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Found 113 results
  1. Content Article
    There’s been much discussion in the press and on social media about the role of physician associates and anaesthetic associates. Who exactly are they, and how are they trained? The Department of Health and Social Care says that they’re “trained in the medical model”—but what does this actually mean? Helen Salisbury gives her thoughts in this BMJ opinion piece.
  2. Content Article
    Physician associates (PAs) work alongside doctors and form part of the multidisciplinary team. They work across a range of specialties in general practice, community and hospital settings. Anaesthesia associates (AAs), sometimes also known as physicians’ assistants (anaesthesia), work as part of the anaesthetic team. They provide care for patients before, during and after their operation or procedure. This General Medical Council (GMC) page outlines the roles of PAs and AAs and what the regulation will look like.
  3. Content Article
    The Medical Protection Society (MPS) is a member-owned, not-for-profit protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. Here is there response to the Department of Health and Social Care consultation which introduces the regulation for Physician Associates (PAs) and Anaesthesia Associates (AAs).
  4. News Article
    The GMC has responded to senior medical leaders’ frustration at news that the Government is again delaying long-promised plans for its reform which would ease the strain felt by doctors. Its chief executive said its Council shared widespread disappointment at the hold-up in changing the legislation – which was expected this year, but will not now happen until 2024-25. Charlie Massey told Independent Practitioner Today: "Physician associates and anaesthesia associates are an important part of the health workforce and we welcome progress to bring them into regulation, which we will do within 12 months of legislation being laid by Government. "But we are disappointed that the outdated legislation for doctors will not be replaced at the same time. "The current framework stops us from being responsive and flexible in how we address patient safety concerns and register doctors to join the UK workforce. That isn’t good for patients and puts unnecessary strain on doctors. "The Government has said that it expects to deliver reforms for doctors as a priority following its work on physician associates and anaesthesia associates." Mr Massey called for a clearer commitment on the specific timing of that work, adding that the GMC wanted to progress better regulation for both doctors and medical associate professionals (MAPs) as soon as the Department of Health and Social Care laid the necessary legislation. "It is now the department’s decision when and how to implement these changes. When the department does implement these changes, we will be ready to start the process to put the reform changes into practice," he said. Read full story Source: Independent Practitioner Today, 9 August 2022
  5. Event
    The Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group (SALG) Patient Safety Conference will be held virtually this year on Thursday 23 November 2023. The first session will include engaging lectures around the current work of SALG, and the second session will focus on topical issues in relation to a selected group or society (yet to be announced). There will be a prize session for accepted abstracts, with a poster section and oral presentations. This online conference is being organised by SALG co-chairs, Dr Peter Young from the Association of Anaesthetists, Dr Felicity Platt, Royal College of Anaesthetists The day will provide valuable knowledge for doctors engaged in clinical anaesthesia, pain management and intensive care medicine, and who have an interest in improving patient safety. Register
  6. Content Article
    A recent paper (from clinicians and Human Factors specialists at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust) jointly supported by Elsevier and BJA Education clarifies what Human Factors (HF) is by highlighting and redressing key myths.  The learning objectives from the paper are as follows: Identify common myths around HF Describe what HF is Discuss the importance of HF specialists in healthcare Distinguish the importance of a systems-based approach and user-centred design for HF practice.  It explains that HF is a scientific discipline in its own right, a complex adaptive system very much like healthcare. Its principle have been used within healthcare for decades but often in an informal way.  A link to the summary of the article on Science Direct and further links to purchase the paper can be found here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2058534923000963?dgcid=author 
  7. News Article
    The trust at the centre of a maternity scandal insists it has been providing immediate anaesthetic cover for obstetric emergencies, contrary to an NHS England report suggesting it had not and had been potentially breaching safety standards. Health Education England – now part of NHSE – visited William Harvey Hospital in March and was told senior doctors in training who were covering obstetrics could also be covering the cath lab – which deals with patients who have had a heart attack, and could receive trauma, paediatric emergency and cardiac arrest calls. This suggested the trust was in conflict with Royal College guidelines which state an anaesthetist should always be “immediately available” for obstetrics. East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, originally told HSJ its rota had very recently been changed and that an anaesthetist with primary responsibility for maternity could leave any other work to attend to a maternity emergency immediately. However, it has since said it has been the case for a long time that an anaesthetist is available to return to maternity in case of an emergency. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 June 2023
  8. News Article
    A trust at the centre of a maternity scandal has been failing to meet Royal College standards in one of its maternity units, HSJ can reveal. The duty anaesthetist for the maternity unit at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford has also had to cover the hospital’s primary percutaneous coronary intervention suite. This could mean no anaesthetist is available to carry out an emergency Caesarean if they are needed to treat a heart attack patient. This goes against Royal College of Anaesthetists’ guidelines, which say a duty anaesthetist must be “immediately available for the obstetric unit 24/7”. The guidelines add that where the duty anaesthetist has other responsibilities – because, for example, they work at a smaller maternity unit where the workload does not justify them being there exclusively – then “these should be of a nature that would allow the activity to be immediately delayed or interrupted should obstetric work arise”. The William Harvey unit is East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust’s major birth centre. The trust has around 6,500 births a year – the majority at the WHH – and was heavily criticised for poor maternity care in a report by Bill Kirkup last year. Read full story Source: HSJ. 17 July 2023
  9. Content Article
    Mandy Anderton is a Clinical Nurse specialising in learning disability and a hub Topic Leader. In this new blog, Mandy explains how they are using shared decision making and reasonable adjustments to implement a new care pathway, where patients with a learning disability needing to undergo a medical investigation can receive deep sedation within their own home.  Working with patients, carers, relatives, anaesthetists and others, the aim is to improve access to important medical investigations with minimal distress, where other avenues have been exhausted. 
  10. News Article
    The NHS is facing a “time bomb” and will be forced to cancel or delay around 8 million operations each year by 2040, due to a lack of consultant anaesthetists across the services. The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA) said the current shortage of at least 1,400 staff across the UK means millions operations will not be able to take place. The college has warned its speciality is facing a “perfect storm” of limited training places, poor retention and an ageing workforce with 39 per cent nearing retirement age. The analysis found as demand for surgeries continue the need for anaesthetists is due to increase by 3.85 per year, meaning the NHS will need around 25,000 doctors in these posts by 2040. Dr Fiona Donald, president of the RCOA said: “The NHS is facing an anaesthetic workforce time bomb. We already have profound workforce shortages that are preventing huge numbers of operations from taking place – and unless urgent action is taken, the problem is going to worsen. “We would welcome government funding for additional anaesthetic training posts. One hundred additional posts per year would start to plug the gap and help get the UK back on a sound footing to be able to address the waiting list backlog. Without this investment, we foresee impacts to patient care and a further impact on the mental health of our current workforce – they need to be able to prioritise their own health and that of their families alongside the focus they already place on the health of patients and the public.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 February 2022
  11. News Article
    A grieving family has welcomed new guidance to try to prevent a common surgical procedure from going wrong and causing deaths. Oesophageal intubation occurs when a breathing tube is placed into the oesophagus, the tube leading to the stomach, instead of the trachea, the tube leading to the windpipe. It can lead to brain damage or death if not spotted promptly. Glenda Logsdail died at Milton Keynes University Hospital in 2020 after a breathing tube was accidentally inserted into her oesophagus. The 60-year-old radiographer was being prepared for an appendicitis operation when the error occurred. Her family welcomed the guidance, saying in a statement: “We miss her terribly but we know that she’d be happy that something good will come from her tragic death and that nobody else will go through what we’ve had to go through as a family." Oesophageal intubation can occur for a number of reasons including technical difficulties, clinician inexperience, movement of the tube or “distorted anatomy”. The mistake is relatively common but usually detected quickly with no resulting harm. The new guidance, published in the journal Anaesthesia, recommends that exhaled carbon dioxide monitoring and pulse oximetry – which measures oxygen levels in the blood – should be available and used for all procedures that require a breathing tube. Experts from the UK and Australia also recommended the use of a video-laryngoscope – an intubation device fitted with a video camera to improve the view – when a breathing tube is being inserted. Read full story Source: The Independent,18 August 2022
  12. Content Article
    In this BMJ opinion piece, Scarlett McNally discusses the revised National Safety Standards for Invasive Procedures (NatSSIP2). The original NatSSIPs were designed to prevent “never events”—yet more than 300 occurrences of wrong site surgery, retained objects after procedure, or wrong implant insertion still occur yearly in the UK.  NatSSIP2 brings in safety science and human factors, with expectations for organisations including standardisation, harmonisation, training, and audit. "The biggest danger is if the new standards sit on the shelf. With their benefits for patient safety and teamworking, we must accept the repetitive elements and consistently apply these new standards, every time, in every department", writes Scarlett.
  13. Content Article
    In this blog, Patient Safety Learning’s Chief Executive, Helen Hughes, reflects on a recent discussion about hysteroscopy and patient safety at a conference in January 2023, hosted by the Association of Anaesthetists.
  14. Content Article
    This correspondence published in Anaesthesia reflects on the recent guidance released by the Difficult Airway Society and the Association of Anaesthetists, 'Implementing human factors in anaesthesia: guidance for clinicians, departments and hospitals'. The authors highlight that although the guidance is a positive step forward in improving system safety in anaesthesia, there is a need to include a broader range of Human Factors (HF) specialists in the development of guidelines such as these. They call for a higher level of collaboration between clinicians and HF specialists to ensure that healthcare system safety can benefit from years of HF expertise.
  15. Content Article
    Published 10 times a year by the Association for Perioperative Practice, the IPP covers a variety of topics relevant for perioperative practitioners. Ranging from news and information, special focus pieces, industry interviews and profiles of company leaders in an easy-to-read format.
  16. Content Article
    This article by the Association of Anaesthetists offers guidance for healthcare workers on how to get a good sleep. It includes advice on the following techniques and ideas: Unchallenge your brain Have a hot bath Sleep in a way that works for you Be prepared Power napping tips
  17. Content Article
    The Association of Anaesthetists (AoA) has developed a set of resources to help NHS staff and boards tackle the impact of healthcare worker fatigue. Part of the AoA's #FightFatigue campaign, these resources can be downloaded as a whole package or separate items.
  18. Content Article
    This article by the Association of Anaesthetists (AoA) defines fatigue, looks at its causes and highlights how healthcare worker fatigue can impact on patient safety. It includes a 'High-risk checklist' outlining factors that could contribute to healthcare worker fatigue including recent illness, use of alcohol and medications and stress.
  19. Content Article
    In this article, the Association of Anaesthetists (AoA) outlines its three-point plan to address the culture surrounding healthcare professional fatigue in hospitals and tackle the problem of excessive fatigue. Part of the AoA's #FightFatigue campaign, the plan involves the following aspects: Detection Education Prevention
  20. Content Article
    In this episode of the Coffee and a Gas podcast, consultant anaesthetists Dr Roopa McCrossan and Dr Emma Plunkett talk about fatigue and how they pioneered the Association of Anaesthetists' Fight Fatigue campaign.
  21. Content Article
    This practical advice and guidance from the Association of Anaesthetists aims to help anaesthetists and other healthcare staff to look after their mental wellbeing. It covers the following topics: Achieving a work/life balance Using mindfulness Managing stress Coping with death Dealing with bullying Guidelines to help anaesthetists at risk of suicide
  22. Content Article
    This poster by the Royal College of Anaesthetists, The Association of Anaesthetists and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine outlines practical principles for minimising the impact of fatigue for staff working night shifts. It includes tips for what to do before nights, during nights and between nights and advice on recovery after nights.
  23. Content Article
    This editorial in Anaesthesia looks at how the term 'human factors' has been applied to different aspects of anaesthesia over the past few years. The author calls for a deeper look at the application of human factors in the field of anaesthesia to ensure systems are designed to minimise the risk of human error and variation.
  24. Content Article
    These Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services (GPAS) support the development and delivery of high quality anaesthetic services. GPAS chapters have previously focused on a particular aspect of clinical service delivery. However, experience has identified a requirement in GPAS to describe what it is about a department of anaesthesia itself, beyond the different aspects of the clinical service delivery, that contribute to a successful department.  The Good Department chapter has been developed to address this requirement, describing current best practice for developing and managing a safe and high quality anaesthesia service in terms of the non-clinical aspects of the service that underpin the clinical provision. The guidance makes recommendations in terms of: leadership, strategy and management workforce education and training clinical governance support services.
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