely to die with the virus than their counterparts in the general population. The higher death rate is likely to reflect the greater prevalence of health problems such as diabetes and obesity among those with learning disabilities, the report said. It also noted that some learning disabilities, such as Down’s syndrome, can make people more vulnerable to respiratory infections. People with learning disabilities are also likely to have difficulty recognising symptoms and following advice on testing, social distancing and infection prevention, the report said. It may also be harder for those caring for them to recognise symptoms if these cannot be communicated, it added. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 November 2020
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