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Found 186 results
  1. News Article
    A total of 338 patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19 were discharged from Scottish hospitals into care homes in the three months from March this year, says a report from Public Health Scotland. The discharges were necessary to free up space in hospitals for COVID-19 patients but some care home owners have claimed that it introduced the virus into their premises, causing almost 2000 deaths across Scotland.2 Public Health Scotland says that most of the 3599 discharges that took place in the busiest month of March were among people who had never been tested. Of the 650 who were tested, 78 were positive, but the discharges still went ahead. Scotland has been found to have the highest rate of COVID-19 related deaths in care homes of any part of the UK. Read full story Source: BMJ, 29 October 2020
  2. News Article
    NHS staff and their families accounted for one in six patients in hospital with Covid, due in part to inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), new research suggests. A study of hospitals from March to June revealed that healthcare workers in patient-facing roles were around three times more likely to be hospitalised with the virus than the general population. Writing in the BMJ, the study's authors called for an urgent focus on how COVID-19 spreads around hospitals to prevent a similar toll in future waves of the pandemic. They also call for hospitals to consider re-deploying staff with vulnerable family members away from high-risk zones. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 29 October 2020
  3. Content Article
    These infographics are from the summary HSIB report (22 October 2020) entitled "COVID-19 transmission in hospitals: management of the risk – a prospective safety investigation". The exec report can be found here. They explain the five main aspects related to the nosocomial transmission of infection, and how the risks of this happening can be properly managed.
  4. Content Article
    The report concludes with short, medium and long-term measures that support both immediate and future responses as the NHS continues to tackle the virus. The measures include eight national safety recommendations, safety observations and a tool that NHS trusts can use straight away to review their approach. Safety recommendations 1: It is recommended that the Department of Health and Social Care, working with NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England, and other partners as appropriate, develops a transparent process to co-ordinate the development, dissemination and implementation of national guidance across the healthcare system to minimise the risk of nosocomial transmission of COVID-19. 2: It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement supports additional capacity for testing for NHS patients and staff (Pillar 1 testing) facilitates the accessibility of rapid testing for NHS trusts, as soon as an increase in rapid testing supplies becomes available. 3: It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement: develops a national intensive infection prevention and control (IPC) safety support programme for COVID-19 which focuses on leadership, IPC technical support, education, practice, guidance and assurance develops a national IPC strategy which focuses on developing IPC capacity, capability and sustainability across the NHS in England. 4: It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement reviews the principles of the hierarchy of controls in its health building notes (HBN) and health technical memoranda (HTM) for the design of the built environment in existing and new hospital estate to reduce the risk of nosocomial transmission. 5: It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement responds to emerging scientific evidence and shared learning when reviewing guidance for NHS trusts on the role of hospital ventilation systems in nosocomial transmission. 6: It is recommended that NHS England and NHS Improvement investigates and evaluates the risks associated with the potential impact of staff fatigue and emotional distress on nosocomial transmission of COVID-19. 7: It is recommended that the Department of Health and Social Care reviews and identifies the mechanisms which enabled regional and local organisations to adapt and respond with agility during the pandemic. This should inform the development of a strategic approach to national leadership models at times of crisis and under normal conditions. 8: It is recommended that NHSX considers how technology can assist in mitigating nosocomial transmission in the ward environment with regard to: the use of digital communication technologies in assisting with the deployment of staff and the dissemination and circulation of key information the increased use and availability of personal computing devices and electronic health record systems.
  5. News Article
    Minority ethnic people in UK were ‘overexposed, under protected, stigmatised and overlooked’, new review finds. Structural racism led to the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, a review by Doreen Lawrence has concluded. The report, commissioned by Labour, contradicts the government’s adviser on ethnicity, Dr Raghib Ali, who last week dismissed claims that inequalities within government, health, employment and the education system help to explain why COVID-19 killed disproportionately more people from minority ethnic communities. Lady Lawrence’s review found BAME people are over-represented in public-facing industries where they cannot work from home, are more likely to live in overcrowded housing and have been put at risk by the government’s alleged failure to facilitate Covid-secure workplaces. She demanded that the government set out an urgent winter plan to tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid on BAME people and ensure comprehensive ethnicity data is collected across the NHS and social care. The report, entitled An Avoidable Crisis, also criticises politicians for demonising minorities, such as when Donald Trump used the phrase “the Chinese virus”. The report, which is based on submissions and conversations over Zoom featuring “heart-wrenching stories” as well as quantitative data, issued the following 20 recommendations: Set out an urgent plan for tackling the disproportionate impact of Covid on ethnic minorities Implement a national strategy to tackle health inequalities Suspend ‘no recourse to public funds’ during Covid Conduct a review of the impact of NRPF on public health and health inequalities Ensure Covid-19 cases from the workplace are properly recorded Strengthen Covid-19 risk assessments Improve access to PPE in all high-risk workplaces Give targeted support to people who are struggling to self-isolate Ensure protection and an end to discrimination for renters Raise the local housing allowance and address the root causes of homelessness Urgently conduct equality impact assessments on the government’s Covid support schemes Plan to prevent the stigmatisation of communities during Covid-19 Urgently legislate to tackle online harms Collect and publish better ethnicity data Implement a race equality strategy Ensure all policies and programmes help tackle structural inequality Introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting End the ‘hostile environment’ Reform the curriculum Take action to close the attainment gap Read full story Source: The Guardian, 28 October 2020
  6. News Article
    The government has been warned it is throwing “a lit match into a haystack” by discharging Covid-positive patients to care homes, with politicians demanding that the safety of residents and staff is guaranteed under the new policy. During the first wave of the pandemic, approximately 25,000 hospital patients were sent to care homes – many of whom were not tested – which helped spread the virus among residents. Around 16,000 care home deaths have been linked to COVID-19 since the start of the crisis. The strategy was one of the government’s “biggest and most devastating mistakes” of the crisis, says Amnesty International, and questions have been raised over the decision to introduce a similar policy as the UK’s second wave intensifies. As part of the 2020 adult social care winter plan, the government has called on local authorities and care providers to establish “stand-alone units” – so-called “hot homes” – that would be able to receive and treat Covid hospital patients while they recover from the disease. There is also an expectation that, due to housing pressures and a shortage of suitable facilities, some patients may be discharged to “zoned accommodation” within a home, before being allowed to return to normal living settings once they test negative for the virus. Councils have been told to start identifying and notifying the Care Quality Commission of appropriate accommodation, and to ensure high infection prevention standards are met. Under the requirements outlined by the government, discharged patients “must have a reported Covid test result". However, The Independent revealed on Monday that these rules have not been followed in some cases, with a recent British Red Cross survey finding that 26 per cent of respondents had not been tested before being discharged to a care home. There is also concern whether care homes possess enough adequate personal protective equipment to prevent outbreaks, with the CQC revealing last month that PPE was still not being worn in some sites. Read full story Source: The Independent, 27 0ctober 2020
  7. News Article
    Almost half of hospital patients have been discharged without receiving the results of their coronavirus test – including some patients who were sent to care homes, new research from Healthwatch and British Cross has revealed. Independent national patient body Healthwatch England said it had learned many patients were discharged from hospitals between March and August this year without proper assessments with many vulnerable people sent home without medication, equipment or the care they needed. At the start of the pandemic thousands of patients were discharged to care homes as NHS England instructed hospitals to free up 15,000 beds ahead of the first wave of coronavirus. Approximately 25,000 patients were sent to care homes with some not tested, sparking fears this helped seed care homes with the virus. There have been around 16,000 care home deaths linked to COVID-19. According to a survey of almost 600 discharged patients and interviews with 60 NHS staff, Healthwatch England said it had found serious flaws with the way hospitals had followed NHS England’s instructions. Read full story Source: The Independent, 24 October 2020
  8. Content Article
    Key findings 82% of respondents did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home and almost one in five of these reported an unmet care need. Some people felt their discharge was rushed, with around one in five (19%) feeling unprepared to leave hospital. Over a third (35%) of people were not given a contact who they could get in touch with for further advice after discharge, despite this being part of the guidance. Overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time. Around a third (30%) of people faced an issue with delayed COVID-19 test results, potentially putting family and carers at risk, or in a care home, other residents and staff. Recommendations To help hospitals manage a second wave of COVID-19 hospital admissions ahead of winter, we have made several recommendations based on the experiences of people and staff, including: Post-discharge check-ins and assessments: Services should follow policy and ensure people are offered follow-up support soon after discharge, whether by phone or in person. Discharge checklists: Patients should be asked about the support they need, including any transport home and equipment required. Communication: Patients and carers should be given a single point of contact for further support or questions, in line with national policy. Medication: Waiting for medication can often lead to delays being discharged from hospital. Linking patients to voluntary sector partners or community pharmacists who can deliver medicine could avoid delays. Boost community care capacity and recognise the value of the voluntary care sector in hospital discharge: The current discharge policy depends on follow-up assessments and care being available. Longer-term, more investment is needed to ensure this happens, including in the voluntary care sector.
  9. News Article
    A mental health unit where a patient was found dead has been placed into special measures over concerns about safety and cleanliness. Field House, in Alfreton, Derbyshire, was rated "inadequate" by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a visit in August. A patient died "following use of a ligature" shortly after its inspection, the CQC said. Elysium, which runs the unit for women, said it was "swiftly" making changes. The inspectors' verdict comes after the unit was ordered to make improvements, in January 2019. Dr Kevin Cleary, the CQC's mental health lead, said: "There were issues with observation of patients, a lack of cleanliness at the service and with staffing. "There were insufficient nursing staff and they did not have the skills and experience to keep patients safe from avoidable harm. Bank and agency staff were not always familiar with the observation policy." "It was also worrying that not all staff received a COVID-19 risk assessment, infection control standards were poor, and hand sanitiser was not available in the service's apartments." The CQC said a follow-up inspection on Monday had showed "areas of improvement" but it would continue to monitor the service. Read full story Source: BBC News, 22 October 2020
  10. News Article
    A group of experts in nursing and infection prevention and control (IPC) is today warning against the use of IPC measures as a “rationale” for stopping safe and compassionate visits in care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a new open letter published in Nursing Times, the specialists say that preventing people from visiting loved ones in social care settings in the name of IPC is a “misinterpretation and at times even abuse” of IPC principles. The letter is the brainchild of independent global health consultant and former Infection Prevention Society (IPS) president, Jules Storr. Among the signatories are five former IPC presidents, current president Pat Cattini as well as incoming president Jennie Wilson. Dr Ron Daniels, chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, is also on the list, Helen Hughes, chief executive of Patient Safety Learning, as well as leading IPC nurse specialists, nurse academics, a GP and carers. Ms Storr, a nurse by background, and the hub topic lead, said she was motivated to take action after hearing “the most heart-breaking” stories from health professionals and relatives of residents about restricted visits in the UK in the wake of COVID-19. Some had not seen relatives for weeks or months, whilst others were only allowed to see their loved one once a week for 20 minutes at a distance, she said. One individual had told her how when their father had died only one family member was permitted in the home and they were not allowed to sit close enough to hold his hand. Ms Storr said these practices were “absolutely outrageous and wrong from an infection prevention point of view”. Read full story Source: Nursing Times, 16 October 2020
  11. News Article
    A number of patients in a cancer ward have died in hospital after a coronavirus outbreak and more have tested positive for the virus. NHS Lothian have not confirmed how many died but said it was fewer than five and a ‘very small number’ of patients. The health board is investigating the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh which has had to put measures in place to further contain the outbreak. Another six patients have tested positive for the virus so the hospital has closed the oncology ward to new patients being admitted. The hospital has also asked patients, who would usually be allowed to go home over the weekend and return to hospital on Monday, to stay in hospital the whole week. Dr Donald Inverarity, consultant microbiologist at NHS Lothian, said: ‘Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and I would like to express our sincere condolences." "A multidisciplinary Incident Management Team was immediately established and all necessary infection control measures are in place. The situation will continue to be reviewed and monitored very closely." The health board’s Health Protection Team and the nationwide Test and Protect teams are carrying out contact tracing of visitors and outpatients where necessary. Routine coronavirus screening of staff and patients is also taking place as part of an enhanced regime. Read full story Source: Metro, 10 October 2020
  12. Content Article
    This webinar explores NHS acute sector experiences during the peak of COVID-19 in Spring and Summer of 2020, reflects on global figures and sequalae and contrast with sepsis on a national and global scale including the importance of AMR. 5 key learning points: Understanding of the impact of COVID-19. Learn about after effects of C-19 and sepsis in survivors. Remind ourselves about the global scale of sepsis. Understand this in the context of AMR. Reflect on global and national policy strategies.
  13. 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
  14. News Article
    From the moment coronavirus reached UK shores, public health advice stressed the importance of washing hands and deep-cleaning surfaces to reduce the risk of becoming infected. The advice was informed by mountains of research into the transmission of other respiratory viruses: it was the best scientists could do with such a new pathogen. But as the pandemic spread and data rolled in, some scientists began to question whether the focus on hand hygiene was as crucial as it seemed. The issue has resurfaced after Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told the US science magazine Nautilus that the easiest way to catch the virus was through droplets and aerosols sprayed from an infected person’s mouth or nose. “It’s not through surfaces,” she said. “We now know the root of the spread is not from touching surfaces and touching your eye. It’s from being close to someone spewing virus from their nose and mouth, without in most cases knowing they are doing so.” Gandhi’s is not a lone voice. Her comments follow a prominent paper in the Lancet from Emanuel Goldman, a professor of microbiology at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He was sceptical about the relevance of scientific studies that showed the virus could survive on surfaces for days at a time. “In my opinion,” he wrote, “the chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small, and only in instances where an infected person coughs or sneezes on the surface, and someone else touches that surface soon after the cough or sneeze.” He defined soon as within one to two hours. Dr Julian Tang, an honorary associate professor of respiratory sciences at the University of Leicester, thinks hand washing should stay but agrees the risk from contaminated surfaces has been overplayed. He points to documents from the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) that estimate hand washing can reduce acute respiratory infections by only 16%. Meanwhile, he adds, the World Health Organization has warned about surfaces being a likely route of transmission while conceding there are no reports demonstrating infection this way. Tang believes that a preoccupation with contaminated surfaces distracted countries from taking airborne transmission seriously and played down the necessity of wearing masks. “What we’ve always said is that the virus transmits by all routes. There might be some transmission by hand and fomites and we’re not opposed to hand washing, but the emphasis is wrong,” he told the Guardian. Read full story Source: 5 October 2020
  15. News Article
    A technical glitch that meant nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus went unreported has delayed efforts to trace contacts of people who tested positive. Public Health England (PHE) said 15,841 cases between 25 September and 2 October were left out of the UK daily case figures. They were then added in to reach Saturday's figure of 12,872 new cases and Sunday's 22,961 figure. PHE said all those who tested positive had been informed. But it means others in close contact with them were not. The issue has been resolved, PHE said, with outstanding cases passed on to tracers by 01:00 BST on Saturday. The technical issue also means that the daily case totals reported on the government's coronavirus dashboard over the past week have been lower than the true number. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 October 2020
  16. News Article
    Covid infection rates among doctors, nurses, and other hospital and care home staff have risen more than fivefold over the past month in London, scientists have discovered. The figures – provided by the Francis Crick Institute – have triggered considerable concern among scientists, who fear similar increases may be occurring in other regions of the UK. Increasing numbers of infected healthcare workers raise fears that the spread of COVID-19 into wards and care homes – which triggered tens of thousands of deaths last spring – could be repeated unless urgent action is taken. “It is very, very worrying,” said Professor Charles Swanton, who helped set up the institute’s Pipeline testing service. “Keeping hospitals and care homes free of the virus is crucial but these figures suggest we are heading in the wrong direction.” The Francis Crick Institute – one of Britain’s leading biomedical research centres – decided in March to use its array of powerful laboratory devices to set up a Covid testing service for hospital and care home staff in central and north London. Many other UK academic institutions offered to start similar services but were discouraged by the Department of Health and Social Care which said it wanted to centralise testing operations. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 October 2020
  17. News Article
    The stress and anxiety caused to patients by "poor communication" from NHS bodies in England during the covid pandemic has been criticised by MPs. While recognising the huge burden placed on the NHS, their report said cancelled treatments and surgery had left some "in limbo" and others "too scared" to seek medical help. The report also questioned why weekly testing of NHS staff had not yet begun. And it called for their mental and physical wellbeing to be supported. Jeremy Hunt, who chairs the Health and Social Care Committee, which compiled the report, praised the "heroic contribution" made by front-line NHS staff during the pandemic, which had saved many lives. But he said the pandemic had "massively impacted normal NHS services" and this situation could have been improved with clearer communication to patients and better infection control measures in hospitals. The report, based on evidence from doctors, nurses, patient groups and NHS leaders, said the case for routine testing for all NHS staff in all parts of the country was "compelling" and it should be introduced as soon as possible before winter to help reduce the spread of the virus. The government and NHS England told the committee they wanted to bring in routine testing of staff but any plans depended on the capacity available. Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 October 2020
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