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Found 55 results
  1. News Article
    About 3,500 people in England may die within the next five years of one of the four main cancers – breast, lung, oesophageal or bowel – as a result of delays in being diagnosed because of COVID-19, say the researchers in the Lancet Oncology journal. “Our findings demonstrate the impact of the national Covid-19 response, which may cut short the lives of thousands of people with cancer in England over the next five years,” said Dr Ajay Aggarwal from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who led the research. Routine cancer screening was suspended during the lockdown, the authors said. So was the routine referral to hospital outpatient departments of people with symptoms that could be something else but also might possibly be cancer. Only those deemed to need emergency care by the GP or those who go to A&E are being picked up. Inevitably, those are people with more advanced cancers. If cancer is picked up at an earlier stage, successful treatment and survival are much more likely. “Whilst currently attention is being focused on diagnostic pathways where cancer is suspected, the issue is that a significant number of cancers are diagnosed in patients awaiting investigation for symptoms not considered related to be cancer. Therefore we need a whole system approach to avoid the predicted excess deaths,” said Aggarwal. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 July 2020
  2. Content Article
    The report states that the COVID-19 crisis shows how rapidly disinformation spreads. A poll revealed that nearly half (48%) of all British people had either seen or been sent "fake news" about COVID-19, online since the outbreak began. In addition, almost two in five (17%) said they did not know whether they had come across fake news, suggesting that the ability to identify and report the spread of misinformation is less than perfect. In this context, health education, on its own, is insufficient. We need to build health literacy (people's ability to understand health information), and work towards the goal of patient activation (enabling people to exert control over the determinants of health). The report makes a series of recommendations, including the introduction of a permanent "disinformation unit" to correct false information and help shape public health narratives. The authors conclude that "New technologies have created opportunities to reach wider audiences, but ... It is also clear that the NHS and health sector more broadly need to take a more proactive approach. As an extremely trusted source of health information, it is imperative the NHS stays ahead of the curve".
  3. News Article
    A former senior NHS official plans to sue the organisation after he had to pay a private hospital £20,000 for potentially life-saving cancer surgery because NHS care was suspended due to COVID-19. Rob McMahon, 68, decided to seek private treatment after Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS trust told him that he would have to wait much longer than usual for a biopsy. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer after an MRI scan on 19 March, four days before the lockdown began. McMahon was due to see a consultant urologist on 27 March but that was changed to a telephone consultation and then did not take place for almost two weeks. “At that appointment, the consultant said: ‘Don’t worry, these things are slow-growing. You’ll have a biopsy but not for two or three months.’ I thought, ‘that’s a long time’, so decided to see another consultant privately for a second opinion.” A PET-CT scan confirmed that he had a large tumour on both lobes of the prostate and a biopsy showed the cancer was at risk of breaking out of the prostate capsule and spreading into his body. He then paid to undergo a radical prostatectomy at a private Spire hospital. “This is care that I should have had on the NHS, not something that I should have had to pay for myself. I had an aggressive cancer. I needed urgent treatment – there was no time to waste,”, he said. “With the pandemic, he added, “it was almost like a veil came down over the NHS. He worked for the NHS for 17 years as a manager in hospitals in London, Birmingham and Redditch, Worcestershire, and was the chief executive of an NHS primary care trust in Leicester.” Mary Smith of Novum Law, McMahon’s solicitors, said: “Unfortunately, Rob’s story is one of many we are hearing about from cancer patients who have been seriously affected by the disruption to oncology services as a result of COVID-19." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 July 2020
  4. Content Article
    Key messages Most Americans will experience a diagnostic error at least once in their lifetime. Patient deaths due to these errors are estimated at 40,000 to 80,000 per year. Diagnostic errors and other inefficiencies cost the U.S. economy $750 billion each year.
  5. Content Article
    The goal of the NPSIF is to improve patient safety at all levels of healthcare across all modalities of healthcare provision, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow up within overall context of improving quality of care and progressing towards UHC (Universal Health Coverage) in the coming decade. The scope of patient safety applies to all national programmes and envisages collaboration of wide range of national international stakeholders both within and outside health sector. NPSIF applies to national and sub-national levels as well as to public and private sectors. Objectives: Strategic Objective 1: To improve structural systems to support quality and efficiency of healthcare and place patient safety at the core at national, subnational and healthcare facility levels. Strategic Objective 2: To assess the nature and scale of adverse events in healthcare and establish a system of reporting and learning. Strategic Objective 3: To ensure a competent and capable workforce that is aware and sensitive to patient safety. Strategic Objective 4: To prevent and control health-care associated infections. Strategic Objective 5: To implement global patient safety campaigns and strengthening Patient Safety across all programmes. Strategic Objective 6: To strengthen capacity for and promote patient safety research.
  6. News Article
    Waiting times for tests and treatment not related to COVID-19 are likely to increase significantly in the second half of 2020 because of the fallout from the pandemic, the head of NHS England has acknowledged. Giving evidence to the Commons health select committee on 30 June, NHS England’s chief executive Simon Stevens said that contrary to some commentary, the NHS’s overall waiting list actually dropped by over half a million people between February and April 2020 because fewer people were coming forward for treatment. But, he added, “As referrals return we expect that will go up significantly over the second half of the year.” Stevens said that there were 725 000 fewer elective admissions to NHS hospitals during March and April, but that number has begun to recover significantly. “As we speak, we think we’re now somewhere north of 55% of pre-covid-19 elective activity levels,” he said. He added that he hoped the NHS would return to around three quarters of normal activity levels by July or August. Stevens told MPs that the NHS would pursue a range of measures to increase capacity over the coming months, including extending the deal with the private sector to use its facilities, and repurposing some of the Nightingale hospitals for diagnostic testing. Read full story Source: BMJ, 1 July 2020
  7. News Article
    Almost half a million people are waiting at least six weeks for tests which could diagnose cancer – up from just 30,000 before lockdown, new analysis shows. Ministers have been urged to urgently bring forward plans to tackle the backlog of patients waiting for care, with calls for weekly testing of staff to keep coronavirus infections off the wards. Cancer charities fear there will be an extra 18,000 deaths a year because those with symptoms are not receiving prompt diagnosis and treatment. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 23 June 2020
  8. News Article
    A patient almost died after being misdiagnosed and sent home from hospital on the first day of the lockdown as the NHS curtailed many normal services to focus on COVID-19. The NHS trust involved has admitted that its failings led to the man suffering excruciating pain, developing life-threatening blood poisoning, and contracting the flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis. He needed eight operations to remedy the damage caused by his misdiagnosis. The man, his wife and his GP spent three weeks after his discharge trying to get him urgent medical care. However, St Mary’s hospital on the Isle of Wight rejected repeated pleas by them for doctors to help him, even though his health was deteriorating sharply. The man, who does not want to be named, said his experience of seeking NHS care for something other than COVID-19 during the pandemic had been “debilitating and exhausting” and that feeling the NHS “was not there” for him had been “very distressing” for him and his wife. Mary Smith, of the solicitors Novum Law, who are representing the man in his complaint against the trust, said his plight highlighted the growing number of cases that were emerging of people whose health had suffered because they could not access normal NHS care in recent months. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 June 2020
  9. News Article
    A leading doctor has warned that trusts will struggle to get back to anything like pre-covid levels of endoscopy services and will need to prioritise which patients are diagnosed. Endoscopy procedures are part of the diagnostic and treatment pathway for many conditions, including bowel cancer and stomach ulcers. Most hospitals have not done any non-emergency procedures since the middle of March because they are aerosol generating — meaning a greater covid infection risk and need for major protective equipment. Although some areas are now starting to do more urgent and routine work, capacity is severely limited. Kevin Monahan, a consultant gastroenterologist at St Marks’s Hospital, part of London North West Healthcare Trust, and a member of the medical advisory board for Bowel Cancer UK, said the time taken for droplets to settle in rooms after a procedure can be up to an hour and three quarters, depending on how areas are ventilated. Only then can the room be cleaned and another patient seen. Dr Monahan said his trust had restarted some endoscopy work and was currently doing around 17 per cent of its pre-covid activity. “We can provide a maximum of about 20 per cent of normal activity — and that is using private facilities for NHS patients,” he said. “I am not at all confident we will be able to double what we are doing now, even in three to four months’ time." Read full story Source: HSJ, 12 June 2020
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