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Found 1,312 results
  1. News Article
    Coronavirus has not caused an increase in stillbirths despite fears it could do so, Government data suggests. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published data on Monday showing that the stillbirth rate decreased from 4.0 stillbirths per 1,000 total births in 2019, to 3.9 in the first three quarters (January to September) of 2020, in line with the long-term trend. The data comes amid fears that coronavirus can impact pregnancy and the stillbirth rate. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 8 December 2020
  2. News Article
    The UK’s drug regulator has warned that people with have a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) issued the warning after two NHS staff members who were administered with doses on Tuesday both suffered an allergic reaction. NHS England said all trusts involved with the vaccination programme have been informed. Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said the regulatory body was examining the cases. “We know from the very extensive clinical trials this wasn’t a feature," she told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. "But if we need to strengthen our advice now that we’ve had this experience in the vulnerable populations - the groups that have been selected as a priority - we get that advice to the field immediately.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 8 December 2020
  3. 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 patients are able to receive dialysis at home and those receiving inpatient treatment still need to travel to dialysis clinics, either in main hospital buildings or smaller satellite clinics, three times a week. At present the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation list ranks all dialysis patients at priority level four, alongside all other shielding patients and those aged over 70. Priority one covers all care home residents and staff, while priority two covers all over 80s and frontline health workers. The Renal Association wrote to Public Health England and JCVI over the weekend to ask for a change in vaccine prioritisation but, at the time of writing, has not received a response. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 9 December 2020
  4. News Article
    All non-urgent elective operations are being postponed for at least two weeks in a health system still seeing significant and growing pressure from coronavirus. The four acute trusts in Kent and Medway will still carry out cancer and urgent electives, but other work is being postponed. Relatively few elective operations are usually carried out around Christmas and New Year, meaning the county is likely to see little or no elective work for the next four weeks. In a covid update bulletin issued last night, the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group acknowledged the pressure hospitals across its area were under but stressed cancer and other urgent operations would go ahead. It added: “However, we are now pausing non-urgent elective services. This will allow staff to move to support the increased number of covid-19 patients. “Initially this will be for a two-week period. We will keep this under weekly review and will contact individual patients where appointments need to be rescheduled.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 8 December 2020
  5. Content Article
    View Leadership for patient safety during COVID-19 webinar on YouTube Presenters: Helen Hughes, Chief Executive, Patient Safety Learning, Dr Abdulelah Alhawsawi, Director General, Saudi Patient Safety Center, Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Care Quality Commission. or sign up for the replica replay page for the webinar.
  6. News Article
    A 90-year-old woman has become the first patient in the world to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine after its approval in the UK, where the NHS has launched its biggest vaccine campaign. Margaret Keenan received the jab at about 6.45am in Coventry, marking the start of a historic mass vaccination programme. The vaccines will be administered at 50 hospital hubs around the country, with patients aged 80 and over who are either already attending hospital as an outpatient or are being discharged home after a hospital stay, being first in line. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 8 November 2020
  7. 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 found by looking in annex B of the document, Community testing: a guide for local delivery, which was published on 30 November. This is the first publicly available information about the field evaluation of the Innova tests in Liverpool which has been criticised for its lack of transparency, accuracy of the tests used, and costs and potential harms. Read full story Source: BMJ, 4 December 2020
  8. Content Article
    The COGER study, designed by members of the Special Interest Group for Geriatric Rehabilitation of the European Geriatric Medical Society (EuGMS), study aims to: Explore the course of activities of daily living (ADL) recovery and influencing factors. Describe other outcomes after geriatric rehabilitation in post-COVID-19 patients. Describe geriatric rehabilitation services provided to post COVID-19 patients across Europe. The study group are presently looking for rehabilitation services to volunteer to support the work. By taking part you will help them to understand how older people recover from COVID-19, and the services that make a difference. It is possible that data collected will help further the understanding of long-term questions about the best configuration of rehabilitation for older people. This could help harmonise approaches across Europe in an evidence-based way. How to get involved: Firstly, please download and read the protocol document on the BGS website. If you are a centre in the UK, please email j.gough@bgs.org.uk indicating your interest in participating. Germany - If you are from Germany and wish to participate, please email Stefan Grund. Rest of Europe - If you are elsewhere in Europe, please email Miriam Haaksma.
  9. News Article
    Concern is growing that NHS hospitals may face a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic with a much higher level of covid-positive inpatients than at the beginning of the second wave. This raises the prospect of the service being overwhelmed during the January-February “winter pressures” period and having to once again halt elective and non-urgent work in many areas. HSJ understands national NHS leaders are concerned that anything over 5,000 covid patients in hospital by the year end would leave the service vulnerable to being overwhelmed. Their concerns are based on the fact that the second wave added 13,000 hospitalised covid patients at peak. During the first wave, covid hospitalisation peaked at just over 17,000, and in order to prepare for it the NHS cancelled most elective and non-urgent work. Read full story Source: HSJ, 7 December 2020
  10. News Article
    More people signed off sick with mental health problems during lockdown, analysis reveals. Millions of people expected to need help after effect of coronavirus on UK A GP fit note is issued after the first seven days of sickness absence if a doctor agrees the patient is too ill to work The proportion of people applying for fit notes from their GP for mental health reasons jumped 6% during lockdown in England, according to new research. It adds to growing concern the UK will see a surge in mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and the impact on society and the economy. It could be the first signs of increasing mental health illnesses since the pandemic started. The Centre for Mental Health think tank has warned the government needs to prepare for the aftermath of COVID-19. Its analysis, based on research into COVID-19 and the effects of other epidemics on mental health, predicts 8.5 million adults and 1.5 million children in England will need support for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental health difficulties in the coming months and years. That is the equivalent of 20 per cent of all adults and 15 per cent of all children. A third of patients would need help for the first time. Read full story Source: Independent, 6 December 2020
  11. News Article
    The coronavirus vaccine is the "beginning of the end" of the epidemic in the UK, Prof Stephen Powis has said, as vaccinations begin on Tuesday. But the NHS England medical director warned the distribution of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be a "marathon not a sprint". It will take "many months" to vaccinate everybody who needs it, he said. Frontline health staff, those over 80, and care home workers will be first to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In England, 50 hospitals have been initially chosen to serve as hubs for administering the vaccine. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland will also begin their vaccination programmes from hospitals on Tuesday. Prof Powis was speaking outside Croydon University Hospital in south London, which became one of the first hospitals in the UK to take delivery of the vaccine on Sunday. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 December 2020
  12. News Article
    A new mother has spoken of her distress after wrongly-imposed Covid rules led to her being separated from her six-week-old baby for almost a week while she received treatment in hospital. Charlotte Jones, 29, was taken to Princess Royal University hospital in Kent by ambulance last Wednesday, after complications following the birth of her son, Leo. When she arrived, she asked whether she would be able to see her baby, whom she is breastfeeding, while in hospital, but was told it would not be allowed because of the threat of coronavirus. She did not see him until her release six days later. The restrictions as applied in Jones’s case, appear to contravene official guidance and go against the advice of NHS England, which specifies that mothers and babies should be kept together unless it is absolutely necessary to separate them. Separation at such a critical time can have an adverse impact on the physical and mental health of the mother, baby and wider family, say healthcare professionals and charities. King’s College NHS foundation trust, which manages the hospital, has admitted that although it is limiting the number of visitors during the pandemic, there is no policy stopping babies to be brought in to be breastfed. The trust has pledged to ensure staff are aware of its policies. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 December 2020
  13. 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. “Trust leaders are worried about the impact of looser regulations over Christmas.” Frontline personnel were due to have the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine when the NHS starts its rollout, which is expected to be next Tuesday after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved it on Wednesday. However, hospitals will instead begin by immunising care home staff, and hospital inpatients and outpatients aged over 80. The new UK-wide guidance on priority groups was issued by the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) amid uncertainty over when the rest of the 5m-strong initial batch of doses that ministers ordered will reach the UK. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 December 2020
  14. News Article
    More than 60,000 people in the UK have now died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, official figures show. A further 414 were recorded on Thursday, taking the total to 60,113. Two other ways of measuring deaths - where Covid is mentioned on the death certificate, and the number of "excess deaths" for this time of year - give higher total figures. Only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more deaths than the UK, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the UK has had more deaths per 100,000 people than any of those nations. In terms of deaths per 100,000 people, the UK is the seventh-highest country globally, behind Belgium, San Marino, Peru, Andorra, Spain and Italy. Read full story Source: BBC News,
  15. News Article
    A hospital serving the prime minister’s constituency has been issued a warning notice by inspectors over poor infection control, including staff having to share two small toilet cubicles for changing. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced it has issued the notice to The Hillingdon Hospitals FT today following an unannounced inspection in September. It comes after the watchdog placed urgent conditions on the provider following a coronavirus outbreak among staff at Hillingdon Hospital in August. At least 70 members of staff had to isolate, some of whom had tested positive for covid. The watchdog said it found there had been improvements, but that “further work is needed”. The CQC’s inspection report, published today, said there were no staff changing rooms available for people to change in and out of their scrubs, and that they were sharing two small toilet cubicles at the start and end of shifts. These were not cleaned with an “enhanced” cleaning schedule, it added, and the lack of separate changing rooms “caused a risk of cross-contamination”. However, senior leaders were aware of the risk and were seeking ways to improve access to changing areas for staff. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 December 2020
  16. Event
    Chief executive Joe Rafferty and strategic advisor for digital programmes Jim Hughes, will discuss how Mersey Care Foundation Trust has been part of a region-wide programme to develop shared understanding of covid and other pressures. Joining them on the panel will be Rebecca Malby, professor in health systems innovation at London South Bank University, and Markus Bolton, director of Graphnet Health – which is supporting the event. In a discussion chaired by HSJ contributor Claire Read, they will explore the value of a shared understanding of which pressures and caseloads exist in an area and consider how digital technologies might play a role here. Which parties need to be involved? Which information is most important to which groups? How can worries about information governance be overcome? Register
  17. News Article
    Care homes will not receive the first batches of the Covid vaccine in Scotland because of problems transporting small doses around the country. The health secretary has said about 65,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Scotland by next Tuesday. They will initially be stored in freezers in packs of 997 doses. The first people to receive the jab may have to travel to where the doses are being held. Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said that means care homes would have to wait until the issue of breaking down the vaccines packs into smaller doses is resolved. She told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "The doses come to us in packs of 997 and we need to know to what degree we can pack that down into smaller pack sizes. If we can't, then we absolutely need to bring those who need to be vaccinated to those freezers - to the centres - because there is a limit to how much you can transport the doses once you have defrosted them." "We don't want to waste any of this vaccine so it's not possible at this point to take it in smaller doses into, for example, care homes." Read full story Source: BBC News, 3 December 2020
  18. Event
    Release of a major report containing recommendations gathered through the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus. This report will be the first comprehensive assessment of the UK government’s handling of the pandemic, and consists of 40 recommendations which we will deliver directly to the Prime Minister. From the failure to protect the elderly in care homes, to the over-centralised, outsourced and ineffective test, trace, isolate and support system, the report will make clear the government’s mishandling of the pandemic. There will be a live Q&A on the day of the launch of the report. Register
  19. News Article
    The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use. British regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19 illness, is safe for rollout next week. Immunisations could start within days for those who need it the most, such as elderly, vulnerable patients. The UK has already ordered 40m doses - enough to vaccinate 20m people. Around 10m doses should be available soon, with the first 800,000 arriving in the UK in the coming days. It is the fastest ever vaccine to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same developmental steps that normally span a decade. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted "It's the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again." Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that people will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn for the jab. Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 December 2020
  20. News Article
    Trusts are carrying out harm reviews after a ‘contamination issue’ affecting hundreds of samples resulted in some staff and patients being wrongly told they had coronavirus, HSJ can reveal. The error happened in mid-October and involved swabs from five trusts in the South East region, which were being processed by the NHS-run Berkshire and Surrey Pathology Services. HSJ understands it is thought that around 100 people across several trusts were given false positive results, and subsequently tested negative. The trusts involved are the Royal Surrey Foundation Trust, Frimley Health Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Foundation Trust and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. Frimley has completed a clinical review and found no harm had been caused, while Royal Berkshire, Ashford and St Peter’s and the Royal Surrey have reviews ongoing. The position for Berkshire Healthcare, a mental health trust, is not known. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 2 December 2020
  21. News Article
    People with learning disabilities have been "at the back of the queue" during the coronavirus pandemic, a panel of MPs has been told. Those living in supported accommodation were left waiting weeks for guidance on testing and visits. MPs were also told long-term social factors were likely to be more important than biology when it came to ethnic divides in the virus's impact. The panel focused on what lessons could be learned. Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 December 2020