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Found 94 results
  1. News Article
    The UK’s main gender identity development service for children is leaving thousands of vulnerable young people at risk of self-harm as they wait years for their first appointment, according to a highly critical report. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) took immediate enforcement action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS foundation trust when it completed the inspection in November, which rated the service overall “inadequate” and highlighted overwhelming caseloads, deficient record-keeping and poor leadership. The commission, which heard from young people using the service, parents, carers and staff in the course of its inspection, told the trust that services and waiting times in the Gender Identity Development Services (GIDS) in both their London and Leeds clinics “must improve significantly”, demanding monthly updates on numbers on waiting lists and actions to reduce them. The service has faced major scrutiny in recent years, with some former staff and campaigners raising concerns about the “overdiagnosing” of gender dysphoria, the consequences of early medical interventions and the significant increase in referrals of girls questioning their gender identity. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 January 2021
  2. News Article
    The Becker's Clinical Leadership & Infection Control editorial team chose the top 10 patient safety issues for healthcare leaders to prioritise in 2021, presented below in no particular order, based on news, study findings and trends reported in the past year. COVID-19 Healthcare staffing shortages Missed and delayed diagnoses Drug and medicine supply shortages Low vaccination coverage and disease resurgance Clinical burnout Health equity Healthcare-associated infections Surgical mistakes Standardising safety efforts. Read full story Source: Becker's Healthcare, 30 December 2020
  3. News Article
    Matt Hancock has called for British people to routinely get tested for the flu, saying covid diagnostic capacity should be kept and used for “everything” once the pandemic dies down. Speaking at the Commons health and social care committee this morning, the health and social care secretary said the nation “must hold on to” the mass diagnostic capacity it has created for coronavirus. Going further, he called for a change in culture to one of “if in doubt, you get a test”, and for a long-term expansion of diagnostics. Mr Hancock said: “Why in Britain do we think it’s acceptable to solider on when you have flu symptoms or a runny nose, and go in [to work] and make everyone ill? “If you have flu-like symptoms you should have a test for it and find out what is wrong with you and stay at home. We are peculiar outliers in soldiering on and going to work and that… culture, that should change.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 November 2020
  4. News Article
    BBC News investigation has uncovered failures in the diagnosis of serious medical issues during private baby scans. More than 200 studios across the UK now sell ultrasound scans, with hundreds of thousands being carried out each year. But the BBC has found evidence of women not being told about serious conditions and abnormalities. The Care Quality Commission says there is good quality care in the industry but it has a "growing concern". Private baby scanning studios offer a variety of services. Some diagnose medical issues while others market themselves as providers of souvenir images or video of the ultrasound. Most sell packages providing a "reassurance scan" to expectant mums. Many women BBC News spoke to said they had positive experiences at private studios, but we have also learned of instances where women said they were failed. Charlotte, from Manchester, attended a scan in Salford with one of the biggest franchises, Window to the Womb, to record her baby's sex for a party and check its wellbeing. BBC News has learned the sonographer identified a serious abnormality that meant the baby could not survive, where part or all of its head is missing, called anencephaly. But rather than refer her immediately to hospital and provide a medical report, Charlotte was told the baby's head could not be fully seen and recommended to book an NHS anomaly scan. She was also given a gender reveal cannon and a teddy bear containing a recording of its heartbeat as a present for her daughter. "I was distraught," Charlotte said. "You've bonded with that baby." "It's like a deep cut feeling," she added. "All of it could have just been avoided, we could have processed the news all together as a family because I was with my mum and dad, I would have had the support there." Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 November 2020
  5. Content Article
    C-Diff Dentures in the healthcare setting Discharge instructions Drug allergies End of life care Falls at home Getting the right diagnosis Handwashing Hospital ratings Influenza (the flu) Latex allergies Medical records Medication safety at home Medication safety: Hospital and doctor's office Metric-based patient weights MRI safety MRSA Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) Norovirus (stomach flu) Obstructive sleep apneoa Pneumonia Pressure injuries (bed sores) Sepsis What is an MRI? Wrong-site surgery
  6. Event
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    NCRI Virtual Showcase will feature a number of topical sessions, panel discussions and proffered paper presentations covering the latest discoveries across: Big data and AI Prevention and early detection Immunology and immunotherapy Living with and beyond cancer Cancer research and COVID-19 Further information and registration
  7. Event
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    Are you a patient who has been waiting to receive a diagnosis or test results during the last six months? This includes, but is not limited to, CT scans, MRI scans, and endoscopy and dermatology procedures. Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your service? Would you like to help to improve the patient experience of waiting for a diagnosis? The Patients Association is holding an online Zoom patient group discussion on this topic on Tuesday 27th October, 2.00-4.00pm, and we are seeking patients to take part. An £80 incentive payment will be offered in Amazon vouchers and places are limited. Participants will be chosen on the basis of suitability to ensure the group is representative of a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Please fill in the registration form https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CRNMC2T if you are interested.
  8. News Article
    GPs’ warnings about restricted services may have put patients off seeking treatment, delaying diagnoses and worsening existing illnesses, the health and care watchdog has said. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that millions of people had struggled to see their doctors during the pandemic, which had magnified inequalities and risked “turning fault lines into chasms”. Between March and August 119.5 million GP appointments were made in England, down from 146.2 million last year, according to NHS Digital. Ian Trenholm, the CQC’s chief executive, said: “The number of lost GP appointments translates into millions of people potentially . . . not getting conditions diagnosed early enough, not getting those referrals on for diagnoses like cancer and other conditions.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 16 October 2020
  9. News Article
    East Cheshire faces a serious issue with head and neck cancer, with missed target times and inefficient practices leading to worsening outcomes for patients. That’s prompted officials from the NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to come up with a plan of action to tackle the problem — but as Cheshire East councillors heard this week, it’s hit a snag. Since 2014, the East Cheshire NHS Trust and Manchester Foundational Trust (MFT) have co-delivered the head and neck cancer pathway. This means that patients are seen by staff at Macclesfield Hospital for diagnostic tests — and if malignant cells are detected, then the patient will be referred on to Wythenshawe for surgery or, if sadly needed, East Cheshire’s own palliative care team for supportive care. In a presentation to CEC’s health scrutiny committee, the CCG said just 10% of patients in the borough were seen at Macclesfield within the 62-day target time in Q3 of 2019/20 — against a desired level of 85%. Simon Goff, chief operating officer of East Cheshire NHS Trust, told the committee: “There is no one stop service - which is where a patient gets diagnostics all on the same day. Biopsies are not always up to the standards required so patients need to have it again. This is a key weakness in the existing service.” The lack of a ‘one stop service’ means there are no on-site pathology services — so samples are taken off-site for testing, and with biopsies needing to be analysed within 24 hours of collection, it results in 39% of all patients having to undergo the procedure again. So what did East Cheshire do about it? The first step was to launch a consultation, with 64 former patients out of roughly 300 eligible providing feedback to the Trust over the summer. The ‘robust’ consultation, saw patients express their desire to ‘know what is going on as soon as possible’, with the ‘issue of travel being outweighed by [the desire for] a quick diagnosis’. Fortunately for health chiefs in Cheshire, there are ‘outstanding’ hospitals surrounding the county — with the Care Quality Commission giving top marks to hospitals in Salford, St Helens, and The Christie in Didsbury. So with East Cheshire’s patients happy to travel a distance in order to gain a quick and accurate diagnosis, and the existing partnership with Manchester’s trust, officials are proposing moving some patients experiencing positive diagnoses and ‘bad news’ cases to MFT sites, such as The Christie or Wythenshawe Hospital. The idea is that ‘neck lump’ patients will be immediately sent to Wythenshawe, with all other patients undergoing initial tests in Macclesfield first before being either sent home with the all clear, or referred on. Biopsies will be done in Wythenshawe, as will ‘breaking bad news’ appointments — where patients are told of a positive cancer diagnosis. Officials say this solution ‘would start to address some of the clinical and performance concerns’ by cutting the average diagnosis wait time from four weeks down to one, reducing the amount of appointments patients need to attend, and allowing for continuity of care throughout treatment. Read full story Source: Knutsford Guardian, 10 October 2020
  10. News Article
    People awaiting a CT or MRI scan will be able to have one on the high street under NHS plans to improve access to diagnostic tests. NHS England plans to set up a network of new “one-stop shops” where patients will be able to have scans closer to home rather than having to go hospital. They are intended to reduce the risk of patients getting COVID-19 in hospital and speed up the time it takes to undergo diagnostic testing by having more capacity. NHS England’s governing board approved a plan on Thursday by Prof Sir Mike Richards to create “community diagnostic hubs across the country over the next few years”. It is part of a planned “radical overhaul” in the way patients access a range of diagnostic tests, screening appointments and other services. The hubs, which would open six days a week, may also perform blood tests, lung function checks and endoscopies, in which a camera is put down the throat. The new facilities would be sited in disused shops or in shopping centres. They are part of the NHS’s drive to make it easier for people to be tested without having to go to hospital, amid concern that reluctance to do so is part of the reason fewer people are undergoing cancer screening. It is already undertaking lung cancer tests in 10 mobile centres that are parked at supermarkets and shopping centres. Bigger hubs could also offer mammograms, eye health checks, scans for pregnant women, hearing tests and gynaecological services. Hospital bosses welcomed the plan, which they said should reduce waiting times. Miriam Deakin, the director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said: “Doing these checks in the community rather than in hospital could support trusts as they grapple with a second wave of Covid-19, winter pressures and tackling backlogs of care.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 1 October 2020
  11. News Article
    Official data from mid-September shows that nearly 6,400 people had waited more than 100 days following a referral to cancer services. The leaked data reveals for the first time the length of the cancer waiting list in the wake of the first pandemic peak, during which much diagnostic and elective cancer care was paused. The list consists of those waiting for a test, the outcome of a test, or for treatment. NHS England and Improvement only publish waiting times for patients who have been treated – not the number still waiting – so this information has been secret. The data, obtained from official emails seen by HSJ, showed the total number of people on the cancer waiting list grew substantially, from 50,000 to around 58,000, between the start of August and the middle of September. Of the 6,400 people recorded to be waiting more than 104 days on 13 September, 472 had a “decision to treat classification”, meaning they have cancer and are awaiting treatment. NHS England has said reducing the cancer waiting list would be overseen by a national “taskforce”, which is being chaired by national director for cancer Peter Johnson. Experts have warned the delays already stored up in the system could cost tens of thousands of lives as patients go undiagnosed or have their diagnosis and treatment later than they otherwise would. HSJ asked NHS England if harm reviews had been carried out for those on the waiting list and whether it had discovered if those waiting longer than104 days had been harmed, but did not receive an answer. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 29 September 2020
  12. News Article
    More than one in four patients with severe mental health conditions are missing diagnosis when they are admitted to hospital for other reasons, new research suggests. According to data analysed by scientists at University College London, those who are missing these mental illness diagnoses are more likely to be from ethnic minority groups or have a previously diagnosed mental illnesses. However, the situation has improved – in 2006 it was found that mental health diagnoses were missed in more than 50% of cases. "We found encouraging signs that clinicians are more frequently identifying severe mental illnesses in hospital patients than they were a decade ago,” Hassan Mansour, a research assistant at UCL psychiatry, said. “But there's a lot more that can be done, particularly to address disparities between ethnic groups, to ensure that everyone gets the best care available. Training in culturally-sensitive diagnosis may be needed to reduce inequalities in medical care." The researchers have suggested these findings may be due to language barriers or stigma felt by patients. It was also suggested that clinicians may be less able to detect these conditions in people from other ethnic and cultural groups. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 September 2020
  13. News Article
    The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has today published an overview report on the lessons learned from notifications of significant incident events in Ireland arising from accidental or unintended medical exposures in 2019. In 2019, HIQA received 68 notifications of significant events of accidental or unintended medical exposures to patients in public and private facilities, which is a small percentage of significant incidents relative to the total number of procedures taking place which can be conservatively estimated at over three million exposures a year.The most common errors reported were patient identification failures, resulting in an incorrect patient receiving an exposure. These errors happened at various points in the patient pathway which, while in line with previous reporting nationally and international data, highlights an area for improvement.John Tuffy, Regional Manager for Ionising Radiation, said “The overall findings of our report indicate that the use of radiation in medicine in Ireland is generally quite safe for patients. The incidents which were reported to HIQA during 2019 involved relatively low radiation doses which posed limited risk to service users. However, there have been radiation incidents reported internationally which resulted in severe detrimental effects to patients so ongoing vigilance and attention is required." John Tuffy, continued “As the regulator of medical exposures, HIQA has a key role in the receipt and evaluation of notifications received. While a significant event is unwanted, reporting is a key demonstrator of a positive patient safety culture. A lack of reporting does not necessarily demonstrate an absence of risk. Reporting is important, not only to ensure an undertaking is compliant but because it improves general patient safety in a service and can minimise the probability of future preventative events occurring.” Read full story Source: HIQA, 9 September 2020
  14. News Article
    A survey of members of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has found that almost two thirds (60%) of doctors worry that patients in their care have suffered harm or complications following diagnosis or treatment delays during the pandemic, while almost all doctors (94%) are concerned about the general indirect impact of COVID-19 on their patients. This is also compounded by the difficulty doctors are finding in accessing diagnostic testing for their patients. Only 29% of doctors report experiencing no delays in accessing endoscopy testing (one of the main diagnostic tests used by doctors) for inpatients, decreasing to just 8% for outpatients. Only 5% of doctors feel that their organisations are fully prepared for a potential second wave of COVID-19 infection, and almost two thirds (64%) say they haven’t been involved in any discussions about preparations for a second wave of the virus. While the government’s promise to roll out flu vaccines to millions more people is welcome, the RCP recently set several more priorities to help prepare the health service for future waves of COVID-19, including the need to ensure the NHS estate is fully able to cope. Only 5% say they wanted an antibody test for COVID-19 but were unable to access one. Of those tested, a quarter (25%) were positive, with little or no difference when it came to gender, between white and BAME doctors, trainees and consultants or between London and the rest of England. Professor Andrew Goddard, president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “Delays to treatment are so often a major issue for the NHS but as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s fair to say we’ve reached crisis point. Doctors are, understandably, gravely concerned that their patients’ health will have deteriorated to the point where they will need much more extensive treatment than previously, at a time when NHS resources are already incredibly depleted." “We also cannot underestimate the need to prepare for a second wave of COVID-19 infection, which threatens to compound the situation. Without careful and rigorous preparation, a second wave coupled with the winter flu season, could overwhelm the NHS.” Source: Royal College of Physicians, 5 August 2020
  15. News Article
    A risk calculator that takes seconds to produce a score indicating a COVD-19 patient’s risk of death could help clinicians make care decisions soon after patients arrive in hospital, according to a large study conducted by a consortium of researchers across the UK. As UK COVID-19 cases rise, schools reopen and the weather gets colder, doctors at UK hospitals are expected to see an influx of coronavirus patients. Patients with COVID-19 behave very differently to patients with other conditions such as flu and bacterial pneumonia, said Dr Antonia Ho of the University of Glasgow, one of the study’s authors, and it is very challenging for doctors managing this unfamiliar disease to accurately identify those who are at high risk of deterioration or who can ride out their illness at home. “So having a tool that … can help clinicians at the front door to accurately group patients who are coming in with COVID-19 into four distinct risk categories – low, intermediate, high and very high risk – is hugely valuable,” she added. “Having an accompanying low-risk score will provide that doctor with increased confidence that the vast majority of people, patients with that low-risk score, will come to no real harm.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 September 2020
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