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Found 48 results
  1. News Article
    The NHS’s leading wheelchair provider has been told to urgently improve its complaints system by the health service ombudsman amid concerns disabled people are waiting up to two years for chairs. The parliamentary and health service ombudsman (PHSO) took the unusual step of writing to AJM Healthcare after a sharp rise in complaints from wheelchair users. Most related to people not receiving new wheelchairs or the correct parts. The waits range from a month to two years, the ombudsman said. Read full story Source: Guardian 21 May 2024
  2. Content Article
    Medication shortages can occur for many reasons, including manufacturing and quality problems, delays and discontinuations. This Food and Drug Administration (FDA) database provides information on drugs with a supply issue. Information is provided to the FDA by manufacturers.
  3. News Article
    The NHS is facing a shortage of laundry supplies that could have a “knock-on effect” on bed numbers, an industry leader has warned, with staff at one trust recently told to “only change linen if essential”. The Textile Services Association (TSA), which represents multiple laundry businesses that provide supplies to the NHS, said Brexit and the pandemic had caused large labour shortages which were making it difficult to meet demand across the healthcare and hospitality sectors. David Stevens, chief executive of TSA, told The Independent that “shortages of linen and laundry will have a knock-on effect on the provision of beds in trusts”, adding that the “bounce back post-Covid created a high demand for product and the supply chain was not able to deliver”. In an internal email circulated to staff last month at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, one senior official said both the trust and the NHS were “currently experiencing severe issues with the supply chain for linen deliveries,” adding that the situation is “currently very serious”. The email reads: “Please follow good Infection Prevention and Control practices, but only change linen if essential. For example, always change bed linen between patients, but do not change inpatients’ bed linen daily if at all possible.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 30 June 2022
  4. News Article
    Plans for up to 150 new community diagnostic hubs to tackle the NHS’ ballooning diagnostic waiting lists are included in NHS England ‘blue print plans’ leaked to HSJ. The document pointed out the hubs “were highlighted in the phase 3 letter [from Sir Simon Stevens] and will be recommended as part of new service models for diagnostics in the forthcoming [Sir Mike] Richards’ Review of Diagnostics Capacity”. It said “at least 150 community diagnostic hubs should be established in the first instance (broadly equivalent to the number of acute hospitals)” although it appears many of these may be temporary facilities. The phase 3 letter said systems should mange the “immediate growth in people requiring cancer diagnosis and/or treatment returning to the service by… the development of community diagnostic hubs” among other measures The Richards review was commissioned by NHS England in 2019 as it had long been recognised that England has one of the lowest levels in Europe of diagnostic equipment as well as a shortage in facilities and staff. Last month think-tanks warned of significant worsening of cancer outcomes because of the backlog in diagnosis and treatment created by a fall in referrals during the pandemic..." Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 September 2020
  5. News Article
    The shipment of 400,000 gowns from Turkey which was part of a delayed consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been impounded in a warehouse after falling short of UK standards. The personal protective equipment (PPE) was flown into the UK by the RAF last month, arriving three days late, but has been held in a government warehouse near Heathrow since, the Daily Telegraph said. During mid-April, when coronavirus deaths in the UK were at their highest, the NHS required 150,000 gowns each day. Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said the gowns were “not be of the quality that we feel is good enough for our frontline staff”. Speaking on Sky News, Mr Lewis said: “Well when we’re securing PPE from around the world you do it based on a set of standards that you’re looking to acquire to, but obviously once it’s here we check that it is good enough for what we want to use and in this instance some of this PPE turned out not to be good enough.” “I think it is right that if we have got particular standards for what we want our frontline staff to be able to have access to we make sure we stick to that. If something isn’t right, if we’re not even sure about it then I think it is better to be safe and not use that product and stick with products we are confident are the right products and the right standards.” Read full story Source: ITV News, 7 May 2020
  6. News Article
    Military personnel have criticised the NHS for its “appalling” handling of distributing personal protective equipment. The armed forces are helping with the distribution of equipment and staff have been seconded to help planning across seven hubs. A senior army source lambasted the health service for its logistics for PPE, alleging that masks, aprons, gloves and other items were being assigned to hospitals without regard to relative need, leading to oversupply in some areas and shortages in others. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 22 April 2020
  7. News Article
    Dozens of NHS trusts fear running out of disposable gowns this weekend if they do not receive more supplies, while national officials have issued guidance on alternatives to use in extreme circumstances, HSJ has learned. Several well-placed sources in procurement reported widespread concerns, more severe than so far in the COVID-19 outbreak. One had information that at least 60 trusts would run out this weekend without supplies, and that it was likely the large majority of NHS providers were affected. One well-placed source told HSJ the situation today was “not normal even during this pandemic”. Another described the “critical” shortage as “a dire situation for everyone”. Read full story Source: HSJ, 17 April 2020
  8. News Article
    None of the new life-saving mechanical ventilators ordered last month to cope with the increase in coronavirus patients has so far been awarded safety approval. Models by manufacturers such as Dyson have yet to get the green light from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the Financial Times reported. It comes a month after the Government issued a rallying cry to put non-medical manufacturers such as Dyson on a "war footing" to make additional machines. The lag is thought to be due in part to changing clinical understanding of how best to manage the virus. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 14 April 2020
  9. News Article
    GPs are advising patients with respiratory diseases to buy oxygen privately amid shortages of the gas across the NHS. Last week hospitals were warned to urgently consider limiting how many patients were given oxygen simultaneously. Hospitals usually have a pipeline to pump liquid oxygen from a central store to the wards, but most do not have the capacity to meet the demand from the number of patients they are treating with COVID-19. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 12 April 2020
  10. News Article
    Shortages are dogging the fight against the coronavirus. At Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) it's still only possible to test six staff for the virus per day, consultants have been making their own personal protective equipment, and there's an urgent need to save oxygen. Searching for ways round the problem, Dr Tom has been working with Leeds University on a 3D-printed valve that could be attached to the hospital's ventilators to reduce the amount of oxygen they use. But he also began looking at CPAP machines used to treat sleep apnoea at home. These maintain air at a continuous pressure, inside a mask, to keep the user's airways open - they have to be repurposed to provide oxygen for use in the hospital, but they use much less of it than standard hospital ventilators. They said, 'Yes we've got 2,000, how many do you want?''' he says. "And so our plan is to start with 100 and to see whether, if we use these early enough during a patient's stay, we can prevent people deteriorating and needing to go on to the more complex ventilators, and needing to come to the intensive care unit." We've been testing them over the weekend, and there's evidence from China and from the US that they seem effective. They just help inflate your lungs and that seems to be beneficial. They are also very simple, which means that there's no need for a huge amount of training. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 April 2020
  11. News Article
    London trusts have been warned not to expect deliveries of gowns from the national supply chain for at least the next few days, HSJ understands. Without central deliveries, providers risk running out of gowns ahead of the Easter weekend. Trusts will have to rely on existing supplies and any new stock they procure independently. Staff performing or assisting aerosol-generating procedures on confirmed or suspected covid-19 patients should wear gowns, according to the latest guidance from Public Health England. But supplies have been an issue for weeks, with trust procurement leads raising concerns about dwindling gown stocks last month. It recently emerged that gowns were not included in national pandemic stockpiles, unlike other forms of personal protective equipment like masks and gloves. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 April 2020
  12. News Article
    Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price has argued that the Welsh Government should appoint a procurement tsar to get to grips with Wales's serious shortage of COVID-19 testing kits, personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline health and care staff and medical devices for patients. Wales is currently only testing 1,100 people a day when it was planning to test 6,000. This follows the collapse of an alleged deal between the Welsh Government and private company Roche which would have provided for 5,000 of those tests. Adam Price made the case for the appointment of a tsar whose "sole responsibility" would be the procurement and supply of COVID-19 tests, PPE, and oxygen and medical devices for Wales. He cited cases of care homes with just one or two boxes of surgical masks - each enough to last just two days for one patient, as well as hospital staff being forced to wear paper underwear over their hair due to the lack of any other protection. Read full story Source: Plaid Cymru Party of Wales, 6 April 2020
  13. News Article
    Adult social care services are to receive millions of personal protective equipment products following a national audit of personal protective equipment (PPE), HSJ can reveal. The government will deliver more than 30 million items to local resilience forums in the coming days, for distribution among social care and other front-line services, according to a letter seen by HSJ. The stock should not be sent to acute trusts or ambulance services, the letter, from health and social care secretary Matt Hancock and housing, communities and local government secretary Robert Jenrick, stated. Describing an “urgent need” for PPE in front-line services, Mr Hancock and Mr Jenrick asked local planners to distribute this latest batch of stock “only where there is a clear and pressing need”. Read full story Source: HSJ, 6 April 2020
  14. News Article
    The government has ordered an urgent national audit of personal protective equipment (PPE), body bags, swabs and infection control products, HSJ can reveal. Local resilience forum planners were earlier this week asked to share stock levels and daily consumption rates of the items at ambulance, acute trusts and in primary care and other services by 9pm on Tuesday. They were asked to indicate whether each figure represented a “major” or “minor” supply problem, or no problem at all, in an email seen by HSJ. As well as trusts, resilience forum staff were asked to share stock levels among adult social care services, numbers of mortuary staff, other local authority staff, police, prisons, fire and rescue services and funeral directors. The email also asked planners if local services had access to PPE supplies above their immediate need and whether local authorities were in discussions with any private PPE suppliers. The email noted the Department of Health and Social Care wanted to develop a “systematic days of supply picture” for all PPE at all providers. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  15. News Article
    A breathing aid that can help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care has been created in under a week. University College London engineers worked with clinicians at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One to build the device, which delivers oxygen to the lungs without needing a ventilator. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are already used in hospitals but are in short supply. China and Italy used them to help Covid-19 patients. Forty of the new devices have been delivered to ULCH and to three other London hospitals. If trials go well, up to 1,000 of the CPAP machines can be produced per day by Mercedes-AMG-HPP, beginning in a week's time. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has already given its approval for their use. Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 March 2020
  16. News Article
    National and regional NHS chiefs will seek to share out scarce ventilators to ”areas with the most immediate need, on a fair share basis relative to patient ventilation need," they have told hospital chiefs, who are increasingly concerned about what they will receive and when. Many are expecting demand for ventilated beds to outstrip what they have as the number of patients seriously ill with covid-19 ramps up. Trust leaders yesterday told HSJ they were growing increasingly worried about the lack of information over when the machines would be sent to their trusts. Some are worried London, and other regions which see their demand spike first, will get more supply. A letter from NHS England and Improvement to trust chiefs late on Wednesday told them that as “extra ventilators become available we will coordinate distribution via regional teams who will work with local health systems”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 March 2020
  17. News Article
    The government says a communications mix-up meant it missed the deadline to join an EU scheme to get extra ventilators for the coronavirus crisis. Ministers were earlier accused of putting Brexit before public health when Downing Street said the UK had decided to pursue its own scheme. But No 10 now says officials did not get emails inviting the UK to join and it could join future schemes. The party's shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "Given the huge need for PPE, testing capacity and crucial medical equipment including ventilators, people will want to know why on Monday ministers were saying they had 'chosen other routes' over the joint EU procurement initiatives but now they are claiming that they missed the relevant emails. "We need an urgent explanation from ministers about how they will get crucial supplies to the frontline as a matter of urgency." Read full story Source: BBC News, 27 March 2020
  18. News Article
    If there is a public inquiry over the handling of the coronavirus, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-line staff could be a major theme. The government has been put under major pressure by staff over the past four days because of delays to the delivery of vital equipment. This left them at risk as they dealt with a flood of covid-19 cases described as “all-consuming” by one hospital chief executive (while another major trust declared a critical incident). The last two weeks have prompted a mammoth effort from local and national procurement teams to make sure clinicians have the PPE they need. But, sadly, the bigger picture was what the Health Care Supply Association called a “system” failure (although it did not blame staff). Numerous trusts, some of them very large, have turned to alternative suppliers to source this vital kit, in some cases spending hundreds of thousands of pounds. The situation has apparently been so dire in recent days that, over the weekend, the HCSA asked DIY shops to donate their PPE to local trusts. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020
  19. News Article
    Details of a massive ramp-up in intensive care beds have been circulated to NHS bosses in London, amid concerns from national leaders that they are four days away from full capacity. In a call with local leaders, the NHS’ national director for mental health, Claire Murdoch, spoke about the intense pressures facing the acute system due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to several people on the call, she said London “runs out of [ICU] beds in four days” if urgent action is not taken. She also warned the need for intensive care beds will now double every three days, the sources said. The capital’s hospitals are frantically planning to try to quadruple their “surge capacity” in intensive care over the next fortnight, from around 1,000 surge beds over the weekend just passed, to more than 4,000 in two weeks’ time. Read full story Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020
  20. News Article
    The government has bought 3.5 million coronavirus antibody tests — with more widespread testing of NHS workers coming “online soon”, the health secretary has said. Matt Hancock also told a press conference this evening that a new testing facility had been opened in Milton Keynes as the government aims to “ramp up” the number of antibody tests — which will determine whether people have had the virus and can therefore return to work. Mr Hancock also said the government had shipped 7.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment over the last 24 hours, following major shortages, and confirmed the conversion of east London’s Excel centre into a huge temporary hospital facility, with between 500 to 4,000 beds. Read full story Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020
  21. News Article
    Lack of staff testing, workforce shortages and running out of personal protective equipment (PPE)are the three biggest concerns for trusts fighting the coronavirus outbreak, according to an HSJ chief executive survey conducted over the last 36 hours. Thirteen of the 34 trust chief executives who responded to the snap survey, who were from trusts across England, also warned they would run out of intensive care capacity by next week as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise. The survey also revealed some trusts were already being forced to dilute safe staffing ratios and ration facilities. One chief warned: “We are preserving ventilation capacity by ensuring that only those who may survive are considered.” However, the majority of respondents were supportive of system leaders’ guidance so far. Several respondents praised the “impressive pace and detail of the advice." The three biggest areas of concern raised by the chiefs surveyed were: Lack of staff testing, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%); Staff shortages, raised by 26 of the 34 respondents (77%); and PPE shortages, raised by 23 of the 34 respondents (68%. Read full story Source: HSJ, 24 March 2020
  22. News Article
    UK doctors fighting coronavirus still say they don't have personal protective equipment (PPE). Jon Snow spoke to Dr Jenny Vaughan, a leading member of the Doctors’ Association who have written to the government to demand better personal protective equipment for medical staff. He asked her whether the PPE equipment promised by the government was starting to reach the medical staff on the frontline, and what kinds of problems medical personnel had been encountering. Watch news story Source: Channel 4 News, 23 March 2020
  23. News Article
    The NHS must ensure that doctors have proper protective equipment, Jeremy Hunt, the former health secretary, has urged. NHS chiefs say that there are no problems with national stock levels of items including masks, gowns and gloves and that local supply issues should have been resolved over the weekend. However, hospital staff say that they are still experiencing shortages, with nurses going to DIY shops to stock up or even refusing to work without the right equipment. One London doctor said: “Every time the government is asked they say the equipment is there, and it is just not true.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 23 March 2020
  24. News Article
    The health secretary has acknowledged there have been "challenges" with the supply of personal protective equipment to NHS staff in England - but added he is determined to rise to them. Last week, NHS staff said the lack of protective gear was putting them at risk during the coronavirus outbreak. Matt Hancock said a million face masks had been bought over the weekend and he was taking the issue "very seriously". From this week, the Army will play a part in helping to distribute supplies. "I am determined to ensure that the right kit gets to the right hospital, the right ambulance service, the right doctors' surgery, right across the country," said Mr Hancock. "There have been challenges and I can see that. We're on it and trying to solve all the problems." Read full story Source: BBC News, 23 March 2020
  25. Content Article
    The surge in the need for invasive ventilation during the covid pandemic has required the provision of intensive care beds in London to be reallocated. NHS England have proposed the formation of a Pan‐London Emergency Cardiac surgery (PLECS) service to provide urgent and emergency cardiac surgery for the whole of London. In this initial report, the Department of Cardiac Surgery, St Bartholomew's Hospital, outline their experience of setting up and delivering a pan‐regional service for the delivery of urgent and emergency cardiac surgery with a focus on maintaining a COVID‐free in‐hospital environment. In doing so, they hope that other regions can use this as a starting point in developing their own region‐specific pathways if the spread of coronavirus necessitates similar measures be put in place across the United Kingdom
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