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Found 145 results
  1. News Article
    Emergency legislation is needed to protect doctors and nurses from “inappropriate” legal action over critical Covid treatment decisions made amid the pressures of the pandemic, health organisations have argued. A coalition of health bodies has written to Matt Hancock, the health secretary, calling for the law to be updated so medical workers do not feel “vulnerable to the risk of prosecution for unlawful killing” when treating coronavirus patients “in circumstances beyond their control”. The letter, coordinated by the Medical Protection Society (MPS), states there are no legal safeguards for coronavirus-related issues such as when there are “surges in demand for resources that temporarily exceed supply”. The coalition, which includes the British Medical Association and Doctors’ Association UK, wrote: “With the chief medical officers now determining that there is a material risk of the NHS being overwhelmed within weeks, our members are worried that not only do they face being put in this position but also that they could subsequently be vulnerable to a criminal investigation by the police. “There is no national guidance, backed up by a clear statement of law, on when life-sustaining treatment can be lawfully withheld or withdrawn from a patient in order for it to benefit a different patient, and if so under what conditions. The first concern of a doctor is their patients and providing the highest standard of care at all times.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 January 2021
  2. News Article
    Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust will work with Omnicell to develop a European technology-enabled inventory optimisation and intelligence service which will be initially implemented across South East London Integrated Care System (ICS). This partnership will encompass all six acute hospital sites within the South East London ICS, including Guy’s & St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust. The project will have the following goals: Develop analytics and reporting tools with a goal of improving patient safety, achieving increased operational efficiency and cost efficiencies Utilize the analytics and reporting tools with a goal of achieving agreed efficiencies and cost reductions Demonstrate the impact of managing clinical supplies and medicine spend together at scale Build a service model for the ICS which can be scaled up and adopted by other hospital groups in the UK Read the full article here
  3. News Article
    Doctors and nurses on the front line of the fight against coronavirus at the Royal London Hospital – which has the largest number of Covid patients in the capital – have been denied the Pfizer vaccine, The Independent has learnt. Hospital bosses at Barts Health Trust have written to staff today expressing their frustration over the decisions by NHS England, which meant the northeast of London – where the rate of infections and hospitalisations are worst – has not been given access to any vaccines. The Independent has learned that staff from the Royal London booked appointments to be vaccinated at University College London, but they were turned away because the vaccinations had been earmarked for NHS staff from University College London Hospital Trust. The trust’s chief medical officer wrote to senior doctors on Monday warning them the crisis facing the hospital would get worse before it gets better. Professor Alistair Chesser told staff: “It has been frustrating to see the vaccine delivered to other trusts and to GP surgeries but not to us in the last few days given the pressure we are under. Please be assured we are lobbying for our staff and our patients at the very highest levels and will not let this rest.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 22 December 2020
  4. News Article
    Research by a group of doctors has found ‘major deficiencies’ around infection control within hospitals in the North West region. The study looked at trusts’ adherence to Public Health England guidance around limiting the spread of COVID-19 within orthopaedic services. The study found patients were routinely being allocated to hospital beds before they had been confirmed as covid-negative, “thus allowing spread of COVID-19 not only between patients but also between nursing and medical staff”. Fewer than half of patients were nursed with the appropriate screens in place, while it was uncommon for doctors to be tested regularly. Separate statistics published by NHS England suggest almost 20 per cent of new covid cases in North West hospitals from August to December were likely to be nosocomial, meaning they were acquired on the wards. This was a higher proportion than any other region. Read full story Source: HSJ (paywalled), 16 December 2020
  5. Content Article
    These guides explain more about the GMC's priority work programmes and how you can get involved. Medical manslaughter review Reflective practice Raising and acting on concerns Making sure doctors are treated fairly Wellbeing of the medical profession Induction and returners
  6. Content Article
    This poster was created by the Royal Free Nursing team on the intensive care unit. It demonstrated how they reduced turnover of staff on the unit by implementing 'Joy in Work'.
  7. News Article
    A trust is investigating after two junior doctors developed covid following an offsite event attended by 22 juniors where social distancing rules were allegedly ignored. The cases, involving doctors from the Royal Surrey Foundation Trust in Guildford, have been declared an outbreak by Public Health England and police have investigated the incident. But HSJ understands that contact tracing has concluded no patients needed to be tested because staff had worn appropriate PPE at all times and those involved had swiftly self-isolated once they realised they might have covid or had been at risk of exposure to it. It is not known whether any of the doctors had returned to work after the event before realising they might have been exposed to covid. Dr Mark Evans, deputy medical director, said: “Protecting our patients is our priority and we are committed to ensuring that all of our staff follow government guidance. This incident took place outside of work and has been reported appropriately, and there was no disruption to our services for patients.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 22 October 2020
  8. News Article
    Doctors from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds have been hindered in their search for senior roles because of widespread “racial discrimination” in the NHS, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians. The RCP, which represents 30,000 of the UK’s hospital doctors, found that ingrained “bias” in the NHS made it much harder for BAME doctors to become a consultant compared with their white counterparts. “It is clear from the results of this survey that racial discrimination is still a major issue within the NHS,” said Dr Andrew Goddard, the RCP’s president. “It’s a travesty that any healthcare appointment would be based on anything other than ability.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 October 2020
  9. Content Article
    Latest The Doctor, issue 25, October 2020 Long covid, austerity, India's fight against misinformation, differential outcomes in treatment, and much more.
  10. News Article
    A key player in the junior doctor disputes with Jeremy Hunt has now joined the former health secretary’s patient safety charity. Jeeves Wijesuriya, former chair of the British Medical Association’s junior doctors committee, is among the nine people who will serve on the advisory board of the Patient Safety Watch charity. Mr Hunt has also announced that Sir Robert Francis, who led the Mid Staffs inquiry; England’s former chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies; former medical director of the NHS, Sir Bruce Keogh; and Dame Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust, will also serve on the advisory board. Mr Hunt announced Patient Safety Watch last year to establish data to report on levels of patient safety and avoidable harm in healthcare, and commission research from leading universities. He has previously said he will invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in the charity over several years. He told HSJ: “Patient safety has moved massively up the agenda because of the issue of nosocomial infections that have affected both staff and patients during covid." “This high powered advisory board will help Patient Safety Watch make measured but decisive interventions so that we get better at learning from what inevitably goes wrong - not just in a pandemic but in normal times as well.” Read full story Source: HSJ, 8 October 2020
  11. News Article
    Senior doctors specialising in infectious diseases have written an open letter expressing "concern" about the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Northern Ireland. The letter is signed by 13 medics from hospitals across Northern Ireland. It calls for the public to stick to government guidance on reducing social interactions and also warns against "stigmatising people and areas with high levels of infection." The letter reads: "We need to support people who test positive. This pandemic requires us to work together to bring it under control urgently. We need to reduce the potential for transmission to protect our health service, and we need to fix our test and trace system to try and gain better control of this virus in our community." On Monday, 616 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in Northern Ireland, bringing the total during the pandemic to 14,690. The number of deaths recorded by the Department of Health remains at 584. Among those who have signed the letter are Dr Claire Donnelly, a consultant physician who specialises in infectious diseases; consultant virologist Dr Conall McCaughey and consultant paediatrician Dr Sharon Christie. Entitled an "appeal to people to adhere to Covid public health guidance", the letter lays bare the stark reality of the infections rates. The letter adds: "Worryingly the number of cases is increasing rapidly in many areas over the last week, indicating that we have widespread community transmission in many parts of Northern Ireland." Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 October 2020
  12. News Article
    A decision not to "urgently" refer an anorexic woman whose condition had significantly deteriorated contributed to her death, a coroner said. Amanda Bowles, 45, was found at her Cambridge home in September 2017. An eating disorder psychiatrist who assessed her on 24 August apologised to Ms Bowles' family for not organising an admission under the Mental Health Act. Assistant coroner Sean Horstead said the decision not to arrange an assessment "contributed to her death". Mr Horstead told an inquest at Huntingdon Racecourse that also on the balance of probabilities the "decision not to significantly increase the level of in-person monitoring" following 24 August "contributed to the death". In his narrative conclusion, Mr Horstead said it was "possible... that had a robust system for monitoring Ms Bowles in the months preceding her death been in place, then the deterioration in her physical and mental health may have been detected earlier" and led to an earlier referral to the Adult Eating Disorder Service. He said this absence "was the direct consequence of the lack of formally commissioned monitoring in either primary or secondary care for eating disorder patients". Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 September 2020
  13. News Article
    A damning report into Devon’s NHS 111 and out of hours GP service has revealed shocking stories of patients who have either had their health put at risk or tragically died due to the service being in need of urgent improvement. Devon Doctors Limited, which provides an Urgent Integrated Care Service (UICS) across Devon and Somerset, was inspected by independent health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in July, after concerns were raised about the service. They included the care and treatment of patients, deaths and serious incidents, call waits, staff shortages, and low morale. Inspectors found 'deep rooted issues'. The CQC concluded it was not assured that patients were being treated promptly enough and, in some cases, they had not received safe care or treatment. It is calling for the service to make urgent improvements which will be closely monitored. Since August 2019, the report stated Devon Doctors had received 179 complaints. Nine had been identified by the service as incidents of high risk of harm and six had been identified by the service as incidents of moderate risk of harm. These had been recorded on the service’s significant event log. However, on review, the CQC identified an additional 30 events from the complaints log which could also have been classed as either moderate or high risk of harm. Read full story Source: Devon Live, 15 September 2020
  14. News Article
    Almost 86% of doctors in England say they expect a second peak of coronavirus in the next six months, according to a new survey, as concern continues to grow over a recent rise in cases. On Friday, new results from a population-based study suggested the R number for England is now at 1.7, with infections doubling every 7.7 days. While the prevalence of the disease remains lower than it was in the spring, an R value above 1 means cases could grow exponentially. Sunday marked the third day in a row that new coronaviruses cases reported for the UK topped 3,000 – the highest figures since May – with 2,837 new cases reported in England alone. While testing has increased over the past months, experts have said this does not fully explain the recent surge. In a poll, the British Medical Association (BMA) asked more than 8,000 doctors and medical students in England what their top concerns were out of five possibilities, from a second peak of coronavirus to sickness and burnout among staff and winter pressures, including a possible flu outbreak. Almost 30% of respondents selected a second peak as their number-one worry. Overall, 86% of respondents said they believed a second peak of coronavirus during the next six months is either “quite likely” or “very likely”. When asked which of a range of factors might risk causing a second peak, almost 90% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that failures of the test-and-trace system posed a risk, while a similar proportion cited a lack of infection-control measures in places like bars and restaurants, and 86% agreed or strongly agreed confusing messaging on public health measures was a risk. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 September 2020
  15. News Article
    GP practices are being told they must make sure patients can be seen face to face when they need such appointments. NHS England is writing to all practices to make sure they are communicating the fact doctors can be seen in person if necessary, as well as virtually. It's estimated half of the 102 million appointments from March to July were by video or phone call, NHS Digital said. However, the Royal College of GPs said any implication GPs had not been doing their job properly was "an insult". NHS England said research suggested nearly two thirds of the public were happy to have a phone or video call with their doctor - but that, ahead of winter, they wanted to make sure people knew they could see their GP if needed. Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, said GPs had adapted quickly in recent months to offer remote consultations and "safe face-to-face care when needed". Prof Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said general practice was "open and has been throughout the pandemic", with a predominantly remote service to help stop the spread of coronavirus. He said: "The college does not want to see general practice become a totally, or even mostly, remote service post-pandemic. However, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We need to consider infection control and limit footfall in GP surgeries - all in line with NHS England's current guidance." He said most patients had understood the changes and that clinical commissioning groups had been asked to work with GP practices where face-to-face appointments were not possible - for example, if all GPs were at a high risk from coronavirus. "Any implication that they have not been doing their job properly is an insult to GPs and their teams who have worked throughout the pandemic, continued delivering the vast majority of patient care in the NHS and face an incredibly difficult winter ahead," he said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 14 September 2020 Research from the college indicated that routine GP appointments were back to near-normal levels for this time of year, after decreasing at the height of the pandemic. "Each and every day last week an estimated third of a million appointments were delivered face to face by general practices across the country," added Prof Marshall.
  16. News Article
    Over 1,000 doctors plan to quit the NHS because they are disillusioned with the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and frustrated about their pay, a new survey has found. The doctors either intend to move abroad, take a career break, switch to private hospitals or resign to work as locums instead, amid growing concern about mental health and stress levels in the profession. “NHS doctors have come out of this pandemic battered, bruised and burned out”, said Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, president of the Doctors’ Association UK, which undertook the research. The large number of medics who say they will leave the NHS within three years is “a shocking indictment of the government’s failure to value our nation’s doctors,” she added. “These are dedicated professionals who have put their lives on the line time and time again to keep patients in the NHS safe, and we could be about to lose them.
  17. Content Article
    Key points Audit measures practice against performance. The audit cycle involves five stages: preparing for audit; selecting criteria; measuring performance level; making improvements; sustaining improvements. Choose audit topics based on high risk, high volume, or high cost problems, or on national clinical audits, national service frameworks, or guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Derive standards from good quality guidelines. Use action plans to overcome the local barriers to change and identify those responsible for service improvement. Repeat the audit to find out whether improvements in care have been implemented after the first audit.
  18. News Article
    Death rates among seriously ill COVID-19 patients dropped sharply as doctors rejected the use of mechanical ventilators, analysis has found. The chances of dying in an intensive care unit (ICU) went from 43% before the pandemic peaked to 34% in the period after. In a report, the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre said that no new drugs nor changes to clinical guidelines were introduced in that period that could account for the improvement. However, the use of mechanical ventilators fell dramatically. Before the peak in admissions on 1 April, 75.9% of COVID-19 patients were intubated within 24 hours of getting to an ICU, a proportion which fell to 44.1% after the peak. Meanwhile, the proportion of ICU patients put on a ventilator at any point dropped 22 percentage points to 61% either side of the peak. Researchers suggested this could have been a result of “informal learning” among networks of doctors that patients on ventilators were faring worse than expected. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 3 September 2020
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